Key announcements from the 2019 ManyChat Conversations Conference

When the founder of ManyChat saw me at the Chat conference, he beamed and told me,You have the most popular posts about the conference in our Facebook group.»

In this post I will cover the top 2 changes he referred to…in depth.

Then I’ll give you the big picture 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 just call “text messages”) from ManyChat.

It means…

…if you have something to post that doesn’t comply with Facebook’s terms of service, you can write it.

…if a particular reader doesn’t open Messenger messages, you can launch a text message instead.

…you now have an easy way to send text messages based on triggers. (Did a person sign up for an event? Trigger a text reminder? Did someone add something to the cart but didn’t buy? Trigger a text asking for a refill? etc.)

The most important questions of people about this during the conference.

1. Is it working now?

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

I watched Nick Julia spend a lot of time with ManyChat’s top developer trying to figure out why he couldn’t text her. After a lot of trial and error, they discovered how Nick was formatting his phone number, which caused the error.

2. Do I have to pay per message?

Yes! Their prices are low, but if you want even lower prices and want to integrate, you can use Twilio or other providers.

What you get when ManyChat sends messages for you is tighter integration.

BIG Change #2. You can send email messages

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

This announcement received less excitement, but it gives you a glimpse of future ManyChat. They want to enable you to send messages on any possible communication platform.

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

What does this mean…

…businesses that didn’t want to give up email marketing can clearly see that they can use email and chat together.

…if you want to send your members anything outside of Facebook’s terms of service, you can now do so. (This includes sending sales messages, coupons, and other marketing messages to people who haven’t interacted with your company in a long time.)

…if someone hasn’t interacted with your chatbot in a while, you’re not allowed to contact them on Messenger (unless you’ve paid Facebook). You can now send them an email that will bring them back to your Messenger chat, allowing your bot to message them back.

The main questions asked to people during the conference.

Can I stop using my primary email provider?

If you use limited email marketing, yes you can. But if you’re an advanced email user, you’ll have to wait.

Several people at the conference saw their email messages coming into their inbox. No one I spoke to could find a way to change my email name from the field. These are the main issues that every new email provider must go through. They will understand, but it will take some time.

Can I still use other email providers?

Yes! And they will work really well with ManyChat.

In fact, they announced a native integration with ActiveCampaign. And, as always, you can use Zapier to send email using any email provider you want. (We do).

The big picture. What should you take away from this?

As you will see below, there were many announcements. Below this image I will talk about my big giveaway.

Many announcements, but one clear message. ManyChat is going to be more than Messenger marketing.

The message I got from ManyChat is that they are moving beyond Facebook… and so should we.

I’ve always hated being too attached to Facebook. Remember when Facebook stopped allowing new businesses to send chat messages?

They have a history of helping businesses, but are also difficult to depend on.

Now we don’t have to.

We can send text messages. We may send an email to Soon we will be able to use Apple’s super popular iMessage. (ManyChat is working on it).

I’m not saying we should bypass Facebook. Neither does ManyChat. In fact, they want to let you send messages through Facebook’s other brands, WhatsApp and Instagram.

But each of those messaging platforms will be just one channel.

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

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