Chatbots   New Features and Updates

Facebook Messenger Auto-Reply Setup Is Now Available with SendPulse Chatbots

Facebook Messenger Auto-Reply Setup Is Now Available with SendPulse Chatbots

Meet our latest upgrades of our Facebook Messenger chatbot. Now you can organize the conversational logic of your chatbot, or in other words, create auto-reply flows that imitate live communication with a representative of your company.

chatbot communication
Communication through auto-replies in Facebook Messenger chatbot

This is how the auto-reply flow setup looks in our chatbot visual editor:

chatbot visual editor
Creating the message flow in the visual editor

We have already dwelled on how to configure a Facebook chatbot with SendPulse. This time, we’ll tell you how the chatbot works and reveal the new features our developers have added.

How Facebook Messenger auto-replies with a SendPulse chatbot work

Our chatbots operate based on triggers — conditions used to send an auto-reply or generate sequential message flows.

You can use two kinds of chatbot triggers: predefined and/or custom-made.

Predefined triggers

Right after you open the Facebook page that you have previously linked to your account, you’ll see a set of predefined triggers that can be used to start the series of chatbot messages: “Immediately,” “Standard reply,” and “Unsubscribe from bot.”

predefined chatbot triggers
Predefined chatbot triggers

“Immediately” trigger

Use this trigger to send a notification right after the subscription. Although you can turn off this trigger, we recommend that you greet new subscribers and thank them for joining your chatbot:

chatbot flow start
Example of a chatbot auto-reply based on the “Immediately” trigger

Alternatively, you can provide the unsubscription details in this message for new subscribers to keep in mind they can opt out from your chatbot any time. Specify that they should use “/unsubscribe” or “/stop” commands to do that.

“Standard reply” trigger

The chatbot foresees auto-replies to keywords that were previously connected to a specific trigger. In case a user types in the keyword which is not linked to any trigger, they will receive a “Standard reply.”

Think through a universal text for such a response, so it helps users to solve their question. For example, you can specify your phone number or add a link to a feedback form.

You can also configure the chatbot in such a way that it connects with a manager for further in-person resolution of the user’s request. You can do it by using the “Action” block. While creating the auto-reply flow, click the “Open the chat” option in the block settings. The manager will proceed with the dialog and users won’t get notified they have been redirected to another chat.

chatbot standard reply
Example of an auto-reply flow for the “Standard reply” trigger

“Unsubscribe from bot” trigger

This trigger activates an automatic notification about the successful unsubscription upon the corresponding request.

chatbot unsubscribe
Example of a chatbot auto-reply for the “Unsubscribe from bot” trigger

Very often predefined triggers are not enough for meaningful communication with your subscribers, so this is when you should configure an array of custom-made triggers.

Custom-made triggers

To create a required condition that will start an auto-reply or a series of messages, go to the “Bot structure” tab and click “Create a new trigger.”

chatbot new trigger
Adding a custom-made trigger

Then, choose between one of the two available types of chatbot triggers: “After subscription” or “Keyword.”

“After subscription” trigger

It starts an auto-reply flow within the timespan you indicate either in minutes, hours, or days.

chatbot after subscription trigger
Adding the “After subscription” trigger

Replace the “Immediately” trigger with the above-mentioned one to send a welcome message or introduce your company through a series of messages.

“Keyword” trigger

It starts the necessary auto-reply flow by reacting to specific words. Note, you should avoid word combinations and include one keyword only.

chatbot keyword trigger
Adding the “Keyword” trigger

Say, a subscriber types in a word that doesn’t correspond to any of the triggers you have predefined. In this case, the chatbot answers with a robot emoji and picks the words based on the similar word root, offering them as a swift reply.

For example, a user types in “return” while your chatbot has “returns” as a keyword — the chatbot will offer this option instead.

chatbot keyword trigger
Chatbot response to the keyword mismatch

The same algorithm is applied if the keyword is used as a part of a word combination.

chatbot keyword trigger
Chatbot response to the phrase containing the keyword

Once you’ve configured the required trigger, proceed to creating the auto-reply flow.

How to set up Facebook Messenger auto-reply flow in the chatbot editor

To create an auto-reply flow for the chatbot, you can use the “Message,” “Flow,” “Action,” and “Pause” blocks.

chatbot blocks
Chatbot blocks in the visual editor

So let’s get the ball rolling by choosing the trigger and clicking “Create a flow.”

chatbot new flow
Creating a flow for the custom-made trigger

Add the “Start” block

Type in the message the users will receive as soon as the chosen trigger gets activated. In the example below, the message is going to be sent just after the user types in a message containing the word “return.”

chatbot visual editor
Visual editor for creating message flows

You can send your next message only after a user reacts to your previous one — for example, click the button or quick replies that should be attached to the message. Let’s take a look at how you can add them in the editor.

“Add button”

Press “Add button,” type in the text, and insert a link if necessary. In our case, the “Returns details” button with a link to the corresponding website page.

message button
Adding a button to the chatbot message

You can add up to three buttons to a single message. If a user ie interested in the delivery, they might want to purchase your product. So you can add other two buttons — “Payment details” and “Delivery details” to have all shop info covered within one message.

message multiple buttons
Example of multiple buttons added to a single message

“Quick replies”

By using the quick reply option, you can let your subscribers choose an appealing answer from up to 10 predefined variants.

chatbot quick reply
Quick replies in a message

When users click on a quick reply, they will receive your next message. Let’s take a look at possible scenarios of the further auto-reply flow.

Attach your next message

Drag the block “Message” to the workspace and connect it to the necessary quick answer. Fill in the text to each message and add a button with a link if needed.

chatbot message blocks
Complementing the flow with “Message” blocks

Apart from the text, button, or quick answer, you can complement your message with an image, file, list, or delay — a typing indicator to imitate live communication. You can also request an email or a phone number to juggle the communication channels. The chatbot will provide the email and phone number the user indicated while signing up for Facebook.

message elements
Elements and data requests you can add to the chatbot message

If you want a user to see the typing indicator while the chatbot is answering, add the “Delay” option. For this option to function correctly, make sure the “Delay” element is followed by the “Text” element.

chatbot delayed response
Typing indicator “Delay” in action

Develop the auto-reply flow with other blocks

You can add three more types of blocks to the message flow — “Pause,” “Flow,” and “Action” — all being found in the left panel.

The “Pause” block is used to delay the sending of the next message. The pause timespan can vary from several minutes to one day.

The “Action” block foresees two options:

  1. Open the chat — escalates the chat priority, notifies the admin about the message, and opens the chat in SendPulse panel.
  2. Unsubscribe from bot — unsubscribes users from bulk and automated campaigns.
chatbot action block
The “Action” block options

The “Flow” block allows you to redirect users to other message flows to avoid having duplicated  blocks.

chatbot flow block
The “Flow” block

Additional Facebook Messenger chatbot features


To know the number of users who opened your messages and followed the links in them, check the “Statistics” tab.

chatbot statistics
Statistics of the chatbot flows

Saved flows

The flows you once created but unbound later aren’t deleted but are stored in the “Saved flows” section. You can connect any of your saved flows to new or already existing triggers.

Test mode

The moment you add your Facebook page, the chatbot will start working in test mode. This means that the messages will be sent only to you instead of your whole database. When your chatbot is all set up, activate it for all subscribers.

This option is meant to simplify your interaction with the chatbot and you don’t have to test the flows on a separate Facebook page before applying your experience to the actual page.

In the meanwhile

We are still working on optimizing the chatbot editor, but you can already create flows containing hundreds of blocks. We are planning to complement the chatbot with filters for audience analytics and personalization options.

You can create and test your own SendPulse Facebook Messenger chatbot for free. So don’t hesitate to upgrade your business with trend-setting functionality and share your feedback in the comments below!

Date of publication:

May 13, 2019
Lena Vovchenko

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