The Definitive Guide and Tutorial
This is the definitive guide to ManyChat for 2019.
And let me be clear about something:
This is NOT a lame “ManyChat is awesome”high-level post.
Instead, we’re going to dive in deep to the platform pros and cons, a ManyChat tutorial to set up your own chatbot step by step, we’ll cover advanced building and common questions about the platform.
So if you’re looking to choose a platform, build your first bot or up your chatbot game, you’ll love this guide.
Don’t have time to read the whole guide right now?
No worries. Let me send you the overview PDF so you can read it when it’s convenient for you. Just let me know where to send it (takes 5 seconds):
Need help setting up your chatbot?
Overview: How it all fits together
Here’s how all the ManyChat components fit together with best practices all in one infographic. Keep this reference handy before you begin any ManyChat bot project.
Before we jump into how to use the ManyChat bot building platform, we first want to address some of the basics such as:
- What exactly is ManyChat
- Who is it for?
- When might you NOT want to use ManyChat?
- What are subscribers?
- And more…
What is ManyChat?
ManyChat (MC) is visual Facebook Messenger bot building platform.
As ManyChat evolves it’s becoming a marketing automation platform that’s built around Facebook Messenger bots.
The feel is very similar to other marketing automation tools like HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, and Marketo. Because of that, marketers and non-techies will feel at home working with ManyChat to create marketing focused bots that fulfill basic and advanced use cases.
The upshot of the platform is that with zero coding knowledge and in very little time you can create a chatbot for your business and start to take advantage of a new untapped and highly profitable channel.
Who Is Manychat For?
The platform was built specifically for marketers and small to medium businesses. Enterprise customers use the platform. However, out of the box, it’s lacking features that larger companies may need.
What are the most common types of businesses using ManyChat?
- Ecommerce stores
- Course creators
- Local businesses
- Marketers and Agencies
A good rule of thumb is that if your company does any of the following business activities AND uses software similar to what’s on the list, ManyChat is a good option for you:
- Email Marketing
- Facebook Ads
- Marketing Automation
- Running Webinars
- Product Launches
- Content marketing with content upgrades/ lead magnets
- Audience segmentation (Basic lead qualifying)
And you use software like:
- ESPs: ActiveCampaign, Klaviyo, ConvertKit
- Marketing Automation: Hubspot, InfusionSoft, Marketo
- Webinar software: Webinar Jam, Ever Webinar, Demio
- Ecommerce Platforms: Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce
- LMS: Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi
- Landing page & Funnel: Leadpages, ClickFunnels
When NOT to use ManyChat
If you need an industry specific solution that works out of the box. Or if you’re looking for NLP that’s already integrated.
However, ManyChat is flexible. Their API continues to improve dramatically and direct integrations with software or via Zapier / Integromat.
There are dedicated solutions such as our Swoon-worthy Ecommerce for ManyChat, that keep it on par other platforms that serve single industries. But, ManyChat serves a broad audience so it may not be what you want out of the box.
ManyChat also falls short in Natural Language Processing (NLP) category because it has no native NLP.
However, it is fairly easy to integrate DialogFlow or Wit.ai.
Here are several specific cases when you might not want to use ManyChat:
- You want an industry-specific solution that works out of the box
- You’re looking for an NLP driven bot (not necessarily a good idea)
- Using NLP with a heavy emphasis on Context management
- Ie. restaurant orders to be completely automated
- Your bot sends out recurring messages and does very little marketing or storytelling.
- Ie. birthday reminders – this may be accomplished more effectively and cheaply using a platform that is more developer driven.
- You can’t be constrained by the platform’s limitations
- Ie. You can’t use receipt templates with ManyChat
What is a ManyChat Subscriber?
A subscriber is someone who has interacted with your chatbot. This person becomes a lead on your Messenger marketing list.
In short, a Messenger subscriber is the equivalent of an email list subscriber.
How does a person become a ManyChat subscriber?
If you have ManyChat installed, and the person either types a message or clicks a button/quick reply, that person becomes a subscriber.
A person also becomes a subscriber if they opt-in via one of the 10 growth tools that we’ll go over later in this article.
In certain circumstances, the person instantly becomes a sub while in select others it requires a “double opt-in” (discussed below).
Before building your ManyChat Bot
Prior to building your bot, here are the prerequisites that you need to know about.
Here’s what you’ll need
- A Facebook Account
- A Facebook Business Page (Not a personal profile, Not a group)
- ManyChat Account
Need help making a kick-ass chatbot?
If you haven’t installed ManyChat yet… I’ll give you a free 30 min bot consultation if you upgrade to pro through my affiliate link.
By the end you’ll have a flow plan and a roadmap to create your chatbot
One more issue that most don’t get right…
Before starting you need to have your bot mapped out. So here’s my quick 5 step bot thought framework for building amazing chatbots.
- Work backward from the Business Goal
- List of must haves or KPIs
- What’s working well for you now?
- What is painful and you want to automate? (Magic wand – get rid of your crappiest repetitive task)
- What is/are the biggest barrier(s) to a sale?
- Tech Needed (Level of intelligence)
- Bot Personality
Understanding ManyChat Foundations
We’ll go over the fundamentals such as the dashboard, audience, settings and more.
You’ll learn the requisites to properly use ManyChat for your business chatbot.
The Dash is your subscriber overview page.
You can see your active subscribers, net subs, subscribes and unsubscribes over a period of time
Active subscribers are defined as:
The number of people in your bot that you can message.
All subs – (unsubscribes + deleted users) = Active subscribers
This feature is a light version of a CRM. You’ll see everyone who has subscribed and unsubscribed from your Chatbot.
You can filter subscribers that meet certain conditions including by:
- Widget (opt-in)
- Sequence subscription
- Custom Field (bot or user)
- System Field
You can also stack conditions to further refine your audience
This is especially useful in conjunction with Bulk actions which let apply tags, set custom fields, even export PSIDs and more of multiple audience members at once.
Finally, you can get each subscriber’s details or start a chat by clicking on a particular person.
An easy way to manage chats where a person requested a live person or was marked as “open” inside ManyChat.
Once the conversation is done or the question answered the agent can mark the conversation as “done”. The conversation moves out of the open queue. This workflow makes managing all your live requests more efficient.
If you have a team, you can assign live chats to a particular person.
Pause Automation in Live Chat
When you’re in a live chat with a customer, you don’t want to trigger any bot responses. When you chat inside the ManyChat interface, your bot’s responses will automatically be paused for 30 mins. And you can extend that period by 30 min increments.
During the pause the user will NOT receive:
- Default Reply
Any sequence messages or smart delays are queued for after the pause is over. You’ll see the yellow pause icon and countdown till the automation resumes.
Of course, you can end the pause by clicking on the X and the bot will once again respond.
Marking the conversation as done does NOT resume automation.
Automation only resumes once you’ve manually resumed or after the time period expires.
Search and notes
Search through all conversations and subscribers to find the message thread you were looking for.
Notes enable you to work with your team to solve issues or just internally remember an issue. Notes work with @mentions if you want to tag a particular team member.
Think of a message as one thought in the conversation. If you were interacting with a friend via regular Facebook Messenger or SMS, you’d send a bit of text may be a funny gif, then wait for a response.
Messages serve the same function in ManyChat.
You can compose a message using any combination of 11 chat tools:
- Image (this includes Gifs)
- User Input
- Dynamic Content
All the elements are drag and drop.
You may also notice “actions” we’ll get to those in the advanced section.
A flow is composed of connected messages and actions. Flows are the reusable and automated bits of your bot.
Think of a single flow as one marketing automation.
For example, a single flow might be a user opt-in from a lead magnet, a second flow might be triggered once the user has consumed the lead magnet, a third flow would be a menu of possible actions.
Pro Tip: In general it’s better to split your content up into as many different flows as is logical. Remember, you may want to reuse these flows throughout your chatbot.
Sequences are the drip campaigns of Messenger marketing.
Essentially you’re creating flows then scheduling them to be sent out at intervals of your choice.
Pro Tip: Be very careful that your sequences comply with Facebook’s 24+1 Policy (explained below)
Messenger or ManyChat Broadcasts are the same as email broadcasts. They’re one time messages that will be sent out to all or a portion of your audience.
You can either compose a one-off message or choose to send out a pre-made flow as a broadcast.
Finally, you’ll see your Broadcast queue with drafts, scheduled and history
When a user types in a “keyword” that you’ve defined, that word or phrase can trigger an action or automation in the bot. This can be a reply, a flow, or a sequence.
Rules are similar to keywords in that they can be used to trigger an action or automation in the bot.
But rules are triggered by events in the bot such as a tag added to a user, user unsubscribed from a sequence, a custom field being filed, etc…
These rules apply globally to your whole chatbot. Meaning any time a rule is invoked it will run no matter what flow or message triggered it.
Examples of Trigger & Action Rules:
- Date/ Time Trigger
- Remind your subscriber about an upcoming meeting or an event the day before or even hours before the start
- Custom Field Changed
- If a user updates his or her email address anywhere in the bot you can trigger a Zap or use Integromat to update the user’s email in your CRM
Bot users are your team members that have access to the bot.
There are four different permission levels for users:
- Admins control everything bot related. They have full bot control including user roles management and following abilities: they can disable and clone the bot, share its contents, create and install templates, manage billing and payments.
- Editors can create and manage both content (including template installation), but they do not have enough permissions for disabling the bot, cloning or sharing the content, and creating templates.
- Live Chat Agent
- Live Agents can manage conversations inside Live Chat. Additionally, they can assign existing Tags and manage Custom User Fields values. They are not allowed to create or edit bot content but can view all the existing flows.
- Viewers can only see the content in the bot, track bot stats and view sent Flows data. This role can’t create or edit bot content.
In addition, no matter the user role, you can control who has access to and can change billing information.
Users are controlled in the settings tab.
In order to invite a new user, the either need to be an Admin on your facebook page or you can send them a new member invite to the bot
How to send a Manychat Invite code
Go to settings → Users → Invite New Member
Then select the user role that you want to assign. Hit Generate a link.
The link for your invite is only good for 24 hours, one-time use.
This true no matter the role you assign.
Throughout the bot build, we’ll be coming back to the settings tab to enable, change and update portions of your chatbot. Settings are changed per page/bot. You cannot bulk change settings across multiple bots.
Settings control the following:
- Greeting text
- URL shortener
- Bot cloning
- Refresh Facebook Permissions
- Keyboard Input
- Audience visibility
- Disable your Bot
- Live Chat
- Chat behavior (opened explicitly or any message starts a conversation
- Close all open conversations
- Sound notifications
- Growth Tools
- Widget localization
- Authorized Websites
- Email for notifications
- Subscriber reports
- Live chat conversations assigned
- “Notify Admins”
- Custom Fields
- Update custom field Names and descriptions
- You cannot modify the type of field once it’s been set
- Archive or delete fields
- Update custom field Names and descriptions
- Update tag names, create
tags,or delete tags
- Update tag names, create
- Control billing, member status or invite a new member
- If you want to accept payments via Messenger
botyou must connect a Stripe account
- Payment notifications
- If you want to accept payments via Messenger
- Google sheets
- Allows multiple Messenger apps to participate in a conversation
- In general, you’ll want ManyChat as the Primary
- Generate, refresh or delete your API token
- Installed Templates
- See installed templates
- Click on a template to delete it, update custom bot fields and more
- If you’re using the API and Dynamic blocks any errors will appear here
Pro Tip: If your bot stops working or you’re experiencing any funkiness, the first step is to come back to general settings and refresh your facebook permissions.
How to set the foundation of your ManyChat bot (Basics)
You’ll learn how to complete the basic setup in ManyChat.
Dive in to find out how to set the foundation for a chatbot that will make users happy.
How to connect manychat to facebook
- Go to ManyChat and click “Get Started”
- Sign in with Facebook (Yes you need a personal Facebook account, there’s no other way to sign in)
- Connect the Facebook business page that you want to use with your bot.
Upgrade to a Pro account
Settings → Billing
ManyChat is $10 bucks a month to start on a paid plan. I always upgrade at this point because we’re ready to build our messages and I use Pro only features to do so.
You can wait or stay on the free plan for now. But you’ll have to modify the examples below
List of Pro ManyChat features:
- User input
- Dynamic Blocs
- Notify Admins
- External Request
- Trigger Integromat
- Smart Delays
- Main Menu Limitation
- Two top-level items
- Powered By ManyChat Branding
Set Up Your Default Reply
The default reply is under the automation tab
This message is triggered when the bot doesn’t understand the user’s input. Meaning that the user typed a word or message in that didn’t trigger a flow, or didn’t correspond to a user input or keyword.
Best practice is to limit the Default Reply to fire once per 24 hours and escalate the misfire to an admin. You’ll later want to know about these breakpoints in the bot so you can optimize and account user actions.
Often you’ll also want to display a “Main Menu” listing more actions the user can take.
Automation → Welcome Message
When a user messages you directly from your facebook page or from the Messenger discovery tab, he or she will get the welcome message.
It’s a good bet that when someone comes in through your Facebook page, they have a question for you and will have expected to speak to a live person.
So you’ll want to construct an intro greeting. And quickly allow users to ask questions.
We typically try to send people to a self serve FAQ flow prior to escalating to a live person.
Pro Tip: Use the user input block in the first message. Or integrate DialogFlow / Wit.ai to better handle free form user input.
What is the difference between default reply and welcome message in ManyChat?
Because this question comes up quite a bit to clarify…
- Triggered by a first time user
- Entry points
- Facebook Page (Send Message)
- Directly via Messenger (Messenger discovery tab)
- Default Reply:
- Triggered by ANY user from almost ANYWHERE in the bot
- When the user sends a message that the bot doesn’t understand
If a user finds your bot via your Facebook page or through a Ref Link (explained later) they’ll get the greeting or “get started” screen.
Your greeting text tells the person a bit about your chatbot and what to do next.
Configure your URL Shortener
Settings → General
(PRO option only) This is a personal preference, but I like using the shorter less branded version of ManyChat’s URL shortener. After you upgrade you’ll be able to change the default shown below.
Configure your Live Chat
settings → Live Chat
- Change live chat behavior
Conversation should be opened explicitly to :
- Enable Personas in
Pro Tip: If you change the live chat behavior as recommended, make sure to determine where in your flows you need to open conversations. A must is to open conversations when the default reply is triggered (as shown in the default reply section)
Bot Building Basics in ManyChat
Now you’re ready to start composing messages, sequences
The anatomy of a great Message
The good ole standby and generally the best way to compose a message is in this order:
- Media (Picture/Gif/Video)
- Call to action
You’re set to build your first flow. Generally, you’d want to mindmap or roadmap your bot prior to building to understand how all the pieces fit together.
The example flow that we’ll build is a simple customer service flow that we’re going to link to the welcome message.
Here it is step by step:
- Step #1
- Open the Flows and create a new folder named customer service
- Create a new Flow and rename the message Customer service Intro
- The plan
- Give 2 customer service options
- FAQ or Live Chat
- Give 2 customer service options
If you’re left wondering how to use the flow builder and other actions, don’t worry, we cover that below.
Sequences: Autoresponders for Messenger
Typically you’d use a sequence for a drip style campaign in which you want to send our nuggets of info at intervals of your choosing.
We recommend creating flows prior to your sequence. Then scheduling the flows
Here’s how to create a sequence:
- Create all your messages and flows prior to creating a sequence
- Schedule each flow to be sent out (at a schedule of your choice)
- Make sure you’re compliant with the 24+1 policy
- No promotional messaging outside the 24 hour period
- Or you fall into a subscription messaging or messenger tag category
- Activate each sequence message
Main Menu (Persistent Menu)
The Main menu is always present. Typically used if the user is “stuck” and to present the highest value options (KPIs) to the user. These are options and actions we want the user to take no matter where they are in the bot.
On mobile, the menu appears in the bottom third (or so) of the screen and can be hidden by swiping down.
Examples of persistent menu options to include:
- Customer Service (Talk to a Human)
- About us
- Shop (Or
bottomof funnel conversion event)
- High-Value Quiz
- Lead Magnet Sequence
How to set up your Main Menu
ManyChat Flows, Flowbuilder Tutorial, And Bot Map
Flows are the heart of your bot. In this section, you’ll master the Flow Builder and understand how to organize your flows.
The Bot Map is a beta feature from ManyChat that allows you to see how all the pieces of your bot fit together and speeds up your bot building workflow.
When you’re building bots there are two views:
- Basic Builder
- Flow Builder
There’s no right or wrong. However, most bot builders and marketers tend to prefer the flow builder because it gives you an overview of your flow. And it will feel familiar since it’s similar to other marketing automation software.
The Basic Builder
The basic builder is great when you want to concentrate on copy and take it one message at a time.
The interface is simplified and ManyChat guides you through actions step by step.
The Flow Builder
Once you’re comfortable with ManyChat you’ll likely find yourself working in the Flow builder.
You’re able to see the overview of your flow and how all steps connect at a glance. Additionally, drag and drop flow actions and connectors make building faster than with the basic builder.
You’re also able to leave “sticky notes” that are internal notes that will not be used in the flows.
However, it can feel complex and get overwhelming. For situations when you need to navigate step by step the basic builder may be the better choice.
How to organize your ManyChat Flows
Folders. You MUST use folders to organize your flows.
How exactly you decide to logically organize your flows is a bit of personal preference. We typically find that organizing by
ManyChat Bot Map
How do you know how all the disparate pieces of your Chatbot fit together?
Enter the bot map.
It’s currently in Closed Beta. So you may have to wait a bit until MC rolls it out to all bots.
Here’s a sneak peek:
What is the ManyChat Bot Map?
At a glance, you can see what growth tools, keywords, flows, sequences, etc.. you have connected together.
To drill down into each section you simply have to click.
So let’s dive into the “Bot” portion.
Clicking on the bot reveals:
- Growth Tools
- Trigger Rules
What are the advantages of the Bot Map?
The overview of the whole bot while interesting isn’t exceptionally practical. However, it does enable you to identify pieces of the bot that are not connected. So correcting issues is easier.
Where the Bot Map shines is speeding up your workflow. Switching between all the various pieces of the bot can be accomplished by double-clicking or using the top navigation tabs with the top right hamburger menu.
And once you’ve completed a portion you can make sure it is connected properly by looking at the home of the bot map.
The Power of Perform Actions
Actions power the automation potential in ManyChat. They move your data between flows, automate messages and can trigger actions outside of ManyChat.
This is where we can see the power of automation in ManyChat. By using this feature you can move prospects through your Messenger funnel in an intellegent way.
First, we’ll walk you through exactly what each automation in the preform actions feature does. Then below we’ll give you additional info to clarify common questions about certain automations.
Let’s go through each perform actions automation:
Add Tag & Remove Tag
- Tags are a great way to segment your audience. For example, if I sent you a message with two possible answers that said:
“ Are you interested in learning more about Chatbot Copywriting?”
Those people who answered yes I might apply a tag of Copy-interest-yes.
Of course, you could also apply the negative tag. In that way, I’ll know who I should send more messages about copywriting.
Tags let you personalize the chatbot journey and send more relevant targeted content that will let you better connect with your audience and offer them products that they actually want.
- Tags have additional uses such as combining with rules in order to trigger additional messages.
For example, I might apply a tag to everyone who starts a particular flow, let’s say it’s to purchase the chatbot course inside the bot.
Some people will finish and end up purchasing. If the person finishes the flow we’ll remove the tag.
Some people, however, won’t complete the purchase. So, we can set a rule that says if the person has been tagged and that tag has not been removed, then send them a follow-up message reminding them that they’re missing out.
Trigger Zap (PRO) / Trigger Integormat (PRO)
- Data siloed inside of ManyChat? No my friend not with the Zapier and Integromat integrations provided by ManyChat.
You can automatically push data out to either automation platform upon a user action.
For example, if you’re collecting email addresses for an upcoming webinar you can ask the user for their email address inside of messenger.
After the user sends the info, you can Zap or trigger Integromat to send that data to your webinar platform, your CRM, your ESP and more…
Subscribe to Sequence / Unsubscribe to Sequence
- Ready to start dripping out content? Maybe an educational sequence to help and warm up your audience?
You need to
subscribea particular person to the sequence. That’s where the subscribe action comes in.
But let’s say the sequence you’ve subscribed them to is for beginners. And the person is a pro. Instead of continuing to send beginner content you need to unsubscribe them from one sequence and possibly subscribe the person to another.
Mark Conversation As Open
- If you’ve followed our advice and set your live chat to “open conversations explicitly” then you’ll need to use this action to mark a conversation as open in your live chat interface.
- This action sends a message to selected team members via Messenger or by email when triggered.
Often it’s used in conjunction with “open conversation” since you’ll want a team member to take note and respond.
You can also notify team members when other important actions are finished. For example at the end of a lead qualifying flow or booking an appointment flow you’d likely notify a team member to take the next step.
Set Custom Field / Clear Custom Field
- Custom fields have a variety of uses. So many so that we dedicated a section below to talk about what they are and how they’re used.
At this point its enough to know that should you want the bot to remember a user’s answer, or assign a value to an answer, you’d use a custom field.
If you’ve ever programmed you can think this like saving an input to a variable.
If you need to clear the value you’d use the clear custom field function.
Subscribe to bot / Unsubscribe from bot
- You need to provide ways for people to unsubscribe from your chatbot. It’s better to offer an easy unsubscribe than have people report of block your chatbot.
Because Facebook emphasizes the user experience above all else, bots that are deemed to have a poor user experience (determined by block rate and bot ratings) can be banned.
That said there’s no reason you can’t make it easy to subscribe too :)
External Request (PRO)
- External requests are similar to Dynamic Content blocks. Basically, it’s a way to bring in or send out information from ManyChat and other applications.
That means if the other app has an API you can probably use info from there in your chatbot.
However, you will need coding experience or a developer to take advantage of external requests.
External requests make marketers and developers alike happy.
We go over how to complete a basic setup of an external request in a subsequent section.
Google Sheets Actions (PRO)
- In some cases, rather than using a third party app like Zapier or Integromat now you can pull data from a google sheet as well as insert data.
In order for the Google Sheets action to appear in your actions, you first need to connect your Google Sheets account to ManyChat
Settings –> Integrations
Now connect and authorize your account.
For now, this action is a bit limited and finicky.
There are two basic actions:
- Insert a row into a google sheet
In order to insert a row with data from ManyChat into a spreadsheet, your sheet has to have headers and there can’t be any gaps between your header titles.
- Get a row and return data back into ManyChat
In order to return a row, you need a column filled with unique ids or key values.
You can then map the data to ManyChat custom fields that can be displayed in your bot.
Facebook Custom Audience (PRO)
Facebook Marketers will love this action. You can segment your audience and save them to custom audiences for future marketing based on their behavior within the chatbot.
If I asked a question within the chatbot, “Are you interested in X?” and the response was yes, I could add that subscriber to a Facebook custom audience.
For lead qualifying, implement a basic lead scoring system via the chatbot. All leads that score as “hot or warm” leads should then be added to a Facebook custom audience for remarketing.
ManyChat Custom Fields And User Inputs
Custom fields allow you to save information to ManyChat variables. You can use the info to personalize the bot experience, perform calculations or to send to other apps, etc…
User inputs allow you to easily capture info from a user then save that information to a custom field.
There are two broad types of custom fields
Custom User fields
A user field is unique to a particular user (subscriber). For example, if I asked “What’s your preference for building chatbots? ManyChat, Chatfuel or Mobile Monkey? The answer is going to vary a be personal to each user. In the case that the information depends upon user input or should be independent of any other user’s actions or inputs, you’d want to use a User Field
Custom Bot fields
- Bot fields are global fields. A change to a bot field applies for every single user. For example, if I set a bot field for holiday coupon codes and set that field to 100 coupons available when a coupon is used the total number of coupons available reduces for all users in the bot.
There are five possible types of custom fields that are available and the same for both user fields and bot fields.
- Text: Store any type of text (numbers and characters included).Probably the most commonly used and the most versatile custom field. Store any message sent to the bot, including any text, numbers, phone or email. Though there is a specific number field, you may still want to use text if the user needs to enter a special character like the $ symbol.
- Number: Store a number or perform calculations. While the text field is the most flexible, the number field is the most functional. You can perform simple and even fairly complex calculations within ManyChat.
For example, you could help a customer calculate the percentage increase in revenue they could attain using Messenger abandoned cart vs email.
In order to do so, you’d store their response
ofhow much revenue email generates. Then display in a new custom field, multiply their answer by a factor of 4x – 10x.
- Date: trigger a date picker & store a date
Fairly straight forward, save a specific date or the date when the action was triggered.
- Date & Time: trigger a date & time picker store a date & time
Same as date, but gives you the date and time value
- True / False: store the value Yes or No. I’ve never used the boolean custom field. But, it’s there if by chance you need it. If you come up with
a particularlygreat use, I’d love to hear it.
Custom Fields VS Tags
I think of tags as best for segmenting audiences into pre-defined buckets (for immediate or later use). Whereas custom fields are best to save information for later display in the bot or possibly segmenting audiences.
In many ways, custom fields can accomplish everything that tags can and more.
However, it’s easier and seems more appropriate to apply a tag to segment audiences into defined sections.
For example, if you want to keep track of everyone who says “I’m Interested” after being presented with an offer, a tag would likely be the best way to “tag” or segment the audience.
Whereas if I asked the question of “What interests you most?” Likely a custom field would be the better solution. Though tags could also get the job done.
In some situations, it comes down to preference.
ManyChat User Inputs
User input blocks allow the user to type in a message without triggering the default reply. You can save user replies to custom fields and the continue the bot conversation.
You’ll notice that most options here are similar to custom fields, with some notable additions.
Possible types of ManyChat User Inputs:
- Text — free input without any verification.
- Multiple Choice — a number of Quick Replies with the ability to store the response and use another value as a saved answer (ex. user clicks “Yes” reply and his answer is stored as “Loves Jazz”). Multiple Choice Type allows your subscribers to stay in a current flow (unlike common Quick Replies where you have to specify a new message for each of them) and use free keyboard input with the replies.
- Number — the response must contain digits only. Characters such as $ or % will cause an error to be display if the user’s message contains any such symbols.
- Email — prompts the user to tap or enter their email address. This input includes email address verification (valid e-mail should look like this: firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Phone — The user can tap a quick reply containing their phone number from their Facebook account or the user can enter their phone number manually.
- URL — URL type requires a link (for mysite.com).
- File — requires a file uploaded through Messenger. This input accepts most file types though there is a size limit of 25 Mb.
- Image — Allows the user to either upload a previously taken photo or to use the camera and snap a new photo to send to your bot. The image can be saved to a custom field for later use.
- Location — Prompts the user to “share location” which returns the user’s exact current location.
- Date – opens a calendar inside Messenger in which subscribers should pick a date.
- Date and Time – add a time picker to the calendar so that subscribers could choose date and time.
Though users can and will write long text answers, we suggest starting with questions that can easily be answered in several words or a short sentence. The more rapport and trust you build with the user, the more sensitive the question can be and or demanding of an
What happens once responses come in from User inputs?
Responses can be viewed inside of ManyChat. You can see the overall number of responses by clicking on the message that contains the user input.
For more granular info you can click on the purple “respondent” tab in the top right-hand corner of the user input message.
This brings up three options to view the info:
- Export CSV
The feed and spreadsheet views allow you to see responses from inside the ManyChat interface.
The CSV export ensures that the data doesn’t have to stay siloed inside of ManyChat. Something we’ll discuss further below.
What can you do with a user response once it’s captured from
a user input?
Unfortunately, there’s no amazing way to view user responses within ManyChat.
The options we outlined above mean that you have to be cognizant of the location of each user input, navigate there then check on responses or manually download a CSV
We suggest combining user input with
From there you can send user inputs to your CRM or other tools where you can use the data collected inside your user input(s).
Example setup of ManyChat User input:
What Are ManyChat Conditions and how do you use them?
Learn how to implement conditions so that you can build unique user experiences based on user actions inside of the bot.
Conditions allow you to build unique and reliable user experiences based on user behavior and actions.
The simple explanation is that a condition is a decision tree.
A binary yes or no choice.
If the user matches specified conditions, you can send them down route A.
If the user does NOT match the conditions you can send them down route B.
In the example above we check to see if the user has previously seen the welcome message, if so we say “good to see you again”, if not we send them to the welcome message.
The power of conditions shines when conditions are stacked and/or paired together with other tools like user inputs.
In this example, we’re paring the power of our Swoon-worthy E-commerce app with ManyChat to deliver a message after an order has been delivered.
After several days we want to check with a user input if the person is happy with their order.
The user can rate the product/experience from one star to five stars.
Then we use conditions to lead customers down different paths based on the rating they chose.
For example, if the rating is one or two stars, we immediately take proactive measures for customer service, asking “what happened?” and escalating the issue to a live agent.
On the flip side, if the rating was four or five stars we can ask the customer for a review and even for some user-generated content (UGC).
Here’s a video overview of conditions, plus additional examples:
How To Use The Manychat Randomizer
The randomizer serves two important functions. Primarily you’ll learn how to use a randomizer in order to optimize your chatbot. Additionally, you can use the ManyChat randomizer to add variety and more complexity to your bot.
The power of the randomizer is your ability to A/B split test inside of ManyChat
Randomizer is quite frankly a misnomer. Sure you can send everyone who triggers the randomizer down a different and “random” path each time they hit the block.
Which can be slightly useful if you want to give the appearance and feel of natural responses. Ie. Your bot doesn’t repeat the same thing over and over.
But the better use of the “randomizer” is to split traffic between paths to test which produce a better outcome.
Most bots don’t have the scale to achieve statistical significance for an a/b test. But you can often get a good feel for the user experience based on response and drop off per path.
It’s been argued by Neilson that for a usability study “Testing with 5 people lets you find almost as many usability problems as you’d find using many more test participants.”
Using the randomizer, you can add up to 7 variations, either to use as a split/multivariate test or sending users down random paths.
ManyChat Dynamic Content: How to use the ManyChat External request
(even if you can’t code)
Dynamic content allows you to bring data into ManyChat.
For example, in the case of
We’ll show you how to use an external request. However, these tools are geared toward developers and people who know how to code.
We covered external requests above. The dynamic content blocks are exactly the same, save for the addition of a fallback step.
Both are a way to bring in or send out information from ManyChat and other applications.
Here’s how to use the external request and the dynamic content API (block).
While you can make simple requests easily. If you need a more complex integration you should really hire a developer.
Here’s the video:
ManyChat Growth Tools
How do you grow your Messenger list?
ManyChat growth tools are the key to getting people to opt-in to your chatbot from your website, email list, Facebook ads and more.
These tools allow you to share your bot with the world.
You’ve seen TONS of email popups.
Growth tools are the ManyChat equivalent of email capture tools (only better). They help you capture Facebook Messenger list subscribers.
ManyChat gives you 13 different growth tools to help with lead capture:
- Overlay Widgets
- Header Bar
- Page Takeover
- Embeddable Widgets
- Button Opt-in
- Box Opt-In
- Other Growth Tools
- Landing Page
- Messenger Ref
- Facebook Comment Tool
- Facebook Ads JSON
- Messenger Scan Code
- Customer Chat
- Checkbox Opt-In
Before you choose a growth tool here’s what you need to know:
Certain growth tools DO NOT
Here are the tools that are NOT one-click subscribe:
- Checkbox Opt-in
- The checkbox opt-in will show your first message immediately. However, you cannot personalize this first message because the user hasn’t subscribed yet. Only once the user takes an action, do they become a subscriber on your messenger list.
For this reason, you’ll want to instruct the user to type a message like “YES!” to confirm the opt-in. This should feel familiar if you do email marketing. Should you use the checkbox Facebook wants to make sure users understand that they are indeed opting in and so require a double opt-in.
- The checkbox opt-in will show your first message immediately. However, you cannot personalize this first message because the user hasn’t subscribed yet. Only once the user takes an action, do they become a subscriber on your messenger list.
- Messenger Ref Url
- A Ref link or Ref Url will send the subscriber to a screen that shows the “Get started” button inside messenger prior to showing your first message. Unless the person is already a subscriber, in which case they will see your message right away. (what a new user will see)
Buttons and button based Growth tools are one-click subscribe:
Any tool that uses a Facebook Messenger Button (without a checkbox) will automatically subscribe a new user to your Messenger list in one click.
Again, this is the button WITHOUT the checkbox.
(with the checkbox doesn’t work the same way and we don’t recommend using the checkbox if you can avoid it)
It doesn’t matter if the button is displayed in a modal, side-in, popup, etc..
Generally speaking, buttons are superior to the other growth tools mentioned above. If possible use a button or other growth tool that includes a button to reduce friction and increase opt-in rates.
When should you use a particular growth tool?
- Owned properties where you can insert code:
- Embeddable Widgets
- Overlay Widgets
- Customer Chat
- On Facebook
- JSON Ads
- Facebook Comments
- Messenger Ref URL (Posts)
- Third Party sites / Email
- Messenger Ref URL
- Live events/ In person
- Messenger Code
ManyChat Growth Tools Installation
In general, there are two or three steps in order to install a growth tool on
- You’ll need to Authorize or “whitelist” the URL of the website on which you’re installing.
- Paste the growth tool HTML code on site for Embeddable Widgets
- In the case of Overlay Widgets, set the display settings inside the growth tool
- You’ll need to Authorize or “whitelist” the URL of the website on which you’re installing.
ManyChat Growth Tools: WordPress Installation
ManyChat Growth Tools: ClickFunnels Installation
Growth Tools: Settings & Header Bar Opt-In
Overlay ManyChat Growth Tools
The overlay tools are generally what you’d consider popups. We’ll go over what each particular widget does. But no matter which overlay you choose they all include the same display options.
Growth tool display options:
- Button Type & CTA
- Placement on page
- When it displays
- How often it displays
- Visibility settings (what pages it shows up on)
Growth Tools: Slide-in, Modal & Page Takeover Widget Opt-In
The slide-in is one of the growth tools I most often use. It’s less invasive than the modal or page takeover. Yet, draws enough attention to get the user to notice and take action.
Growth Tools: Button & Box Opt-Ins
For a consistent opt-in on your website or owned property we like using a button and customizing the html on site. However you can use a box if your preference is to code as little as possible.
Growth Tools: Landing Page
We don’t recommend using ManyChat landing pages. You’re better off using a landing page software or pagebuilder for wordpress. The options here are very limited, the page isn’t responsive and it’s not optimized for conversion.
However if you need to throw something up ASAP that links to Messenger, you can use a ManyChat landing page.
Growth Tools: Messenger Ref
This is a plain url that can be used on third party sites or in email. For example if I was sending an invite to my facebook bot in a Facebook group I’d paste a Ref link it my post.
Make sure to set the custom Ref parameter so your links look better and are easier to remember.
Growth Tools: Facebook Comment Tool
With this tool you can link a Facebook post on your Business page to your chatbot. Whenever somenone comments on your selected post it can trigger the bot.
A Word of warning… Know what you’re getting into.
However, the Comment-to-Messenger tool is the most unreliable growth tool of the bunch. If a large number of comments come in at once, the bot often doesn’t trigger for everyone.
Pro Tip: Facebook is cracking down on what the call comment baiting. Meaning you don’t want to tell everyone to “comment X” ie. Comment YES. This can hurt the organic reach of your post.
Also, the person has to complete a double opt-in. First, they have to comment on the post.
Then they have to confirm the opt-in by typing a message to your bot. It doesn’t matter what message they send you, but they do have to type something.
This second part of the opt-in is accomplished by automatically sending a message to commenters telling them to type something in to confirm. However, Facebook limits the auto-response rate. Meaning some people may not get the auto-response or will experience delays and long delivery times for an influx of comments that occur over a short amount of time.
Pro Tip: Remember that in the post you MUST tell the user that you’re going to contact them via messenger. This is to comply with Facebook TOS.
We suggest using wording like
- Comment and we’ll message you
- Comment and we’ll send you X via Messenger
When it works, it works DAMN well!
We’ve gotten some of the lowest cost per subscription that we’ve ever seen using the comment to messenger tool. Even with all the potential pitfalls we suggest trying it.
setup a comment to Messenger Tool:
Growth Tools: Facebook Ads to Messenger
We already covered this in the section above.
Growth Tools: Offline Code Image
Perfect for in-person or live events. I know multiple bot builders who no longer carry business cards. Rather they just get everyone to scan their Messenger code.
Growth Tools: Customer Chat
Customer chat via Facebook has become a viable replacement for live chat solutions. Not only do you get to leverage the power of facebook bots on-site by installing this widget, but you can also quickly escalate the chat to a live person if necessary.
ManyChat’s Live Chat section makes the chats easy for a team or single agent to manage.
Customize the call to action on a per page or category basis. Don’t stick with a generic “hey can I help”, instead entice the visitor to engage with you by offering specific value.
Growth Tools: Checkbox Opt-In
99% of people no longer have any reason to use a checkbox. By default, the checkbox is unchecked and its EXTREMELY hard to get someone to proactively check it.
There can be some exceptions where using the checkbox is the only way to accomplish your opt-in goal. Or it can be used to supplement other Messenger opt-in points.
Notably abandoned cart for Ecommerce. It still makes sense to display the checkbox as a supplementary opt-in point.
ManyChat Facebook Ads For Messenger
Messenger ads are one of the most cost-effective placements still left on Facebook. Here we’ll show you how to set up a JSON ad using ManyChat.
If you need any inspiration we’ve compiled some of the most successful use cases of Facebook Messenger ads here.
Ads that trigger messenger come in two forms:
- Click-to-Messenger ads
This type of ad looks like traditional in-stream ads that trigger messenger rather than a landing page.
- Sponsored Messages
This ad type shows up only in the Facebook Messenger Inbox. We may see this combined with Instagram and WhatsApp placements, once the three messaging experiences merge in 2020.
With sponsored messages, you’re only charged if the person interacts with your ad.
The simplest ad type to start with is a click-to-messenger ad. Check out the videos below to see how to set up your own Messenger ads.
If you want to know about why NOW is the time to take advantage of Messenger ads, we wrote a comprehensive article that details why Messenger ads are cheaper and
How to set up a JSON ad
Growth Tools → New Growth Tool → Facebook
Meaning that when a person browsing Facebook clicks on your ad, rather than taking them to a landing page the person will be shown a message of your choosing in your chatbot.
(Though there is a beta Ad integration that I’ll show you next.)
Before you create your
- The first message in the Opt-in flow has to be less than 150 characters. This includes spaces.
- JSON doesn’t work with variables (ie. First Name, Last Name), Delay blocks, Buy Buttons, User Inputs and Actions in URL buttons in the first message of the Opt-In message flow.
- Emojis are hard to use and often won’t display correctly
JSON stats can’t be tracked by ManyChat. However, you can track stats on Facebook. Once someone interacts with your chatbot, ManyChat does subsequent stats.
The goal of your first message after the ad click:
The primary goal of your first message is to get the person to click on a button or interact some way with your bot.
You DO NOT want to deliver your coupon in the first message.
Until someone interacts with your bot from the ad, they are not yet a messenger subscriber. Meaning you can’t contact them in the future.
After they click or respond you’ve captured them as a marketing or sales lead in your Messenger list.
Make sure there is a tight fit between the ad copy and creative and your first chatbot message.
Use similar wording and images to make the transition as seamless as possible and avoid dropoff.
Here’s how to create a
How to sync a specific flow to an FB ad in manychat
In the JSON ad setup video above we went over how to link flow to an ad.
Your first message CANNOT be a flow. As noted above The primary goal of your first message is to get the person to interact and become a subscriber. On a button or quick reply click, you can take that person to any other flow in your chatbot
How to create ads from inside ManyChat: ManyChat Ads (beta)
Growth Toos → Ads
If ads do not appear for you, then you’ll first have to apply for the beta program.
Here’s how to set up your ManyChat Ads:
ManyChat Abandoned Cart and More For Ecommerce
Are you ready to bring the power of ManyChat to your ecommerce business?
Here are the two approaches you can take to bring more revenue in using Abandoned cart and give your customers
Messenger abandoned cart can produce 4x-10x revenue compared to email. That alone is pretty compelling.
Combine that with the power of post-purchase and transactional messaging that provides a better customer experience and you’ve got an amazing solution.
Out of the box, ManyChat won’t work as an abandoned cart solution.
Why not use a different Messenger abandoned cart solution?
If MC is your platform of choice, using a second platform isn’t ideal.
Your info stays siloed inside of a second platform that doesn’t talk to ManyChat.
Meaning you can’t “tag” someone in a platform like
What’s the solution for a ManyChat Ecommerce Solution?
There are two primary approaches:
- Cobble together a solution
- Use Swoon-worthy Ecommerce
One approach that we’ve seen work alright is using Zapier and email service provider like Klaviyo or ActiveCampaign to send abandoned cart Messages.
This can work at a superficial level. But you’re negating a big upside of using messenger.
With ManyChat you can opt a subscriber into your funnel with one click. Then if that person then abandons you can send reminder messages.
With email, you’re still reliant on the person having entered an email address prior to opting into Messenger. Or collecting their email address in messenger and hoping that the person uses the same email on your checkout page.
Here’s what these two scenarios look like:
- Messenger opt-in → Add to cart → Shopper abandons → Send Messenger Reminders
- Cobbled together
Messenger opt-in → Collect email in messenger → Zap email to esp (Klaviyo, ActiveCampaign) → Add to cart → checkout page → hope person enters a matching email → abandons cart → Send Messenger
(Note this won’t work if the person enters in different email addresses, one for the opt-in and a different one for the purchase)
Here’s an overview of ManyChat abandoned cart and Shopify:
How to connect ManyChat to Your Marketing Tools
The true power of ManyChat is that the data you collect inside of Messenger can be used to personalize experiences across all facets of your business.
You’ll learn how to integrate ManyChat with your other marketing and sales tools.
You’ve either collected or plan on collecting lots of data about your audience in ManyChat.
It shouldn’t stay siloed. You’ll want to send the data to Klaviyo and to your CRM, to all your other marketing and sales platforms.
And you’ll want to pull information into ManyChat.
Here’s how you integrate ManyChat with your marketing tools:
Option #1: Integrate ManyChat with Zapier
ManyChat can either be used as the trigger step or as the action step in Zapier.
You’re able to trigger a Zap to run in multiple ways:
- The trigger Zap Action in ManyChat.
- Trigger the zap to run when certain conditions are met or actions are taken inside ManyChat
- New or updated custom field
- New subscriber
- New tagged user
- New trigger zap event
- Chat opened
Option #2: Integrate
Integromat and ManyChat with an Integromat action in ManyChat
In many ways, Integromat accomplishes the same functions as Zapier. However, Integromat offers different integrations.
There is one big difference.
Whereas Zapier has 5 actions for ManyChat, Integromat has over 11 functions that can be called.
Admittedly, I have less experience with Integromat than Zapier.
However, it does seem powerful and depending on the integrations you need it may be better than Zapier.
Moreover, it’s cheaper.
How do you trigger Integromat in ManyChat?
First, create a new scenario in Integromat and choose Manychat as your integration.
Your ManyChat API token can be found by going to:
Settings –> API
Next, select your integration. In this case, we picked ActiveCampaign.
Finally, you’re going to call the action inside of ManyChat.
Choose preform actions –> Trigger Integromat
And pick your webhook.
Options #3 & 4 Integrate ManyChat with Dynamic Blocks or external requests
For a basic guide as to how to use both the dynamic blocks or external requests, see the tutorial above.
For more advanced integrations you’ll need a developer.
Option #5 Integrate ManyChat with the ManyChat API
ManyChat Advanced Use Cases:
Bot Examples And Flow Tutorials
Wondering how to build a quiz?
How to build a referral flow?
Need an advanced tutorial like how to use the Messenger RefURL Payload?
This section is where you’ll find
Note: We’ll be adding more examples and tutorials to this section.
The referral flow and Messenger RefUrl are coming soon.
To request a new ManyChat tutorial or example use case comment on this post and I’ll see what I can do.
How To build A Quiz In ManyChat
One of the best uses for a chatbot is a personalized quiz.
Ask the user a set of questions and based on their answers the bot delivers a personalized recommendation at the end.
A quiz can act as part of your marketing/sales funnel or as a mini messenger marketing funnel.
Quizzes are extremely powerful because of personalized nature.
So how do you go about building a quiz that will move the customer down the funnel by delivering recommendations that are spot on?
Think about how the quiz needs to end and how it should begin. Then you can fill in the middle.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to keep quizzes under 7 questions long.
Of course, there are exceptions.
Second rule, the colder the traffic, the less personal the initial questions should be.
Now let’s start
ManyChat Quiz Step 1: Ask your first question
Create a new message and set up quick replies for your potential responses.
From each quick reply, you’ll set up a custom field(s).
Quiz Step Two: Set your custom fields
Perform Actions → custom field
Either select the field or create a new user field.
For the field type, select number.
You’ll want to create a new user field for each potential recommendation that will be displayed at the end.
Quiz Step 3: score the answers.
For a positive response, you’ll increase the number by one (or more depending on the importance of the answer).
A negative response simply isn’t scored.
Quiz Step 4: Repeat for all questions
Quiz Step 5: Setup conditions
You’ll see here we’ve set up layered conditions based on answers given during the quiz.
Example: If the score for “High Pace” is greater than mid-pace and slow pace then we send the user down the high pace track to the high pace answer.
Make sure to set conditions to fit all your outcomes. IF:
A greater than B and C
B greater than A and C
C greater than A and B
Finally, depending on how you’ve built the quiz, you’ll need either a fallback or another set of conditions to deal with the situation where one condition equals another.
ManyChat Quiz Step 6: Make a recommendation
We suggest displaying one recommendation and at most three options. Remember, this is supposed to lead the user to the correct choice for them.
Pull in the custom fields of data from the answers you’ve collected along the way and display the recommendation.
ManyChat Common Questions
Answers to the questions we most commonly get about building bots on the ManyChat platform.
What is the right image size for a gallery in ManyChat?
There are two sizes of images that you can use for galleries inside ManyChat. A
regularsized gallery and a large sized. You can change between the two using the toggle in the upper left corner of your gallery card.
Once you pick an image size it applies to all images within that particular gallery.
- Standard gallery (landscape) image dimensions
- The recommended size is 909x476 px.
- Or maintain an aspect ratio of 1.91 (width) to 1 (height)
- Use an image that’s at least 500 px x 262 px
- Large gallery (Tall/square) image dimensions
- Recommended size: 900x900 px
- Ratio 1:1
- Use an image that’s at least 500x 500px
For both image sizes, there is some wiggle room. MC will just resize your image a bit to display it correctly.
At a certain point, Facebook will crop the gallery image, if the image is taller than 1:2 or wider than 2:1.
How can you tell what ManyChat flows are active
- Flows are always active unless they’re not yet published. However, that doesn’t mean that they are accessible by the public.
Unless a flow is linked to an active growth tool or is linked to a publicly accessible portion of your chatbot, no one will be able to access the flow except via the back end of ManyChat.
For example, if I link
a flowto my welcome message that flow would be publicly available. Again If I created a Ref URL and distributed the URL any flow associated could be seen by the public.
However, a flow created is not publicly visible or accessible until it’s linked to your existing bot flows, sequences or growth tools.
What does deleted conversation mean in manychat?
- It means that the user has deleted the conversation from their Facebook Messenger like so:
What does unknown user mean in ManyChat
- Unknown users are people who you’ve gotten temporary permission to
but never converted to full-fledged subscribers. message,
This means that the person never clicked a button or a quick reply or sent a message.
- How does this happen?
- When someone opts in through particular entry points, Facebook Messenger requires a “double opt-in”. Meaning just click to get into the bot isn’t enough to become a subscriber, the person must interact in some way.
Unknow subscribers never interacted confirmed the opt-in by interacting.
- What entry points does this apply to?
- Messenger checkbox
- Buttons “with Checkbox”
- Comment to Messenger
- Certain abandoned cart apps that use the checkbox.
- How do you avoid unknown subscribers?
- First, try to be very engaging and encourage people to interact.
- Second, avoid the checkbox plugin if possible. Instead, try to you the send to messenger buttons. On a button click, the person immediately becomes a subscriber.
Trouble Shooting ManyChat
Run into an issue? Check out this section for a potential fix.
How to Resolve General ManyChat Issues
- Your first step before a freakout is to check ManyChat’s status. You may find that it’s been down for just a bit and the problem isn’t on your end.
- When in doubt and the second step you should almost always take when something goes wrong is to refresh permissions.
To refresh permissions:
Settings → Refresh permissions.
ManyChat Support: How to contact ManyChat
For support you have four options:
- Submit a support ticket by navigating to https://manychat.com/support
- Try the self-serve knowledgebase
- Join the ManyChat Facebook group and ask the community
- If your part of the Agency program you have access to a private Slack channel. There’s also another Slack channel for developers.
Unfortunately, there is no live support.
However, for Agency partners (like us) they do offer priority support and will answer within 24 hours.
Otherwise, normal response times are 24-48 hours.
You can submit a ticket by going to:
How to remove Manychat from Facebook
- If you want to temporarily disable your chatbot navigate to settings → disable bot
- If you want to remove MC entirely you’ll need to go to Facebook and uninstall the ManyChat app.