BotStar is chatbot software for building chatbots on websites and Facebook Messenger. And it has actually some really advanced features that you will love to use. But is this software good enough to actually buy it? Let’s find out!
For this review, I based my review on my post about how to choose the best chatbot software.
Table of Contents
When you start with BotStar, you will first get an overview of all the chatbots you have:
After you clicked on “Create a new bot”, you can choose about a lot of templates to build your chatbot with:
If it’s the first time you build a chatbot in BotStar, the chatbot software automatically gives you a full guide on how to use it. This gives a really hands-on experience on how to use the software:
Then, when you are actually building your chatbot, the user interface is as follows:
On the left-hand side, you can choose various elements to include in your chatbot. Then you can connect these elements in order to create chatbot flow (which is shown in the middle). BotStar uses a Visual Flow Builder, so you instantly have a good overview of the structure of your chatbot.
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 BuilderCreate chatbot dialogs with a visual flow builder.
- Test chatbotIs it possible to test the chatbot before putting your new flows or changes live?
- Interface easy to use?Is the chatbot platform easy-to-use?
- Easy to setup a chatbot?Is it easy to set up your chatbot with this chatbot platform?
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).
- DelaysUse delays between messages in your chatbot
- ImagesCan you send images via your chatbot?
- VideoCan you send video via your chatbot?
- AudioCan you send audio via your chatbot?
- AttachmentsCan you send attachments via your chatbot?
- Gallery (Horizontal list)Show a gallery of cards inside your chatbot. A card consists of an image, title, subtitle and button.
- Vertical listShow a vertical list of items inside your chatbot
- EmojisCan you use emojis inside your chatbot?
- Persistent MenuCan you add a persistent menu to your chatbot?
- Quick RepliesCan you add quick replies to your chatbot where users can click on?
- ButtonsCan you add buttons to your chatbot where users can click on?
- Free text inputCan chatbot users freely type text to your chatbot whenever they want to?
- Location sharingCan users share their location inside the chatbot?
- Email validationWhen a chatbot user gives their email, can the platform validate it's a correct email address?
- Phone number validationWhen a chatbot user gives their phone number, can the platform validate it's a correct phone number?
- Date validationWhen a chatbot user gives a date, can the platform validate it's a correct date?
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.
Moreover, you can send a broadcast to a user segment.
- Custom fieldsStore information from your chatbot users inside fields. For example, you can ask for someone's email and store it inside the "email" custom field.
- TagsAdd tags to users in your chatbot flows to organize and categorize contacts.
- User segmentsCan you create user segments based on custom fields and tags?
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:
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:
You can easily add products then:
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):
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!
- BroadcastsSend a message to all or a part of your chatbot users at a specific date and time
- SequencesSend messages on a pre-defined schedule with a certain time interval between those messages
- ConditionsMake checks in your chatbot flow based on if-then logic. For example, if the user has not given their email, ask for their email.
- Multiple languagesIs it possible to create a chatbot in multiple languages?
- Easy to translateCan you translate text to other languages without using a third-party platform and without creating duplicate flows?
AI & NLP
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.
BotStar does have a DialogFlow integration (for the Pro plan), so with that, it is possible to make your chatbot compatible with intents and entities.
- KeywordsTrigger chatbot flow based on certain words or phrases a user says to the chatbot.
- IntentsTrigger a chatbot flow by understanding the intent of the user.
- EntitiesCapture specific information from sentences. For example, if a user says "veggie pizza", the chatbot can understand it's not a regular pizza, but a veggie pizza.
- Dialogflow integrationDoes the chatbot platform provide a direct integration with Google's AI Platform?
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.
- WebsiteCan you publish your chatbot on your website?
- Can you publish your chatbot on Facebook?
- Can you publish your chatbot on Instagram?
- Can you publish your chatbot on WhatsApp?
- TelegramCan you publish your chatbot on Telegram?
- SMSCan you publish your chatbot on SMS?
- SlackCan you publish your chatbot on Slack?
- SkypeCan you publish your chatbot on Skype?
- Can you publish your chatbot on email?
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, Make (formerly Integromat), Google Sheets and Webhooks.
- LivechatDirect integration with live chat, either via a built-in live chat functionality or a third-party live chat platform.
- ZapierDirect integration with Zapier, one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
- Make (formerly Integromat)Direct integration with Make (formerly Integromat), one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
- Google SheetsDirect integration with Google Sheets, to store or retrieve data from sheets.
- WebhooksCan you call an API inside your chatbot flow to send or get data from other applications?
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 widgetEmbed your chatbot as a Facebook Widget on your website.
- Native website widgetEmbed your chatbot as a native widget (your own branding & colors) on your website.
- Landing pagesCan you create a simple landing page to drive users to your chatbot?
- Facebook AdsStart a conversation with your chatbot when someone clicks on a Facebook Ad
- One-Time NotificationSend one-time notifications via Facebook Messenger for a topic that a chatbot user has opted-in for
- Facebook comments auto-replyAutomatically reply with your chatbot to users who comment on your Facebook Posts
- Button creatorAdd a button to your website to drive users to your chatbot
- Custom URLs for your chatbotGenerate a simple URL that can be shared anywhere to send users to your chatbot
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:
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 trialDoes the chatbot platform provide a free trial?
- Free planDoes the chatbot platform provide a free plan?
- Price per monthWhat is the lowest price per month for creating a chatbot on this platform?15
- Monthly pricing available?Is it possible to pay monthly?
- Money back guaranteeIs there a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the platform?
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.
- DashboardDashboard that provides general analytics of your chatbot.
- User inputGet the input from users that your chatbot didn't understand.
- Sent messagesThe number of messages that were sent by your chatbot.
- Open rateThe percentage of chatbot users that opened a message inside your chatbot.
- Click rateThe percentage of chatbot users that click on a button inside your chatbot.
- Conversion rateThe percentage of users that converted through your chatbot. For example, the percentage of users that gave their email address
- Fall back rateThe percentage of interactions where the chatbot did not know an answer to a question.
- Custom dashboards/reportsCan you create your own dashboard or reports?
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.
- PaymentsCollect payments inside your chatbot
- ShopifyDirect integration with Shopify to get products, order information and cart data.
- WooCommerceDirect integration with WooCommerce to get products, order information and cart data.
- Buy directly within the chatbotAbility for chatbot users to buy products or services directly from a chatbot
- Cart abandonmentTrigger messages in the chatbot when a user abandons their cart on a website or inside the chatbot
Templates & Cloning
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.
- TemplatesHow many pre-built templates does the chatbot platform provide?70
- Make templateCan you make templates yourself?
- Share templateCan you share self-created templates with others?
- Duplicate chatbot flowsIs it possible to duplicate chatbot flows, so you can easily reuse them?
- Duplicate chatbot elementsIs it possible to duplicate chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them?
With BotStar it is not possible to do any kind of optimization (such as A/B Testing).
- A/B TestingCan you optimize your chatbot flows by performing A/B tests?
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.
- TutorialsDoes the chatbot platform provide tutorials on how to use its platform?
- DocumentationDoes the chatbot platform provide documentation on how to use its platform?
- Customer supportDoes the chatbot platform provide customer support?
This is not a section I usually include in my review, but I think it is important to mention.
In the Enterprise plan of BotStar, it is possible to have a Whitelabel platform. This is a feature that is extremely applicable to agencies because agencies can now act as if they have built their own chatbot software, but in fact it just a white-labeled BotStar platform.
I do not know the prices of Enterprise plan, because they are custom-made per customer, but this is also a really promising feature!
So, should you buy BotStar?
No, you should not.
Although BotStar has great features, I would currently not recommending using it, because of the instability of the company.
Last year (2021) BotStar announced that it would discontinue its services. Then, customers needed to switch to their rebranded platform (called Chative), which didn’t have any automation features. Of course, BotStar customers (and especially customers who bought their AppSumo deal) weren’t happy.
Following, in June 2022, BotStar unexpectedly stated that BotStar will “live on” and now BotStar users can continue with BotStar.
Even though this is a good sign for their current customers, I would currently not recommend investing your time and money in it, because of the instability of the company and the decisions they made in the past.