The key to a successful bot is thorough planning and thought. The team at The Bot Platform have been making Messenger bot for years now so we've compiled a list of our top tips to make your bot planning and building a little bit easier.

Here is a list of things to make sure your bot is up to scratch before launch:

Tips for message design

  • Delay times between parts of a message seem appropriate

  • Quick replies and buttons are used correctly according to their purpose. Remember quick replies disappear once a new interaction is launched, so it's preferable to use buttons over quick replies (unless you are building a quiz or need more than 3 options)

  • No dead ends

  • Persistent menu helps user navigate the bot – ‘help button’ or ‘main menu’ and ‘manage subscriptions’

  • Where possible interactions are short

  • Mostly structured through menus, buttons and quick replies to keep the flow moving

  • Default response is randomised to keep it from going stale, and should have buttons or quick replies back to the main points in the bot

  • Does not pretend to be a real person

  • Bot has personality and is on brand

  • Emojis are used wherever possibly relevant

  • There are no spelling or grammatical errors

  • Every button works and every link is connected to the right place

  • A range of media has been used to keep users engaged – image, gif, video etc.

  • Media should not take too long to load. Make sure it's the correct size for a better user experience.

  • The bot doesn't send more than five messages in a row in between user interactions (ie there a five message parts or less that make up a message)

  • Images for carousels are 1:1.91 ratio or square, and 1200*630 in size

  • Videos are as compressed as possible

  • Carousels have the same number of buttons on each item and roughly the same amount of text so that they all line up well

  • Videos are downloaded and used natively in the bot where possible

  • Consistent use of 1st, 2nd or 3rd person ‘I’, ‘we’, or ‘The Bot Platform’

  • Bot has a clear purpose

  • Conversation is personalised using {{first_name}}

  • Keyword ‘stop’ goes to subscribe options

  • Keyword ‘help’ offers suggestions of how to interact with the bot

  • Keyword 'hello, hi, hey' to launch the conversation again for anyone returning to the bot

Tips for broadcasts

  • Sign up for broadcast options in the opening sections

  • When signing up to broadcasts, users are added to a bucket even if that bucket name is ‘general’ (this will make it easier to manage buckets in the future)

  • Provides confirmation when a user signs up for broadcasts eg. ‘great you’re signed up to broadcasts’

  • When a user unsubscribes, it’s obvious that they will no longer receive broadcast messages

  • Make sure the bot user always has the option to ‘opt out’ of broadcasts so you don’t annoy them

  • When broadcasting, the appropriate notification type is being used and broadcasts are selective

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