Which one is better? ManyChat vs Dialogflow

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By Joren Wouters Updated on

While ManyChat is the most popular chatbot builder, Dialogflow is one of the most used platforms for its AI capabilities.

You can use both platforms to create your 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 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 Facebook Messenger, before it actually goes live.

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

Dialogflow

Dialogflow has two types of editions: Dialogflow Essentials (ES) and a Dialogflow Customer Experience (CX).

Both types of editions come with different interfaces and can be used for different purposes:

dialogflow-intent
Dialogflow ES
dialogflow-cx-flow-builder
Dialogflow CX

Dialogflow ES is the standard edition of Dialogflow and most people are familiar with this one. Here, you can fill in several training phrases and create a response for these training phrases.

Dialogflow CX is a relatively new version of Dialogflow and is not yet used by many people.

In general, Dialogflow CX is not recommended for many use cases, unless you have a very sophisticated chatbot.

With both interfaces, you can test your chatbot in the interface itself.

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

No winner

Both chatbot builders check all the 4 criteria on this category, so no clear winner.

That being said, if you are a beginner with chatbots, I think the ManyChat interface is easier to start with, as the Dialogflow interface can be more complex (especially if you are using Dialogflow CX).

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
  • Location sharing
  • Email validation
  • Phone number validation
  • Date validation

 

Dialogflow

Dialogflow provides enough elements to build a good chatbot.

They also lack some important elements, such as Delays, Video and Attachments.

Also, some chatbot elements are not built-in, but you can code these yourself using the Custom Payload feature.

  • 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

The winner: ManyChat

This is a win for ManyChat.

ManyChat provides way more chatbot elements than Dialogflow and is therefore the winner in this category.

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

Dialogflow

In Dialogflow, you cannot see a complete user overview of all the people that talked with your chatbot.

In fact, if you want to store user information, you need to create a custom integration with a Google Datastore or other kind of database.

  • Custom fields
  • Tags
  • User segments

The winner: ManyChat

This is also a clear win for ManyChat.

With Dialogflow, you cannot save user information in custom fields, tags and create user segments without using a third-party tool or database.

With ManyChat, you can do all these things right in the tool itself.

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

Dialogflow

With Dialogflow, you cannot send broadcasts and sequences. In essence, Dialogflow is user-triggered, which means that it responds when the user asks something, but the chatbot cannot initiate the conversation (or you need to code this yourself).

Also, with Dialogflow you cannot use conditions in your chatbot flows. It is possible to have different branches in your conversation by using Context, but this is kind of a workaround. If you want to use conditions based on user information, you probably need to code this yourself.

Furthermore, with Dialogflow it is possible to have a chatbot that can understand multiple languages at the same time. Unfortunately, it is not easy to translate these messages, because you need to manually add the same intents and same training phrases (but then in a different language).

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

The winner: ManyChat

Again, a win for ManyChat.

With ManyChat, you can send broadcasts, create sequences and use conditions in your chatbot flows. You cannot do these things with Dialogflow, unfortunately.

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.

ManyChat also doesn’t have a direct integration with DialogFlow. But I created a tutorial on how you can connect ManyChat to Dialogflow.

  • Keywords
  • Intents
  • Entities
  • Dialogflow integration

Dialogflow

This is the part where Dialogflow is known for.

One of the reasons so many people use Dialogflow, is because of their AI & NLP, which is really good.

As described above, you can train your Dialogflow agent to understand the intent of the user by providing training phrases.

Also, you can use Entities so your chatbot can understand useful information that your users say.

Fun fact: A lot of other chatbot builders integrate with Dialogflow just for using their state-of-the-art AI and NLP.

  • Keywords
  • Intents
  • Entities
  • Dialogflow integration

The winner: Dialogflow

This is a win for Dialogflow.

With ManyChat you can only recognize keywords and reply to them, while with Dialogflow you can understand the intent of the user and recognize entities.

6. Channels

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 the United States and Canada. If you want to send text messages to other countries, you need to use the Twilio integration available in the ManyChat App Store (additional costs apply).

Also, WhatsApp is currently in beta and Telegram is in closed beta, which means these channels will soon be added ManyChat.

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

Dialogflow

With Dialogflow, you can put your chatbot on 14 channels:

  • Your website
  • Facebook Messenger
  • WhatsApp (using Twilio)
  • Telegram
  • Twitter
  • SMS (using Twilio)
  • Slack
  • Skype
  • Viber
  • Workplace from Facebook
  • Hangouts
  • Line
  • Kik
  • Spark

And you can even use Dialogflow to handle one-click telephony:

dialogflow-one-click-telephony

Next to the AI of Dialogflow, this is one of the greatest benefits. You can create a chatbot on almost any channel.

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

No winner

Both chatbot builders allow you to create a chatbot on multiple channels. 

While Dialogflow gives you more channels, with ManyChat it is easier to connect with a channel.

Often, with Dialogflow, you need some code to connect to a channel (such as WhatsApp), while with ManyChat this is just the click of a button.

So, no winner on this one!

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.

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

Dialogflow

Unfortunately, Dialogflow doesn’t provide a live chat integration, which is the most important integration of any chatbot builder.

Gladly, there are some companies that provide a combination of live chat and Dialogflow, such as Botcopy.

Moreover, if you want to integrate Dialogflow with other systems, you need to use Fulfillment. With Fulfillment, you can code your own webhooks so you can integrate Dialogflow with other systems.

  • Livechat
  • Zapier
  • Integromat
  • Google Sheets
  • Webhooks

The winner: ManyChat

This is a win for ManyChat.

ManyChat has a live chat and provides direct integrations with a lot of other software companies.

With Dialogflow, you almost have to code these integrations yourself using the Fulfillment 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, 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

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

Dialogflow

The marketing possibilities of Dialogflow are really limited.

In essence, you can only use Dialogflow Messenger to create a native widget and put it on your website.

With this native widget, you can change the appearance (such as the title and colors) by editing some CSS (mark up language for websites). Also, you can trigger different intents.

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

The winner: ManyChat

ManyChat provides way more marketing possibilities than Dialogflow, such as automating replying to Facebook comments and connecting your chatbot to a Facebook Ad.

Again, a win for ManyChat.

 

9. Pricing

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 15$ 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 $25 per month and 5K subscribers is $45 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
    15
  • Monthly pricing available?
  • Money back guarantee

Dialogflow

Dialogflow ES is free if you stay under 180 text requests per minute. This means that you can send 324,000 text messages per month and don’t have to pay anything.

If you go above the 180 requests per minute, you need to pay $0.002 per request. Also, if you want audio input or output, you need to pay extra:

dialogflow-es-pricing

If you have a more advanced chatbot and want to use Dialogflow CX, you pay $20 per 100 chat sessions. Also, if you wanto to use audio input or output, you pay $45 per 100 voice sessions:

dialogflow-cx-pricing

In my opinion, Dialogflow is really cheap. For most chatbots, you don’t have to pay anything, you can just use Dialogflow ES for free. Only when your chatbot is really advanced or when you handle a large amount of messages, you need to pay anything.

 

  • Free trial
  • Free plan
  • Price per month
    0
  • Monthly pricing available?
  • Money back guarantee

No winner

No winner in this category.

Both chatbot builders can be pretty cheap, and they both provide good value for the prices they ask.

 

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

Dialogflow

In Dialogflow ES, you have a dashboard that shows the number of sessions and the number of interactions:

dialogflow-analytics

Moreover, Dialogflow has a “Training” feature that shows the messages your chatbot did (not) understand, so you can easily improve the answers of your chatbot:

dialogflow-training-analytics

If you want more advanced analytics, you can use Dialogflow CX, which also provides analytics on Engagement and the different conversation paths users follow:

dialogflow-cx-analytics-path
dialogflow-cx-analytics-engagement

In general, Dialogflow provides enough analytics to 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

No winner

No winner in this category.

While Dialogflow provides analytics more towards improving the answers of your chatbot, ManyChat’s analytics are more marketing-oriented and focused on conversions.

With both builders you can track your chatbot flows, so no winner in this category.

 

11. eCommerce

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

Dialogflow

Dialogflow doesn’t provide any direct eCommerce integrations.

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

The winner: ManyChat

This is a clear win for ManyChat.

While ManyChat provides integrations for payments and Shopify, Dialogflow does not provide any integration with eCommerce software.

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

Dialogflow

Dialogflow provides 45 pre-built agents that you can use to get started with your chatbot.

Also, you can export each agent and share the ZIP with others (which is basically the same as using templates).

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

  • Templates
    45
  • Make template
  • Share template
  • Duplicate chatbot flows
  • Duplicate chatbot elements

No winner

Both chatbot builders have templates that you can use to get started with building your chatbot.

Also, you can create your own templates and share these with others.

So, no winner on this one.

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

Dialogflow

Dialogflow doesn’t provide any optimization, such as A/B Testing.

  • A/B Testing

The winner: ManyChat

With ManyChat you can perform A/B testing, while this is not possible with Dialogflow.

So a clear win for ManyChat.

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 (100.000 members) in which you can ask all kinds of questions and learn more about the platform.

  • Tutorials
  • Documentation
  • Customer support

Dialogflow

Dialogflow has extensive documentation on how you can use their platform.

NOTE: I also have some Dialogflow tutorial videos on my Youtube channel, which I definitely recommend you to check out!

Moreover, Dialogflow provides support via email.

  • Tutorials
  • Documentation
  • Customer support

No winner

Also, no winner on this category.

With both chatbot builders, you have lots of tutorials and documentation on how you can use their platform and they both provide customer support.

Which one is the winner?

ManyChat.

As you can read above, ManyChat wins on way more categories than Dialogflow and is therefore the winner of this comparison.

Go to ManyChat

But this doesn’t mean that Dialogflow is bad software.

In fact, I would highly recommend using Dialogflow for their AI and NLP, which allows you to give better answers to the questions of your users.

I even created a tutorial on how you can connect ManyChat to Dialogflow, which you can read by clicking the button below:

Connect ManyChat to Dialogflow

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