Best practices when building a Messenger bot in 2020

Best practices when building Messenger bots

Are you building Messenger bots?

You know the technical side but lack the skills to make it really engaging?

I am going to share my best practices when building out Messenger bots. How to create an interactive experience and connect with your subscribers.

Also how to prevent people are going to block your chatbot and or page which can get you banned.

Let us dive in right away to see what it takes to build your very own engaging and interactive Messenger bot.

Guiding your subscribers

Because Messenger marketing is still relatively new it is important that you guide and educate your subscribers in using it.

Normally people have live conversations with their family and friends. This goes back and forth and is a fun way to communicate with your loved ones.

no matter how big the distance is between you.

When creating a Messenger bot, build it out like you have genuine conversations with your subscribers.

You will also have to show them step by step on how to use your Messenger bot. This starts as soon as they press the send message button on your Facebook page.

Greeting text

The greeting text is the introduction text people see when they press the send message for the first time. It looks like this;

You can see right away what I am talking about when educating your subscribers right?

In this greeting text, I show how they can proceed. It is short and very clear on what to do.

The software I use to build my Messenger bot and that of my clients is called Manychat. I create the greeting text there. Very easy to do, literally takes just a few seconds.

Let me show you 😉

Now, how easy was that? Just a few seconds of work, but very powerful and sets the tone right away.

I see it happen way too often when exploring Messenger bots that this greeting text is missing. It is the first interaction that a potential customer has with your business.

Make that count as you will only get one first impression 😉

Next up is the welcome message. Very important to set the right tone with your subscriber.

Welcome message

After your subscriber presses that “get started” button they will receive what is called a welcome message.

This is your chance to set the tone for the entire bot on how you want to address the subscriber. A few things you should include in this welcome message;

  • Welcome your subscriber
  • Explain that the messages they receive are automated
  • Explain how they can unsubscribe from the Messenger bot

These 3 points are very important as a lot of people who press that button expect to communicate with a live person right away.

They might get frustrated if they notice they are subscribed to something they didn’t even know doing. It creates friction right from the start and isn’t the best start to have with any potential customer.

Of course, you can have some fun with this.

A lot of clients requested to make the Messenger bot into a character. This way the subscriber knows that it is a chatbot they are talking with, but still have that personal conversation.

Look at one of my clients’ welcome message;

A subscriber instantly sees that they are dealing with a Messenger bot. The way it is set up makes it very conversational from the start.

It also shows clearly what people need to do if they don’t want to receive messages from the Messenger bot anymore.

This will prevent people from blocking your Facebook page from the start. Very important because if the block percentage on your Facebook page is high enough, your page will get banned.

What to do after onboarding your subscriber?

Now we got the welcome stage figured out, it is time to look at the next step.

The whole purpose of building a Messenger bot is to engage with your subscribers.

Eventually turning them into customers right? Well, that’s where the rest of the best practices come into play.

Effectively using these methods will lead to a better relationship with your subscribers. Which is needed to get them to buy your product or service.

So what does come after the welcome stage?

Putting your subscribers into “buckets” (Segmentation)

The best way to find out what your subscriber is looking for is by asking them a few questions.

It will help you segment them. This is helpful because you know precisely what to send them. A subscriber will not convert if you just generalize things and send content or offers about stuff they aren’t interested in.

Make sense?

This way you customize how you offer content or services.

If I look at myself, I would ask things like;

  • Do you know about Messenger marketing?
  • What kind of business do you have?
  • What is your current way of getting more customers?
  • What is the #1 thing that needs to be in a Messenger bot that would you help you out the most?
  • What kind of email service provider (ESP) do you use?
  • Do you like to learn how to make your own Messenger bot or let someone like me do it for you?

Just a few questions that come to mind and I do ask these when a subscriber enters my Messenger bot.

This is how it looks like inside ManyChat. Those 5 red arrows show where the questions are being asked. Each answer will be saved to a custom field and the subscriber will be tagged.

The custom field you can use to export all answers to a Google Sheet for example. Very handy to have a good overview.

Tags can be used to segment the subscribers so you can display personalized content and be more relevant to your subscribers.

Now that we have completed this step, it is time to send that personalized content towards your subscriber.

But how to interact with your subscribers in a way so they really engage with your Messenger bot?

How to create an interactive and engaging Messenger bot

So we got the subscribers inside the Messenger bot and we know precisely what they are looking for.

We now have to look at how to engage them. A lot are just spamming their products and offers. But this will just scare your subscribers away.
Also, the tone with which you speak can have a great impact on how you build a relationship with them.

How to talk to your subscribers

I have joined a lot of Messenger bots and a lot of them have something in common.

Do you know what that is?

They do not speak the language of their subscribers. They forget which platform they are using.

Messenger was primarily used to communicate with family and friends. It is very informal and talking as if the person is right next to you.

Use this in your Messenger bot as well. Speaking as if that person would stand right next to you, just having a conversation. Building that personal relationship with them so they can relate and connect to you and your business.

So be sure to not fall into a pattern where you pitch your offer in the first 10 minutes a person joined your Messenger bot. Of course you want to sell, but being less “salesy” actually sells better in the end 😉

The right message at the right time

This is something a lot of businesses struggle with. And to be honest I did as well for quite some time.

When is the right time to make that pitch?

It sounds so easy, when in fact your conversion rate is often very low. I was having hundreds of subscribers and or followers, but when it came to claiming the offers I set up for them I had about 2% who actually claimed them. 

It was frustrating but then I realized something.

Want to know what that is?

It’s actually so simple and I smacked myself in the head because I was so late realizing it. 

I was pitching to the wrong audience. Most of the subscribers I had came into my Messenger bot because of a free giveaway. After that, I never heard from them again.

They were only interested in getting that free content and that was it. 

So the solution to this problem? 

Adding lead score! That’s it! 

Ok, let me explain a little what that means. Lead scoring keeps track of how active and engaged your subscribers are. With each action taken, they will get points added or taken away. 

See how I decrease the lead score for a subscriber?

Because at first, they want to book a coaching call and cancel the last second. 

Someone probably just wanted to try out my setup and aren’t a lead or need help at all.

I then only pitch to subscribers who reach a certain score as they are the most engaged with what I have to offer.

And the results?

My conversion rate went up from 2% to an average of 25%!!!

That means 1 out of 4 people makes a purchase or wants to hire me to create an engaging Messenger bot for them.

Just one simple thing I added, but so powerful that it changed everything for me.

So lead scoring is a must to implement into your Messenger bot.

Evergreen content in a Messenger bot

Now we know that lead scoring is extremely powerful you need to come up with a strategy that will keep the interaction going while providing value to your subscribers.

But how to keep the interaction going like that?

One of the most effective ways is setting up Evergreen content. It can be reused and added to at any time.

Let’s take a look at the Evergreen content I set up inside my Messenger bot.


As you can see I set up quite a few pieces of content to be sent out on a regular basis.
Soon as a subscriber is done with the mini-interview I ask them if they would like to receive tips on how to use Messenger marketing.

Soon as they agree they will be tagged as such and they will get a tip every 3 days. This is my way of keeping them engaged with my Messenger bot and with me.

It’s building trust as you keep providing value without asking anything in return.

Remember I said when being less “salesy” will actually increase your sales?

This is a prime example of that 😎

Other ways of engaging with your subscribers

I have built bots in many different niches. Each one has its own way of interacting with their subscribers.

A restaurant, for example, can engage subscribers by showing off new menu items. Featured menu items that in return could result in that subscriber making another reservation.

This is done without asking them to, but by offering content they signed up for.

A gym can shoot a video of a workshop they recently did and show that to their subscribers. In return, that subscriber might feel the need to get an extra workout in and spend some money in the bar after.

Also done without trying to pitch a subscription or joining future workshops.

What I try to explain is you can also keep engaging with your subscribers by sharing things that are happening in your company or success stories. It will build a bond with them as they can see what is happening in your company.

The key to triggering a response from your subscribers is to not pitch anything after that.

How to keep a clean list

Part of running an effective Messenger bot is keeping a clean list. You don’t gain anything by having 50k subscribers if more than half remains silent after they got what they came for.

Could also be that they wanted to test out your bot to spark some ideas for their own.

There are a few ways to clean up your subscriber’s list. And I am going to show you how to set one of them up very easily 😉🙌

Setting up an unsubscribe rule

This is a must and probably the easiest thing you can implement right now to clean up your Messenger list.

Let me show you

See how easy it is to set up?

Took me about 30 seconds but it is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep a clean list.

I based the rule on the user’s last interaction. I only want to have active and engaging subscribers who appreciate what I have to share and to offer. So I have no use of the ones who are not interacting with my content.

Don’t be afraid to unsubscribe

There could be another reason you have a list full of subscribers who are of no use to you anymore.

Sometimes it happens where a subscriber went through your whole funnel and made a purchase or consumed all the content you had for him or her.

Some businesses want to keep them in the Messenger bot in the case they have something new to offer to them. But some will never have anything new to offer.

Here is how you can unsubscribe someone at the end of your funnel.

So by adding an action to unsubscribe at the end of your flow you get rid of people who already went through all of your content

Besides you probably also have them on your mailing list. That means you are paying double for them.

 If you want to get them back into your Messenger bot you can easily do so by sending an email or targeting them with a low-cost FB ad.

In this case, we could also create a post in the mastermind group to get them back into the Messenger bot if necessary. 


What do you think?

These are the best practices I go by and prevent the Messenger bots I built for myself and my clients from getting blocked.

It’s always good to keep in mind which platform you are using when communicating with your (future) customer or clients.


If you like to article be sure to share it with your friends!

Let me know down in the comments if I left any good practices out 🙃