#1. Choose a goal and map your flow.

Decide on the goal for your bot. Is it to gather and qualify leads? Answer questions? Push people to your online store to make a purchase? Choose just one main purpose to start with, and map out a conversation of questions and answer options that will bring users to that desired end point. (You can use pen and paper to do this, a digital tool like Draw.io, or in Chatfuel's intuitive, visual Flow Builder interface.)

Here's an example of a more complex bot flow mapped out in Draw.io. ⤵️

However, the most successful bots we see normally start with a very simple flow that answers FAQs. A chatbot flow doesn't need to be huge and complex in order to be useful—it's actually quite the opposite! So think about the main problem you're trying to solve and start there. You'll be able to build additional functionalities into your bot as you go.

#2. Plan a bot that’s proactive.

Make your bot a proactive tool instead of a reactive one. Have it ask questions and offer predefined answer options for the user to choose from, in the form of buttons or quick replies. 

Having your bot lead the conversation like this will minimize the work the user has to do to get the information or assistance they need. The result? More conversions, and a more streamlined experience! 🙌

#3. Plan your bot's persona.

Your bot will act as a virtual ambassador for your brand, so it needs to make the right first impression. 👋 Plan out a friendly Welcome Message that lets the user know they’re chatting with a bot, and tells them how it can help. You may even want to choose a name for your chatbot

Don’t forget to design all bot content to match your brand voice, so you can provide a consistent experience across channels. 

  • The bot for a kids clothing brand, for example, might use upbeat, imaginative language and emoji. 🤸🏻‍♀️The bot for a luxury jewelry brand, on the other hand, would likely take a more formal tone.

#4. Plan for compliance with Facebook’s Messenger policy.

Facebook has rules for how businesses can communicate with users via Messenger bot. These rules exist to protect users from spam, and to make sure they get maximum value from Messenger. 

Before building, get to know these six key principles from the Facebook Messenger policy. When you design your bot, make sure it complies.

(And if you plan to use reengage messages and/or sequences in your bot, you should also look over Facebook’s most recent changes related to these two functions, in effect as of March 4, 2020, as well as the December 16, 2020 changes in response to new EU privacy laws).  

Got all that? Now you’re ready to build your bot! 🛠️

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