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How to use Keywords

Keywords are a great way to automate conversations inside your bot, and keep in touch with your contacts!

To create Keywords in your ManyChat account, head to Automation > Keywords and click the blue + New Keyword button in the top-right corner.

You can create up to 3 custom Кeywords on the Free plan.

There are 5 rules you can set up for a Keyword:

Message is rule is actually very strict 

If there are any additional words, letters, or symbols, the automated message will not be triggered. The bot will recognize "Hello", "HELLO" and "hello" in the same way, though, as Keywords are not case-sensitive.

Message Contains: the more flexible option

This rule allows the bot to recognize the Keyword within a sentence. For example, if the Keyword is set to "Hello" and a contacts messages "Hello, please send me further info", the automated message will still be triggered.

NOTE 1: You want to be careful with short Keywords like "hi", "no", "you" because they can be triggered in many cases unintentionally with this rule.
NOTE 2: If a person uses two Keywords in one message, the bot will fire the automated response for the Keyword that goes higher in the list, not reacting to the second one.

Message Contains Whole Word: stay in the same context with the contact

Imagine that you're creating a rule "Message contains like" and attaching a message, say, "Glad you like it!" to it. But what's going to happen if a contacts messages "dislike"? Correct, the same "Glad you like it!" message will be triggered! And this is where the rule gets really powerful - the bot will distinguish words like "hi" and "within" and will not send out the same automated reply.

Message Begins With: a clever way to automate common questions

This rule literally requires the Keyword to be placed at the beginning of the contact's message, so the automated message from your bot can be triggered.

Imagine creating a rule where if somebody types "can you" at the beginning of a sentence, a menu with options appears as an automatic reply!

Message Is Thumbs Up: the rule speaks for itself!

The automatic message will be triggered if a contact sends a Like offered by Messenger.

NOTE: The rule will not work with Thumbs Up emoji.

How to choose a channel for Keyword

Now there are two channels available for Keywords: SMS and Messenger. You can choose which channel to use only when you create a Keyword for the first time:

A Keyword for each channel will only be applied to conversations in the corresponding channel, i.e. if you create an SMS Keyword, it will only work if the contact sends that Keyword to any phone number assigned to your ManyChat account. Phone numbers can be found in Settings > SMS:

  • Note that keywords like “YES” and “START” that a contact writes in their SMS response will be processed by Twilio automation and not the ManyChat automation! In that case, keywords will be recognized as the opt-in keywords and make that subscribe viable to receive your SMS message (if they are not already viable for that).
  • Following the same logic, keywords like “STOP”, “UNSTOP”, “UNSUBSCRIBE”, and “CANCEL” will opt the person out of receiving SMS messages so you won’t be able to send them your automated SMS, regardless of how you set up SMS keywords on the ManyChat side!

Messenger Keywords will work for conversations in Facebook Messenger.

How to add an automatic reply to Keyword

When a Keyword is created, you'll see these options on the right:

You can attach a certain automated message to the Keyword. Create a new one or click Select Existing to choose the message from your Flows. As soon as someone types the Keyword in a conversation with your bot, the message you've set up will fire to the contact. Note there are no Additional Actions anymore: they are automatically migrated to the Flow assigned to the Keyword.

If you want to assign multiple keywords to one rule, just make sure to use a comma to separate them:

NOTE: The number of keywords is limited to 10 keywords per rule.

You also can prioritize Keywords by moving them up and down in the list.

In this case, if the message contains both "sale" and "coupon", only the first Keyword in the list will trigger. Rearrange the list and it will work vise versa!

One last thing: when the bot doesn't recognize any Keywords in the contact's message, Default Reply is triggered. You can edit Default Reply in Settings > Messenger > Default Reply.

Hope this helps you make your bot even smarter!

Troubleshooting notes

Keyword doesn’t trigger response message:

  • first, make sure your Keyword is enabled (toggle-switch in the 'Active' section is ON):
  • while setting up multiple keywords, separate them with commas and don't type "or" between them. The system automatically adds "or" before the last keyword you've entered for the rule - if you type "or" manually, that will most likely break the rule for the Keyword.
  • make sure the Flow attached to this Keyword is published. A small yellow dot indicates that there are some unpublished changes in this Flow:

Keyword is triggering wrong Flow:

  • make sure the appropriate rule is chosen for your Keyword(s). For example, "Message is" and "Message contains" will trigger your Keywords differently - check descriptions of all the rules mentioned earlier in this article.