April 20

How to Program Your Bots for Better Engagement and More

If your brand uses a Messenger bot to engage with your customers, you understand how powerful chatbot marketing can be. The question is: how can you optimize the way you program your bots to make your approach even stronger? In this article, we’ll discuss ManyChat’s conditions feature. Once you know how to implement these tools properly in your chat Flows, you’ll start maximizing your bot’s functionality.

What Are ManyChat Conditions?

To understand the ManyChat conditions feature, let’s first think about conditional decisions in everyday life. You might not realize it, but you go down multiple decision trees every single day. A decision tree represents various conditions or options, the results of which lead to different results. 

In real life, conditions dictate our decisions. Our decisions then influence our actions. Finally, our series of actions brings us to different outcomes.

Conditions in the Real World

Let’s think of a practical example. Imagine you’re planning a date night, and you want to take your partner to a local restaurant. We can assume one basic fact: that you must be able to reserve a table at your chosen restaurant. You’ll go down a decision tree that looks something like this:

  • • Call your first-choice restaurant to see if you can make a reservation for your time and date.
    • ◦ If you can make a reservation, then you and your partner will dine at this restaurant.
    • ◦ If you cannot make a reservation, then you will call your second-choice restaurant.
      • ◼ Call your second-choice restaurant to see if you can make a reservation for your time and date.

You can see how this decision tree branches out into different results. A particular set of conditions allows you to dine at your first-choice restaurant. Another set of conditions means you’ll have to try your second-choice restaurant, and so on. 

Notice the binary if/then statements in this decision tree. This is essentially what conditions are: a set of logic statements that may or may not be met. Also, consider that you entered your decision tree with a known fact: that you had to be able to make a reservation. This attribute essentially opens or closes a pathway through each condition.

Conditions in the ManyChat Program

Now that we understand conditional logic in everyday life let’s apply it to ManyChat. ManyChat is a Facebook Messenger bot with loads of cool functionalities, such as:

  • • Booking appointments
  • • Answering custom questions
  • • Sending order updates
  • • Sharing coupon codes

Conditions play a significant role in executing these actions. They allow you to build conditional Flows that provide tailored outcomes to subscribers. In that way, you further customize your chatbot’s abilities, and you come across as personable. 

If that sounds a little vague right now, don’t worry. We’ll cover some of the best use cases for ManyChat’s conditions in the sections below. 

What Can ManyChat Conditions Do?

What’s the point of implementing conditional logic on your social media customers? For one, it helps diversify your conversations. If you say the same things to all your customers, you’re more likely to come across as robotic. That’s the last thing a bot should be! Furthermore, conditions allow you to provide the right promotional opportunities at the right time to the right people. 

Send Content Based on Personal Attributes

One of Facebook’s significant assets is its access to detailed user information. Facebook users typically enter the following attributes on their profiles: 

  • • Location
  • • Age
  • • Gender
  • • Profession and company
  • • Language

For brands that use chatbots, that means tons of key user insights are readily accessible. Consider how many questions you’d have to ask each customer to find out the same information without Facebook’s help. 

To maximize the potential of this information, you can use conditions. 

Example: Gender-Specific Content

Let’s say you run an apparel brand, and you’re looking to promote a new line of maternity clothing. You wouldn’t want to alert your male-identifying customers about this specific clothing line; it’s simply not relevant. Sending content to a disinterested audience not only wastes time and resources but also appears spammy and robotic. 

Instead, you’d want to check which of your customers identify as female. This female attribute thus becomes one of your conditional rules. If any subscriber meets that condition, you can send them that content, confident that they’ll have an interest in it. Your decision tree would look like this:

  • • Check the gender attribute of your users.
    • ◦ If a user’s gender is female, then send maternity content.
    • ◦ If a user’s gender is male, then do not send maternity content.

Example: Location and Time-Specific Content

Now let’s imagine that your brand caters to tech professionals. We can assume that most of your audience works business hours, Monday through Friday. 

Perhaps you want to personalize your messages a little by sending them a good evening message after they finish work for the day. To do this, you would take advantage of ManyChat’s Current Time condition, which inspects your users’ current time. Note that this varies based on location; if you were to enter this manually, you’d need to account for time zones. 

The Current Time condition makes this easy, allowing you to create a conditional time window of 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.Your decision tree would then resemble:

  • • Check a user’s current time.
    • ◦ If the time is between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., then send the “good evening” notification. 
    • ◦ If the time is not between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., then do not send the “good evening” notification.

You could build on this condition tree by adding a “good morning” message between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., for example. Wishing your customers a nice night or a great day at work can help you boost your customer engagement.

Avoid Spammy Redundancies 

Another great way to use conditions is to check for information that your users have already provided. If a customer has already entered their contact information in your chatbot conversation, you shouldn’t need to request it again. After all, no one likes having to repeat themselves. On the other hand, if your bot remembers a subscriber’s information, you’ll come across as intelligent and thoughtful. 

To avoid spamming your users with unnecessary questions, optimize your ManyChat conditions.

Example: Confirm Email Address

Many situations call for a user to input their email address. How do you create a chatbot conversation that acknowledges when a customer has already provided their email? 

First, you’ll need to set up a custom field for email. The first time a user enters their email, you will assign this custom field the “any value” attribute. Then, you’ll create a condition that checks to see whether a subscriber’s email field is empty or not. This is what your tree would look like:

  • • Assign email custom field “any value” the first time a user provides their email
  • • Check to see if email custom field has “any value.”
    • ◦ If the custom field has value, then do not request an email address again.
      • ◼ Instead, confirm that a user’s email matches your stored email.
    • ◦ If the custom field has no value, then request an email address.

Use the same structure for a customer’s phone number, address and shipping information.

Send Tailored Content Based on User Answers

This functionality is much like sending attribute-based content. With this method, your users will engage in discourse with your Facebook Messenger bot. Through these conversations, users will actively provide you with unique details. Later on, you can use these details to send personalized content to each customer.

Here are some ways to jumpstart these detail-rich conversations and turn dialogue into data.

Example: Ask About Discount Codes

Not every user will want a discount code, but a subset will be thrilled to have one. To narrow down which of your customers would be most interested in a discount, all you have to do is ask them! You’ll then provide them with a “yes” button or a “no” button to chart their response.

If a customer selects “yes,” you can tag them with an attribute that says they’re interested in a discount code. That’s when you can apply your condition, like so:

  • • Ask whether a customer is interested in receiving discounts.
    • ◦ If a customer is interested, tag them as such, then send them a discount code.
      • ◼ You can later check the discount attribute to confirm that this customer has previously received a discount code.
    • ◦ If a customer is not interested, tag them as such, then do not send a discount code. 

Example: Ask for Ratings

You can create a similar Flow by asking for an on-platform, in-message rating. Remember, you’re not asking for Amazon ratings. You’re simply requesting that a user rates you within your chatbot system. 

First, create your question in the chat: how would a customer rate your service? You can provide as many options as you want, but it’s simplest to provide one-to-five-star buttons. Once your customer responds, tag them with a numerical attribute that matches their choice. Then, you can employ conditions like this:

  • • Ask a customer how they would rate your service.
    • ◦ If they rate your product equal to or below three stars, then follow up to see how you can improve your service.
      • ◼ Inquire whether they’d like to consult with a human representative to resolve any issues
    • ◦ If they rate your product equal to or above four stars, then thank them and communicate how much you value their response.

Example: Build a Fun Quiz

Remember that many people use social media for fun! Not every interaction with your Facebook Messenger bot needs to be formal. Try building out a fun, brand-themed quiz for your users. This will make users feel like they’re learning about themselves. Plus, you’ll gain key insights into their preferences and behaviors.

ManyChat offers some cool tutorials on how to build a quiz, but here’s a pared-down example of how you’d develop your decision tree:

  • • Ask a user to select an answer to your first question.
    • ◦ If their response matches one value, then tag them with the corresponding true or false attribute or corresponding numerical score.
    • ◦ If their response matches another value, then tag them with the opposite true or false attribute or another corresponding numerical score.

Continue to add questions to your quiz and provide a score at the end. Whether you’ve tested your customers with a true/false quiz, or administered a fun personality test, make sure you let each user know what their score means.

What Are Some Tips for Using ManyChat Conditions? 

Working with Messenger bot conditions can quickly become complex. Keep in mind these tips and tricks to ensure you’re optimizing your Messenger conditions:

  • • When a user performs an action or provides a response, tag them with a corresponding attribute. This will help keep you organized. You can easily check certain attributes to satisfy your conditions later on.
  • • Link your different conditions in one Flow block. This is another organizing technique that will make your Flow easier to interpret.
  • • Work backward. Sometimes it can be tough to know which questions to ask. Start with your desired outcomes and work your way back to find out which condition tools you need to create.
  • • Get creative. Remember that you want to excite your subscribers! Choose aesthetic graphics, use catchy copywriting and offer fun, unique interactions.
  • • Always test your chatbot conditions. Get other team members to move through your condition statements to ensure you’ve built a smooth, glitch-free experience.

Messenger Bot Marketing in 2021

When properly programmed, chatbots can lead your users through exciting, personalized conversations. Ultimately, these chats will encourage customers to support your brand. In an increasingly competitive e-commerce landscape, chatbot marketing is a novel way to:

  • • Connect with users
  • • Provide customer service
  • • Track orders, shipping and payments
  • • Promote your brand
  • • Create a compelling user experience
Begin your 2021 chatbot marketing journey and start connecting with Facebook’s 1.8 billion daily active users. To learn more about Messenger bot conditions and for help creating your chatbot, please visit the Chat Agency’s official website.

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