Flow Builder (also referred to as Flows) lives in the Automation tab. It's Chatfuel's intuitive no-code interface that makes building a bot for conversational marketing even easier and more intuitive.
This article serves as a breakdown of the basic components of this new version of our no-code platform. We'll cover how to get started with:
blocks and cards
Think of a flow like a conversational scenario users can go through in your Facebook Messenger chatbot. You might have a flow for recommending ecommerce products, another flow for gathering email addresses, etc., all inside the same bot.
You can see all the flows in your bot in the left column. You can add a new flow there using the + button. You can group flows together in the left column for your own organization.
Inside the flow
When you click on a flow in the left column, its contents will appear in the workspace or the canvas. There are three main elements of any flow:
Cards (basic elements of your bot, like content)
Blocks (vertical stacks of cards grouped together)
Connectors (circular points from which you can drag an arrow that will connect one card to the next)
💭 Think of it this way. In real life, a conversation all starts with words, which you put together into sentences. In Flow Builder, cards are like words. Use them to build sentences or blocks. Link the sentences with punctuation, or connectors. Once you have a few blocks, you've got a conversation or a flow.
Blocks and cards
Remember, blocks are groups of cards that go together to form a "sentence."
For example, you might have a block that asks a user a question and gives them response options in the form of quick replies. The cards in this example are Text and Quick reply, and together, they form a block of content.
There are seven types of blocks you can build: Text + Buttons, Send Message, Bot action, Split traffic, Condition, Delay, and Redirect to Flow.
The first two are the most basic, common types of blocks:
Send message blocks. Build these blocks from content cards like Text, Image, Gallery, Quick Reply, etc. Use them when you want to send something to the user (information, photos, answer options, etc.).
Bot action blocks. Build these blocks from action cards, like Set User Attribute, Notify Admin Via Email, etc. Use them when you want your bot to perform a background action, like saving, changing, or sending data.
When you link Send message and Bot action blocks via connectors, you can create powerful flows.
Cards for "Send message" blocks ⬇️
Cards for "Bot action" blocks ⬇️
If you need your bot to behave in a more specific or complex way, try building one of the other four block types:
3. Split traffic: Run A/B tests or randomize answers options your bot gives to users.
4. Condition: Redirect users to different parts of the flow based on conditional criteria.
5. Delay: Send messages later, after a certain amount of time has passed.
6. Redirect to Flow: Send users to the next flow when they reach a certain point.
You can see connectors (small gray circles) in the bottom-right bottom corner of blocks, and on the right side of buttons. They are points from which you can draw arrows to connect blocks. The arrows link different parts of the conversation together, showing the bot where to take the user next.
When it comes to connecting all the pieces into a cohesive flow, you have two options:
1. Design the basic layout by adding blocks first. (Just click the symbol on the right side of your screen that looks like a window and a plus sign.) After you've added all your blocks, go back and connect them with arrows. (To draw an arrow, just click the connector on a block or button and drag it to the next block.)
2. Design the layout as you go by adding blocks one by one. Build your first block. Then, click its connector. A menu will appear where you can choose the next type of block you want to add. That way, you'll build your flow step by step.
Flow Builder stats
Flow Builder offers native statistics for different elements of your flow. That way, you can see how each card is performing, so you can optimize for best results. You'll find four stats at the top of each card:
Sent: The absolute number of times that message was sent to users.
Delivered: The percentage of times that message was successfully delivered to users.
Seen: The percentage of times that message was seen by users.
Clicked: The percentage of users who clicked a button(s) inside the card.
💡 Tip: To get precise numbers (instead of percentages), hover over one of the stats and a tool tip with this information will appear.
A few details about how stats will appear:
Stats will only show up for cards created after December 16, 2020.
Stats for shared flows will only be shown to the owner of the flow (when they're in editing mode in Chatfuel), not the people they share it with. Also note that copying a flow does not copy its statistics; stats in the new flow will be blank until users interact with that bot.
Stats will only be shown for bots that have a Facebook page connected.
❗Note: Due to Facebook's December 16, 2020 policy changes in response to EU privacy laws, the Seen stat will always be blank for pages that are based in or have admin(s) based in affected European countries.
Do you notice a drop from one card to another? It could be that users don't understand how to interact with your bot at that point. To fix this problem, try adding text and emoji that clearly instruct users on what to do next.
For example, let's say you want users to respond by choosing a quick reply. You could rephrase your question from What color do you prefer to wear? to Would you prefer to wear an orange or yellow dress? That way, it's more obvious that you want them to choose from the given options instead of typing in a message themselves.
Checking stats and adjusting your flow accordingly is the best way to make sure your chatbot is useful to users.
💡 Tip: To take this a step further, you could also create different flows for different user groups based on conditions and user attributes. The more customized and relevant your flow is to a user, the more likely they are to interact with it.
Tips for connecting your flow 💡
After you've created your flow, go back and edit it to make sure it's well-connected. Here are two things to keep in mind:
How will users exit the flow? Make sure your flow doesn't have dead ends where the conversation fizzles out. Ideally, the last card in your flow should have buttons that redirect to another flow (like a main menu) or to your website (e.g. so users can make a purchase).
To bring new users to your flow, use Entry Points. Here's a tutorial. 👇
Here's how to share a flow with a colleague or client. 👇