Telegram Chatbots The Ultimate Guide

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By Joren Wouters Updated on

This is the ultimate guide to Telegram chatbots in 2022.

I will cover:

  • What Telegram Chatbots are
  • Why you should use Telegram chatbots
  • How you can create your own Telegram bot

And even more.

So if you are a looking to create a Telegram chatbot, you'll love this guide.

telegram-chatbots

Chapter 1: Intro to Telegram Chatbots

In this first chapter, I will provide an intro to Telegram Chatbots. So:

Let's dive in.

intro-telegram-chatbots

What is a Telegram Chatbot?

A Telegram chatbot is an automated conversation partner on Telegram.

It facilitates a conversation between a person and a computer.

Where you would normally talk with another person on Telegram, you are now talking with a computer. And based on the things you say or the questions you ask, the chatbot will automatically give an answer back to you.

Telegram Chatbot Example

Now a real-life example of a Telegram chatbot: the Eddy Travel chatbot.

With this chatbot you can:

  • Search for flights
  • Get travel inspiration
  • Find accomodations, such as hotels
  • Explore tours
  • And plan group travels

You can try it out yourself by talking to Eddie Travels using this link:

telegram-chatbot-example

Why use Telegram Chatbots?

Telegram is one of the biggest messaging apps in the world, with 400 million active monthly users:

telegram-400-million-users

Also, the platform is growing fast. Every day, 1.5 million new users sign up for Telegram:

telegram-new-users

This means that a lot of people are already on Telegram and that the number of users is expanding rapidly.

With so many people on the platform, it is likely that your customers will also be there. And where your customers, you need to be.

So now you understand why you should use Telegram, why should you use a chatbot?

Actually, I created an extensive post about this, but here are some of the main reasons:

  1. You can save time and money on customer service
  2. It can boost your sales
  3. With a chatbot, you can reply in seconds, instead of days
  4. Your chatbot is 24/7 available, all over the world
  5. People are open to using chatbots, as long as they get good help

Besides this, Telegram also has some advantages over other channels, such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp

Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have strict rules regarding their chatbot, such as the 24-hour window. But with Telegram, we have no such rules (yet), which is a huge advantage!

Also, with Telegram you can use chatbots in groups, which is not possible with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

How does a Telegram Chatbot work?

A chatbot on Telegram works pretty simple.

When someone sends a message to your Telegram chatbot, the chatbot tries to understand that message and answer it, just like any normal person would do.

Here is an example:

  1. A user starts a conversation with a Telegram chatbot of an eCommerce company. The user asks “What are your top products?”
  2. The chatbot understand this message and recognizes the words “top products”
  3. Based on those words, it searches the product database for their best selling products
  4. Ultimately, the chatbot will send a message back with the best selling products of their company.

Pretty simple, right?

Chapter 2: How To Create a Chatbot on Telegram

Now we know what Telegram chatbots are and why you should use one, it is time to create one ourselves.

So I will show you how you can create your own Telegram bot, step-by-step.

And I am going to do that by using Xenioo.

Let's dive in.

create-telegram-chatbot

Create your chatbot in Xenioo

Before, we start, I also created a video showing how you can create your own Telegram chatbot:

Let’s start by creating our chatbot. I will show you how you can:

  • Setup a greeting message when somebody starts a conversation on Telegram
  • Automatically reply to questions on Telegram
  • Send the chat to a human when the chatbot does not understand a question

The first thing that you need to do is create your free Xenioo account by clicking the button below:

Create free Xenioo account

Xenioo is the chatbot builder I am going to use for this tutorial.

And with Xenioo you can create one chatbot and put it on more than 10 channels, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, but most important: Telegram.

Once you’ve created your Xenioo account and are logged in, you can just click on Create new bot:

xenioo-create-new-bot

And now you see that Xenioo automatically creates a bot with an example flow in it:

xenioo-interface

Let’s move on with creating the greeting message.

Set up the greeting message

The next step is to setup the greeting message of your chatbot. This is also called the welcome message.

The greeting message is the message that appears when somebody starts a conversation with your chatbot.

What we are going to do, is that we are first going to delete a message from the Start Interaction in Xenioo:

xenioo-start-interaction-delete-message

Then, you can just click on the first message and change it to the following:

Hey {{first_name}}! I’m the chatbot of Company XYZ. Do you want to talk to Sales or Support?

telegram-chatbot-greeting-message

And under this message we will show two buttons: One for Sales and one for Support.

So just click on the first button (First Option) and change the button title to “Sales”, remove the Alternate Text and set the Trigger Text Expression also to “Sales”:

telegram-chatbot-sales-button

And then you can do the same thing for the second button:

Then we will click on the “First Button Clicked” block and change the name to “Sales”:

xenioo-sales-interaction

And we can do the same thing for Support, so that it looks like this:

xenioo-fallback-interaction-structure

Inside the “Sales” block, we can change the message to:

Allright, I will connect you to someone at Sales.

And remove the rest of the elements in this block, and add a new action:

telegram-chatbot-sales-new-action

Choose for the Set Chat Operator State:

xenioo-set-chat-operator-state

Set the mode to “Operator Take Over”, assign a “Less Busy” operator and select only online operators:

xenioo-operator-take-over

What this will do is that Xenioo will let a human take over the chat and send a notification to a less busy operator that is currently online.

By the way, it is also possible to choose an operator from a certain group (in this case: Sales group). You can assign groups to team members in Xenioo under Settings –> Team. I also show this in the video above 😉

Now, we can basically do the same thing for Support. Just copy the message from Sales and copy the Chat Operator State element to the Message block and change it a bit, so that it looks like this:

telegram-chatbot-support-message

So we created our greeting message, but we also need to send this message when somebody starts a conversation with your chatbot.

And to do that, we need to set up a Global Bot Operation in Xenioo.

Just click on the Art icon on the top that says View Global Bot Operations:

xenioo-global-bot-operations

Aadd a new bot operation:

xenioo-add-bot-operation

And choose for the Text Parse:

xenioo-text-parse

Then you need to:

  1. Set the Control expression to “hey|hi|hello”
  2. Set the Target Variable to “last_user_message”
  3. Check the “Can Bypass Input State”
  4. Set the Behavior to “Your Main Bot Behavior”
  5. And the interaction to “Start Interaction”

xenioo-keyword-greeting

What this will do is that when a user says hey or hi or hello (the “|” means or), it will automatically respond with the flow we just created!

So basically, when a user starts a conversation, the greeting message will be sent.

Automatically reply to questions

The next step is to automatically reply to questions. And we will start by adding a new flow to our chatbot by clicking on the + icon:

xenioo-add-behavior

By the way, in Xenioo a chatbot flow is called a “behavior”. Just so you know 😉

When you click on the settings on the right side of the builder, we can change the name of the flow:

xenioo-behavior-settings

And we change the name to “Opening times”:

xenioo-behavior-opening-times

This flow will give an answer to a pretty simple question: What are your opening times?

So, we can just change the text inside the Start Interaction to:

We are open every day from 09:00 to 17:00.

xenioo-open-times-message

Basically, that’s it. But to let this respond to certain questions we actually need to use the AI feature of Xenioo.

In the top bar, click on AI:

xenioo-ai

And then we can add a new intent by clicking on Add intent:

xenioo-add-intent

Set the name to “Opening times” and set the language to “English”:

xenioo-intent-opening-times

And also Enable Automatic Training on the Auto-Train tab:

xenioo-intent-auto-training

And this is a great feature. Because now every time your chatbot thinks someone is asking about opening times, it will use that question to improve itself.

By doing this, your chatbot will get smarter and smarter and you don’t have to do anything yourself.

Next, we need to add training phrases so that your chatbot can actually understand questions of the user.

For this intent, we will add three training phrases:

  1. When are you open?
  2. What are your opening times?
  3. Are you open in the weekend?

Then, you need to go “Train & Test” and fill in one of those sentences to check whether the chatbot has been trained correctly:

xenioo-train-test

As you can see, when you type in “What are your opening times”, the chatbot recognizes the Opening Times intent (we just created).

If we go back to our chatbot, we can add a new global bot operation. But instead of going for the Text Parse, we should choose NLP Processing:

xenioo-nlp-processing

And set the:

  1. Intent to “Opening times”
  2. Check the “Can Bypass Input State”
  3. Set the behavior to “Opening times”
  4. And the interaction to “Start Interaction”

xenioo-nlp-intent-operation

Now if anyone is asking about your opening times, your chatbot will automatically reply to it.

Send the chat to a human

The last thing we are going to do is send the chat to a human when the chatbot doesn’t understand a question.

And in Xenioo, this is called the Fallback Interaction, the message that will appear when the chatbot doesn’t understand question.

So that is the message we need to edit.

If you go to your Main Bot Behavior, we can change the text of the fallback interaction to:

Sorry, I didn’t understand you. Do you want me to forward this to a human?

xenioo-fallback-interaction-example

Then, we can clone the Fallback interaction twice by clicking on the tools icon and choosing Clone:

xenioo-clone-fallback-interaction

And change the name of the blocks to “Yes” and “No”, just as we did before:

xenioo-fallback-interaction-structure

Now, we need to add a new action to the Fallback interaction and choose the Quick Reply button:

xenioo-quick-reply-button

And we will set the Button Title and Trigger Text expression to “yes”, and connect it with the “Yes” interaction:

xenioo-fallback-interaction-yes-button

Then you can clone this button and set it for the “No” option, so the eventual flow looks like this:

xenioo-fallback-interaction-with-buttons

If someone clicks on the “Yes” button, then we want the chatbot to say:

Okay, I am sending you to one of my human friends 🙂

And then we can clone the Operator Take Over Chat that we set up before and drag it to this block:

xenioo-fallback-interaction-yes-option

And for the “No” option, we just are going to add the following text:

No worries 🙂

xenioo-fallback-interaction-no-option

So now when the chatbot doesn’t understand a question, it will ask “Do you want me to forward this to a human?” And then when the user says “Yes”, he is being connected to a live chat agent. And when the user says “No”, the chatbot will say “No worries”.

But when you go to the Opening Times flow, you will see that there is also a Fallback interaction there.

With Xenioo, you can have a seperate fallback interaction per chatbot flow. But this is not something that we want, we want one fallback interaction for the complete chatbot.

So you just need to delete the text from the Fallback Interaction, add a new action and choose the Include Behavior Interaction (Under Flow):

xenioo-include-behavior-interaction

Then, you need to set the behavior to “Your Main Bot Behavior” and the interaction to “Fallback Interaction”:

xenioo-include-behavior

What this does, is that you are basically telling Xenioo that we want to use the Fallback interaction from the Main Bot Behavior flow (the one we just created).

And now your chatbot will automatically respond when it doesn’t understand a question!

Connect your chatbot to Telegram

Now that we’ve created our chatbot, it’s time to connect it to Telegram.

In Xenioo, you can click on Publish in the top-bar of the flow builder:

xenioo-publish-chatbot

Choose for Telegram:

xenioo-publish-telegram

And then you will see that you need to fill in a Telegram API Token, which you need to get from Telegram itself.

Now, we need to go to Telegram and talk with the BotFather (this sounds almost like a joke, but I am serious).

Go to Telegram, search for BotFather, start a chat and click on “Start” at the bottom.

Then, BotFather will automatically respond with a list of commands you can use to create a Telegram bot using the Telegram Bot API:

telegram-botfather-start

So, now you need to say “/newbot” to create your chatbot.

The BotFather will ask for the name and the username of the bot and will automatically create a Telegram API Token for us:

telegram-botfather-newbot

NOTEDon’t share this API token with anyone else besides yourself!

Just copy and paste that API token into Xenioo:

xenioo-telegram-api-token

And now you chatbot is connected to Telegram!

If you click on the link given by the BotFather (in my case: https://t.me/Chatimize_Telegram_Bot), you can talk with your chatbot:

telegram-chatbot-talking

And that’s it! That’s how you create your own Telegram chatbot without using a single line of code.

P.S. If you also want to add your Telegram chatbot to a Telegram Group, you need to check out this post.

Chapter 3: Which chatbot builders for Telegram?

I showed you how to create your own Telegram chatbot with ActiveChat.

But ActiveChat is not the only chatbot builder out there.

So, which chatbot builders can you use to build your Telegram chatbot?

And how much does a Telegram chatbot cost?

Let's check it out.

telegram-chatbot-builders

How much does a Telegram chatbot cost?

The pricing of your Telegram chatbot depends on the chatbot platform that you use.

So let’s look at the chatbot builders that offer Telegram chatbots. I will look at whether there is a free plan and how much it will cost to send 1000 messages with a chatbot on each of the platforms:

Chatbot builder Free plan available? Price per 1000 messages
ActiveChat No $33 per month
Botmother Yes $17 per month
Engati Yes Free
Flow XO Yes $19 per month
Flow.ai No Custom price
Snatchbot Yes $30 per month
Trengo Yes $28,50 per month
Ubisend No $417,16 per month
Xenioo Yes $36,39 per month

Of course, these chatbot builders differ a lot in the features they provide and the type of customers they serve, but it provides some insight into how much a Telegram chatbot costs.

Let’s have a look at the various chatbot builders.

Telegram Chatbot Builders

Here is a list of chatbot builders you can use to create your own Telegram chatbot:

(By the way, if you want to easily compare these chatbot builders, check out this page where you can compare 49 builders)

ActiveChat

Pros

  • Support multiple channels: Website, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and SMS
  • Advanced website widget: widget in your own corporate identity and you can send messages based on the page the user is on
  • One of the best eCommerce integrations I have ever seen in a chatbot builder (with Shopify & WooCommerce)
  • Built-in live chat
  • Dialogflow integration

Cons

  • The interface has a little higher learning curve than other chatbot builders
  • Minimal analytics
  • No Zapier/Integromat integration
  • You would expect more channels for the price they ask

Botmother

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Many chatbot elements
  • Put chatbot on 6 channels
  • Built-in live chat
  • Accept payments inside your chatbot

Cons

  • Hard to set up a chatbot
  • Cannot set welcome message
  • Cannot determine default reply
  • Keyword recognition does not work
  • Minimal marketing possibilities
  • Minimal analytics

Botpress

Pros

  • Free open-source platform
  • Easy-to-use visual flow builder
  • Host your chatbot in-house
  • Built-in, advanced AI & NLP
  • Put your chatbot on 8 channels
  • Built-in live chat

 

Cons

  • Hard to set up a chatbot in the beginning
  • No Zapier/Integromat integration
  • Limited marketing possibilities
  • Minimal analytics

Crisp

Pros

  • Easy-to-use visual flow builder
  • Built-in AI
  • Can easily translate chatbot to multiple languages
  • Put your chatbot on 6 channels
  • Built-in live chat + iOS/Android app
  • Zapier integration
  • Advanced native website widget

Cons

  • Takes some time to fully understand interface
  • Minimal chatbot elements
  • Cannot send broadcasts and sequences
  • Limited marketing possibilities

Dialogflow

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • One of the best AI & NLP
  • Put your chatbot on 14 channels
  • Free until 180 requests per minute

Cons

  • Not possible to store contact information
  • Cannot use conditions in chatbot flows
  • Doesn’t have a live chat integration
  • Limited marketing possibilities

Engati

Pros

  • Easy-to-use Visual Flow Builder
  • Many chatbot elements
  • Add custom fields to users and segment them
  • Built-in AI & NLP
  • Supports 11 different channels to put your chatbot on
  • Built-in live chat
  • Direct integration with Zapier, Google Calendar & Google Sheets
  • Good analytics

Cons

  • Limited marketing tools
  • Could become expensive if you want all the features
  • No eCommerce integrations

Flow XO

Pros

  • Easy to build conversations for your chatbot
  • Offer many channels: Website, Facebook, SMS, Slack and Telegram.
  • Integration with WooCommerce and it is possible to buy something within the chatbot
  • Has a built-in live chat

Cons

  • Not possible to add tags to users and make user segments
  • No integration with Zapier or Integromat
  • Minimal analytics

Flow.ai

Pros

  • Easy-to-use visual flow builder
  • A lot of chatbot elements
  • Add custom fields/tags and create user segments
  • Send broadcasts & sequences
  • Easily translate your chatbot to multiple languages
  • Built-in AI Engine
  • Put your chatbot on 10 channels
  • Built-in live chat
  • Zapier integration

Cons

  • No eCommerce integrations
  • Could be a bit expensive for smaller companies
  • Not possible to automatically reply to Facebook comments

Pandorabots

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Open source chatbot builder
  • Built-in AI
  • Put chatbot on 8 channels
  • Built-in live chat
  • Easily copy and share chatbot flows

Cons

  • Need to code to build a good chatbot
  • Cannot store custom fields
  • Livechat only available on web chat and landing page
  • Need to manually activate live chat per conversation
  • Limited marketing possibilities
  • Minimal analytics

SnatchBot

Pros

  • You can add custom fields to your users
  • Possible to send broadcasts
  • Use conditions in your chatbot flows
  • Built-in AI & NLP
  • You can put your chatbot on 10 different channels
  • Built-in live chat
  • Zapier integration
  • You can receive payments within your chatbot
  • Low pricing

Cons

  • Interface is hard to use and takes some time to understand it
  • Cannot send sequences to your users
  • Limited marketing possibilities
  • Minimal analytics

Trengo

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Add custom fields and tags
  • Easily translatable to multiple languages
  • Dialogflow integration
  • Supports 10 different channels
  • Built-in live chat
  • One of the best native website widgets ever seen

Cons

  • Limited marketing possibilities
  • Minimal analytics
  • No templates

Ubisend

Pros

  • Easy-to-use visual flow builder
  • Lots of validation options
  • AI integrations with DialogFlow, Wit.ai & IBM
  • Supports 5 channels
  • Built-in live chat
  • Advanced analytics

Cons

  • Cannot send a broadcast to part of your audience
  • No sequences
  • Limited marketing possibilities
  • No templates

Xenioo

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Many advanced chatbot elements
  • You can add custom fields and tags
  • Advanced AI & NLP
  • Put your chatbot on 14 different channels
  • Native website widget
  • Built-in live chat
  • Decent pricing

Cons

  • Can take some time before you understand the interface
  • Minimal analytics

Now It's Your Turn

So that’s how you can use Telegram chatbots in your marketing.

Now I want to turn it over to you: Are you going to create a Telegram Chatbot? 

Or do you already use a Telegram chatbot?

Let me know by leaving a comment below!

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Comments (2)

  1. Priya Sharma

    Hi Joren! this really an amazing article, I was looking for something like this & truly feel glad to spend time on your blog. I am surely going to try these tips. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Joren Wouters

      Glad you liked it!

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