Is ManyChat the Best Messenger Bot Builder for Online Marketers? – Review
If you are reading this review article I assume that you are a little bit familiar with chatbots. Should that not be the case, take a look at my chatbot intro article.
As a marketer and business owner, I am always in the search of new cutting edge tools and methods. Sometimes, I waste too much time doing that as the implementation and learning curve can take a while.
So in this article, I want to share a bot builder tool with you that you can implement and test fast for your business only minutes after hearing about.
When I first tested ManyChat last year, it didn’t have many of the functions it has now. As a result, even though I thought it was easy to set up and use, it was just not enough for me.
I didn’t care much, although I’ve heard from Digital Marketers and I guess Frank Kern that they like it (not sure about the latter one).
In the beginning of March, however, I took a second look after another recommendation and was pleasantly surprised.
There were exactly the functions I needed and couldn’t have at other builders.
I was spending many hours figuring out how to make a popup for my Messenger flow.
All plugins I’ve found were only compatible with email…
Email is still mandatory, but I’m all about having my flow in Messenger now.
I’m still collecting email, as it (among others):
- Is the basis of many integrations
- Is a great channel to promote and make sales
- Provides extra security for a (now) very unlikely post-Facebook life -your asset
Anyways, in ManyChat it is just a few clicks to set up a popup. You’ve most likely already seen the welcome page takeover (full-screen popup) on this post. I know they are annoying, but they work. But I guess you already know that as a marketer or business owner 🙂
So the easy setup and tracking of user acquisition made me switch.
ManyChat is just optimized for Marketers and Online Businesses. Period.
ManyChat still has many many limitations. If you want to handle complex conversations and integrations, it won’t be enough for you. But it may give you a feel for chatbots, while you figure out the features you actually want. It’s fast and free to set up after all.
But enough of the rant, let’s jump into the review:
Table of Contents
Setting up ManyChat
Starting out with ManyChat was probably the easiest thing I’d seen since learning about chatbots.
Just a couple of button clicks like the one below and your page is already connected.
When you finished with this step and got redirected to ManyChat, you only have to choose which page you want to connect your bot to, and it is already set up.
After setting up you can already build your welcome message or first sequences.
As I already mentioned at the start, ManyChat has a few limitations. But keep on reading, likely you wouldn’t know how to set up more complex systems from the start anyways :).
Also, if you use your chatbot only for basic marketing purposes or as a newsletter service, you have more than enough tools to use here.
So a quick look at the features I’m going to expand on:
- Growth Tools
- Sequences, broadcasts
- Live Chat, Audience option
Setting up messages is pretty easy when you know which tools to use.
So different options you can have:
Text – does not need an extra introduction, basic text like you would receive from your friends. You can also add up to 3 buttons with extra messages, links or phone numbers.
Image – again, just like to friends, you can send pictures or gifs with the chatbot
Card – this may need some explanation. It is a combination of image and text
Gallery – an advanced option of the Card – you can add more cards next to each other so the user can vertically scroll through the options.
List – you’ve probably never seen before. Similarly to the gallery, you have an option to choose from more options. But this time they are listed under each other, so it is a bit better to scroll, but less space for your text and picture.
Audio – just like with friends you can send a voice message. Here you have the option to attach an audio file as well.
Video – same as with audio. Your users can directly watch a video of yours inside their Messenger. You can drop a video here. The limit is 25MB.
File – could be really good if your lead magnet is a pdf or something extra that is not supported file by Messenger.
Delay – you can delay the delivery of certain messages with an option to show typing on the other side.
User Input (old: Question) – a recent feature, here is a detailed video about it
These are your options for every time you build a message. You can stack them, so, for example, a picture followed by a text and a voice message.
So how can the user ‘trigger’ these messages?
They can appear as:
–Welcome message – user clicks on ‘Get started’ (just a small shoot-out how much I like that they include the unsubscribe option by default at the start, not all chatbot builders do that…)
–Opt-in message – user uses one of the Growth Tools to join your Messenger
-Message triggered by a keyword – user types something that you’ve defined
–Default reply – user types something that is not defined as trigger word
–Broadcast message – user approves you to send messages
–Auto posting – content from your other channels (like Youtube)
–Sequences – Based on your set up you can send automated messages to the user.
Growth Tools – Marketers dream come true
These are providing you an opportunity to capture leads and put them into your messenger sequence. ManyChat is hands down the best here. After the user clicks on one of the Growth tools, he/she receives the opt-in message that you can individually set up.
By this, it can be way more specific – depending on what you offer – than the default welcome message. The more personal, the better. You can also segment these people already with the first message. That way your messages afterward will be more relevant, improving trust and conversions.
The best thing is that you can see how they actually perform. This is how I’ve realized I set up my pop-up incorrectly back in March. The number of impressions was not even close to each other, implying that the second growth tool is set up incorrectly…
If these stats were unavailable for me, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it for a long time, missing out on many leads.
If you are like me and not that tech-savvy, then this is priceless. Also, the JSON option is really good, if you are driving your audience directly to the Messenger from the ad. Another option is the ‘Comment-to-Messenger’ method, you might want to try it out for higher engagement and social proof 🙂
You can track your funnels and tweak them according to the data. You’ll see at every individual, how they’ve opted-in.
Sequences work very well with the growth tools together. You can use different sequences for different opt-ins.
For example, you have a ‘7-day Transformation Challenge’ as your lead magnet on your website. You set up an overlay for that offer. As users opt-in, they are automatically put into your ‘7 Day Transformation’ sequence. So for the next 7 days, they receive your messages automated, in their time zone.
With different buttons and actions, you can segment them further (using tags), or subscribe to another sequence. Many opportunities here. Onboarding, teaching, follow ups – your imagination is the only limit.
Having sequences makes sure that the user does not stay alone after entering your funnel and forgetting about your hyper special offer. 🙂
You can broadcast to your audience as a whole or to different segments.
For the segments, there are also different options like tags, how they’ve opted-in or to which sequence are they subscribed to. This enables you to send only relevant messages to your users.
You can schedule the broadcasts in both your time zone and the user’s time zones. Also, you can set a limit for sending it in e.g. only during business hours.
Another great function that ManyChat provides is the notification settings. You can send a silent message to the users. This function also shows ManyChat’s giant commitment for a better user experience. They also pay extra attention to Facebook’s 24-hour rule so the users won’t get spammed.
I really appreciate this as my business is quite dependent on the future of Messenger Marketing. Facebook set’s these rules to enable a better user experience. If the user experience is good then the future of chatbot marketing looks bright to me. So please guys, don’t spam your followers, as they will associate the negative experience to all chatbots – at least in the initial stages.
This feature enables you to update your audience with content from your other communication channels. Options are:
It would be nice to have some other integration options here as well. You’ve probably heard about Zapier or IFTTT that help you integrate different software. Of course, the best solution would be an API, but then ManyChat would probably lose its USP and became more complex.
Of course, the best solution would be an API, but then ManyChat would probably lose its USP by becoming more complex.
Live Chat, Audience
One should never forget that Messenger is an intimate communication channel. We talk to our family and friends here, and barely to any brands. Manychat kindly reminds you the personal aspect of the channel, by letting you see the actual users. Besides the profile picture and some data added by Facebook, you can see the tags, opt-ins, and sequences you’ve set up in your bot.
One big plus is the ability to interact with the users inside of ManyChat. You not only see the relevant information like how did they enter your funnel, but you can also manually add tags to them and assign them to different sequences. So if there are any issues with FB, which are quite frequent, to be honest, this can give you a second chance.
The audience option helps you dig deeper into your customers’ mind. You are able to filter to specific segments of your audience and take a look at the individual conversations. By doing this you can see common patterns or ways to improve your conversational copy.
As I said in the introduction ManyChat is not for everyone. If you’ve read the features part of the article, you can see that it offers a bunch of functions that can improve your marketing and the customer experience as well.
In my opinion, there would be room for more, however. I am sure it will come. We are only at the front foot of Chatbots.
What I wish ManyChat had:
This is one of the big reasons chatbots gained traction and also that I entered this market. We want things to be easy and instant. It would be awesome if you could have certain information just at your fingertip without leaving Messenger.
– Artificial Intelligence
Yeah, I know it is maybe a bit lot to ask, but it would be great to have at least a bit of better keyword tool. It is problematic to give in synonyms or wildcards (so if they say ‘thank you’+ something)
-Saving user input
I know that capturing user input is already available. That is amazing. It would be also great to be able to save it in a database for example. Update: Zapier testing is added.
-Better segmentation in flow (condition)
You can broadcast different messages to the users according to the segmentations. It would be great to use this in the actual funnel as well. When a user clicks on a button, the next step would be determined by a condition. For example, users who have already given their email addresses would see a different message compared to those who haven’t submitted this info yet.
ManyChat offers a free version, so it is really nice when starting out with chatbots. Easy to implement and no costs. I dig that. The free version comes with ManyChat branding (quite strong) and unlimited subscribers.
I recommend the Pro version, however. You can not only remove the branding but access powerful tools that are only available for pro users.
As far as I know, there are currently 3 functions that they don’t offer on their free plan. The question feature to capture your audience’s answers and 2 Growth tools: the Facebook Ads JSON creator and the Facebook Comments. Probably more are coming.
The pricing is really friendly as it is determined by the number of the users. So smaller businesses don’t have to pay much unless many people use the chatbot. It starts from $10/month up to 500 users.
Subscribers are people who message your page after you’ve deployed your bot. So you start from 0 and it seems like the unsubscribe rate on Messenger is higher than in email.
If you think about it as an email provider then the price is great. You should also have way higher return as you have more attention on Messenger than on email.
They seem to grow at an unexpected rate, as it takes the support sometimes 2 days to answer. It can be a bit of annoying, especially if there are some issues outside of your control.
Fortunately, the software is easy to use and also the help section can help you out with the basics. Hopefully, the support will be better with time.
Do you still remember the title of the article?
I think I can answer the question with a yes. It may change in the future, though.
If your primary goal now is to use the Messenger bot as a marketing channel, to generate leads, build up trust and close the sales, you can’t go wrong with ManyChat.
If you have a need for better customer service solution or integrations with your shop or CRM, you should look for other tools, and consider hiring a team of coders.
Personally, I really like the Growth Tools that help you capture audiences from many different channels. Let it be a link, a popup or a Facebook ad. That way you know which channel works the best and you can double down on it.
If you want to learn more about Chatbots and Messenger Marketing, join my free webinar.
Do you already use ManyChat? What is your favorite feature? Comment below!