This feature is a no-code solution. 🍰

Entry Points bring users into a chatbot flow. An Entry Point can:

  • direct a user to a bot flow from an outside source, like your website or Facebook page
  • or, take them from one flow in your bot to another through a navigation element like the persistent menu

Entry Points take the form of buttons or links that redirect users to a certain flow. They're an exciting new function of Chatfuel's new Flow Builder interface that make growing your Messenger chatbot user base and providing a pleasant UI even easier.

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Which Entry Points are available in Chatfuel?

These are the Entry Points from our first release that are available now in Chatfuel:

  • Facebook Page
  • REF Link
  • Send to Messenger
  • Customer Chat
  • Persistent Menu

We'll be adding new Entry Points often, so you can offer users new ways to start valuable conversations with your chatbot.

Let's dig into the basics of how each one works, including use cases, setup, and tips.

Entry Point basics

Entry Points only exist in the Flows tab (not the Automate tab). You can add an Entry Point to your flow by double-clicking or right-clicking in any blank area of the workspace. Or, you can click the small icon with the screen and + symbol on the right side of the workspace.

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❗ Note: While you can set up Entry Points at any stage of the building process, you must connect a Facebook page to your bot to activate any Entry Point and make it live in your bot.

The Facebook Page Entry Point

Users access the Facebook Page Entry Point when they:

  • Click the Send Message button on your business Facebook page
  • or when they open your page's direct m.me link (one without any REF parameters: just m.me/[your page ID])
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Use cases for the Facebook Page Entry Point πŸ“š

This Entry Point encourages visitors to your Facebook page to connect with you on Messenger. It's an easy way to achieve automation of the answers for incoming inquiries to your page.

It's a default Entry Point, which means it'll be used if you don't have any other Entry Points set up to handle a user's request to contact your Facebook Messenger chatbot.

How to set up a Facebook Page Entry Point πŸ”§

  1. Add this Entry Point to your flow from the menu shown at the start of this article (in the Entry Point basics section ⬆️ ).
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2. A series of questions that we call Icebreakers will populate in the block that appears. These questions and answers will be generated from the data on your connected Facebook page. (Answer values like your business's phone number will be stored as global attributes. You can change them in the Configure tab any time, and they'll automatically update in your bot.)

The questions will appear to all users as soon as they click the Send Message button on your page or visit your m.me link. They'll receive an answer when they tap one, initiating the conversation. You can add, delete, or edit any of the questions as desired.

3. Toggle the Entry Point on (using the toggle switch on the top right of the card) when you're ready to activate it.

How many Facebook Page Entry Points can I have? πŸ€”

You can set up as many Facebook Page Entry Points as you want. However, it's important to note that only one of them can be turned on (enabled/activated) at a time. When you turn on one Entry Point, all other Facebook Page Entry Points will be turned off automatically.

Note that the Facebook Page Entry Point replaces the Welcome Block functionality. So when you have a Facebook Page Entry Point turned on, the Welcome Block won't work anymore. If you want to resume the Welcome Block functionality, toggle the Facebook Page Entry Point off.

The REF Link Entry Point

Users access the REF Link Entry Point when they click a REF link you've shared with them, whether that's on your site, in an email, on social media, etc. The REF Link Entry Point lets users access a specific portion of the bot's flow directly, without having to go through the entire user journey from the start.

A REF link is a link to your bot that consists of the Facebook page ID + a REF parameter. You can change the parameter text to any value you wantβ€”but keep in mind that, when copied as URL, the REF parameter will be URL encoded.

By default, the REF parameter is generated using the flow's title (which you can change yourself as desired). You can see this in the example below:

πŸ‘‰ https://m.me/1064241370367901?ref=Product_Rec_Flow

  • The Facebook page ID is the sequence of numbers.
  • The specific flow this REF link is pointing to is called Product Rec Flow.

Any user who clicked this link would be taken directly to the Product Rec Flow in this bot.

How to set up a REF Link Entry Point πŸ”§

  1. Add this Entry Point to your flow from the menu shown at the start of this article (in the Entry Point basics section ⬆️ ). Connect it to any block.
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2. Toggle the switch in the top right corner on to activate the Entry Point. Now, whenever someone clicks the REF link, they'll be taken directly to the block that you connected to your REF Link Entry Point.

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How many REF Link Entry Points can I have? πŸ€”

You can have as many REF Link Entry Points turned on as you want. However, you can't have more than one with the same REF parameter turned on in any block or flow at once. For example, let's say you:

  • have multiple REF Link Entry Points with the same parameter,
  • one of them is already turned on,
  • and you try to turn another one on...

...in this case, the first one would automatically be switched off. (REF links for blocks work the same way.)

The Send to Messenger Entry Point

Users access the Send to Messenger Entry Point when they click Facebook's Send to Messenger button on your website, which you'll be able to set up following the instructions below. Once clicked, the user will need to opt in from a pop-up window, and then they'll instantly receive a message in Messenger.

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Use cases for the Send to Messenger Entry Point πŸ“š

These buttons can be placed anywhere on your site to entice users to chat with your bot in Messenger to get more information, special offers, order updates, etc. They're especially useful for ecommerce sites like Shopify stores.

❗ Note: The Send to Messenger Entry Point and the Customer Chat Entry Point (more on this below) are similar in that they both appear on your website. However, the Send to Messenger Entry Point is a full-text button that can be placed anywhere (product pages, checkout pages, etc.). When a user clicks it, they'll receive a message in Messenger, but will not be redirected and no chat window will appear. (They won't have to click the Get Started button either; the chat will begin automatically.) In contrast, the Customer Chat Entry Point is a Messenger symbol that appears in the bottom-right corner of the selected page. Clicking it will make a small chat window appear right there on the page.

How to set up a Send to Messenger Entry Point πŸ”§

1. Add this Entry Point to your flow from the menu shown at the start of this article (in the Entry Point basics section ⬆️ ).

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2. Click the Entry Point block that appears, and a settings panel will open. There, you'll need to specify the website domain where you want to use this button and choose the size, style, and the text that you want to appear on the button.

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3. Finally, click See Instructions. In the window that appears, click Copy Code to copy the automatically generated code to your clipboard. Then, click Send to Messenger Plugin reference for instructions on where to place this code on your website so that the button appears there.

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4. Toggle the Entry Point on (using the toggle switch on the top right of the card) when you're ready to activate it.

How many Send to Messenger Entry Points can I have? πŸ€”

You can have as many Send to Messenger Entry Points as you want, both in Chatfuel and on your webpage(s). (In contrast, you can only have one Customer Chat Entry Point per webpage.)

The Customer Chat Entry Point

Users access the Customer Chat Entry Point when they click the Messenger icon in the bottom-right corner of a page on your website, which opens a small chat window with your bot right there on the page.

Use cases for the Customer Chat Entry Point πŸ“š

Customer Chat is a great way for your chatbot to offer recommendations, answer questions, and help direct those who visit your website. (Learn more about how to make a bot for a website and what you can use it for.)

How to set up a Customer Chat Entry Point πŸ”§

  1. Add this Entry Point to your flow from the menu shown at the start of this article (in the Entry Point basics section ⬆️ ).
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2. Click the Entry Point block that appears, and a settings panel will open. There, you'll need to specify the website domain where you want the chat to be available. Use the Show on pages and Don't show on these pages settings to decide on which pages of your website the chat window will appear. Customize the greetings and colors as desired.

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3. Toggle the Entry Point on (using the toggle switch on the top right of the card) when you're ready to activate it.

Note that this Entry Point has two connectors: one for authenticated (logged-in) users, and one for guest mode. We recommend customizing the messages for both options (e.g. only use user attributes for logged-in users, since your bot won't have access to personal info for guest-mode users).

Guest mode is automatically enabled by Facebook for this plugin. Although you can turn it off in your page settings, we recommend keeping it as you can attract more users with this option.

How many Customer Chat Entry Points can I have? πŸ€”

You can have as many Customer Chat Entry Points as you want in Chatfuel. However, you can only have one per webpage of your website. If you have more than one on a single webpage, the behavior is not specified and the plugin may not work as expected.

We recommend adding the Entry Point to all webpages on your website, then managing the pages where it will be available using the Show on page and Don't show on page settings in Chatfuel.

The Persistent Menu Entry Point

The persistent menu is like the setup menu of a bot. It allows users to navigate to other blocks or URLs you choose to display. The Persistent Menu Entry Point is different from the other Entry Points above because it exists inside the bot, rather than in an external source. Users access the Persistent Menu Entry Point by clicking the three-lines icon while chatting with the bot.

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You can add up to three buttons to the persistent menu. Each button can have one of two options for what it does when the user selects it:

  • open a URL
  • redirect to a flow

Use cases for the Persistent Menu Entry Point πŸ“š

Having a persistent menu always available in your chatbot makes for an easier, more accessible experience for users. It gives them the power to decide where they want to navigate and when. You might link your website to the persistent menu, so shoppers can view your products at any time. Or, you might link to the start of your bot/the main menu, where users can decide to navigate to a different flow and explore what else your chatbot has to offer.

How to set up a Persistent Menu Entry Point πŸ”§

  1. Add this Entry Point to your flow from the menu shown at the start of this article (in the Entry Point basics section ⬆️ ).
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2. Add the text for each button on your persistent menu (remember, you can have up to three buttons). Then, link the URL or the flow you want each one to lead to.

πŸ’‘ Tip #1: If you don't want users to be able to send free-form input in the chat, you can toggle off the Allow user input option so the keyboard won't show up. (If you do this, note that you'll have to offer at least one button on your persistent menu for navigation).

πŸ’‘ Tip #2: If you need the persistent menu to appear in other languages, add a localization for that language, then set up a separate flow for the language.

How many Persistent Menu Entry Points can I have? πŸ€”

You can have as many Persistent Menu Entry Points as you want, but only one of them may be turned on at a time. When you turn on one Persistent Menu Entry Point, all others will be turned off automatically.

This Entry Point replaces the persistent menu functionality from the Configure tab. So when you have a Persistent Menu Entry Point turned on, the persistent menu functionality from the Configure tab won't work anymore. If you want to revert to that functionality, simply turn off the Persistent Menu Entry Point.

More information about Entry Points

Here are some more details you should know about Entry Points:

  • On/off toggles. You can set up Entry Points even if your flow isn't ready yet. Entry Points are turned off by default, so you can build a chatbot and then turn them on whenever you're ready.
  • Easily switch between Entry Points. You can set up as many inactive Entry Points as you want. That means you can toggle them on and off to switch from one to the other, which makes for easy editing or testing.
  • No-code updates. The Send to Messenger and Customer Chat Entry Points each have individual code. That means you don't have to update your website's backend every time you change the settings for these in Chatfuel.
  • Support for Facebook's new guest mode. We're proud to share that the Customer Chat Entry Point will support Facebook's guest mode, which means users don't have to be logged in to Facebook to chat with your bot on your website.

More Entry Points coming soon

The next Entry Points we'll release are:

  • Facebook ads
  • Comments Autoreply
  • Statistics for each block (number sent/seen/clicked) so you can monitor the performance of your Entry Points

We'll update this article with details when these have been released. Stay up-to-date with the latest Chatfuel releases by joining our Facebook community and bookmarking our changelog.

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