Prime Bulletins from the ManyChat Dialog Convention 2019

When the founder of ManyChat saw me at the conversation conference, he beamed and told me, "You have the best contributions to the conference in our Facebook group."

In this article I will discuss the two most important changes which he referred to in detail .

Then I'll give you an overview so you know what that means.

Read on to see what ManyChat has announced.

BIG Change # 1: You can send text messages

Huge excitement, because now we can send a text message.

You can now send SMS messages (which most of us only refer to as "text messages") from ManyChat.

That means …

… if you have something to send that does not fit into Facebook's Terms of Service, you can send it a text message.

… if a particular reader does not open messenger messages, you can trigger a text message instead.

… You now have an easy way to send text messages based on triggers. (Has a person registered for an event? Raised a text reminder. Did someone put something in their cart but they did not buy anything? Raised a text reminder to ask them to complete it.)

Frequently Asked Questions of the Conference:

1. Does it work now?

Yup. But give them time to find and fix mistakes.

I saw Nick Julia spending a lot of time with ManyChat's top developers to understand why he could not send text messages. After much trial and error, they discovered that the way Nick formatted his phone number was a mistake.

2. Do I have to pay per message?

Yes. Their prices are low, but if you want even lower prices and are willing to tinker with integrations, you can use Twilio or other providers.

What you gain by sending messages through ManyChat is closer integration.

BIG Change # 2: You Can Send E-Mail Messages

You can send emails from ManyChat and soon from other platforms.

This announcement has been less upset, but shows you the future ideas of ManyChat. They want you to be able to send messages on every possible communication platform.

Now you can decide if you want to send someone a Facebook message, a text message or an email. You can even send all three if you want.

What this means …

… Companies that did not want to give up e-mail marketing can clearly see that they can use e-mail and chat with each other.

… If you want to send something to your members outside the terms of use of Facebook, you can do so now. (This includes sending sales messages, coupons, and other marketing messages to people who have not interacted with your business for some time.)

… if someone has not interacted with your chatbot for a while, you were not allowed to reach it in Messenger (unless you paid Facebook). Now you can send them an email that will bring them back to your messenger chat so that your bot can send them messages again.

Frequently Asked Questions of the Conference:

Can I stop using my main e-mail provider?

If you use limited email marketing, you can. However, if you are an advanced email user you should wait.

Some conference participants saw their e-mail messages in their e-mail spam folders. No one I talked to could find a way to change the name in my email field. These are fundamental problems that every new email provider must go through. You will find out, but it will take a while.

Can I use other email providers?

Yes. And they will work very well with ManyChat.

In fact, they announced a native integration with ActiveCampaign. And as always, you can use Zapier to send e-mail through any e-mail provider. (We do that.)

The Big Picture: What You Should Take From It

As you will see below, there have been many announcements. Under this picture I will talk about my big take away.

Many announcements, but a clear message: ManyChat is about more than messenger marketing.

The message I got from ManyChat is that they go beyond Facebook … and we should too.

I've always hated being too connected to Facebook. Do you remember the time when Facebook stopped allowing new businesses to send chat messages?

They have helped companies grow in the past, but are also heavily dependent.

Now we do not have to.

We can send text messages. We can send emails. In the near future we can use Apple's popular iMessage. (ManyChat works on that.)

I'm not saying that we should move past Facebook. ManyChat too. In fact, they want to enable you to send messages through the other Facebook brands: WhatsApp & Instagram.

But each of these messaging platforms will only be one channel.

Just as people use different chat apps to send each other messages, companies will use different chat apps to reach their customers.