Businesses are all at once very all for Facebook Messenger bots. And for just right explanation why: Facebook’s chat platform now helps over 1.2 billion per month energetic customers—and automatic chatbots, like ManyChat and Chatfuel, supply a singular, interactive approach of enticing with them.
Chatbots mean you can have a dialog with customers in genuine time as an alternative of simply speaking at them asynchronously, as you may with an electronic mail or social media publish. You can embed those Facebook chatbots by yourself website online, or interact with consumers at once thru Facebook or the standalone Messenger app. And you’ll use chatbots to do greater than solution customer support questions: They let you phase your target audience, gather and nurture leads, and even promote merchandise at once.
Bottom line: Facebook is the place consumers are, and Messenger chatbots are an effective way to succeed in them. ManyChat and Chatfuel have emerged as two premiere chatbot constructing equipment, which enable any individual to create tough bots with none programming talents. Let’s see how they stack up.
Common Features and What We Looked For
At their core, Facebook Messenger chatbots “take over” the messaging to your product’s Facebook web page. If a consumer sends you a message on Facebook, your bot will mechanically ship a custom designed reaction. User chats and responses are then saved throughout the chatbot app itself and will also be surfaced later or built-in with an exterior database or CRM.
As we examined those two apps, listed here are the options we regarded for. Click on any segment to leap to the function that issues maximum for you and what you are promoting, or cross at once to our function comparability desk.
- Contact Management
- Growth Tools
- eCommerce Tools
- AI and Real-Human Tools
- Reporting and Analytics
- Customer Support
To evaluate the options of ManyChat and Chatfuel, I constructed a chatbot for my trip offers carrier, MyTravelNerd, from the bottom up. The function used to be to create an automatic approach to reply to a query I regularly obtain from customers: “What is the most efficient trip bank card?” It seems answering this query calls for some comments and information from the consumer, so it is a very best candidate for a chatbot. Want to get a way of the way chatbots paintings from the consumer point of view? Chat with the completed product. I’m going to disclose on the finish of this newsletter which app I selected to construct it.
Key chatbot phrases
Before diving in, there are a couple of key chatbot phrases that you’ll be able to need to get yourself up to speed with.
- Broadcasts are the chatbot an identical of electronic mail advertising and marketing campaigns. They’re messages or teams of messages that cross out to a selected phase of your target audience.
- Automations are scheduled messages which are despatched to customers on an ordinary agenda or after explicit consumer movements (similar to electronic mail drip campaigns).
- Buttons are the preset responses the bot supplies for customers to choose. Instead of fielding open-response questions (and making customers sort), buttons supply a very easy navigation interface.
Most different phrases and ideas range from app to app, yet the ones are the constructing blocks.
ManyChat’s interface is extra intuitive
Chatbots paintings like Choose Your Own Adventure tales, with branching messages in accordance with consumer comments. So you want to ask “What do you need lend a hand with?” and give you the comments choices: “Hotels,” “Flights,” or “Something Else.” Then, relying on which solution the consumer selects, the bot would attach them to the right “department”—or subsequent step—of your chatbot. This branching good judgment makes for tough, customized engagement, yet can get overwhelming in a rush. The level? The consumer interface of those chatbot developers could make the adaptation between a breeze and a headache.
Until not too long ago, handiest tech-savvy varieties may just create chatbots. User-friendly apps like ManyChat and Chatfuel have handiest sprung up in the previous few years. That method they are nonetheless working out learn how to design intuitive interfaces that make sense to freshmen, and it method they range considerably in how they do it. We may not element each and every facet of each and every app, yet as an alternative, we will name out some vital tactics wherein they range.
As the chatbot author, you’ll be able to be the one who creates branching messages that your consumer will sooner or later navigate. It’s roughly like constructing a website online with hyperlinks: If a consumer clicks on X hyperlink (i.e., selects X button), then they’re going to cross to Y web page (i.e., obtain Y chat message). ManyChat calls those branches Flows, and so they be offering two other consumer interfaces for managing them:
First, there is the Basic Builder, which gives a linear view of the other steps within the waft. It looks as if this:
You’ll create messages, supply consumer reaction buttons, and string messages in combination in accordance with which reaction is chosen. I discovered this interface beautiful intuitive and used to be in a position to start out constructing my bot nearly instantly. For instance, my first message to customers asks them a clear-cut screening query, then it continues directly to the principle waft for customers who’re , and ends the waft for customers who don’t seem to be.
The different interface is the Flow Builder, which gives a chook’s-eye view of your bot’s good judgment collection. Here’s what that appears like:
The Flow Builder is an effective way to in reality “see” the good judgment of your bot, yet it will probably briefly get overwhelming and messy. I discovered myself switching between the two perspectives, spending extra time within the Basic Builder whilst first creating the collection and extra time within the Flow Builder whilst enhancing and debugging.
Chatfuel, then again, supplies one view for his or her Automations (the an identical of ManyChat’s Flows), and it looks as if this:
Similar to ManyChat’s UI, you arrange questions in teams and string them in combination logically (yet they do not be offering the chook’s-eye possibility). Overall, I discovered their interface a lot more difficult to parse. I needed to discuss with their lend a hand documentation a number of instances prior to creating a a hit collection. Starting with one in their nice templates can lend a hand, besides, it takes a bit head-scratching to be informed the fundamentals.
Once you get previous Chatfuel’s steep finding out curve, it isn’t so unhealthy. But ManyChat has achieved a greater activity of making an general extra intuitive chatbot-building interface.
Chatfuel’s 75+ templates trump ManyChat’s six
Regardless of the way smooth the interface is, even making a “clear-cut” bot from scratch can contain hours of setup time. That’s why pre-made templates—and the power to clone and edit a bot—are so vital.
Chatfuel’s templates are bountiful: They be offering over 75 templates, starting from clear-cut electronic mail signups to finish eCommerce answers. Some are explicit to explicit industries, like a cafe reservation bot, yet maximum are general-purpose equipment that just about any industry can use. A handful of those templates include a price ticket on best of the Pro subscription, yet maximum of them are loose.
Chatfuel’s templates are well-documented with useful feedback and notes as you edit them to your personal wishes. In addition to streamlining your procedure, this gives a very good approach to be informed one of the most platform’s extra complicated capability with out slogging thru tutorials. My handiest quibble: Their documentation is unfold right through the template itself, and occasionally I sought after a complete “Here’s what this template does” introductory file.
ManyChat does supply that introductory information for his or her templates, each as PDFs and explanatory movies. The drawback? They handiest be offering six pre-made templates. That’s proper: six templates to Chatfuel’s 75+.
Instead, ManyChat focuses extra on letting you create your personal templates, so you’ll increase identical bots with out reinventing the wheel each and every time. (Of route, Chatfuel additionally provides the power to clone your bots.) You too can reproduction explicit flows inside of your bot, yet for freshmen, that is not anything in comparison to the powerful menu of templates you’ll be able to get with Chatfuel.
ManyChat’s design and broadcasting equipment have a slight edge
Chatbots are all about personalization. You’re having a dialog along with your customers thru your bot, this means that you’ll gather helpful knowledge in accordance with what your consumers let you know. And the most efficient section? You would not have to really feel bizarre about it: They’re actively divulging this data by the use of dialog with the bot.
Of route, you’ll do so much with the information that comes out of those conversations. You would possibly create explicit hobby teams and goal long term messages to the right workforce. You would possibly ship the information for your electronic mail advertising and marketing instrument or CRM. Or chances are you’ll even gamify your chatbot and let customers “point up” by means of finishing sure duties. To do any of this, you’ll be able to want to retailer and set up tradition consumer variables.
For instance, for my bot, I sought after to grasp which airport customers most often flew out of, so I created an open-ended query (with out buttons) asking them for his or her airport, then saved their reaction as a tradition variable. (Note: ManyChat calls those tradition variables Fields and Chatfuel calls them Attributes.) ManyChat additionally permits you to set Tags on customers, which serves as every other point of segmentation on best of the unique variables. You can trade and replace those variables in some ways—manually, thru consumer enter within the bot, or thru integrations with different apps.
Both ManyChat and Chatfuel be offering buyer leadership interfaces that mean you can clear out and phase your target audience by means of those variables. You too can message person customers at once from this interface, which is beautiful at hand, particularly if you wish to observe up with a consumer who gave the impression perplexed, pissed off, or downright irate whilst coping with your bot. (“What airport do you fly out of?” “Go away.” “Great!”). ManyChat’s UI is so much slicker than Chatfuel’s relating to buyer leadership, yet they each be offering the similar overall capability.
Once you phase your target audience accurately, it would be best to ship focused messages—i.e., Broadcasts—to these segments. Facebook has some somewhat strict laws for what they name Promotional Broadcasts, which is able to handiest be despatched to customers who had been energetic in your bot throughout the remaining 24 hours. Your account will also be suspended and even banned for failure to conform. ManyChat has a useful integrated function of their broadcast instrument to make sure you conform to this legislation, while Chatfuel does no longer.
ManyChat and Chatfuel each be offering various great advertising and marketing and expansion equipment
No topic how just right your bot is, it is going to lead a lonely life except it has any individual to speak to. You can push customers for your bot manually thru different channels—comparable to a hyperlink in an electronic mail or in your website online—or you’ll use ManyChat and Chatfuel’s integrated advertising and marketing equipment.
ManyChat and Chatfuel each provides a bevy of equipment to lend a hand get customers chatting along with your bot. For instance, they have got clear-cut internet overlays and popups to your website online that inspire guests to talk along with your bot. These equipment can lend a hand convert visitors or supply buyer toughen. They additionally each be offering a remark instrument that mechanically provides subscribers who remark in your Facebook posts and sends them messages to inspire them to have interaction. Finally, they each supply an automatic touchdown web page builder to your chatbot, even though Chatfuel’s is somewhat cleaner and calls for much less setup.
ManyChat is going above and past, yet with options for extra concerned customers. For instance, they have got a posh JSON integration with Facebook advertisements that mechanically gathers knowledge from customers who interact along with your advert after which sends tradition responses. They also have a scannable Facebook Messenger code that you’ll placed on posters and different IRL issues that auto-populates along with your corporate’s emblem and connects customers for your bot.
Chatfuel provides local Facebook bills
One large merit that chatbots have over different channels, like electronic mail or social, is the power for in-Messenger purchases. Why kick customers to an exterior web site or app to buy your services or products when they may be able to do it at once inside of your bot dialog?
Chatfuel provides local Facebook bills (very similar to Apple Pay, yet just for North American consumers). They additionally toughen Stripe bills for each loose and Pro Chatfuel accounts. They vet what you are promoting by means of reviewing your phrases and prerequisites prior to approving in-bot gross sales, yet differently, setup and implementation are smooth: Add a Buy button to a product or gallery of goods, set costs, and create tradition responses.
ManyChat’s setup is even more straightforward, yet they simply be offering Stripe toughen. Maybe they’re going to get started supporting local Facebook bills sooner or later, yet within the intervening time, it is a beautiful vital lacking piece. It’s additionally value noting that bills are handiest to be had on ManyChat for Pro plans.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Real-Human Tools
Chatfuel handles open responses higher, yet ManyChat handles real-human interactions higher
Creating branching good judgment with menus and buttons is superb, yet what if you wish to have a genuine human dialog along with your customers? You have two choices:
Use synthetic intelligence herbal language processing (NLP) to know your customers’ intent from open-ended responses.
Connect customers with a real-life toughen agent after they cross off the bot’s loop.
You can use NLP to direct open-ended responses like “I need to make a reservation” or “how can I make a reservation?” or “I want to ebook a room” all to the similar reservation waft. You’ve most probably encountered NLP like this on airline phone toughen methods (“Tell us what you might be calling about.”)
Unfortunately, ManyChat does not be offering NLP toughen, so you will have to input the entire actual words that you need to check. They be offering (reputedly) limitless key phrase fits, yet it is time-consuming to go into all of them. Plus, keyword-matching is a recipe for insects and deficient buyer revel in: “I’ve reservations about this chatbot.” “OK, I’m going to feel free that can assist you make a reservation!”
Chatfuel seems to provide rudimentary NLP, yet in reality, it is simply key phrase matching. That is, it will probably acknowledge sure phrases and words and reply accurately. Still, it is a lot better and not more liable to errors than ManyChat.
You can use a Third-party NLP processor like Janis, which is personalized to paintings with chatbots and provides a lot of toughen and documentation for its Chatfuel and ManyChat integrations. Of route, you will have to pay for it.
If all else fails and a consumer is not discovering what they would like, you could need to ship them over to a human being. Both ManyChat and Chatfuel have movements to inform you or your crew when this step is wanted, which will also be achieved at once within the Messenger app or thru an exterior instrument like Slack (by the use of integrations). That is, when a consumer hits an issue within the bot or particularly asks to speak to a human, you’ll be notified and get human enter.
To reply to this notification and take over from the bot, you’ll leap into the dialog at the Facebook Messenger interface (which nonetheless purposes most often whilst your bot is energetic) and reply at once. But this will also be clunky if in case you have numerous conversations going immediately, as it may be onerous to search out the fitting consumer in a sea of updating messages.
To lend a hand, ManyChat has an excellent Live Chat function that mechanically directs the conversations you select to a distinct interface inside of ManyChat itself, which then supplies the entire essential information at the consumer.
ManyChat mechanically pauses automation messages, so your buyer toughen dialog is not all at once interrupted with a chit be offering broadcast. By stripping away the non-automated dialog and offering in-line knowledge at the consumer, ManyChat has achieved away with lots of the issues of human/bot co-messaging.
Chatfuel additionally provides the capability to ship a consumer over to a genuine human, however the dialog takes position in Messenger moderately than a standalone interface like ManyChat’s.
Reporting and Analytics
Chatfuel has a greater reporting interface, yet for main research, it would be best to use a third-party instrument for both app
Marketers like to slice, cube, and pivot their knowledge, and chatbots be offering truckloads of information to paintings with.
ManyChat provides a clear-cut target audience assessment at the dashboard, together with subscribes and unsubscribes for your automations. They supply a bit extra granularity for the Growth Tools, together with open and click on charges for opt-in messages. But for any severe reporting, you might be most probably going to need to ship your knowledge to every other platform, both by the use of integrations or guide export. (Both ManyChat and Chatfuel have simple-but-useful export equipment.)
In Chatfuel, consumer habits is tracked in a couple of clear-cut graphs, whilst stats like consumer retention, standard buttons, and standard open-ended responses no longer identified by means of AI are represented in tables. It’s additionally somewhat rudimentary, yet it is a bit extra user-friendly and sufficient to get began with some your advertising and marketing metrics.
ManyChat’s documentation is clearer and higher arranged, yet Chatfuel’s chat toughen is extra beginner-friendly
Given the possible complexity of even the most straightforward chatbot, you’ll be able to most likely want lend a hand finding out the ropes and toughen while you hit a roadblock—I indubitably did.
ManyChat provides a loose video coaching route, and it is beautiful spectacular. Dozens of movies with the chipper, rust-belt-accented ManyChat rep, Molly Pittman, stroll you thru the entirety you want to grasp. But video tutorials don’t seem to be my most popular approach of finding out a brand new product, and I discovered myself impatiently skipping thru them looking to get to the portions I did not perceive. I spent a lot more time of their up-to-date Knowledge Base, which incorporates each elementary and complicated tutorials and FAQs.
If you’ll’t clear up your drawback within the Knowledge Base, ManyChat has a ticket-based buyer toughen gadget. I discovered ManyChat’s toughen crew suggested and useful with the few questions I despatched their approach.
I discovered Chatfuel’s lend a hand documentation more difficult to navigate and perceive, yet Chatfuel provides easy-to-access chat toughen that is extra user-friendly than ManyChat’s gadget. It’s no longer reside chat in any respect (you’ll be expecting a reaction inside of 24 hours), yet it is transparent that Chatfuel needs you to succeed in out to their toughen crew, while ManyChat buries their ticketing gadget in the back of quite a few self-service toughen layers.
Chatfuel’s loose plan is healthier yet restricted to 5,000 customers; ManyChat has somewhat decrease Pro-level pricing
Whether you might be dipping your feet within the chatbot waters as a advertising and marketing instrument or taking a look to construct a standalone chatbot industry, pricing issues.
ManyChat and Chatfuel have very identical pricing buildings. Both be offering a loose plan with restricted capability in addition to a Pro plan with the entire options. After that, costs are tiered in accordance with the choice of subscribers for your bot. Here are the restrictions of each and every app’s loose plan:
|ManyChat Free Plan||Chatfuel Free Plan|
|Unlimited customers and messages||Up to 5,000 customers|
|Limit of two Broadcast Sequences (automations)||No consumer segments|
|Limit of 10 Tags (consumer segmentations)||Chatfuel branding|
|Limit of three Custom Variables (like “house town” or “favourite meals”)|
|No in-bot buying|
As you’ll see, Chatfuel’s loose plan is much less limiting and will give you the danger to construct a whole bot with limitless variables, segments, and integrations. But their loose plan has a 5,000-user prohibit, while ManyChat’s extra limited loose plan helps limitless customers. So if you have already got a large consumer base and wish to check out out a clear-cut chatbot, ManyChat’s loose plan will mean you can accomplish that without cost. But in case you are beginning with a small subscriber listing or need to construct a posh bot, Chatfuel will give you extra without cost.
Both apps be offering Pro plans that take away the limitations of the loose plans. Both Pro plans are priced by means of choice of energetic customers. ManyChat Pro edges out Chatfuel Pro for worth at each and every point, nevertheless it is sensible since you’re getting extra in comparison to their loose plan. Here’s a breakdown:
|# of Active Users||ManyChat Pro||Chatfuel Pro|
Which App Should I Use?
For my ultimate bank card helper bot, I made up our minds to make use of ManyChat. I discovered their builder very intuitive—I constructed nearly all of the bot with out referencing the lend a hand documentation—and their variable-management gadget each extra tough and intuitive. Since my chat concerned juggling and weighing a number of variables, this capability used to be vital for me.
Having stated that, Chatfuel would possibly nonetheless give you the best possible are compatible for your wishes. Their bot templates are head and shoulders above ManyChat’s, and their loose model (as much as 5,000 subscribers) provides far more capability. They even have an more straightforward reporting interface and extra user-friendly customer support. What issues is which of those options are priorities to your doable bot.
To that finish, take a look at this side-by-side comparability of options.
|Setup||Intuitive but tough||A bit clunky|
|Contact Management||Slicker interface||Gets the activity achieved|
|Growth Tools||Widgets, touchdown pages, FB advertisements integration||Widgets, touchdown pages|
|eCommerce Tools||Stripe bills||Both Stripe and local Messenger bills (for North America)|
|AI and Real-Human Tools||AI nearly nonexistent, yet terrific send-to-human interface||Keyword matching, clear-cut send-to-human capability|
|Reporting and Analytics||Barebones||More choices|
|Customer Support||Great documentation, just right buyer toughen||Decent documentation, user-friendly buyer toughen|
|Pricing||Slightly inexpensive Pro plan||Much extra powerful loose plan|
Automate ManyChat and Chatfuel
Unless you might be making plans to make use of your chatbot as a standalone product, you’ll be able to want to attach it with different device and apps. Chatfuel provides a small number of local integrations they name Plugins, yet to glue Chatfuel and ManyChat to 1,000+ apps, you’ll use Zapier. Automated workflows known as Zaps will ship knowledge from one app to every other on every occasion a selected cause match happens.
Here are many ways you’ll automate ManyChat and Chatfuel with Zapier.
- Automatically create a brand new Chatfuel card to broadcast to customers on every occasion you create new content material:
- Automatically upload new ManyChat subscribers for your electronic mail advertising and marketing instrument or CRM:
Don’t see the workflow you might be on the lookout for? Zapier will mechanically subscribe a ManyChat consumer to a chain, ship a textual content message to a ManyChat consumer, ship content material to a ManyChat consumer, and extra, on every occasion cause occasions occur within the different apps you employ maximum. Take a have a look at all of Zapier’s ManyChat integrations and Chatfuel integrations, or create your personal workflow with the Zap editor.
Image of in-app acquire from Chatfuel.