Continually Review

Continually

For writing this review about Continually, I used the criteria of my post “How to choose the best chatbot software“.

User Interface

When starting with Continually for the first time you will see an example of how a chatbot will be presented on your website. And you can choose from multiple examples, such as “Welcome Message”, “Book a meeting” or “Basic Lead Capture”. This is a really nice feature, because you immediately see how the chatbot will be looking on your website:

continually-first-screen

After the first screen, you will go to the dashboard. The dashboard is a good overview of all the things you need when building a chatbot. There are multiple pages:

  • Getting Started – You probably only use this the first time, but really useful
  • Leads – All the people that interacted with your chatbot
  • Bots – The bots that you made with Continually
  • Live Chat – Speaks for itself, live chat ofcourse
  • Landing Page – The landing pages for your chatbots
  • Apps – All the integrations that are provided by Continually
  • Install & Settings – Speaks for itself

continually-user-interface

What I really like about the interface is that on the left side you have an overview of the things you need to do to get started, but also other things you could do. In the blink of eye you notice all the possibilities of their software.

For editing the chatbot, Continually makes use of a visual drag and drop interface. The benefit of this interface is that you have a good overview of the sequences in your chatbot. But this also could become a drawback. When you have a lot of options and sequences, you will probably lose sight of the overall picture.

Moreover, on the right of the screen there is a preview of the chatbot, so you automatically what happens when you change something in your chatbot.

continually-drag-and-drop

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

Chatbot elements

Continually provides enough elements to build your own chatbot. There are only a few elements they do not provide, but certainly no deal-breakers.

What could be a little bit of a deal-breaker is that the user cannot ask questions when they want to. And do not understand me wrong, it is possible to type in answers in Continually, but this is only limited to predetermined questions. It is not possible for a user to ask a random question in the middle of a conversation. It is only possible to ask a question, when the chatbot maker decided that the user can ask a question. This is great when you want that the user stays in a certain flow, but it could also be a drawback, because the user cannot ask more advanced questions and cannot decide when to ask a question. Up to you, which you prefer more 😉

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

Users

Continually is a really good example of a lead-capturing chatbot software. It has a really structured overview of all the leads you get trough the chatbot and you can also filter on the date, type of lead, the status of the lead, through which chatbot the lead was obtained (if you have multiple chatbots) and what kind of appointment there is:

continually-lead-overview

Moreover, when you click on of the leads, you will get a lot of information about the lead itself. Continually automatically captures the location of the lead through their IP-address and other important information which were obtained through the chatbot are also saved:

continually-lead-information

With Continually it is also possible to add custom attributes to users, such as the answer that they provided to a certain question. What is a drawback of the software, is that you cannot use these attributes for segmentation. What you could do, is use targeting. With their targeting feature, you can decide when the bot will appear. For example, you can say that the chatbot only appears on certain pages or after a certain number of page visits: continually-targeting

  • Attributes
  • Location sharing
  • Tags
  • User segments

Messages

The most important thing about Continually are the sequences (also called campaigns). It is really good for making sequences, letting the user in the flow and eventually get lead information. Unsubscribing/Subscribing from such a sequence is not possible, but also not necessary, because the sequence you are in is not associated with a certain account, so you don’t need to unsubscribe. 

Furthermore, Logic & Calculation is possible. When a user provides an answer to a question, you can let him go through a certain sequence based on their answer. Also, you can also use custom attributes of users to send them in a certain flow (which is a kind of segmentation).

Unfortunately, sending broadcasts is not possible, which is a disadvantage, but also logical, because you can only use this software on websites. Furthermore, it is possible to make a chatbot in any language, but there is no support for multiple languages. But what you could do, is that you make a different chatbot per language and then use their targeting feature to determine on which pages you should show which chatbot.

  • Broadcasts
  • Campaigns
  • Subscribe / Unsubscribe from campaigns
  • Logic & Calculation
  • Multiple languages
  • Easy to translate

AI & NLP

In Continually, there is only support for keyword-matching. But this keyword-matching could become a big mess because of their visual drag and drop interface. When you have a question with a lot of different answers, you get a lot of different flows in which you lose sight of the overall picture. For an elaborate example on the big mess of a keyword-matching functionality, I recommend you to read my review of Landbot.

What is also important to keep in mind is that users cannot ask questions whenever they want. The maker of the chatbot decides when the user can ask a question, so this is also a possible disadvantage.

  • Keywords
  • Intents
  • Entities

Platforms

Continually does one platform extremely good: Websites. But the disadvantage is that this is the only platform they are active on. When you want to provide an omni-channel experience to your customers, this is not possible with Continually.

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

Integrations

Continually has pretty good integrations. They have a live chat integration (which is the most important integration any chatbot software needs), which works via Slack. Moreover, they have integrations with Zapier (which allows you to connect with every software on earth), Drip, MailChimp, Hubspot, Google Analytics and more. 

Drawback is that they do not provide webhooks (if you want to scale up your chatbot experience), but it is possible to ask for certain integrations through their website.

  • Livechat
  • Zapier
  • Integromat
  • Dialogflow
  • Google Sheets
  • Webhooks

Marketing

Continually can only be used on websites, so they do not have any connections with Facebook. It is possible to put a widget on your website and you also have a specific landing page for your chatbot.

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

Pricing

When you sign up for an account at Continually you automatically get a 14-day free trial. It also comes with a free plan, which stays free forever. Also, with this plan, you can have 1000 page views per month and you can do a lot of basic things. Drawback of this is that you cannot connect with other integrations than the live chat. 

After the free plan, there is the “Business” plan, and this is really expensive. This plan costs 115$ per month. And then you still don’t have all the features. Features like integrations with Salesforce and Hubspot are not yet part of this package. To my opinion, this is a lot of money for a chatbot software that only has a website integration and does not provide a lot of analytics (see the next section).

Also, Continually does not provide monthly pricing and does not provide a money back guarantee.

  • Free trial
  • Free package
  • Price per month
    115
  • Monthly pricing available?
  • Money back guarantee

Analytics

I always say: When a chatbot does not have an analytics feature, don’t buy it. Well, this software does not have analytics. 

But, they do provide an integration with Google Analytics. Problem solved, right? Well… not quite. Because they only provide tracking for three events:

  • Widget / welcome message displayed
  • Sidebar opened
  • Email address captured

Important analytics like the open rate, click rate, fallback rate and so on are not captured with this software. The biggest disadvantage here lies in that you don’t know when customers leave the chatbot, so it can become hard to know how to improve it.

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

E-Commerce

Unfortunately, Continually does not provide integrations with e-commerce platforms at all. This is a huge disadvantage, especially for chatbot software that is focused on websites.

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

Optimization

Also, optimization (like A/B testing) is not possible using Continually. Also a big drawback for chatbot software that is focused on websites, where optimization is really common.

  • A/B Testing

Support

Continually provides 6 different templates, which are all free. Furthermore, they have a knowledge base with articles of how to build a chatbot. They also provide customer support trough their own ticket center.

  • Templates
    6
  • Tutorials
  • Documentation
  • Customer support

Conclusion

Continually is chatbot software especially for lead capturing through websites. They have an extensive lead feature built in their software, in which it is easy to have a complete overview of all the leads you got through the chatbot. Also, they have a clear dashboard and visual drag and drop interface in which you can build your chatbot.

But there are also disadvantages. The software costs 115 dollars per month if you want to get serious with chatbots, which is a lot. And the chatbot software does not provide important features like:

  1. Sufficient Analytics
  2. Segmentation
  3. E-commerce integrations 
  4. Optimization
  5. Asking questions whenever the user wants

These are features you might expect in chatbot software with such a high price. Especially number one, three and four. Analytics need to be a main part of any chatbot software, so you can improve your chatbot. An E-commerce integration would be useful, because Continually is mainly focused on websites. And also, Optimization sounds useful to have and also has become the standard over the years for websites.

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