Essential Terms ✅

User: In Messenger, a user is any person who interacts with your bot at least once. (Just arriving at your bot isn't enough: They must respond to it by typing, or tapping a button or quick reply.) The moment a person messages your page for the first time, they'll become an official bot user and their attributes and data can be viewed in the People tab from then on.

User Attribute: A user attribute is a data field. Your bot will have access to (for system attributes) or collect (for custom attributes) values for each user. For example, {{first name}} is a user attribute. {{Jennifer}} is the value for that user attribute for a particular user.

Block: A block is a space where you can add the content that you want your bot to send users. You can add text, images, GIFs, videos, and other types of content to a block. You can also add plugins to a block to redirect users, collect and handle data, and more. (Additional information on plugins below.)

Group: A group is a set of blocks in your chatbot. You don't have to use groups, and they're not visible for users. They're simply a tool for chatbot builders to keep their blocks organized by function, like a folder. For example, you might create a group that includes all the blocks for each question in a quiz.

Welcome Message: This is the first block your users will receive after clicking the Get Started button. It's the first block in your bot's flow. A good Welcome Message typically includes a greeting and a navigation menu, and encourages the person to respond so that they'll interact and become a user.

Default answer: The default answer is a block that will automatically be sent when the user sends a message (typically free-form input) that the bot doesn't understand. Use this block as an opportunity to help the user get what they need.

  • For example, you could add a button to the default answer that redirects them to the Welcome Message, so they can navigate elsewhere in the bot. Or, redirect them to the Live Chat plugin so a human agent can take over.

Note that if the user sends one of the AI trigger words you've set, they won't receive the default answer. Instead, that message will trigger the AI rule you've set.

Sequence: A sequence is a follow-up chatbot message(s) that will be sent to users a certain amount of time after their last bot interaction. For example, you could set up a sequence so users receive one message an hour after their last interaction, and another message 23 hours after that last interaction. Note that Facebook's 24-hour messaging window does apply to sequences.

Chatfuel Plugins 🔌

A plugin is an element you can add to a block in your bot. You can view all plugins in the Automate tab of your Chatfuel dashboard. Just click + More in the Add Element menu at the bottom of the workspace.

functions of Chatfuel

Chatfuel plugins fall into five main categories based on what they do:

  1. Add and send content
  2. Collect user data
  3. Export and import
  4. Redirect users
  5. Connect users to a human

We'll also talk about one more category of plugins, which is those that require a subscription.

functions of chatfuel

#1. Add & Send Content

The plugins in this category are the simplest. They let you fill your bot's blocks with different types of content.

Text: This plugin lets you add text to a block. You can add up to 640 characters. This plugin also supports UTF-8 encoding, which means you can use characters from the most common languages so the bot can display text in the language you need. You can also include emoji! 😄

Typing: This plugin will show a typing animation to users for the amount of time you choose: between 0.1 and 20 seconds. This animation gives users time to read a message from your bot before the next one is sent.

  • A good rule of thumb when choosing the number of seconds for the typing animation is to match it to the number of lines the previous message has. So if the previous message has four lines, set the following typing animation to four seconds.

Image: This plugin lets you add images or animations to a block. It supports PNG, JPG, and GIF file types. There's no fixed limit for the size of the file. However, the larger the image, the longer it'll take to load for your users. We recommend 500x500 pixels for 1:1 images, or 854:460 pixels for 16:9 images, and a file size no larger than 1 MB. For GIFs, we recommend a maximum frame rate of 60 and a file size no larger than 2 MB.

Gallery: This plugin will add a gallery to your bot. A gallery is a horizontal display of multiple images that users can scroll through (up to 10), each with space for a headline, subheading, URL, and button(s). Use galleries to showcase products, display FAQ options, and more.

The button for each gallery item can either redirect a user to a block, open a URL, make a call to a specific number, or even move them along the process of buying an item if you have Stripe payments configured. 💸

Video: This plugin lets you add a video to a block. Note that you'll need to upload the video to Facebook or Dropbox first to render it. The video must also be publicly available on one of those platforms, meaning it's visible to anyone with the link. The file format must be MP4 with a maximum file size of 25 MB.

Audio: This plugin lets you add an audio file to a block. Note that you'll need to upload the file to any hosting service first and make it public there. This plugin supports MP3, WAV, and OGG extensions with a maximum file size of 25 MB.

Comment: This plugin lets you add comments to elements of your Chatfuel chatbot. Comments will not be visible to users. Add them to make notes for yourself, or to leave notes for others who help manage your bot.

#2. Collect User Data

The plugins in this category help you gather information about your users for segmentation or future outreach.

Quick Reply: This plugin lets you add clickable response options underneath a Text plugin. Each quick reply option can include up to 20 characters of text and emoji. You can have up to 11 quick replies. When clicked, quick replies can trigger AI responses, lead the user to another block, and even save their response to an attribute.

ai chatbot

Save User Input: This plugin can capture text input or files from your chatbot's users. You can automatically save the text input to an attribute. You can automatically send text input or files to your email with the Notify Admin Via Email plugin, or to a spreadsheet with the Save to Google Sheets plugin. This plugin can accept any file type (docx, .xlsx, .pdf, .jpg, etc.) allowed within Messenger.

Set User Attribute: This plugin will automatically set a custom-attribute value for a user to based on whether they've viewed a certain part of your bot. The values can be whatever you want, but typical set might include yes, no, or not set. From there, you could set up a sequence to send only to users who have seen a certain block, for example.

Save User Phone Number: This plugin will capture a user's phone number and save it to an attribute so you can use it later. The plugin comes with a default message asking for the user's number, which you can keep as-is or customize.

  • If the user's phone number is publicly visible on their Facebook profile, they'll see it auto-populate as a suggestion when the bot asks for it. They can select that number or type in a different one.
  • If the user's phone number is not publicly visible on their profile, they can type it in manually when the bot asks for it.

Save User Email: This plugin will capture a user's email address and save it to an attribute so you can use it later. The plugin comes with a default message asking for the user's number, which you can keep as-is or customize.

  • If the user's email address is publicly visible on their Facebook profile, they'll see it auto-populate as a suggestion when the bot asks for it. They can select that address or type in a different one.
  • If the user's email address is not publicly visible on their profile, they can type it in manually when the bot asks for it.

#3. Export & Import

The plugins in this category let your bot handle data, by either sending to or accepting it from an external source.

JSON API: This plugin lets you make JSON requests to third-party servers. You can have your bot display image, audio, or video files to your users using JSON GET requests. You can also send attributes to any server with JSON POST requests.

Save to Google Sheets: This plugin will automatically export user-attribute data to a Google spreadsheet. Choose one or more existing attributes in your bot, and the user values for each one (even values captured from plugins like Save User Input) will be sent to the spreadsheet instantly as they're gathered, for easy organization.

Notify Admin via Email: This plugin will send a form email to any address(es) you specify, and will fill in any attributes listed with values for a particular user. This plugin is only for sending user information to bot admins, not for sending emails to users. For example, if your bot accepts applications, you could set up an email template with this plugin like this:

When someone applies via bot, the admin will get an email with the data filled in, like "You've got a new applicant for Marketing Associate position. Their name is Lawrence Smith and their phone number is 555-123-4567."

Export via Zapier: This plugin will send user information to a third-party app (like Google Sheets, MailChimp, or CRM software) so it can be exported to Zapier.

Import Content via Zapier: This plugin will retrieve user data from third-party applications like Google Sheets, Shopify, or Zoom, and make it available for you to use in Chatfuel.

#4. Redirect Users

The plugins in this category will send users to a specific part of your bot based on their attribute, action, or parameters you set.

Redirect to Block: This plugin lets you redirect your users to any block. You can perform advanced redirections based on user attributes—meaning you can send users who meet certain criteria to certain blocks. It's a helpful tool when you have users who need different things from your bot. You can even use this plugin to redirect users to a flow in their language.

Subscribe to Sequence: This plugin will subscribe a user to a sequence of follow-up message(s). This will happen automatically once the user arrives at the block where you've added this plugin.

Unsubscribe from Sequence: This plugin works in the same way as the Subscribe to Sequence plugin. It will automatically unsubscribe a user from a sequence once they arrive at the block where you've added this plugin.

A/B Testing: This plugin lets you test different versions of blocks in your chatbot. It will send some users to one variant and other users to a different variant, so you can see which one performs best. You can choose the percentage of users you want to send to each variant.

#5. Connect Users to a Human

The plugins in this category let you or your team take over the conversation from your bot to live chat with users.

Live Chat: This plugin will connect users to a live-chat session with designated operators for your page. The bot flow will stop wherever they were when they initiated the live-chat session, and their responses will not trigger the bot until they stop the session or it expires. You can customize the messages the Live Chat plugin block displays when the session is first initiated. You can also specify a timeout period to send your users back to the chatbot and end the live-chat session.

Conversation Handover: This plugin lets you configure other applications to handle live conversations initiated by bot users. Use it when you need to respond to your users from your Facebook Inbox, or from a third-party application like a CRM system. Once a conversation has been handed over to the application you chose, the bot flow will pause until the user returns to it. You can also define the words the user needs to type to end the live-chat session and resume the conversation with the bot.

Plugins with subscriptions

Google Site Search: The Google Site Search plugin allows you to display RSS stories from your website within the conversation with the bot.

Bing Search: coming soon.

Swiftype Search: coming soon.

RSS Import: This plugin allows you to show content from an RSS feed you specify in the plugin. Also, you can customize the number of stories you want the feed to show to your users.

Subscriber Plugin: The Subscriber plugin allows you to subscribe your users to RSS feeds or Google/Bing searches you specify.

Subscription List: This plugin will display all the feeds the user is currently subscribed to.

Digest: The Digest plugin allows the bot to show all the new content from all the feeds a user has subscribed to.

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