So, you want to create a Facebook Messenger Bot?
Tools like ManyChat make it a walk in the park.
However, it takes some time before you figure out what the possibilities are and how you can get the most out of all the features.
That’s why I’ve created this full ManyChat tutorial for you.
I take you through all the features of ManyChat step-by-step so you can create your first Messenger Bot.
- What is ManyChat?
- What’s ManyChat their pricing like?
- Using the Flow Builder
- Buttons VS Quick Replies
- What are Growth Tools?
- How to use Custom Fields
- What is a Broadcast?
- Bot Fields
- Recommended Bot Settings
Let’s do this 🚀
What is ManyChat?
Let me explain first what ManyChat is before we dive into how the whole thing works.
ManyChat is a tool that allows you to create Facebook Messenger Bots for marketing, sales, and support.
You can create whole bots with it in their visual Flow Builder and they allow you to create a dozen ways to get people into your Messenger Bot.
What’s ManyChat their pricing like?
ManyChat offers two different levels. The free version & the PRO version.
The free version is, obviously, free. However, you’ll be missing out on a lot of PRO features and all the Growth Tools will have ManyChat their branding on them.
The PRO version is freakin’ amazing as it has a lotttt of features. You can create as many sequences as you like, your Growth Tools won’t have branding and most importantly; you can use tags, integrations & custom fields.
The price of PRO depends on the number of active subscribers you have. Until 500 subscribers it’s $10, until 1000 it’s $15, until 2500 it’s $25 and so on (full pricing details here).
Conclusion: the free version is totally okay when you’re just starting out and want to play around with it, but as soon as you get a teeny-tiny bit more advanced you’re going to need the PRO version.
Using the Flow Builder
One of the things that makes ManyChat so great is their visual Flow Builder.
It makes the whole bot very visual which makes it easier to structure & build conversations.
In this video, I’ll give you a quick overview of what it is and how it works.
Quick Replies VS Buttons
People are often confused about Quick Replies & Buttons. They’re pretty similar, but at the same time they’re also very different.
I hope that makes things clear:
- Use Quick Replies to have conversations because they disappear when someone clicks them.
- Use buttons to send people to websites and not for conversations because people can scroll up and ruin the user experience.
What are Growth Tools?
This is one of the coolest parts of ManyChat. Inside the Growth Tools area, you can customize a number of different overlays, widgets, and pop-ups to help encourage people to engage with you via Messenger and join your subscriber list.
Below I’ll explain them all.
Growth Tool Overview
This one creates an opt-in bar at the top of the website that you can modify completely to your own needs.
A pop-up window appearing in the center of the screen.
An opt-in window that slides into view from the edge of the screen.
With this Growth Tool, you can add a whole overlay over your website.
You can change the whole design so it fits your branding:
And there are some really cool options you can choose from when it will actually display:
And you can also decide when you want to display the Page Takeover again to the same website visitor:
I really like this one. It allows you to create a button that can be placed anywhere on your website, or even embedded into third-party widgets.
There are two different kinds of button types:
- Send to Messenger
- With checkbox
Here is what the Send to Messenger button looks like:
The button looks very clean, but the downside is that you can’t customize the branding (only blue or white) and can only pick from a handful of texts.
Then there is the other button with the checkbox:
The good thing here is that you can customize the colors & the text on the button, but the downside is that people have to check the checkbox and that the whole thing looks a bit bulky.
When someone clicks either of these buttons you can change the Submitted State.
You can decide to redirect someone to another page (for example a thank you page), or you can show a success message inside the button.
I like to redirect people to another page (or to Messenger itself), but it’s totally up to you!
Then, last but not least, you’ve to change the opt-in message.
The opt-in message is what people receive inside Messenger after they click the button.
Note: if you use the button with the checkbox you can’t use variables like someone’s first name.
That’s how the Button Growth Tool works 🙂
An opt-in box, which can be embedded anywhere on your website
This one is pretty similar to the Button Growth Tool above, but this time you can also create a whole box around it.
There are a bunch of settings you can do.
Like the button type, colors, button background, button size, button text, width and you can even add an image if you like.
And you can also change the Submitted State if you like:
I think this Growth Tool is great if you’re not so handy with making websites but otherwise, you could create these things yourself with the button growth tool and customize them even further.
The landing page growth tool is not so super exciting, but it’s handy for situations when you don’t have your own website or just want to create a landing page super quick.
Messenger Ref URL
A URL with a ref-code that opens your bot’s page in Messenger. Useful when you want to track traffic sources or have a separate welcome flow for different audiences.
I think this is one of the coolest Growth Tools because you can use it for soooo many things!
You basically create a URL that can open your Messenger Bot in Messenger.
I’ll explain it all in this video:
Here are some ideas of where you can use your Messenger Ref URL:
- On your Facebook page in the cover & profile photo.
- In Facebook posts.
- In your Facebook Group.
- On your website.
- In blog articles to get people to opt-in.
- In YouTube video descriptions.
So cool, right!? 🙂
Facebook Ads JSON (PRO only)
Facebook Ads JSON enables you to start Messenger conversations with users who click on a Facebook Ads.
This Growth Tool is extremely exciting! It allows you to convert users who comment on a specific post on your page.
You first have to select a post, then decide when you want to send it and for which comments you want to trigger it.
The customer chat is a really cool one.
You can add it to your website and people can chat with your Messenger Bot (or with you!).
On your website it will look like this:
You can change the color & text to your own needs.
It’s even possible to show a different message depending on if someone is logged in to Facebook or not.
And maybe even more important, on which pages you want to display your Live Chat:
And after you’ve done all that, you only have to change the message people get when they start a conversation.
I’m often using something simple like this:
Checkbox (PRO only)
This one is a bit more advanced because you have to integrate the button into your website but it’s quite cool.
You could, for example, add this to your email capture forms so you capture someone’s email address and get them into Messenger at once.
Or you could add the checkbox to your checkout form to keep them updated on their order.
You can read more about the Checkbox Growth Tool here on Github. There are also some guidelines, make sure to read the Platform Policies.
How to use Custom Fields
You can use Custom Fields to save info about your subscribers. You can, for example, store emails, phone numbers, appointments, and behavior.
Later, you can use this info to segment your audience & send conditional content based on the values of these Custom Fields.
As you see above, there are five different types of Custom Fields:
- Text: can store any kind of text.
- Number: can store a number and make calculations within ManyChat.
- Date: can trigger a date picker & store a date.
- Date & time: can trigger a date & time picker store a date & time.
- True/False: can store the value Yes or No.
Once you’ve created your custom field, you can use them in your Flows.
Let me show you an example with a True/False Custom Field.
Let’s say we want to store yes or no in a flow, depending on if someone clicked yes or not.
Our flow looks like this:
To store the answer in a Custom Field we have to add two actions:
Then we add the action “Set custom field” like this:
The result of this is that if someone clicks Yes we can save it into the custom field, and use it later in the conversation.
What is the difference between Custom Fields & Bot Fields?
They’re pretty similar with one big difference between custom fields & bot fields.
Custom Fields (also called User Fields) are unique to each user, while Bot Fields are for everyone the same.
What is a Broadcast?
With a broadcast, you can send a message all your subscribers or a segment of subscribers.
There are three different types;
- Subscription broadcast
Subscription broadcast messages can’t contain ads or promotional materials, but can be sent at any time regardless of time passed since last user activity.
- Promotional broadcast
Promotional broadcast messages can contain ads and promotional materials, but can only be sent to subscribers who were active in the past 24 hours.
- Follow-up broadcast
After the end of the 24-hour window, you have the ability to send a “1 follow up message” to these recipients. After that, you won’t be able to send them ads or promotional messages until they interact with you again.
It’s very important that you choose the right one because you don’t want to break the Platform Policies.
You can send the broadcast either to your whole list or to a smaller segment of your list.
It’s possible to send the broadcast right away, but it’s often smarter to plan it in for a time that you know it’s more likely for your subscribers to be active.
This one is important if your subscribers are based in different timezones.
You’ve three options;
- Send all at the same time: all messages will be sent at the same time and will be delivered as soon as possible.
- Time travel: message will be delivered at the same daytime according to the user’s timezone.
- Limit sending time: message will be delivered as soon as possible once user’s daytime in his current timezone matches desired delivery hours.
This is where you can decide what kind of notification you want to send your subscriber.
You’ve five options:
- Regular Push: this will display a notification for every message. So if you send 5 messages they’ll get 5 notifications.
- Only 1 regular notification: this will trigger only 1 regular notification (the first message in the broadcast) and the rest of it will be sent in silent mode. Great for when you have 2+ messages in your broadcast, but don’t want to send too many notifications.
- Only 2 regular notifications: very similar to the previous one, but this time it will send two notifications.
- Silent Push: this one will still display a phone notification, but this time without sound.
- Silent: this one will display no notification at all. They’ll see your message next time they open Messenger.
I prefer to send only 1 regular notification.
Recommended Bot Settings
There are a lot of settings in ManyChat:
Most of them depend on the needs of your Messenger Bot, but I’d love to show you how I’ve set it up to make your life a bit easier.
The general settings have some important parts.
Below you can exactly see how I’ve set it up.
The greeting text will appear to people who are starting a conversation with your Messenger Bot for the first time. Before they become a subscriber they first have to click “Get Started”, that’s why in that text I explain what they can expect to learn and what they have to do.
ManyChat needs to shorten URL’s in order to track if someone clicked or not, so you have three options here;
I like to use mnch.at. You can also choose to disable the shorter, but ManyChat can’t track when people click buttons on cards anymore (which I think is very important to track).
Then you also have the option to disable keyword input. I would only recommend this for simple bots and if you don’t want people to ask any questions. Keep in mind people also can’t give their phone number or email address if you disable it.
Live Chat Settings
When a subscriber types something that the Messenger Bot doesn’t know how to handle you can open conversations in the Live Chat so you can jump into the conversation there. To enable that you’ve set it to “Any message starts a conversation”.
If you set it to “Conversation should be opened explicitly” you might miss out on questions people ask because the conversation will only be opened if you added an Open Conversation Action in your flow where you expect them to reply.
Growth Tools Settings
On this page, you can decide how Growth Tools appear on your website. You can change the language, authorize your websites and remove the ManyChat branding if you like.
Growth Tools settings in ManyChat
In a flow, it’s possible to add an action to notify the admins of your Messenger Bot. With these settings, you can manage how that’s handled.
I’m managing my Messenger Bot on my own, but it’s also possible to add other admins, editors, live chat agents and viewers.
Here’s what ManyChat tells us about each role:
- Admins 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.
- Editor role is the second most important role in bot management. Editors can create and manage bot content (including template installation), but they do not have enough permissions for disabling the bot, cloning or sharing the content, and creating templates.
- The Live Chat Agent role is used to communicate with bot subscribers and grants all the required permissions to manage conversations inside Live Chat. Live Chat Agents 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.
- Being a viewer allows team members to track bot stats and view sent Flows data in “view only” mode. Viewers are not allowed to create or edit bot content.
I hope this helps you a lot to start building your first Facebook Messenger Bot.
I update this page regularly with new ManyChat features, so feel free to bookmark this page.
If you would like to dive deeper then I want to invite you for my free course so you can convert more subscribers into customers.
36 thoughts on “ManyChat Tutorial for Beginners (2023)”
Hi Max! When a user is in a Manychat and writes something before clicking the quick replies buttons, the automation stops.
Is there any way to force the user to use quick replies and continue the automation?
Thanks in advance 🙂
Good question, Helder! I know that a lot of people struggle with this. It’s annoying for the user and will also cost you more time.
I came up with a simple solution that I like to call “Monkey Proof Quick Replies”. Instead of quick replies we use the user input field, set it to multiple-choice, save the answer into a custom field and then we automatically continue into some conditions to check the different answers.
I created a tutorial about it here if you like 😄
Hi Max, thanks for this tip as it will really improve on the deliverability of some important messages in the flow. Really learnt much from it. Awesome!
Happy to hear it’s helpful! 🙂
I intend to integrate it in my website.
Is it possible to have out-of-time messages that will be displayed in a certain period (eg: durong the night when no one is available to help)
Hi Max, thanks for the breakdown! One thing I haven’t figured out is how to prevent a new Messenger thread from opening for every contact to which I send a broadcast. Every time I send, we get blasted with open threads in our inbox and all it shows is the message the was sent. I don’t want to see anything until they take action or ask a specific question. I tried turning off the “notify admin” function, but I guess that’s just for specific actions. Any thoughts on how to handle this?
Hey Jeremy! Oh, that’s not supposed to happen.
You don’t have an action inside your broadcast by any chance that’s opening the conversation? Otherwise, I would ask support if they can help you because it might be a bug.
Another solution is to only open conversations explicitly (under settings), and then add a “Open Conversation” action inside your Default Reply like this.
I hope that helps! 💪
Great tutorial. What are the steps if I want to make the chatbot function in a custom website and not in Facebook?
Hey Teo! That’s a whole other process with other tools. You could maybe take a look at Intercom or Landbot.io.
I want to put a send to messenger button on my website but I’m not sure where to put the code. We are using wordpress and divi.
Hope that helps!
Hi Max, I can’t remove the “Usually, we reply within one day!” automatic reply. I can’t find it anywhere too. I already changed the default reply. Please help.
Hi Max, Thanks for this explanation. Makes it a lot more use-full for me!
Only question i still have is if it is possible to start a new chat based on a click on a menu item on the website.
Cannot find any answers to this in google or above…
Hey Rogier! You could use a Messenger Ref URL in your menu item. That would do the trick 🙂
Thank you so much Max, this info was extremely helpful!
Happy to hear it’s helpful! 🙂
How is compliance with the GDPR requirements achieved?
Hey Edith! I wrote a post about that here.
I have done JSON growth tool ad and added a pre made flow. After people have received first message in Messenger (with smart delay for following next message) Can I edit flow so it (following next message) will be different to people that what I first created?
Yes, you can edit the flow and publish the new version! 🙂
I am trying to set a randomizer. I cannot find one on my flow buttons. Can you guide me on this?
Hey Evelyn! At the top right of your flow, there is a circle with an icon in it. When you click that, you can add a Randomizer to your Flow in ManyChat 🙂
I haven’t gone through it all but learned what I wanted to know for now. Thank you very much! This is very helpful.
Hey Gemma! Happy to hear it helped! 🤗
Thank you very much. I have watched many manychat tutorials before, still, I don’t get it easily. But, with your teachings, that was awesome. I understand it quickly. I will continue to watch and learn from your teachings.
Hey Tom! Happy to hear that it helped you so much! 😄
Great contents. Thanks. But so fast, I could not follow you . Sorry,
Hey Michael! Sorry to hear! Anything in particular that went too fast for you? Happy to explain.
Max! Your style is so unique compared to other folks I’ve read stuff from. Thank you.
Thank you so much for providing useful tips and information on how to use ManyChat. I am very new to this bot and have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge through your expertise. I’ve currently have a client who has asked to integrate scheduling appointments via ManyChat. I’ve gotten through many of the steps but I am not sure about where the appointments are being made and if there is any keeping track of this. I have set everything up until that point. I have not linked Calendly or any other scheduling app. Is this a requirement in order to do so?
Very helpful content. I want to learn more.
how to do an ordering system for the audience, however, my stocks are limited. all I know as of now is I should put an action in flows.
Thanks, Max for your help!
This course is really wonderful so far and seems to have everything I need to know how to build chatbots. I am starting a chatbot agency in the US and do you believe that all the tools on this page will help me with my dreams of an agency? I understand I still need to learn other aspects, but technically I could create a bot to try and get leads for small businesses who could use my fb messenger chatbot services? Thank you so much for this in depth page again
Hey Tom! Yes, I would not see why it could not help you to start a chatbot agency 😄
Obviously there’s more to it than just learning how to use ManyChat, but I think it’s a good start!