How to solve errors with Facebook Messenger campaigns not running

Recently Facebook announced that it would be changing how Messenger / Messages campaigns run within the European Union space. The reason for this being General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which apply within the EU states.

You may have found that your Facebook Ads Campaigns which had Messenger as their destination have been paused late last month or at the begining of December. This is because Facebook eliminated the option to optimize the ads that click to message for conversations.

Here is what Facebook has officially announced so far:

“Due to new privacy rules in Europe, some messaging campaigns have been paused. This means that certain messaging-related ads, targeting, and audiences for ads delivered to and from Europe will be unavailable.

So what can you do to continue to run Messages / Messenger campaigns? Well there are 2 issues you need to solve.

Switch the conversions / optimization objective

Whether your ongoing campaigns got paused/disabled or you set up a new campaign which keeps getting rejected, the first step is to switch to the new conversion objective.

You can still run ads that click to message using the following substitutions. Changes to your campaign may affect performance.

  • The Link Clicks optimization can be used instead of the Conversations/Leads optimizations.
  • The Start Conversations template can be used instead of the Lead Generation template.

We used to run click to message campaigns with the Conversation objective. Now that isn’t allowed any more. So this is the reason you will receive your first error, which sounds like this:

Optimization Unavailable: The Conversations optimization is not available right now for messaging campaigns that target Europe. To continue with this optimization, remove European locations. Or, select a different optimization. (#2446670) 

Now the obvious solution would be to just switch to the new allowed objective of Link Clicks. But that isn’t allowed either.

SOLUTION: What you need to do is to create the campaign all over again. Duplicating it doesn`t work, you will get the same error!

Create a new message template

Even if you recreated the campaign and switched to the new allowed conversions objectives you might find that your Facebook Ads Messenger campaign will still get rejected.

The new error message has to do with the ad itself this time and sounds like this:

“Invalid Page Welcome Message for Messenger Destination Ads: The Message Text (page_welcome_message) is invalid for ads with Messenger as destination. (#1815471)”

Apparently this had been an issue before and was related to custom Message Templates that we’re using custom JSON code. Here is a thread about it on Stack Overflow from 2018.

And the solution which was working back then:

But this time around the error is shown even for templates created within the Facebook Ads Manager platform, without using any JSON code or chatbots.

SOLUTION: In order to fix this you need to create a new Message Template and make sure that you have selected “None” for the Customer Actions. Do not edit or duplicate preexisting templates, or you will get the error again!

If you ecountered other errors with click to message campaigns or found other solutions, please leave a comment.

Good luck!

11 thoughts on “How to solve errors with Facebook Messenger campaigns not running

  1. I’m in the Argentine Republic, what I don’t understand is why, if the limitation is in the European community, in South America, specifically in Buenos Aires, I still get this error message in the optimization

    1. The messages campaing error spread to everyone apparently. By now everything should be working fine. I spoke to a Facebook representative today and managed to confirm everything is resolved. You can even set Buttons and Quick Replies in Messages Template now.

      1. Nothing has been resolved. The campaigns with optimization “messages” does not work and the text of the European community appears. If with other optimizations they can send messages but it is not the same, in quantity and quality. A shame, in a pandemic, they take away an important channel of contact from potential customers and that worked best. Disappointed with facebook. And little or nothing hopeful
        I don’t know how to solve it and have an important flow of messages again

      2. Yes, the ability to set conversations as optimization objective for Messages campaign is not available in the EU. When I said everything should be working fine now, I meant that the error messages described in the article don`t show up anymore.

  2. Thank you so much for your blog post !!!
    My old campaign doesn’t restart (I’m based in France). Am I obliged to create new campaigns? (Messenger)

    1. Your problems might be with Campaign Objective. Use Link Clicks, instead of Convesations. And yes, you need to recreate the campaign. Editing or duplicating doesn`t work.

      1. Thank you Vlad for your quick response:-) my old campaigns were very good since I recreated them, it costs me five times more. I had hoped to get back to my old campaigns in February. Are they definitely lost? (My old campaigns).

      2. If there are no changes to EU GDPR policy, then it`s higly unlikely that we will ever be able to optimize Messages campaigns for Convesrsation again.

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