How to automatically continue the conversation when users don’t click on buttons (Manychat)


Do your subscribers stop midway in your flow? With this awesome ManyChat trick, you’ll be able to continue the conversation by sending people to the next step, even when they do not interact with one of your buttons.

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Don’t stop the (ManyChat) flow

There are so many reasons why people could stop in the middle of your flow. The attention span of people gets shorter and shorter. They could be busy, received a phone call or message, got distracted or simply forgot. In any case, it is bad news for you.

Sometimes, it happens that they stop interacting with your chatbot just as they arrive at a button or quick reply, without pressing it. Of course, you want them to click and continue.

After tinkering a bit with all the options, I managed to find a neat trick to automatically continue to the next step even if the button is not clicked. This is very useful to re-engage some of those users.

Note: you should be able to do it in the free version of manychat. However, since tags are used, you will be quite limited by the only 10 free tags.

Simple case: one button

Let’s consider a simple case first: there is only a button. This means that there is not much of a choice, just a nice interaction with the user.

Initial flow

If the user does not click, the flow simply stops. You can modify the flow so that after a certain amount of time it continues regardless.

First of all, we need to tag users who click the button, so we know there is no need to re-engage them.

Add tag on button click

Set the message with the button to automatically continue to the next step and add a delay. For longer delays (from 1 minute to several days) you can use a smart delay step like so.

Smart delays for longer waiting times

In this example, a delay of just a few seconds is enough so a simple delay is fine (make sure to uncheck the “Show typing” option, so the user does not see the bot typing).

However, you cannot set a message step with only a delay. So here’s another free tip: simply send a message with a single space ” “. The flow builder will accept it, but nothing will be actually sent.

Wait delay and empty message

Connect the delay to a condition step. The condition will be the tag associated with the button.

Add condition step with button tag condition

If yes, send an empty message, which will stop any further action.
If no, send the message fired by the button.

Add yes and no condition steps

Important: remove the tag!

In many instances, the same user can go through the same flow again. For this reason, we need to set an action to remove the tag.

If not, this method will work only the first time. For the next ones, the user will already be tagged in manychat and the flow will not proceed automatically without clicking the button.

This is particularly important when a persistent button is used rather than a quick reply. In this case, the user could click it again at any time.

You can do this two ways.

Remove the tag before the button. The problem is, if there are subsequent steps with other tagged buttons, you have to remove all the subsequent tags as well to make it work properly.

Remove tag - Option 1

A second (and in my opinion easier to manage) option is to remove the tag right after the message fired by the button. (Note: here I switched to persistent buttons)

In the end, what is best depends on the particular context and flow.

Remove tag - Option 2

Steps with two or more buttons

When there are multiple buttons, the trick works essentially the same. The only thing you need to remember is to add the same tag on all buttons of the same step.

Add same tag to all buttons of the same step

However, there is one limitation when multiple buttons are involved. When no button is clicked, only one of the possible messages can be sent automatically.

That is, you can connect the “No” part of the condition to only one of the messages triggered by the buttons.

Choose one of the messages triggered by the buttons

This can be just fine for simple interaction buttons (e.g. like here, one that says “Great” and the other “Awesome”). In other cases, it can be problematic (e.g. “Want one or two pizza slices?”).

If none of the options is a good default reply, the best alternative is to send a completely different message when there is no interaction. Unfortunately, ManyChat does not offer other options at the moment

Send a different message when there is no interaction

Will you implement the trick?

This method is not perfect. Indeed, it is quite limited when multiple buttons are involved. Moreover, it adds a layer of complexity to your flow, and it can get real messy in big sequences with many buttons.

However, limited is still better than nothing at all!

Chatbots exist to automate your messaging. Being able to automate a default reply even when a button is not clicked is certainly neat!

Implementing this trick can surely help to improve the engagement rate of your chatbot in the long run. Most importantly, it allows you to re-engage with at least some of the people that stopped the interaction for some reason.

Moreover, the trick can be used in other situations as well. For example, I implement it in chatbot my default reply as well. When users type something the bot does not understand, a list of option is sent. If not button is clicked after some time, I ask them if they want to contact me directly.

What do you think? Will you start using this trick? 🙂

Tool used: ManyChat

Author box picture for blog ADV

Alessandro De Vecchi

Marketing, web, and anything-tech enthusiast.
Newbie blogger, spends his nights studying, testing, creating content and job hunting.
Gray and blue are his favourite colours. Loves minimalism.

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