Chatbots are helping businesses improve their customer service, sell products and services, and increase reach as well as earnings. In search of the “best Messenger Bot-Building platforms” one will definitely come across these two for sure — Chatfuel and Manychat.
To understand the basics of Chatbots and Chatbot Platforms you can go through my previous articles.
Today, everyone is looking to create a chatbot and you must be aware that it’s really simple to build one by using Bot builder platforms like Chatfuel, Manychat etc without any coding. Yes, you don’t need any technical knowledge to build bots using these bot builders.
So now the question is which one to prefer for your need???
Let me help you guys with this…
The main purpose of this article is to compare Top Bot platforms — Chatfuel and Manychat — in terms of ease of use and features, to help you pick the platform that works best for your business.
So, let’s begin…
A brief introduction
Chatfuel is perhaps one of the most popular and easy to use bot platform.They originally started with Telegram bots but they are now totally focused on Facebook Messenger bots.
ManyChat is yet another popular Chatbot platform founded in 2015. It is a bot builder for Facebook Messenger again but with more possibilities in terms of marketing and automation.
Chatfuel has an impressive UX and a user-friendly Interface. For Flow Builder, they are using the concept of groups, blocks and cards. The cards include your actual bot messages such as text, gallery, video etc. A block is the collection of cards and a group is the collection of blocks.
This is a very unique take from the chatfuel team in terms of UX which actually makes it pretty easy for even the noobs to understand and build the bot flow.
ManyChat provides you with two interface options to build a bot flow. In their basic flow builder, they have also looked to use the concept of blocks and cards similar to chatfuel. But for newbies, it is a bit tricky to understand the interface and one needs to spend some amount of time to get familiar with bot flow page.
They have also introduced a Drag and Drop editor recently and it’s an improvement for sure. It gives an option to visualize the whole bot flow in one single screen.
Chatfuel is free to create the bot! You get access to all features, but your bot will display the Chatfuel branding in the persistent menu.
To remove this branding, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid Pro Plan, starting from $30/month which will also give you access to the Bot User List. Monthly price depends on the maximum number of reachable users in a given month.
ManyChat has a Free Basic Plan that comes with limited features and ManyChat branding in the bot’s menu and promotional tools. Under this free plan, Manychat only provides maximum 4 growth tools, you can’t add any further.
If you upgrade to their Pro Plans — you’ll get access to all features, unlimited tags, custom fields and no ManyChat branding in the menu. (The ManyChat logo will still appear in some promotional growth tools).
This is an area where Chatfuel has improved a lot over the last couple of months. 3 very powerful methods to acquire customers that chatfuel offers:
- Comment auto reply method — You can setup your bot to initiate the conversation with those users who comment on your post.
- FB ad with Messenger as ad destination — You can use Messenger ad to reach people on a large scale. A custom card can be sent when an user reaches bot through the ad.
- Landing page with a button to the bot — If you do not have your own website, chatfuel provides you with a simple landing page.
- With the introduction of Modal and Overlay Widgets and the Landing Page, ManyChat users have an easy way to grow their Messenger list. These tools are easy to set up, simple to embed on your website, and most of all — highly effective at generating Bot subscribers. You can customize it however you want, you can choose a button type, background, headline and description colors.
- Comment auto reply method — Manychat has an advanced implementation of this feature. It supports sending a opt-in block for each post when user conversation is started.
- FB ad with Messenger as ad destination
Broadcasts let you reach out to your audience directly. You can broadcast messages with text cards, image cards, galleries and plugins.
Chatfuel broadcast gives you the option to send broadcast instantly or after a delay. You have to make sure that you do not send promotional content or else your Bot can get banned by facebook. Also try to get the users to opt-in for your broadcasts by embedding it smartly in the flow. :)
Manychat has tried to go along the lines of facebook documentation for sending broadcast by categorizing it under three categories:-
- Subscription Broadcast allows you to deliver non-commercial content to your subscribers at any time you want. It does not contain any ads or promotional materials.
- Promotional Broadcast allows you to send commercial messages only to subscribers that were active in past 24 hours. Please note that this is not the sponsored messages from FB docs.
- Follow-Up Broadcast can be sent at the end of 24 hour window after Promotional Broadcast to remind your subscribers about your promotion.
Core Features of Chatfuel
Chatfuel provides you with a lot of plugin options such as Zapier, RSS, Google Sheets, Calendar, Wordpress etc. These integrations are a game changer for chatfuel userbase.
2. Set up AI
This feature gives you some control of setting up NLP for your bot and give conversational touch to your bot. Your bot will understand the basic phrases that you define but there is no possibility of defining intents or entities as you see on NLP platforms such as Dialogflow or WIT.AI.
3. User Segmentation
You can set up attributes based on the answers or button clicks of the user.
You can put your users into different baskets and communicate with them accordingly. You can ask them if they want to receive weekly or bi-weekly updates from you. There are no real limits here. You can also track the progress of sign up or any challenge by adding attributes.
Core Features of Manychat
1. Post Comment Automation
Post comment automation allows your bot to send a message to the user who has commented on your specific post. Hence you can convert your page users into bot subscriber. Also you can send a custom message specific to a post using opt-in actions tab.
2. Visual Flow Builder
The Flow Builder feature gives you an entirely new way to construct messenger bots inside of ManyChat. It gives you a way to create bots — using a visual editor and hence making it easier to keep track of long and complicated chatbot flows.
3. Live Chat
February marked the launch of Live Chat, one of the most useful tools in ManyChat. Live Chat allows you to respond to messages personally, allowing you to answer questions, solve customer service issues, and build stronger relationships with your customers. All this is possible from Manychat dashboard itself. Using Live chat it is easier to keep track of all the tags of the subscriber you’re chatting with — giving you instant information about each lead’s history (their interests, sequences they’re subscribed to, etc).
Chatfuel People vs Manychat Audience
By subscribing to PRO Plan you can get access to “People” (Bot User list) tab, which gives you more flexibility in managing your bot’s audience. You can find user details such as their attributes and engagement with bot and also sort, filter, save custom user segments. You can export your users into CSV files to create custom “lookalike audiences” in Facebook Ads Manager.
Manychat “Audience” is free, you can view all details of the users such as their tags and which sequence(s) they’re subscribed to. If you click the “Bulk Actions” button in the top-right, you can add or remove a tag, subscribe or unsubscribe users from a sequence, or adjust their custom fields.
What extra do they have in their bucket
Chatfuel along with the tutorial templates, also comes with a very useful templates built by some pro-users. All templates are free and accessible from the top bar when you login to Chatfuel.
With Manychat you can filter your Audience List like how they opted-in, sequence, gender, locale…just to name a few…
You can also use the Bulk actions feature to:
- Add or remove a tag from multiple users.
- Subscribe or unsubscribe users from a sequence.
- Manually set or clear custom fields.
So what do you pick up to get started today? Well, it depends on your preference and business needs.
Chatfuel is really simple to understand for any user to create, manage and reuse the bot flows. In terms of “Ease of Use”, chatfuel is superior to manychat. Despite its limited growth tools, Chatfuel is an extremely competent and functional basic bot builder.
With Manychat you need to spend a good amount of time on its platform in order to get comfortable. But because of Manychat business support tools, it goes well with business pages. Its growth tools can help you generate and capture leads and more advanced than chatfuel at this stage.
If you are looking for any consultation in chatbot space, please let me know in the comments.