To build your first chatbot, you'll need to create blocks and add elements to them. Let's cover the basics of both of these key components.
What is a block?
The first building components you'll see when you go to build a bot in Chatfuel's Automate tab are blocks. A block is a section of chatbot content that can contain any number of elements (which we'll cover in the next section below). Think of a block like one step or topic in your Messenger chatbot's conversation with a user.
When you create a new chatbot, it'll already have two essential blocks set up and ready for you to customize:
The Welcome Message block (the initial message that will welcome users)
The default answer block (the automatic reply your chatbot will send when it doesn't understand a user's input)
Adding and editing blocks
To add a new block, click the + button in the left panel.
You can drag and drop blocks in the panel to rearrange them into different groups. To add a group, click + ADD SEQUENCE OR GROUP in the left panel, then name your group. Note that users won't see the groups you've created; they're for your own internal organization only.
Click a block in the left panel to show its content in the workspace. When you do so, you'll see the name of the block at the top of the screen. Click to edit the name. (Block names are for your internal organization only; users won't see them.)
Next to the title, you'll see a button that says LINK. Click it to copy the bot link for that specific block.
When users chat with your chatbot, they'll be able to navigate from one block to another using buttons, quick replies, or plugins like the Redirect to Block plugin. You'll add these connections in the building process to create the conversational flow.
👉 Looking for tips on crafting a high-quality, high-converting conversation flow? Get tips on expert conversational design on our blog.
What is an element?
A block is a section of your Messenger chatbot; elements are the content you add to each block/section. Think of blocks as pages on a website, and elements as the text, images, and other content on the pages.
There are many different kinds of elements in Chatfuel. They can take the form of something simple (like text or images) or something more advanced (like plugins).
Adding and editing elements
Add elements to your chatbot's blocks in the Automate tab.
Select a block.
Then, you'll see the Add Element menu at the bottom of the screen. The most basic, common, no-code elements are listed as icons there. Click + More to see and select from the full elements list.
Click on an element to add it to the current block.
Then, customize the element as needed.
On the full list, you'll see that the elements grouped by categories:
Add & Send Content
Collect User Data
Export & Import
Connect Users to a Human
Plugins with Subscriptions
These categories make it easier for you to select the element you need based on the function you're looking for. 🔎 You can learn more about each plugin and category in our glossary.