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User Input and Custom Fields

User Input Block is a great way to collect, store, and export data from your contacts and even reuse their responses in a conversation. 

What is User Input and how it works

User Input Block is a part of a Flow builder, and it is available in all Pro accounts.

Inside this block, you can ask your contacts for some information and get responses, which will be stored in Manychat's system. User Input consists of a text field and the input itself.

User Input Reply Types

Reply Types allow you to verify responses and make sure you get the correct replies:

  • Text — free input without any verification;
  • Multiple Choice — a number of Quick Replies with the ability to store the response and use another value as a saved answer (e.g., a user clicks "Yes" reply, and his answer is stored as "Loves Jazz"). Multiple Choice Type allows your contacts to stay in a current flow (unlike common Quick Replies where you have to specify a new message for each of them) and use free keyboard input with the replies.

  • Number — the response must contain digits only;
  • Email — email address verification (valid e-mail should look like this:;
  • Phone — phone number;
  • URL — URL type requires a link (for;
  • File — requires a file uploaded through Messenger;
  • Image — requires an image uploaded through Messenger;
  • Location — requires location sent from Messenger;
  • Date - opens a calendar inside Messenger in which contacts should pick a date;
  • Date and Time - add a time picker to the calendar so that contacts can choose the date and time;

As for Custom Fields types, most of the User Input reply types are saved into the text Custom Field - it concerns the Text, Multiple Choice, Email, Phone, URL, File, Image, and Location types.
Phone numbers should be stored in text Custom Fields since the number type Custom Fields doesn't include the + sign, which is used for phone numbers on Facebook.
However, if you need to save the emails and phone numbers for the Email and SMS features, you'll need to save the data to Email and Phone System Fields. You can learn more about them here: Sending Email through Manychat and Sending SMS through Manychat

Important Notes:

– If people reply to a User Input block with any keywords, the keywords will not trigger except "stop" and "unsubscribe", which will stop the Flow and the User Input and call for the "Unsubscribe" Flow.
– You can set up a User Reply retry time. After the set number (3 in that example) of wrong answers, the User Reply gets deactivated and won’t save the reply in the corresponding Custom Field.

– You can also set up how long the User Input is going to be active and waiting for a contact's response through this parameter:

Phone validation for System Fields (for manual input only) works in the following way:
1. Check the number of symbols and whether those symbols are valid (numbers, dashes, punctuation marks, brackets, and spaces). If there is anything other than those symbols, the phone is considered invalid.
2. Check the country code and the operator code. If there are none or if the codes are non-existent, the phone is considered invalid.
3. The number gets sent to Twilio, which in turn checks whether it can send an SMS to that number.
The validation validates these symbols if they are located anywhere in the phone number: "+", "()", ".", and "-". The number will be saved along with those symbols in the System Field, but in the end, once the validation is complete, the field will only contain the numbers. If the validation is successful, the phone is operational. 

If it has been denied for whatever reason, the contact will receive the retry message. The specifics of the error can be found by trying to update the phone System field manually, through a contact's profile in the Contacts tab.

Viewing Responses

Whenever your conversations have User Input fields in them, the “Show Responses” button will show up under the stats for that conversation. This button will take you to where contact responses live in Manychat!

You’ll immediately see the responses in a Spreadsheet-type view, and you’ll also have a couple of neat viewing options:

1. Switch to the Feed View to see real-time answers one by one. This is especially useful for ManyChat bots designed to take orders or collect lead-gen information from contacts;

2. Export the data to a CSV file so you can open it in your spreadsheet software of choice or upload it to a CRM.

Using Saved Responses with Custom Fields

Custom Fields allow you to save the responses as a unique value for each of your contacts and use them with Zapier and other Integrations, as a Condition for targeting, or even as variables (like First Name, Full Name, etc.). 

Go to Settings -> Fields to create and manage them. Every Custom Field you create has a Name, Type, and Description (which is optional), and Folder (if you have at least one folder).

Using the User Input Block in your messages allows you to save the responses in a specific Custom Field. Choose the desired one for each User Input in the message builder.

Please note: the Custom Field type should correspond to the type of the User Input block it's connected to. Thus if you set up the User Input block of the Number type, the Custom Field attached should also be of the Number type. Remember that the Phone number requires a Text Custom Field.

Zapier Integration

Ask a contact for an email/phone number inside the bot, save the response in their Custom Fields, and add them to your email marketing service / CRM, or register them to a webinar with just 1 tap.

Here is how to get started with Zapier


You can use Custom Fields as a Condition for targeting. For example, you can send a Broadcast to a number of contacts with a special value (or any value in the Custom Field).


Once you save a response in Custom Field, you can use it as a variable. In this example, I ask my contacts to name my bot to use this name in further conversations. 

Start typing {{ and choose the desired variable (Custom Field) in a drop-down menu. Use Fallback for contacts who have this value empty.

With the Date&Time Custom Field, you can also choose the format that will be used for the display, including the possibility to create the format most suitable for you:


You can use formulas within Numeric Custom Fields. It will add much more flexibility to your automation.

For example, we want to multiply our Custom Field by 1.5 

Please note that Formulas only work with Numeric Custom Fields.

Additionally, there is a rounding function available in Custom Formulas: round().
It allows you to record regular numbers into your Custom Fields with a set accuracy. Here is a couple of examples:
– round(1.66666666, 2) => 1.67 – rounding up.
– round(1.33333333, 2) => 1.33
– round(1.33333333) => 1 (the same thing as round(1.33333333, 0))
– round(66666, -1) => 66670 (the tens are rounding up)
– round(66664, -1) => 66660 (the tens are rounding down)

We also have a way to calculate the exponents. With this ** symbol, you can add an exponent to your number.
2**10 => 1024
2** -1 => 0.5

Comparing Custom Fields

You can compare values of Numeric, Date, and Date/Time Custom Fields in Rules (Automation>Rules) and in Condition Step in Flow Builder. For example, you can send a message to your contact after the value in Custom Field 1 becomes equal to the value in Custom Field 2 or create a coupon date expiring in 3 days after being issued.

You can also compare Date or Date/Time to Custom User Fields of the same types using formulas to compare whether the coupon utilization date does not exceed the coupon issuance date plus 3 days. Use offsets to create such comparisons

Save interaction Date&Time to custom fields

Click on the Set Custom Field in Actions, and choose your Custom User Field or Bot Field with the Date&Time type. Next, change the Operation field to the "Save interaction date/time" value:

Managing your custom fields

To organize, archive, or delete unneeded custom fields, go to Settings -> Fields. Please note, that while archiving User Fields allows you to restore them later, deletion is permanent and can't be reverted.
You will be warned about Flows that use the chosen User Field in it upon the attempt to delete it.

Please note! All Flows where you use this Custom Field will stay published, but without a Custom Field User Input will stop collecting Replies.

Deleting folder with Custom Fields, you can choose to archive Custom Fields inside a folder or put them to the root.

User Input in SMS

For the SMS Channel, you can ask your contacts for Text/Email/Number/URL/Phone reply. 

Instead of the Skip Button in Messenger, your contacts can skip the flow by typing the default “Skip” Reply.

If your contacts make mistakes answering your question, we will send them a Retry Message. Remember that each Retry Message is paid.