Any E-commerce online store can make the most of its investment by automating tasks that are monotonous, yet vital. Customer service in the digital era has changed manifold and it’s now more than ever that the customer is king. Also, this customer has evolved into a digitally savvy and impatient person with an attention span of just a few seconds. And within those seconds, he is looking for all the relevant information about your product. Thus, the need for real-time customer service becomes underrated. As a business though, it makes sense to provide this service in a timely and cost-efficient manner. That’s where chatbots rule the world!
These are powerful tools to help give customer service that is top-notch, sell and upsell products and services as well as improve your reach significantly.
If you search for the best messenger bot-building tools, you are definitely going to come across Chatfuel and Manychat - two of the most incredible chatbot building services that do not need the knowledge of coding.
Chatfuel, which started with Telegram bots, is a super easy bot builder for Facebook messenger. On the other hand, Manychat, founded in 2015, has a host of automation and marketing possibilities.
The only question remains - which one is right for your business needs.
Table of Contents
Section 1 - Manychat Vs Chatfuel: Features
You can build a sophisticated chatbot using both Manychat and Chatfuel but both have slightly different features available. Manychat has several features such as delays, file attachments, video/audio, horizontal list gallery, location sharing, email and date validation among others. Chatfuel also caters to most of these with features for delays, audio and video setup, emojis, persistent menu, horizontal list gallery, free text input and more. If you compare the two, Chatfuel lacks in the files feature and location sharing, both of which are present in Manychat. It’s worth noting that both Manychat and Chatfuel do not offer vertical lists and logically so, because Facebook messenger itself does not allow for these.
Manychat has various other core features such as post comment automation. This means any user who has commented on your post, will automatically get a facebook message. In fact, you can even schedule a custom message based on the post that the comment is on. This may be done using the Opt-in Actions tab in Manychat. They have a live chat feature which helps you respond to customer queries in real-time with tagged customer information that can help with instantaneous information on the history of conversation with a prospect. The chat flow can be built using their Visual Flow Builder which has a great UI.
On the other hand, Chatfuel has some interesting features too. The Set up AI feature is built into the Chatfuel dashboard to give some level of direct integration with Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI. While this is not the best or as good as other NLP platforms (like Dialogflow) it does make the dialogue more conversational. Based on these conversations with the users, Chatfuel also lets you do easy user segmentation. Chatfuel is also great for integrations and offers a tonne of plugin options that include but are not limited to Google Sheets, Google Calendar, Wordpress and most importantly Zapier.
The Verdict: Between Chatfuel and Manychat, Chatfuel takes the cake here with a lot of the features built in, as opposed to Manychat which requires plugins for those features.
Section 2 - Manychat Vs Chatfuel: User Interface
Both Manychat and Chatfuel provide two types of builders each: the Basic Builder and the Flow Builder. Both these platforms use the concept of cards and blocks. While cards let you add elements like gallery, text etc into your chat message, blocks are a collection of cards. You simply have to drag and drop the various elements into the flow. ManyChat’s interface is one of the best in the market and very user-friendly. It lets you test the chatbot before going live, making it very easy to set up a chatbot. Chatfuel’s basic builder is called the Block builder and the flow builder is called the Visual Flow builder. It also lets you test out the flow before taking it live and makes it fairly easy to set up a chatbot as well. A word of caution though - the builders are not interchangeable and a flow built in one builder can only be edited within that, which is not the case with Manychat.
It’s worth mentioning about the various templates that are available in both platforms to build chatbots. Manychat offers 19 options of pre-existing, free and paid templates while Chatfuel offers 83 templates on their respective pro plans. Both allow you to duplicate these chatbot flows to make the setup faster.
The Verdict: Chatfuel is a clear winner in this category given the ease of use, UI and favorable user experience, with a tonne of more templates for chatbots than Manychat.
Section 3 - Manychat Vs Chatfuel: Messages
This section covers the efficiency of both platforms based on the categories of message content and organisation. This includes a broadcast message, sequences (or nurture streams of messages) and application of conditions in Manychat.
A broadcast is a message that lets you target your audience directly with content like image cards, text cards and even galleries.
Chatfuel allows you to send instantly or schedule broadcast messages, however, it doesn’t characterize broadcasts like Manychat does. Manychat goes by the facebook rulebook to allow you to create three kinds of broadcasts - subscription, promotional and follow-up. Subscription broadcasts let you send out non-commercial content (free of any advertisements or promos of products) to opt-in subscribers. Promotional broadcasts let you send out broadcasts to subscribers who were active users in the past 24 hours that solve the purpose of promotion or are commercial in any form and as the name suggests, a follow-up broadcast is sent post 24 hours of the promotional message. It’s a reminder to your subscribers about your promotion.
That apart, these messages can be sent in the form of sequences based on customer interaction or after a given time frame through an automated process. Manychat’s sequence dashboard is put together in a very organised manner making it easy to understand when a message was sent out along with data on sends, clicks, open rate and CTR. In a similar manner, you can also create a flow in Chatfuel but we personally find the dashboard for Manychat more detailed and easy to read.
Both platforms let you use smarter logic for sending out these messages by the use of Conditions. This is mostly used to personalize the customer experience by using custom fields to include first names, relevant product recommendations etc. Also, the chatbot can be translated into multiple languages based on the region. But neither of the two platforms make that an easy process.
The Verdict: Manychat takes the cake on this one but with a small margin. It’s because the categorization of broadcasts helps in staying away from Facebook bans for new users.
Section 4 - Manychat Vs Chatfuel: Pricing
The good news here is that both the platforms offer a free plan each, however both the free plans come with some implicit costs. For instance, on both the free plans, there is Manychat or Chatfuel branding, respectively. Manychat’s free basic plan stays free without a cap on subscribers but it does not offer all the features that Manychat has the capability of. Under their free plan, they provide a max of four growth tools, but these tend to be enough to set up a functional messenger chatbot. Chatfuel’s free plan offers all the features but is only free up to 50 subscribers. For the pro plans, the cost starts at a basic price and increases based on the number of subscribers who have opted in.
The Manychat pro plan starts at a $10 subscription per month for 500 subscribers. It goes all the way up to $145 per month for up to 25000 subscribers, however, above that, you will need to contact them directly.
Chatfuel pro plan starts at a monthly price of $15 for 500 subscribers. It goes all the way up to $180 per month for up to 25000 subscribers, however, above that, you will need to contact them directly. They markedly have a new feature that comes as part of the pro plan which involves precise targeting with Facebook ads to create lookalike and custom audiences which is an advantage which comes with the higher comparative price. The question is, is it worth it for your business.
The Verdict: Given the cost to feature analysis, Chatfuel’s extra cost does not necessarily justify the features offered by it. No doubt, Manychat is a more competitive product.
Section 5 - Manychat Vs Chatfuel: Analytics and Tracking
Tracking and analytics is the basis for growth of every E-commerce business.
Manychat offers a dashboard with basic user data such as net subscribers along with subscribes and unsubscribes. It also gives data at the block and sequence level with details on delivery, opens and clicks. Using the Manychat pixel, one can also do end to end conversion tracking to attribute purchases to the right messenger sequences.
The dashboard in Chatfuel is definitely clearer than what Manychat has to offer. It gives information on total users (split by reachable and blocked), engagement levels (of active users, users who have read the broadcast and users who have interacted with the message) and more.
Considerably important is the Broadcast User Engagement in the Broadcast tab. This shows the progress, read, clicked and failed to deliver numbers/percentages by broadcast.
Only drawback is that in the name of giving conversion information, due to lack of a pixel, it gives information on popular blocks. This is represented merely in the form of a table that enables you to see how far many users are completing the bot flow which might not necessarily mean a purchase.
The Verdict: Chatfuel has a much more detailed offering in terms of analytics and the dashboards are clearer and easier to glance through.
Section 6 - Manychat Vs Chatfuel: Chat Marketing and Growth Tools
Chat marketing is the most integral part of a chatbot creation tool such as Manychat and Chatfuel. This is one area where Chatfuel has made a mark over time. In order to grow subscribers and nudge them to become customers, Chatfuel offers Facebook Ads to Messenger, auto-reply on comments and landing page with bot CTA (call to action) . So you don’t even need a website, a landing page can be created within Chatfuel.
On the other hand, Manychat also offers Facebook ads with messenger CTA and auto-reply to comments, infact with more advanced implementation. It’s Modal and Overlay widget, along with a landing page helps in generating bot subscribers smartly and effectively.
As they have begun the use of Overlay and Modal widgets, along with the Landing Page, ManyChat users can easily and effectively increase their list in Messenger. It is easy to set up these tools and add them to the website.
The Verdict: Manychat has a more advanced offering here, for effective growth strategies.
Section 7 - Manychat Vs Chatfuel: Customer Support
This section will cover any support requirements and the response of both the platforms on documentation and active customer support. Both platforms have inbuilt wizards to help guide you through the chatbot building process. They both provide enough documents and video tutorials and how-to guides for their individual products.
Chatfuel, on it’s pro plan, offers priority customer support to its users and both offer account managers at the large enterprise level (above 25000 subscribers).
Both the messenger marketing platforms have Facebook communities that are over 75000 members, and these communities are fairly active. If you’re looking for an answer, chances are that most of your questions are already answered in these communities.
The Verdict: Owing to its priority customer support, Chatfuel wins this one by a small margin.
Section 8 - Manychat Vs Chatfuel: Integrations
Manychat has a tonne of integration options that include Zapier, Integromat, ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp, ConvertKit and Hubspot. You’d notice it integrates with a lot of email marketing tools.
Chatfuel on the other hand has integrations like Zapier, Integromat and Google Sheets but these seem fairly numbered.
Both platforms offer built-in live chat integration though, which is very useful.
The Verdict: Manychat offers a larger number of integration options that Chatfuel and for businesses that are already using platforms like Mailchimp, it makes the task of integrating the data much easier.
If you are a rapidly growing business that is looking for user-friendliness at a competitive price, Manychat is the answer to your questions. It has a great resource library to help you get through any roadblocks in the chatbot creation process. It will help you a great deal in saving time and catching the customers at the right place.
On the other hand, for a business looking for a host of built-in features including built-in analytics for data-driven decision-making, Chatfuel is the answer.