Which one is better? ManyChat vs Chatfuel

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By Joren Wouters Updated on

ManyChat and Chatfuel are both in the top 3 for most searched chatbot software on Google. 

They are both used for building Facebook Messenger chatbots and require zero coding experience, which means anyone can build a chatbot!

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 (kind of like the “Block” structure in Chatfuel) 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 in the interface. 

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

Chatfuel

Chatfuel has a clean interface that uses a “Block” structure when building your chatbot. 

Each block represents several chatbot elements and you can put the blocks together to make a conversation.

chatfuel-user-interface-blocks

For example, you can have a block for showing the products of your shop and you can have a block for asking the e-mail of the user. It is also possible to refer from one block to another block. And to keep everything structured, you can divide the blocks into “Sequences” or “Groups”.

Besides, you can test the chatbot in the interface.

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

The winner: ManyChat

ManyChat wins on this subject. 

This is because of the flexibility of their interface, which allow you to have a basic builder and a visual flow builder (for the more visually oriented people ;))

2. Chatbot Elements

ManyChat

ManyChat has all the chatbot elements you need in order to build a chatbot. The only thing that 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
  • Email validation
  • Phone number validation
  • Date validation

 

Chatfuel

Chatfuel has also all the chatbot elements you need. They only don’t provide Files and Vertical lists, but as said before, Vertical Lists is not possible with Messenger and Files are no deal-breaker.

  • 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

No winner

There is no winner regarding chatbot elements.

They are equally good.

But what about that Chatfuel cannot provide Files? As said before, this is no deal-breaker. Make a button in your chatbot linking to a Google Drive file and it is still possible to send a file to a user.

3. Users

ManyChat

With ManyChat you can add attributes and tags to specific users. Based on those attributes 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

Moreover, users can also share their location with a ManyChat chatbot. This could give you more information about where your audience is located.

  • Attributes
  • Location sharing
  • Tags
  • User segments

Chatfuel

With Chatfuel it is really easy to add attributes to specific users. Based on those attributes, you can send messages to specific user segments.

In Chatfuel you can see all your users of your chatbot in the “People” tab:

chatfuel-people

When you click on one of the users, you can see all the information related to a user in a pop-up:

chatfuel-user

A disadvantage of Chatfuel is that you cannot add tags to users. This, however, can be solved by using attributes as tags. You can just make an attribute and set the value to “Yes” or “No”, so this isn’t a really big deal. 

Moreover, the location sharing feature is not possible in Chatfuel.

  • Attributes
  • Location sharing
  • Tags
  • User segments

The winner: ManyChat

This is a small win for ManyChat.

With ManyChat ticks off all the boxes, while Chatfuel misses two.

The reason why I think of it as a small win is because the Tags feature can easily be solved by using attributes as tags and the Location sharing feature is not that kind of a big deal (just a nice add-on).

4. Messages

ManyChat

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

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 all your complete chatbot).

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

Chatfuel

Chatfuel provides broadcasts, campaigns, and even the subscribing/unsubscribing from campaigns. 

It is really easy to make a campaign (sequence of messages) in Chatfuel. You can see the complete sequence of all the messages you want to send in one overview:

chatfuel-sequences
An example sequence in Chatfuel

Where the platform lacks is on logic & calculation. It is not possible to do this at all. For example, you cannot say “If a user has attribute A, then send message 1, and otherwise send message 2”. This is a drawback, but with such a feature you can make really personalized conversations.

Moreover, it is possible to make a chatbot in any language, but it is not easy to translate the chatbot to different languages. Just like with ManyChat, this comes with a lot of copy-pasting.

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

The winner: ManyChat

ManyChat wins on this one.

Because with ManyChat it is possible to use logic & calculation, which allow you to make personalized conversations with your users.

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 it looks in ManyChat:

manychat-keywords

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

  • Keywords
  • Intents
  • Entities

Chatfuel

With Chatfuel it is really the same as with ManyChat. Your chatbot can only recognize keywords and based on those keywords, give a certain response.

This is how it looks in Chatfuel:

chatfuel-keywords

Chatfuel has one advantage over ManyChat: they have a direct integration with DialogFlow.

By using that integration, you can grab the intent of the user, use synonyms and entities.

  • Keywords
  • Intents
  • Entities

The winner: Chatfuel (small win)

Chatfuel wins on this one, but it is a small win.

Both platforms don’t have AI built-in, but Chatfuel does provide a direct DialogFlow integration, which allows you to use AI in your chatbot.

It is still possible to integrate ManyChat with DialogFlow, but you need third-party software to do it (like Janis).

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.

For a long time, they only focused on Facebook Messenger, but recently they extended to SMS and Email. Because of that recent shift, they are still certain flaws in their SMS and Email channels.

With SMS, it is only possible to send text messages to users in the United States and Canada, the rest of the world is not (yet) supported.

With Email, you cannot remove the ManyChat branding on the bottom of every email, which is actually really bad. This is also the reason why many ManyChat marketers are still not using their email feature.

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

Chatfuel

With Chatfuel it is only possible to make a chatbot on Facebook Messenger.

This is a drawback. Because in a world where omnichannel marketing becomes more important every day, it is not possible to provide an omnichannel chatbot experience to your users.

Moreover, it is possible to add a Facebook Messenger widget to your website.

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

The winner: ManyChat

ManyChat wins on this one, but it is a small win.

They win because they offer Email and SMS channels out of the box (next to Facebook Messenger and website). But it is a small win because these new channels still have some flaws. SMS is only supported in the USA/Canada and with Email, you cannot remove the ManyChat branding.

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

The only drawback is that they do not provide a direct integration with DialogFlow. It is still possible to connect with them, but it is just more work and you need third-party software to do it.

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
  • Dialogflow
  • Google Sheets
  • Webhooks

Chatfuel

Chatfuel has a built-in livechat integration, just like ManyChat. They also provide integrations for:

  • Zapier
  • Integromat
  • DialogFlow
  • Google Sheets
  • Webhooks. 

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

The winner: It depends

Well, how is the winner on the subject? It depends.

If you rather want great AI capabilities, you need to go with Chatfuel, because they have a direct integration with DialogFlow.

But if you rather want to respond to your user inquiries on the go, you need to go with ManyChat, because they have an iOS and Android app for their live chat feature.

8. Marketing

ManyChat

With ManyChat, is possible to put a Facebook Messenger widget on your website, create a landing page, connect to Facebook ads, send Sponsored Messages (part of the new Facebook policy), automatically reply to Facebook comments, create buttons and create custom URLs to your chatbot.

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

Chatfuel

With Chatfuel it is possible to do all of the same things as with ManyChat.  There are literally no differences.

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

No winner

And again: No Winner!

They both provide exactly the same features for Marketing.

Let’s move on to the next subject: Pricing!

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.

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

Chatfuel

Chatfuel provides a free plan which stays free as long as you stay under 1000 subscribers. A disadvantage of this plan is that it comes with Chatfuel branding, but it still a really good plan. 

However, Chatfuel is going to change their free plan on 20 May 2020. Then, the free plan contains all the features up to 50 subscribers. This is a bit of a disadvantage because 50 subscribers is a bit low. On the other hand, you can test all the features Chatfuel gives you.

The next plan is 15 dollars per month for 500 subscribers and goes up with the number of subscribers you have. 1K subscribers is 20$ per month and 2K subscribers is 30$ per month.

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

No Winner

And again, there is no real winner.

They both do well on pricing and are both really cheap, but still offering a lot of value.

ManyChat is a little bit cheaper, but the difference is minimal.

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.

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

Chatfuel

Chatfuel provides a clear dashboard showing you the number of users, user retention, user activity, popular blocks, popular buttons and popular messages:

chatfuel-analytics

Moreover, it can also show the user input the chatbot did not know an answer to, which allows you to easily improve the answer of your chatbot.

Next to this, you can also see particular statistics of your campaigns (called Sequences in Chatfuel):

chatfuel-sequence-analytics

There are only three things it does not have: Conversion rate (but still possible to track certain actions), Fall Back Rate (could be a good improvement) and custom dashboards/reports (not always necessary).

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

The Winner: Chatfuel

Chatfuel wins on this subject!

The analytics of Chatfuel are much clearer than the analytics of ManyChat. Also, with Chatfuel you can see the keywords your chatbot didn’t have an answer to, which allows you to easily improve your chatbot (not possible with ManyChat).

11. eCommerce

ManyChat

ManyChat has a direct integration with Shopify in which it is possible to recover abandoned carts.

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

Unfortunately, they do not have a WooCommerce integration and you cannot buy directly within the chatbot.

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

Chatfuel

Chatfuel provides an abandoned cart integration with Shopify. This allows you to send a message to users who put a product in their cart, but didn’t finish their order.

Moreover, it is possible to receive payments through your chatbot, because Chatfuel has a Stripe integration. 

Unfortunately, they don’t have a direct integration with WooCommerce and it is not possible to buy within the chatbot.

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

The Winner: ManyChat

This is a small win for ManyChat.

With ManyChat it is possible to recover Shopify abandoned carts and accept payments within your chatbot. The latter is, unfortunately, not possible with Chatfuel.

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 to make your chatbot faster.

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

Chatfuel

Chatfuel provides 83 templates which you can directly install to make your chatbot. These include free and paid templates.

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

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

  • Templates
    83
  • Make template
  • Share template
  • Duplicate chatbot flows
  • Duplicate chatbot elements

The Winner: It depends

The winner depends on what you want.

Do you want to easily share your chatbot flows with others? Then you should go with ManyChat.

But if you want a lot of inspiration and examples, you could better go with Chatfuel, because they provide 83 templates out of the box (versus the 19 templates of ManyChat).

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

Chatfuel

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

  • A/B Testing

The winner: No Winner

Also, No Winner!

They both provide A/B testing in their softwre, so they are equally good.

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.

  • Templates
    19
  • Tutorials
  • Documentation
  • Customer support

Chatfuel

Just as ManyChat, Chatfuel provides tutorials on how to make chatbots with their platform.

Also, they have good documentation and customer support.

Just like ManyChat, they also have a large Facebook community (75.000 members) in which all people are willing to help you when you get stuck.

  • Templates
    83
  • Tutorials
  • Documentation
  • Customer support

No Winner

And again, No Winner.

They do equally good on this one by providing extensive information about their platform and having a huge community of members willing to help each other.

Which one is the winner?

ManyChat.

ManyChat has a more flexible interface, is slightly better regarding users (they have tags and location sharing), is better with sending messages (they provide logic & calculation) and provide more channels for your chatbot (but this is a small win).

But this doesn’t mean that Chatfuel is bad software. Chatfuel and ManyChat are on most subjects equally good, and on the subject of Analytics and AI, Chatfuel is better.

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