I’ve always been a fan of chatbots. They are great in connecting with the viewers without so much as a hassle. Chatbots have really taken over the world like a storm and with good reason. They are a game-changing method of communicating with the world and marketing your brand.
Speaking of, Messenger is the biggest social media platform for marketing, with over 1.3 monthly people actively using it. Facebook has always been the king of social media, and when its official messaging platform launched, there was no way we could curb our enthusiasm.
Email marketing is good, but Messenger is great when it comes to bringing high engagement and conversion rates. So when I Googled ‘the most renowned Messenger bot-building platforms in 2019’, I came across at least a dozen names. Amongst the top was ManyChat.
The name of the company intrigued me and I was eager to try it out. I was looking for a solution which could enable me to create a bot easily without requiring any coding whatsoever. You see, coding and I, we don’t go hand in hand. I go out of my way to avoid it.
Therefore, ManyChat seemed like an excellent idea at the time so I purchased its pro package because I needed at least 10,000 new subscribers for my business.
I was really rooting for ManyChat. I was hoping that after paying such a hefty amount, I’d be presented with exceptional conversion results but was in vain due to an endless string of bugs.
In this article, I decided to review ManyChat so my readers can have honest feedback from someone who’s tried the service with much precision.
ManyChat is a visual bot-building platform for Facebook Messenger. It was established in 2015 and ever since its launch, it’s been quick to garner acknowledgment and soon became one of the most known chat-bot builders in the market.
ManyChat enables you to present your brand to the world and market it for boosting the conversions. No coding is required for creating a bot with ManyChat. If one wants to enhance his online presence, he must create a bot to interact with users and thus welcome new subscribers.
It integrates with your site’s RSS feed and you can add your other channels such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. with ManyChat as well.
Without further ado, let’s get on with everything ManyChat has to offers and discuss whether ManyChat is worth the hype or not
#1. User Interface
The first thing everyone notices in any online tool is, of course, the interface. Some of you might disagree but many still believe that interface is the key with which the user connects with the tool. If the tool is simplistic, it’s natural that the user will more likely favor it.
When I signed up with ManyChat, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. Its website claimed I could create a bot within 2 minutes. It wasn’t technically true since the installation took about 5-10 minutes. Afterward, I started exploring the dashboard, which was sleek. Although in an attempt to make it look modern, ManyChat ended up making it a tad complex.
#2. Flow builder
Speaking of complex, ManyChat gives us two options to choose from; the basic builder and the Flow Builder. Since I paid a hefty fee, I was reluctant to go with anything ‘basic’. What Flow Builder does is provide a thorough view of entire interactions with users. I thought it was supposed to make things easier, but instead, the Flow Builder became a consistent headache for me.
I found it extremely difficult to work with and getting a hang of something as difficult as the Flow Builder isn’t exactly my forte. I was looking for something straight-forward and easy, which I did not find the Flow Builder to be.
After it took a lengthy amount of time to grasp the basics, I encountered that not only is it complicated, but it’s also slow. I lost the number of counts when the Flow Builder just crashed mid-action. After restarting the whole thing, I found it difficult to operate with since it was lagging so much.
Suffice to say, I soon switched to the basic builder.
#3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
ManyChat’s AI capabilities are rather limited. Artificial Intelligence provides ManyChat the ability to automatically respond to exact match keywords.
It is very misleading to call this Artificial Intelligence when it is just matching strings.
I spent a lengthy amount of time setting up some considerable keywords and list of sample questions for the AI to auto-respond correctly. So naturally, when I discovered that it wasn’t even processing the responses of users accurately, I was pretty disappointed.
What good is an AI if it can’t respond without constant aid?
#4. Natural Language Processing (NLP)
After the whole AI blunder, I wasn’t surprised when I learned ManyChat had no Natural Language Processing either. It’s a bit odd for a chatbot to go without Natural Language Processing. I’ve worked with far cheaper chatbot builders which deemed NLP as a necessity, not an add-on.
ManyChat really needs to sort out its priorities. It’s no wonder ManyChat isn’t capable of deciphering even the most random responses of some users.
ManyChat integrates with your site and automatically broadcasts your RSS feed. You can also add other source channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
The one redeeming quality is that ManyChat allows you to integrate with many other tools for email marketing and CRM.
Although, ManyChat severely lacks in terms of integrating with WordPress. Integrations play an important role for a chatbot and not being able to channel WordPress with my bot was a major turn-off for me.
I was blown away at how buggy ManyChat’s user interface is. The visual bot builder reliably freezes and crashes several times per session.
Bot responsiveness is not reliable. Sometimes it responds promptly, other times, it takes minutes to respond, other times it doesn’t respond at all.
Sometimes users get the correct functioning behavior, other times ManyChat just doesn’t work. It’s like sending users to a broken website. Which is just not acceptable if you are using Facebook Messenger Ads.
It was not just my experience. The ManyChat group on facebook had so many users complaining about how bad ManyChat and they were all mad too, so I ended up leaving the group because every post was about their bugs. The software is not ready for use by businesses.
I liked that ManyChat is offering a basic free plan. Not many tools do that; it’s not good for business and all that. Small brands can benefit from the free subscription with unlimited broadcasts, 3 custom fields, 10 tags, and 4 growth tools.
The paid plans, however, could cost you a fortune if you’re looking to maximize your subscribers. The lowest is 500 subscribers at $10/mo and it can scale up to $145/mo for 25000 subscribers. I went for 10000 subscribers and had to pay $65 per month.
The prices, I have to say, are unreasonably high. I continued my plan for two months and didn’t renew it. You see, I prefer paying for another platform which is much more intuitive. After all, no one in their right mind pays so much when there are cheaper alternatives in the market.
- A built-in live chat feature
- A/B split testing
- Daily/Weekly/Monthly subscriber reports
- Analysis of messages sent, opens, clicks, and conversions
- No integration with any analytics tool
- No integration with WordPress
- No Natural Language Processing
- No AI
- Flow builder is awfully complex
- Application crashes often mid-action
- Lots of bugs and latency
- Very Expensive
Not going to lie; I have worked with far better platforms. ManyChat is a tool which only an unexperienced marketer would embrace.
Customers like me require at least 60% boost in our conversion rates. ManyChat wasn’t capable of providing that due to the lack of features, and so many bugs.
I’m sure there are some fans of ManyChat who will disagree with me, but this platform couldn’t be the one for me. It’s super pricey, crashes without warning, is complex to handle, cannot process user responses properly and doesn’t integrate with WordPress.
I’m a full-time blogger and I feed my belly working on WordPress. It’s highly inconvenient for me to operate a bot which cannot integrate with something as basic as WordPress.
If you’re looking for a premium chatbot building platform, then ManyChat isn’t the one. I reviewed another tool called MobileMonkey months ago and it is a far better alternative than ManyChat. It’s simpler to operate, doesn’t lag, causes no bugs, and it’s more affordable. Go check it out; believe me this one doesn’t disappoint.
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