Broadcast outside 24h window with OTN

As the subscription messages are going away, Facebook comes up with a new message type that can help you reach your audience outside of the 24-hour window for free.

It’s a bit different from the other free messages that you can send out via a tag.

  1. You can use it for promotional purposes
  2. Users need to explicitly opt-in for receiving a notification.
  3. It’s a single message (hence the name), you can’t send more than one per request

So let’s take a quick look at when and how you can use One-Time Notifications.

1. What can I use One-time Notification for?

There are cases wherein you can use an OTN, you can get really creative here. The only thing besides the general Facebook rules is that the user has to ‘opt-in’ for this notification. So you need to make it somewhat appealing, you cannot incentivize this notification sign up. But it can absolutely be promotional.

Official Examples by Facebook:

  • Back in stock alerts
  • Collection launches
  • Concert tickets going on sale
  • Price drop alerts
  • Train tickets available for purchase
  • CSAT surveys

Some other examples:

  • Discount alert
  • Birthday greetings
  • Purchase/Deadline reminders
  • Product feedback surveys
  • New product variants
  • Waiting lists
  • Company news, updates in XY category
  • Industry updates
  • New Case Study notification
  • New Video notification
  • FB live notification

As all these types of messages need extra opt-in, make sure not to overwhelm the user and have them try to opt-in for 30 different messages in one sitting.

This is not for:

  • After purchase events
  • Event update notifications
  • Account updates
  • Customer Support
  • Sensitive Information
  • Unclear, Spam, Confusing or Misleading messages

Example by Facebook for the opt-in and the actual notification.

2. How to apply for One-Time Notification permission?

The application process is really straightforward when it comes to the One-time Notification.

Just go to your page’s settings (top right), then choose Advanced Messaging from the middle of the list

You can also just use one of these links below by replacing the page name to yours. Personal and business version:

Then just scroll down till you see the One-Time Notification option, click on the request button and confirm the pop-up message.

Then you’ll receive the following text and a confirm option. Just hit confirm.

The One-Time Notification feature is a “Beta Product” for the purposes of the Facebook Beta Product Testing Terms, which includes the Facebook Terms of Service and other online terms, the terms of which are hereby incorporated by reference (the “Testing Terms”). By clicking “Request” below, you (1) agree to the Facebook Platform Policy, (2) agree to the Testing Terms and shall cause any developer accessing the Beta Product on your or your Page’s behalf to agree to and comply with the Testing Terms and (3) represent and warrant that you have authority to agree to the Testing Terms on behalf of the Page owner that is accessing the Beta Product.

That’s it. No extra approval or waiting time as of now. At least, there wasn’t any for me nor anyone I know. This might change in the future. Also, they can take away this ability from your page should you not comply with the rules.

3. User’s Permission for the One-Time Notification

This is the most critical part of the equation.

How? When? How many? What for?

As of now, this is very new and we’re all still just trying to figure out how to go about it.

It is 100% permission marketing. You need to ask for quick permission and proceed in the future whenever it’s relevant.

Somewhat similar to the 2-step Facebook posts, when people say, they are preparing something, and ask for a comment if anyone’s interested.

Of course, some of the opt-ins are a bit more straightforward than others.

People who are willing to buy a product now are most likely ready to request notification for when it will be available. But gaining permission for sending out a survey can be a bit more challenging.

It’s highly individual and independent, what and when a business should offer, so I’m not going into with detail that.

Generally, you want the user to have a good customer experience. The question should make sense at the time you ask it.

This is a different message type than a normal text. Think about it as a separate category, such as a gallery card or image for example.

As of now, this permission can only be granted inside Messenger. The ‘Notify Me’ button cannot be changed and it will appear in the user’s language (similarly to the ‘Get Started’ button). Facebook also attaches some extra text to your original text. You can see the English version in the picture above. As these texts can lead to extra confusion, you might want to already want to inform the user before sending this block.

So what’s in your control?

  • The message (‘title’) (up to 65 characters)
  • What happens after the user clicks ‘Notify Me’

Facebook considers a notification as a topic, AhaChat uses that word as well. Regardless of the original label, you might want to save this information in the form of a tag or attributes as well. That way you can more easily create audiences, learn from your data, etc.

Depending on your business, you might end up having many different OTNs, so make sure to name them properly. The last thing you want to happen is to mess up the notifications.

Ideally, you provide a quick confirmation about the opt-in as well, not just go silent like the examples by Facebook…

4. Instructions to use One-Time Notification in AhaChat

Step 1:

Create Flow to attract customers to sign up for OTN Request

Step 2:

Create the CONVERSATION block then select User Input Type as OTN Request.

Step 3:

Requesting OTN Request from Facebook Page (only takes 30s)

Step 4:

Fill up the title of the OTN Request to make it engage, for example, 40% promotion from Yves Rocher on International Women's Day.

Then create a new Topic as "8.3.2020 promotion"

Test the Results

Step 5:

Create Broadcast with the first block with only 1 message (may include buttons)


Fillup the content like this

Step 6:

Select the Message Type as the OTN message and select the card as "8.3.2020 promotion"

Finally click Test on Messenger to see the results and then hit SEND button

Note: if user A clicks on Notification Topic "8.3.2020 promotion" and receives Broadcast on this topic. Then even though user A continues to click on Notification Topic "8.3.2020 promotion" many times you can't send Broadcast on this topic to user A anymore!