Which one is better? ManyChat vs ActiveChat

joren-wouters-avatar

By Joren Wouters Updated on

ManyChat and ActiveChat are both used for building chatbots without writing a single line of code, which means anyone can build a chatbot with them!

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

Let’s find out!

1. Interface

ManyChat

The ManyChat interface of ManyChat 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 (in which you can make message block-by-block) and the Flow builder (which is a visual flow builder):

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

Moreover, you can test the chatbot inside Facebook Messenger before it actually goes live.

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

ActiveChat

ActiveChat also uses a Visual Flow Builder to build your chatbot flows:

activechat-visual-flow-builder

With this Visual Flow Builder, it is really easy to make your chatbot flow and connect messages with each other.

Besides, you can also test your chatbot in the interface itself, which looks like this:

activechat-test-chatbot

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

The winner: ManyChat

ManyChat wins on this subject. 

This is because of two reasons. First, their interface is more flexible, because it allows you to switch between the basic builder and the visual flow builder.

Second, it is more intuitive to use and has a better design than ActiveChat’s Visual Flow Builder. I don’t say ActiveChat Builder has a bad design, but the design of ManyChat is better.

2. Chatbot Elements

ManyChat

ManyChat has all the chatbot elements you need in order to build a chatbot. They only don’t provide Vertical Lists, but this is reasonable, 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

 

ActiveChat

Just like ManyChat, ActiveChat has all the chatbot elements you need. They only don’t provide Vertical Lists and Location Sharing, but these are certainly not deal-breakers.

  • 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

Both platforms give you all the elements you need to build your chatbot.

ManyChat has one more: Location Sharing. But I think this is not enough to actually “win” this category. 

I also know that a lot of chatbots don’t even want to use the Location Sharing functionality.

3. Users

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

  • Custom fields
  • Tags
  • User segments

ActiveChat

In ActiveChat you can see every conversation and all the information of the user in one overview:

activechat-users

With ActiveChat it is possible to assign custom fields and tags to users. Based on those custom fields and tags, you can almost filter any chatbot element in your chatbot flow.

Besides, you can segment your audience with custom fields and tags. And for example, send a broadcast to a segment of your users.

  • Custom fields
  • Tags
  • User segments

No Winner

Both chatbot builders provide the functionality to assign custom fields and tags to users and segment them based on that.

So, no winner in this category.

4. Messages

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.

With ManyChat it is possible to make a chatbot in any language, but it is not possible to easily translate this chatbot to different languages (because you need to do this manually and copy your complete chatbot).

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

ActiveChat

With ActiveChat you can make broadcast and sequences, just as with ManyChat.

Instead of having a separate section, you can make a sequence right from the visual flow builder in ActiveChat. 

And as said before, you can use filters to condition on almost every element in your chatbot flow.

Furthermore, you can make a chatbot in any language, but you cannot easily translate your chatbot to multiple languages (just like ManyChat, you have to manually copy all your chatbot flows).

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

No winner.

And again, no winner.

They both perform equally well on this subject.

Let’s move on to the next one.

5. AI & NLP

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 this looks in ManyChat:

manychat-keywords

Unfortunately, is it no possible to grab the intent of the user, use synonyms or use entities.

You can achieve this by integrating ManyChat with DialogFlow. But ManyChat doesn’t have a direct integration with DialogFlow. Therefore, you need Janis, which allows you to connect the two.

  • Keywords
  • Intents
  • Entities
  • Dialogflow integration

ActiveChat

Just as ManyChat, you can recognize keywords with ActiveChat. Based on a keyword or group of keywords, you can provide a certain response or send the user to a certain chatbot flow:

activechat-keywords

Also, with ActiveChat you cannot grab the intent of the user or use entities.

But they do provide a direct integration with DialogFlow, which allows you to do just that.

  • Keywords
  • Intents
  • Entities
  • Dialogflow integration

Winner: ActiveChat

Both platforms only provide keyword recognition, but ActiveChat also provides a direct DialogFlow integration and therefore wins.

With ManyChat it is also possible to integrate with DialogFlow, but you need Janis for this.

6. Channels

ManyChat

With ManyChat it is possible to make a chatbot on Facebook Messenger, 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.

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

ActiveChat

With ActiveChat, you can put a chatbot on your website, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and send emails.

This allows you to make an omnichannel chatbot experience for your users, just like with ManyChat.

What is important to note, is that ActiveChat has a Twilio integration, which means you can also send SMS to people all over the world. The downside of this is that you also need to pay Twilio per sent text message.

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

The winner: It depends

It really depends on what you want.

If you want to use Telegram, then ActiveChat is the best fit for you.

But otherwise, these two are going head-on-head.

ManyChat has a built-in SMS feature that covers part of the world, and ActiveChat has a Twilio integration that covers all the world. So with both, you can send text messages.

7. Integrations

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

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.

  • Livechat
  • Zapier
  • Integromat
  • Google Sheets
  • Webhooks

ActiveChat

I always say that a live chat is the most important integration of any chatbot software. But ActiveChat doesn’t provide this, which is a huge drawback. I recently spoke with ActiveChat and they would implement this feature in July 2020, so I hope it is coming soon.

Moreover, ActiveChat doesn’t provide integrations with Zapier and Integromat. It is, however, possible to integrate ActiveChat with Zapier, but you need a JSON webhook to do this.

Fortunately, ActiveChat does provide a direct integration with Google Sheets and Google Calendar and the possibility to create your own webhooks.

  • Livechat
  • Zapier
  • Integromat
  • Google Sheets
  • Webhooks

The winner: ManyChat

With ManyChat you have a built-in live chat, a Zapier integration, an Integromat integration and several direct integrations with other software.

Therefore, they win on this subject.

8. Marketing

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.

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

ActiveChat

With ActiveChat it is possible to put a Facebook Messenger widget on your website and a native website widget on your website (same as your website’s branding):

activechat-fb-widget
activechat-native-widget

Besides, it is possible to create landing pages, connect your chatbot with Facebook Ads and create custom URLs to your chatbot.

It is unfortunately not possible to use the One-Time Notification, automatically reply to Facebook comments or create buttons.

  • 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

If you want to primarily use Facebook Messenger and want all the marketing tools for that, go for ManyChat. With ManyChat you can also use the One-Time Notification, automatically reply to Facebook comments and create “Send to Messenger” buttons (not possible with ActiveChat).

But if you don’t put much emphasis on Facebook Messenger, ActiveChat also performs really well. Their benefit is that they have a native website widget, instead of only a Facebook Messenger-like widget. This means that if your audience is not on Facebook, ActiveChat is a really good choice.

9. Pricing

ManyChat

ManyChat provides a free plan that stays free forever. This plan is free regardless of the number of subscribers, but 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 of ManyChat is that you cannot have a trial for the Pro package. But this does not really 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

ActiveChat

ActiveChat has a free plan up to 100 subscribers. With this free plan, you have the visual flow builder, can set up your chatbot on multiple Facebook pages, a website widget and keyword detection.

After that, the first paid plan is $49 per month, which has a free trial. This includes almost all the features of the platform up to 500 subscribers. If you need more subscribers, you can add them for $0.005 per user.

The largest plan is $390 per month and comes with 10.000 monthly users:

pricing-activechat

  • Free trial
  • Free plan
  • Price per month
    49
  • Monthly pricing available?
  • Money back guarantee

The winner: ManyChat 

This is a win for ManyChat.

ManyChat has a far lower price than ActiveChat and is therefore more attractive to buy.

10. Analytics

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

ActiveChat

ActiveChat provides really minimal analytics. You can only see the number of users and user growth:

activechat-analytics

Just like with ManyChat, I also made a User Input Dashboard for ActiveChat, which allows you to easily improve the answers of your chatbot.

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

The Winner: ManyChat

This is a clear win for ManyChat.

ManyChat provides way more analytics than ActiveChat.

11. eCommerce

ManyChat

ManyChat has a direct integration with Shopify in which you can:

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

Also, you can receive payments through your chatbot and let the chatbot pay within the chatbot, because ManyChat has a Stripe and Paypal integration.

It is, unfortunately, not possible to pay within the chatbot if your ManyChat chatbot is connected to a Shopify store.

Moreover, ManyChat doesn’t have an integration with WooCommerce.

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

ActiveChat

ActiveChat provides integrations with Shopify and WooCommerce. With these integrations, you can:

  • Show categories 
  • Show products
  • Add products to your cart
  • Create orders
  • Upsell and Cross-sell

And this is all possible within the chatbot.

They only don’t provide cart abandonment and standalone payments.

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

The Winner: It depends.

If you want to have standalone payments without having a Shopify or WooCommerce webshop, you need to go with ManyChat.

Regarding Shopify, it depends on what you want. If you want to show your categories and products automatically and create orders inside your chatbot, go with ActiveChat.

But if you only want to recover abandoned carts, notify customers about purchases and collect feedback, ManyChat would suffice.

And lastly, if you have a WooCommerce webshop, you need to go with ActiveChat, because ManyChat doesn’t provide an integration with them.

12. Templates & Cloning

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.

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

ActiveChat

ActiveChat provides 18 templates which you can directly install to create your chatbot.

Moreover, you can also duplicate your chatbot flows and chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to make templates yourself and share these with others.

  • Templates
    18
  • Make template
  • Share template
  • Duplicate chatbot flows
  • Duplicate chatbot elements

The Winner: ManyChat

They both have around the same amount of templates you can use.

But ManyChat provides the possibility to make these templates yourself and share them with others, while this isn’t possible with ActiveChat.

13. Optimization

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

ActiveChat

With ActiveChat it is not possible to do any optimization, such as A/B Testing.

  • A/B Testing

The winner: ManyChat

With ManyChat you can do A/B Testing, while you can’t with ActiveChat.

14. Support

ManyChat

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

They also have proper documentation and good 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

ActiveChat

Just like ManyChat, provides ActiveChat tutorials on how to make chatbots with their platform.

Moreover, they have extensive documentation in which they explain almost every feature they have.

Furthermore, they provide customer support via email.

Just as ManyChat, they also have an active Facebook community with 3100 members who are willing to help you when you get stuck.

  • Tutorials
  • Documentation
  • Customer support

No Winner

And again, No Winner.

They both provide tutorials, documentation and good customer support for their platform. Also, they both have a community with members who are willing to help you at any time.

Which one is the winner?

ManyChat.

But this is only based on one thing: ActiveChat doesn’t provide live chat, which is the most important integration of any chatbot software.

But I spoke with ActiveChat and they will be launching this really soon.

So, if we assume that ActiveChat has a live chat, which is then the winner?

It depends on what you want.

If you mainly want to use Facebook Messenger as a channel, then I would recommend ManyChat. They have the best Facebook Messenger growth tools of the two.

But, if your audience is not mainly on Facebook and you want to provide a widget on your website that matches your website’s branding, you need to go for ActiveChat. 

This is also true if you want a chatbot on Telegram, this is only possible with ActiveChat.

Which one would you choose and why? Leave a comment.

Comments (2)

  1. Wan Mohd Afendi

    Clearly, ManyChat wins. It has all what designer need to build chatbot without coding.
    I like the interface and functionality. It goes very close with Facebook Messanger latest updates

    1. Joren Wouters

      I agree. ManyChat is really easy to use and you can build a chatbot in minutes. But when you need a chatbot without Facebook Messenger, ActiveChat is definitely a good alternative.

Leave a Reply