Facebook Messaging Campaign Errors: What Can You Do?

Sian Thomas

· Social Media

Facebook advertisers in Europe running Messaging Campaigns are likely to have spotted that their ads have been paused with an error message popping up this week:

“Optimization Unavailable: The Conversations optimization is not available right now for messaging campaigns in Europe. To fix this, please select a different optimization. (#2446669)”

“Optimisation unavailable: The Conversations optimisation is not currently available for messaging campaigns that target Europe. To continue with this optimisation, remove European locations or select a different optimisation. (#2446670)

Discrepancies of “optimisation” spellings aside, this error message has been a major cause of concern for advertisers at the beginning of December and going forward.

At Bronco, we’re running messaging campaigns with the aim to start conversations that can help advertisers better reach their customers on a personal level for a number of clients, meaning that we’ve had to find a solution to allow these ads to continue to run.

The reasoning behind this (temporary) update is that new privacy rules have been implemented on ads delivered to and from Europe through GDPR. If you’re currently running Facebook ads in Europe or targeting Europe, you will need to check over your ads and audiences to ensure that they have not been affected.

What can advertisers not do?

There are a number of features that advertisers who are in or who are targeting Europe cannot currently use. These include:

Can advertisers in Europe still run messaging campaigns?

The short answer is: yes!

If messaging campaigns are crucial to your business, but you’ve realised that you can no longer complete the ad with the “Conversations” optimisation once you’ve selected the “Messaging” objective, don’t worry – we have 2 solutions! These may need testing to see which works best for your specific campaign. Follow the steps below:

Option 1 – Messaging Objective with Link Clicks Optimisation

You can now relaunch the ad with under the “Messaging”objective, but with the “Link Clicks” optimisation selected. While this isn’t going to provide as specific optimising as the “Conversations” optimisation would have done, it’s the next best thing.

Option 2 – Traffic Objective driving to Messenger

  1. Select the “Traffic” campaign objective.
  2. In your Ad Set, select “Messenger” for the location you want to drive traffic to.
  3. Then scroll down to “Optimisation and Delivery”.
  4. Select “Link clicks” from the dropdown for Optimisation for ad delivery.

This will open up the options in your ad to drive users to a Messenger conversation with your business, to select the “Send Message” call to action and to choose a messaging template.

The ability to optimise your campaign for Conversations is now unavailable, but this is your best alternative option at this stage.

Lead Generation Forms

If you previously used the Lead Generation form template (also known as an Instant Form) as a destination in Facebook Ads Manager, you will need to consider a new way of collecting these leads. Here are two options:

Landing Page

If you’re wanting customers to simply fill in a form so that you can contact them at a later stage, driving them to a specific landing page on your site might be a good option to consider. This has the added benefits of allowing you to add more information about your business and your offering, as well as more calls to action. 

To do this, you’ll need to use another campaign objective – either the Traffic or Conversions objective. The traffic objective can be optimised for landing page views in this instance and is cheaper to use than the others. The conversions objective, while more expensive, can be optimised for conversions, meaning that the algorithm will automatically select people who are likely to “convert” (ie. fill in your form) once your ad has learned the type of user for this. 


You may have been using Facebook’s Lead Generation template previously as it kept users in-app. This is considered a good option as it allowed users to quickly fill in their information, particularly if they are on mobile, or if you don’t have a good landing page on your site.

If you want to continue to use an in-app option to collect lead information from Facebook users, Facebook Ads Manager’s Message Templates (accessed via the Traffic objective as above) still offers a “Generate Leads” option. This creates a chat that guides the user through a series of questions to collect their details.

While Facebook puts in place measures to adhere to the new GDPR regulations, advertisers are forced to use different measures and objectives to reach their customers in a similar way and to measure their results.

Measuring Results

Sadly we’re now not able to accurately measure the number of messages that have come as a result of ad campaigns using metrics including:

So what can you do instead?

We would recommend tracking metrics such as:

Of course, this isn’t ideal in terms of tracking how many of these actually converted into message contacts, but it does go some way into measuring the effectiveness of your ad into driving customers to click through.

So fingers crossed that this “pause” on messaging ad features (as Facebook have called it) is only temporary and normal service can resume on these ads soon, but for the time being, these workarounds are good solutions for reaching your customers in a very similar way to previously.

Are you stuck with managing your messaging campaigns? Let us help – get in touch today!

We'd love to hear from you!

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Write a comment...
  • Dini Braka

    Wow. This article is so useful. Thank you.

  • Martyna

    Now I know what’s wrong… Thank you so much!

  • Paul

    This has caused major issues with our campaigns. Tried traffic campaigns yesterday as you suggested, didn’t work. Said I got lots of link clicks but nobody came through into messenger.

    Going to try message objective link clicks today.

  • waz

    Good job Sian, very well explaind.

    • Sian Thomas

      Thanks Waz!


    Hi, ive been to worried about this, im a sole trader working from home, i always boost a post every weekend for £30 and i normally get 50 to 100 messaging replies which results in me getting some orders and its dropped to nothing, i honestly don’t know what im going to do.

    • Sian Thomas

      Hi Rosie, sorry to hear this! I’ll pop you a message over directly.

  • Rheis

    Hi there, I have this issue with my page, i was spending around £60 a week on boosting posts and promoting message button was getting decent amount of messages, now I’ve had 6 in the last week, can’t keep spending money like this. Any help would be much appreciated

    • Sian Thomas

      Hi Rheis, thanks for reading! We’d recommend running regular campaigns like this using Ads Manager rather than boosting posts, so I’ll drop you a message directly with some advice.


    Thank you i replied to your email.

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