Chatfuel Review

By Joren Wouters Updated on

Chatfuel

Chatfuel is chatbot software for building a chatbot on Facebook Messenger. It is even one of the most searched chatbot software brands in the world. But is this software worth investing in? Let’s find out!

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

User Interface

The interface of Chatfuel is really clean. On the left side, a menu is provided with the various functions of the Chatfuel software and on the right sight you can see the content of each section.

For building the chatbot, they provide a Visual Flow Builder:

chatfuel-visual-flow-builder
Visual Flow Builder

But next to the Visual Flow Builder, you can also build your chatbot with their Block builder:

chatfuel-user-interface-blocks
Block Builder

With the block builder, you can have multiple blocks and each block represents some chatbot elements. 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.  And to keep everything structured, you can divide the blocks into “Sequences” or “Groups”.

I really like the fact that you have two different builders to create your chatbots. It creates flexibility for every kind of user.

One important thing to mention is that you need to choose one of the two builders. You cannot use them both interchangeably. This means that the flows you build in the Visual Flow Builder are not visible in the Block builder and vice versa.

Moreover, an absolute plus for Chatfuel is that in the right corner they provide a button for support. Right from their interface, you can have support from their chatbot or from a human. Really good feature when you get stuck.

  • Visual Flow Builder
    Create chatbot dialogs with a visual flow builder.
  • Test chatbot
    Is 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?

Chatbot elements

Chatfuel provides a wide variety of elements to build your own chatbot. In fact, they only lack on two points: Attachments & Location sharing. In total, the total of chatbot elements is quite good, they got almost all the chatbot elements. Good job!

  • Delays
    Use delays between messages in your chatbot
  • Images
    Can you send images via your chatbot?
  • Video
    Can you send video via your chatbot?
  • Audio
    Can you send audio via your chatbot?
  • Attachments
    Can 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 list
    Show a vertical list of items inside your chatbot
  • Emojis
    Can you use emojis inside your chatbot?
  • Persistent Menu
    Can you add a persistent menu to your chatbot?
  • Quick Replies
    Can you add quick replies to your chatbot where users can click on?
  • Buttons
    Can you add buttons to your chatbot where users can click on?
  • Free text input
    Can chatbot users freely type text to your chatbot whenever they want to?
  • Location sharing
    Can users share their location inside the chatbot?
  • Email validation
    When a chatbot user gives their email, can the platform validate it's a correct email address?
  • Phone number validation
    When a chatbot user gives their phone number, can the platform validate it's a correct phone number?
  • Date validation
    When a chatbot user gives a date, can the platform validate it's a correct date?

Users

Within Chatfuel it is really easy to add custom fields to specific users. You can simply ask a question, for example, “How long are you already a client of us?” and the answer gets stored in a custom fields. With those custom fields, you can send specific broadcasts to user segments. For example, you could send a broadcast to anyone who has been a client for over more than 5 years.

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 custom fields as tags. You can just make a custom field and set the value to “Yes” or “No”, so this isn’t a really big deal.

  • Custom fields
    Store information from your chatbot users inside fields. For example, you can ask for someone's email and store it inside the "email" custom field.
  • Tags
    Add tags to users in your chatbot flows to organize and categorize contacts.
  • User segments
    Can you create user segments based on custom fields and tags?

Messages

Chatfuel provides broadcasts, sequences and the ability to subscribe/unsubscribe from these sequences. The platform performed really well on those three topics.

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

chatfuel-sequences

Where the platform lacks is on conditions. It is not possible to make a simple calculation or do some things on logic. This is a drawback because usually, you can make a personalized experience with this feature, which is not possible now.

With the introduction of their Visual Flow Builder, they also introduced Conditions:

chatfuel-conditions

With conditions, you can use logic in your chatbot flows to make a more personalized experience.

Moreover, it is possible to make a chatbot in any language, but it is not easy to translate the chatbot to different languages. It is possible, but you need to do it manually (takes a lot of time and duplication) and default phrases (for example if someone is typing a wrong e-mail) cannot be translated.

  • Broadcasts
    Send a message to all or a part of your chatbot users at a specific date and time
  • Sequences
    Send messages on a pre-defined schedule with a certain time interval between those messages
  • Conditions
    Make 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 languages
    Is it possible to create a chatbot in multiple languages?
  • Easy to translate
    Can you translate text to other languages without using a third-party platform and without creating duplicate flows?

AI & NLP

With Chatfuel 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 Chatfuel:

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

Also, Chatfuel doesn’t have a direct integration with DialogFlow. But I created a tutorial on how you can connect Chatfuel to Dialogflow yourself.

  • Keywords
    Trigger chatbot flow based on certain words or phrases a user says to the chatbot.
  • Intents
    Trigger a chatbot flow by understanding the intent of the user.
  • Entities
    Capture 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 integration
    Does the chatbot platform provide a direct integration with Google's AI Platform?

Channels

With Chatfuel, it is possible to create a chatbot on your website, Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

  • Website
    Can you publish your chatbot on your website?
  • Facebook
    Can you publish your chatbot on Facebook?
  • Instagram
    Can you publish your chatbot on Instagram?
  • Whatsapp
    Can you publish your chatbot on WhatsApp?
  • Telegram
    Can you publish your chatbot on Telegram?
  • SMS
    Can you publish your chatbot on SMS?
  • Slack
    Can you publish your chatbot on Slack?
  • Skype
    Can you publish your chatbot on Skype?
  • Email
    Can you publish your chatbot on email?

Integrations

Chatfuel has a built-in live chat integration. Chapeau! This is the most important integration a chatbot software needs and Chatfuel has it (also for the same price). They also provide integrations for Zapier, Integromat, Google Sheets and Webhooks. So they do quite well on this one.

  • Livechat
    Direct integration with live chat, either via a built-in live chat functionality or a third-party live chat platform.
  • Zapier
    Direct 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 Sheets
    Direct integration with Google Sheets, to store or retrieve data from sheets.
  • Webhooks
    Can you call a webhook inside your chatbot flow to send data to other applications?

Marketing

Also for marketing, Chatfuel does quite well. They check every feature in the list, except for the native website widget.

It is easy to put a Facebook widget on your website, make a landing page, connect your chatbot 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
    Embed your chatbot as a Facebook Widget on your website.
  • Native website widget
    Embed your chatbot as a native widget (your own branding & colors) on your website.
  • Landing pages
    Can you create a simple landing page to drive users to your chatbot?
  • Facebook Ads
    Start a conversation with your chatbot when someone clicks on a Facebook Ad
  • One-Time Notification
    Send one-time notifications via Facebook Messenger for a topic that a chatbot user has opted-in for
  • Facebook comments auto-reply
    Automatically reply with your chatbot to users who comment on your Facebook Posts
  • Button creator
    Add a button to your website to drive users to your chatbot
  • Custom URLs for your chatbot
    Generate a simple URL that can be shared anywhere to send users to your chatbot

Pricing

Chatfuel provides a free plan that gives you access to all the features as long as you stay under 50 subscribers.

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. To my opinion, really feasible pricing rates.

But, if you really want to step up your chatbot game, they also provide a Premium plan, which gives you VIP support, a dedicated Account Manager, synced cloning and a white-labeled dashboard (the price of this plan is custom made):

pricing-chatfuel

  • Free trial
    Does the chatbot platform provide a free trial?
  • Free plan
    Does the chatbot platform provide a free plan?
  • Price per month
    What 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 guarantee
    Is there a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the platform?

Analytics

Chatfuel does really good on Analytics: the most important feature of any chatbot software (without this, don’t use the chatbot software at all!). It 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:

chatfuel-text-input-analytics

Next to this, you can also see particular statistics of your sequences:

chatfuel-sequence-analytics

And you can also see the delivered rate, seen rate and click rate of elements in your chatbot flow:

chatfuel-flow-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
    Dashboard that provides general analytics of your chatbot.
  • User input
    Get the input from users that your chatbot didn't understand.
  • Sent messages
    The number of messages that were sent by your chatbot.
  • Open rate
    The percentage of chatbot users that opened a message inside your chatbot.
  • Click rate
    The percentage of chatbot users that click on a button inside your chatbot.
  • Conversion rate
    The percentage of users that converted through your chatbot. For example, the percentage of users that gave their email address
  • Fall back rate
    The percentage of interactions where the chatbot did not know an answer to a question.
  • Custom dashboards/reports
    Can you create your own dashboard or reports?

eCommerce

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 did’t finish their order. By sending them an abandoned cart message, you can recover that order and increase your sales.

Moreover, it is possible to let users pay directly within your chatbot by using the Stripe integration of Chatfuel.

Unfortunately, they don’t have a direct integration with WooCommerce, but it is still possible to connect with WooCommerce by using Zapier or Integromat.

  • Payments
    Collect payments inside your chatbot
  • Shopify
    Direct integration with Shopify to get products, order information and cart data.
  • WooCommerce
    Direct integration with WooCommerce to get products, order information and cart data.
  • Buy directly within the chatbot
    Ability for chatbot users to buy products or services directly from a chatbot
  • Cart abandonment
    Trigger messages in the chatbot when a user abandons their cart on a website or inside the chatbot

Templates & Cloning

Chatfuel provides 21 free templates which you can directly install to make your chatbot.

You can also create these templates yourself and easily share them with others using the Share Flow feature in Chatfuel.

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

  • Templates
    How many pre-built templates does the chatbot platform provide?
    21
  • Make template
    Can you make templates yourself?
  • Share template
    Can you share self-created templates with others?
  • Duplicate chatbot flows
    Is it possible to duplicate chatbot flows, so you can easily reuse them?
  • Duplicate chatbot elements
    Is it possible to duplicate chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them?

Optimization

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
    Can you optimize your chatbot flows by performing A/B tests?

Support

Chatfuel provides tutorials on how to make chatbots on their website, have proper documentation and good customer support.

What I really love about Chatfuel, is that they have a large Facebook community (75.000 members) in which all people are willing to help you when you get stuck.

  • Tutorials
    Does the chatbot platform provide tutorials on how to use its platform?
  • Documentation
    Does the chatbot platform provide documentation on how to use its platform?
  • Customer support
    Does the chatbot platform provide customer support?

Whitelabel Platform

This is not a section I usually include in my review, but I think it is worth pointing out.

In the Premium plan of Chatfuel, it is possible to have a Whitelabel platform. This feature extremely useful for agencies, because agencies can now act as if they have built their own chatbot software, but in fact it just a white-labeled Chatfuel platform.

I do not know the exact prices of the Premium plan, because they are custom-made, but it is a really promising feature!

Conclusion

To my opinion, Chatfuel provides a really good chatbot software for a fair price. It has a structured interface, a lot of chatbot elements, possibilities to send messages to certain user segments, many integrations, various marketing possibilities and really great analytics.

The most important disadvantage of Chatfuel is that it is only possible to make a chatbot for Facebook Messenger. When you want your chatbot on multiple platforms, Chatfuel is not the right software for you. Also, if you want to extend to another platform later in the process, not possible (a good thing to bear in mind!).

Chatfuel is still extremely good software to build your chatbot with and is one of the best chatbot software platforms out there.

Want to start with Chatfuel? Click on the button below to get 50% off your first month!

Go to Chatfuel

 

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