manychat roadshow 2019

Highlights From the 2019 ManyChat Roadshow

A mighty ManyChat thank you to everyone who visited us during the 2019 ManyChat Roadshow! 

There’s something that gets captured in meetups like these that is hard to replicate over the internet. There’s a spontaneity that occurs, positive energy that lets everyone drop their defenses for a moment, and just talk like people. That energy is so incredibly beneficial for someone like me, whose job it is to help the developers and product managers get honest feedback from users.

It’s not an exaggeration when I say that all ManyChat wants to accomplish is developing products you’ll use. That may seem obvious, but it’s also more difficult than you’d expect. Everyone needs something different — new vs. experienced users, restaurants vs. online retailers vs. fitness centers, small business owners vs. agencies — and meetups like these help us rank the needs of all our users. 

Here’s what we learned: 

You want integrations. 

You want us to have direct, Zap-free integrations with Spotify, Amazon, ActiveCampaign, Google Calendar, Apple IIe, the abacus, and my cousin Chris who never paid me back that five dollars. 

This is not news to us, but the force with which we heard this feedback was a bit surprising. And we get it: those are the hurdles you need your flows to get over before you can get a customer in and out of the door. 

It’s harder than you’d expect to integrate with some of these platforms. The APIs are complicated, and each one requires front-end UI development. But like I said, the feedback was clear, and we’ll put the work in. 

Portland, Oregon ManyChat Roadshow

Getting started with ManyChat isn’t easy.

This is something that we know already, but it’s good to hear it over and over until we get the secret sauce exactly right.

This particular problem makes us work from two directions at the same time. On the one hand, we want the platform to be as powerful and comprehensive as possible. On the other, we want people to get from “I know ManyChat exists” to “I understand ManyChat” more quickly than they do now.

This is a problem that we’re actively working on. We’re calling it ManyChat 3.0 for now, and we’ve been beta testing ideas with a small group of ManyChat users. No word on a release date, but we’ll get there. 

Phoenix, Arizona ManyChat Roadshow

Beer and snacks are good, but maybe a projector and a tie would be better.

I was surprised by this! Everyone enjoys having a cocktail and an appetizer on a Tuesday, but there was surprisingly strong support for a demo, a powerpoint, a Q&A — something more formal. The free-flowing discussions went well, but there’s value in a more formal portion to the meetup.

The guy behind this blog was the one who made the plans here, and your feedback is noted and welcome. I chose casual venues because I wanted working people to feel like a Tuesday evening meetup was a treat! That said, we want to cram as much active time as possible into a small window, so maybe next time we at least have a table and chairs. 

NYC ManyChat Roadshow

As great as qualified leads are, repeat customers are your lifeblood.

We talk often internally about how we want to create some best practices around Messenger marketing. That’s one of our main internal metrics for marketing, in fact: “Get Users To Value.” When you join, we want to make sure you’re converting sooner rather than later. 

Something that came out of these roadshows is that we need to focus less on getting customers in the door, and more on making sure they keep coming back. This was a mild surprise for us, but it makes sense: The cost of recruiting a new customer is much higher than keeping an old one.

Going forward, we can make sure that re-engagement techniques are part of the basic training that we offer. That means making content and templates that directly feature re-engagement instead of it being an afterthought. 

Cincinnati, Ohio ManyChat Roadshow

The leap from “I understand ManyChat” to “ManyChat helps me drive value” is a big one.

This, too, is part of the broader conversation that ManyChat wants to drive about effective Messenger marketing. Traditional marketing channels — even online advertisements — have years of trial and error behind them. The lessons learned over the years (and sometimes decades) of experience have found their way into books and manuals and YouTube videos. 

The same isn’t true yet for ManyChat and Messenger Marketing. Understanding how to drive conversations, conversions, and lead generation on ManyChat can come with experience, but the hurdle is high for even intermediate users. Dedication to flow tweaking and constant testing helps, but for a lot of very busy business owners, it’s not worth the effort.

Luckily, we have our Head of Content, Fara, a small army of content creators, and a bottomless trove of data. This is priority number one: again, “Get Users To Value.” 

If you visited our roadshow, thanks again for meeting up with us. It was both invaluable and really, really fun. Stay tuned for the next phase of our traveling project, and we’ll see you on the road.