Which one is better? BotStar vs ManyChat

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By Joren Wouters Updated on

BotStar and ManyChat are both chatbot builders that you can use to build chatbots on websites and Facebook Messenger.

Also, they both don’t require any coding skills to get started with chatbots.

But which platform should you use? What are the differences? And which one is better?

Let’s find out!

1. Interface

BotStar

With BotStar, you can build your chatbots with a visual flow builder:

botstar-interface

Moreover, you can preview the flow of your chatbot when you click on the play button (in the top right corner, next to “Publish”), so you can immediately test the changes you made to your chatbot.

Overall, a really good interface which is easy to use, it is easy to set up a chatbot and you can test the chatbot in the interface itself.

  • Visual Flow Builder
  • Test chatbot
  • Interface easy to use?
  • Easy to setup a chatbot?

ManyChat

The ManyChat interface is one of the best interfaces I have ever seen in chatbot software. And this is because of the flexibility.

In ManyChat you can choose between two interfaces: The Basic builder and the Flow builder:

manychat-basic-builder
Basic Builder of Manychat
manychat-flow-builder
Flow Builder of ManyChat

Also, you can test your chatbot flows inside Facebook Messenger before they actually go live.

  • Visual Flow Builder
  • Test chatbot
  • Interface easy to use?
  • Easy to setup a chatbot?

The winner: ManyChat

We start off with a win for ManyChat.

I think the ManyChat interface is better for two reasons:

  1. It has a better structure. With BotStar, you have all your chatbot flows in one huge flow builder. In ManyChat this is separate per flow.
  2. ManyChat gives you flexibility by providing two types of builders

So, a win for ManyChat!

2. Chatbot Elements

BotStar

BotStar has all the elements you need. They only don’t have Delays, vertical lists and location sharing, but these are no big problems.

Next to these elements, you can also add custom code to your chatbot flow (for the developers among us).

  • Delays
  • Images
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Attachments
  • Gallery (Horizontal list)
  • Vertical list
  • Emojis
  • Persistent Menu
  • Quick Replies
  • Buttons
  • Free text input
  • Location sharing
  • Email validation
  • Phone number validation
  • Date validation

ManyChat

Just as BotStar, ManyChat provides a lot of chatbot elements.

The only thing they don’t provide is Vertical Lists, which is logical, because Facebook Messenger doesn’t allow this anymore.

  • Delays
  • Images
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Attachments
  • Gallery (Horizontal list)
  • Vertical list
  • Emojis
  • Persistent Menu
  • Quick Replies
  • Buttons
  • Free text input
  • Location sharing
  • Email validation
  • Phone number validation
  • Date validation

No winner

There is no winner in this category. Both chatbot platforms provide enough chatbot elements to build good chatbots.

Let’s move on to the next category!

3. Users

BotStar

With BotStar you can add custom fields to specific users of your chatbot. It is as simple as asking a question and storing the answer to that question in a custom field.

Also, you can add tags to users based on the actions they have with the chatbot.

With these custom fields and tags, you can filter on almost every element you make in your chatbot, which is really useful if you want to build personalized experiences.

  • Custom fields
  • Tags
  • User segments

ManyChat

With ManyChat you can add custom fields and tags to specific users. Based on those custom fields and tags, you can send messages to specific user segments.

In ManyChat you can view all the users of your chatbot in the “Audience” tab, which gives you a good overview:

manychat-audience

In this overview you can click on each individual user and get all the information of that user, which is extremely useful:

manychat-user

Just as SilFer Bots, you can send flows to the user, live chat with them or add custom fields / tags from this overview.

  • Custom fields
  • Tags
  • User segments

No winner

With both BotStar and ManyChat you can do the same: add custom fields/tags and create user segments based on that.

So again, no winner!

4. Messages

BotStar

In BotStar it is possible to make broadcasts & sequences. What is a drawback is that I was not able to use the broadcast feature (because it is not in the free plan), but they say it is possible in the Pro plan.

As said before, you can use conditions on almost every element in your flow.

Furthermore, it is possible to make a chatbot in any language. And you can also really easily translate it to other languages!

This is really the first chatbot software I encountered in which it is easy to translate to different languages, so this makes me really enthusiastic. You can just click in the top-right corner on the language switcher and all the blocks change to the different language:

botstar-language-switcher

Next to this awesome translation feature, they also have another feature to mention: CMS.

CMS in BotStar

Say you are a boutique and you want to show all your products in your chatbot.

Normally, you would have made this by-hand in which you will get a really long chatbot flow. But BotStar made an awesome feature for this: CMS (which is short for Content Management System).

In the CMS, you can add several Entities (e.g. a “Product”) and attach several fields to it, for example:

  • Name
  • Description
  • Price
  • Image
  • Category

You can easily add products then:

botstar-cms

Then, you can use this information in your chatbot flow. So then you can configure that you want to create a Gallery showing all the products from a particular category (e.g. books):

botstar-cms-flow

This is just an example of products, but you can do this for much more use cases.

Extremely awesome feature, which will save you a lot of time!

  • Broadcasts
  • Sequences
  • Conditions
  • Multiple languages
  • Easy to translate

ManyChat

Manychat provides broadcasts, sequences and also subscribing/unsubscribing from sequences.

What I really like about the sequences in ManyChat is that they are really organized. You can see the complete sequence in one overview and you also see which message is sent at which time, a really good feature.

manychat-sequence
An example sequence in ManyChat

Also, with ManyChat you can use a feature called “Conditions”, in which you can use logic to send users through a certain flow.

Moreover, it is possible to make a chatbot in any language, but it is not possible to easily translate your chatbot to different languages (because you need to manually copy all your chatbot flows).

  • Broadcasts
  • Sequences
  • Conditions
  • Multiple languages
  • Easy to translate

The winner: BotStar

With their easy translation and built-in CMS feature, BotStar beats ManyChat in the Messages category.

Especially, the easy translation is what I really like about BotStar. With ManyChat, you should manually copy every flow and translate it.

5. AI & NLP

BotStar

In BotStar it is possible to recognize keywords that are sent by the user and then give an appropriate response.

However, it is not possible to do any kind of real NLP, by using Intents or Entities.

Gladly, BotStar provides a Dialogflow integration, so with that, it is possible to make your chatbot compatible with intents and entities.

  • Keywords
  • Intents
  • Entities
  • Dialogflow integration

ManyChat

With ManyChat it is only possible to recognize keywords with your chatbot. Based on a keyword (or a group of keywords) your chatbot gives a certain response.

How it looks in ManyChat:

manychat-keywords

It is not possible to grab the intent of the user, use synonyms or use entities.

ManyChat also doesn’t have a direct integration with DialogFlow. However, you can connect with Dialogflow using a third-party tool, by using the steps in this tutorial.

  • Keywords
  • Intents
  • Entities
  • Dialogflow integration

The winner: BotStar

With both BotStar and ManyChat you can only recognize keywords.

Fortunately, BotStar has a direct integration with Dialogflow (and ManyChat hasn’t). and that’s why they win on this criterium. 

6. Channels

BotStar

With BotStar it is possible to make a chatbot on Facebook Messenger and for your website.

This could be a potential drawback for companies who want to provide an omnichannel experience to their customers because it is only possible for two channels.

  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • SMS
  • Slack
  • Skype
  • Email

ManyChat

With ManyChat it is possible to make a chatbot for your website, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, SMS and Email.

This allows you to make an omnichannel chatbot experience for your users. So for example, when someone gives a certain response on Facebook Messenger, you could send an email based on that response.

With SMS, it is only possible to send text messages to users in 9 countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Belgium, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, Mexico and Brazil. Moreover, it is a one-way channel: you can only send text messages, but cannot receive and automatically reply to them.

  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • SMS
  • Slack
  • Skype
  • Email

The winner: ManyChat

With ManyChat you can put your chatbot on 5 channels, while you can only put your BotStar chatbot on two. 

So that’s why ManyChat wins on this subject.

Let’s move on to Integrations.

7. Integrations

BotStar

BotStar performs really well on the subject of integrations.

They have built-in live chat, which is the most important integrations any chatbot software needs.

Next to this, they provide integrations with DialogFlow and Wit.AI (for better AI capabilities), Zapier, Integromat, Google Sheets and Webhooks.

  • Livechat
  • Zapier
  • Integromat
  • Google Sheets
  • Webhooks

ManyChat

ManyChat has a built-in live chat integration. Really good, because this is the most important integration a chatbot software needs. They also provide integrations for:

  • Zapier
  • Integromat
  • Google Sheets
  • ActiveCampaign
  • MailChimp
  • ConvertKit
  • HubSpot
  • Walletly
  • Botsheets
  • Janis

By the way, what I really like about the live chat integration of ManyChat is that they also have an iOS app and Android app, so you can respond to user inquiries on the go.

Moreover, ManyChat has its own App store which allows third-party developers to create their own integrations with ManyChat. Currently, the App Store has 38 apps, but I think this will grow over the years:

manychat-app-store

  • Livechat
  • Zapier
  • Integromat
  • Google Sheets
  • Webhooks

Small win: ManyChat

This is a small win for ManyChat. And that’s because they offer an iOS and Android app for their live chat, which could be really useful (if you want to respond to customers on the go).

Also, they have their own App Store, which allows third-party developers to easily create integrations with ManyChat.

8. Marketing

BotStar

BotStar performs really well on this topic.

It is possible to put a widget (both Facebook and native) on your website, make a landing page, connect your chatbot to Facebook ads, use the One-Time Notification automatically reply to Facebook comments and create custom URLs to your chatbot.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to create buttons.

  • Facebook website widget
  • Native website widget
  • Landing pages
  • Facebook Ads
  • Facebook comments auto-reply
  • Button creator
  • Custom URLs for your chatbot

ManyChat

With ManyChat, is possible to put a Facebook Messenger widget on your website, create a landing page, connect to Facebook ads, use the One-Time Notification, automatically reply to Facebook comments, create buttons and create custom URLs to your chatbot.

Moreover, ManyChat has a really advanced auto-reply to Facebook comments.

Usually, with auto-reply to Facebook Comments, you make a Facebook post, people comment on it and then you send them an automatic message in Facebook Messenger.

But ManyChat goes further. Next to sending a message in Facebook Messenger, you can automatically like the comment and reply with your own comment:

manychat-automatic-comment-reply

By the way, the automatic public reply is also possible with BotStar (the automatic like is not).

  • Facebook website widget
  • Native website widget
  • Landing pages
  • Facebook Ads
  • Facebook comments auto-reply
  • Button creator
  • Custom URLs for your chatbot

The winner: It depends.

On the one hand, I would say this is a win for BotStar, because they provide both a native website widget and a Facebook website widget. 

On the other hand, with ManyChat’s widget, you can show different greeting messages per page, which is not possible with BotStar.

So I think, it depends on whether you want to use Facebook. If you want to use a Facebook Messenger like widget on your website, use ManyChat. If you don’t want a Facebook Messenger widget, use BotStar.

For the rest of the features, they are quite the same.

9. Pricing

BotStar

BotStar provides a free plan in which you can use most of the features of their platform. So with this free plan, you can test out their platform and find out if it fits your needs. You have 50 user sessions (per month), 3 chatbot projects, one user, built-in CMS, Keywords and Sequences.

In addition to this free plan, they also provide a Pro plan. This Pro plan gives you unlimited chatbot projects, at least 500 user sessions (per month), two users and almost every feature they provide. This plan only costs 15 dollar per month, which is not much:

botstar-pricing

To my opinion, this a really fair price for a chatbot software with these features. And if you are not happy, you can ask for a refund within 30 days.

  • Free trial
  • Free plan
  • Price per month
    15
  • Monthly pricing available?
  • Money back guarantee

ManyChat

ManyChat provides a free plan that stays free forever. This plan comes with 1000 contacts and does not have all the features that ManyChat provides (but still enough to make a good chatbot).

If you want more features, you can upgrade to the Pro package, which costs 10$ per month, which is a really low price. The price of the Pro package goes up with the number of subscribers your chatbot has. 1K subscribers result in $15 per month and 2.5K subscribers is $25 per month.

manychat-pricing

The only possible drawback is that you cannot have a trial for the Pro package, but this does not matter, because there is a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked.

  • Free trial
  • Free plan
  • Price per month
    10
  • Monthly pricing available?
  • Money back guarantee

No winner

BotStar and ManyChat both offer really cheap prices for their chatbot software.

So no winner on this one.

10. Analytics

BotStar

To be honest, I never used the Analytics feature of BotStar, because this is also not in the Free plan.

But in their documentation, they provide some information about the Analytics. And the Analytics are really basic.

They only provide analytics of the number of conversations, number of messages, user genders, subscribers and how many users are new or returning.

This is important to take into consideration, because without decent analytics, it is really hard to improve your chatbot.

  • Dashboard
  • User input
  • User retention
  • Sent messages
  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Fall back rate
  • Volunteer users
  • Custom dashboards/reports

ManyChat

ManyChat provides a basic dashboard for your chatbot analytics, showing you the total subscribers, unsubscribes and net subscribes:

manychat-dashboard
Source: ManyChat

 

Furthermore, they also provide analytics for each block in your chatbot. For each block, they provide the number of people the message is delivered to, the open rate and the click rate.

manychat-analytics-block

And this also holds for sequences:

manychat-analytics-sequence

There are only two drawbacks about the analytics in ManyChat:

  1. The analytics are all over the place. There is no one clear, in-depth dashboard with all relevant analytics, but this is distributed over multiple sections (Broadcasts, Sequences, etc.)
  2. There is no overview of unmatched keywords. If a user filled in a word that did not get a response, you cannot get this information in your ManyChat dashboard. This is a big disadvantage because it does not allow you to easily improve your chatbot. But I have made a solution for this: the ManyChat User Input Dashboard.

What ManyChat also has, is the ManyChat Pixel. This is a pixel you can put on your website to track conversions coming from your chatbot, really useful feature!

  • Dashboard
  • User input
  • User retention
  • Sent messages
  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Fall back rate
  • Volunteer users
  • Custom dashboards/reports

The winner: ManyChat

While BotStar only offers really basic analytics, ManyChat provides better ones.

Also, you can put a ManyChat pixel on your website and track conversions coming from your chatbot.

So, a win for ManyChat!

11. eCommerce

BotStar

BotStar provides a Stripe integration, that you can use to accept payments within your chatbot.

Unfortunately, BotStar doesn’t provide direct integrations with other eCommerce software.

  • Payments
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Buy directly within the chatbot
  • Cart abandonment

ManyChat

ManyChat has a direct integration with Shopify that allows you to:

  • Recover abandoned carts
  • Notify customers about orders and shipment updates
  • Collect reviews and feedback after purchase
  • Generate repeated purchases

It is, however, not possible to buy a product from your Shopify store within the chatbot.

But, you can receive payments through your chatbot by using the Stripe or Paypal integration.

The only drawback is that ManyChat doesn’t have a WooCommerce integration.

  • Payments
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Buy directly within the chatbot
  • Cart abandonment

The Winner: ManyChat

ManyChat has direct integrations with Stripe, Paypal and Shopify, while Botstar only provides Stripe.

So they win in this category.

12. Templates & Cloning

BotStar

BotStar delivers 70 pre-built templates, which you can use immediately to build your chatbot.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to create templates yourself and share them with others.

On the other hand, you can duplicate your chatbot flows and chatbot elements.

  • Templates
    70
  • Make template
  • Share template
  • Duplicate chatbot flows
  • Duplicate chatbot elements

ManyChat

ManyChat provides 19 templates which you can directly install to make your chatbot. These include free templates and templates only available for Pro users.

With ManyChat it is possible to make a chatbot template and share it with others. This is really useful when you are making multiple chatbots who do the same thing (for example, Lead generation). 

Furthermore, it is possible to duplicate your chatbot flows and chatbot elements to make your chatbot faster.

  • Templates
    19
  • Make template
  • Share template
  • Duplicate chatbot flows
  • Duplicate chatbot elements

The winner: ManyChat

With ManyChat, you can create your own templates and share these with others, and this is not possible with BotStar.

This is a big plus for ManyChat, because it allows you to easily share your templates with other colleagues or other chatbot builders.

13. Optimization

BotStar

With BotStar it is not possible to do any kind of optimization (such as A/B Testing).

  • A/B Testing

ManyChat

It is possible to do A/B testing in ManyChat, but it is not available in the free plan. So you need to upgrade to a “Pro” plan if you want to unlock this feature.

  • A/B Testing

No winner

No winner on this one.

They provide A/B testing that you can use to optimize your chatbot.

14. Support

BotStar

BotStar provides a guide (when you are first starting), tutorials and really good documentation to get you started with the software. Also, they have a Facebook community in which you can ask questions to other BotStar users.

Furthermore, they provide support via their ticket center and over live chat.

  • Tutorials
  • Documentation
  • Customer support

ManyChat

Just like BotStar, ManyChat provides extensive tutorials on how to make a chatbot and all of the features on their platform.

They also have good documentation and customer support.

What I also love about ManyChat is that they have a large Facebook community (75.000 members) in which you can ask all kinds of questions and learn more about the platform.

  • Tutorials
  • Documentation
  • Customer support

No Winner

No winner on this one.

They both have tutorials, documentation and good customer support.

Who is het winner?

Well, let’s look at the winners per criterium:

Criterium BotStar ManyChat
Interface
Chatbot elements - -
Users - -
Messages
AI & NLP
Channels
Integrations
Marketing - -
Pricing - -
Analytics
eCommerce
Templates & Cloning
Optimization - -
Support - -

While BotStar is better in Messages and AI & NLP, ManyChat wins on the interface, their channels, the integrations, analytics, eCommerce and their templates, which makes ManyChat the winner.

Go to ManyChat

But there is one reason why you should use BotStar instead of ManyChat: If you want to have a native widget on your website, because this is not possible with ManyChat.

By the way, this doesn’t mean BotStar is bad software, ManyChat is just a bit better 🙂 

botstar-vs-manychat

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