A large media outlet in India was having trouble engaging readers and getting downloads of their news app. They solicited the help of a Delhi-based agency, who built a bot that produced incredible results.

Read on to find out how they gained 194,000 bot subscribers, plus a 30% boost in engagement, 25,000 app downloads, a 40% boost in app traffic, and hundreds of five-star app reviews for the company—and all in just a month’s time.

The Brand

CodEye Technologies is a Messenger marketing agency based in Delhi, India. Earlier this year, one of India’s leading news and media outlets approached them with an issue common in their industry: They were struggling to engage their readers in the digital age. With social media and messaging apps exploding in popularity, the company knew they needed to use both to recapture the attention of their target audience in a new way.

The team at CodEye was confident they could design a bot to help. "Early adopters are increasingly moving to bots to stay connected with their customers,” shares CodEye co-founder Swayam Dhawan. He immediately saw the potential of chatbot technology in this new client’s industry, saying “The power of real-time push notifications for sharing media articles and snippets can’t be handled any better than via bot.”

The CodEye team at work.
The power of real-time push notifications for sharing media articles and snippets can’t be handled any better than via bot.” –Swayam Dhawan, CodEye co-founder

The Problem

The media company enlisted CodEye’s help with four main problems:

  1. Failure to retarget ad traffic. Their inefficient ads also meant they were missing out on opportunities for retargeting users who had engaged with an ad, but didn’t convert. This type of traffic is already warm, meaning higher conversion rates and a lower cost—but the company wasn’t yet taking advantage of it.
  2. Not enough app installs. The company had tried to increase installations of their mobile news app using ads, but the results were disappointing. Although the speed and UX of their app are well rated, traffic just wasn't converting. For every $100 they put into Facebook ads, they were getting just 20-30 app installs—and Instagram ads and Google ads did no better. “Depending on the traffic source, they were spending average of $5 to acquire one app download,” says Dhawan.
  3. Low engagement. As one of India’s leading news and media outlets, the client was already a well-known brand with a solid reader base and a fairly strong social media following. But their funnels were non-functional, and they were making virtually no direct contact with readers. Engagement on their Facebook page was very low, too—around 2%.
  4. Support team tied up with manual, repetitive tasks. Finally, the media brand was also struggling to streamline the tasks of their support team. One of their roles was to field calls from other businesses who wanted to purchase advertising space on their website, in their app, or in their newspaper. But the process had become extremely inefficient, consisting of repetitive tasks and multiple follow-ups just to complete a single transaction.

The Solution

The first order of business was to fix the retargeting issue, because the team at CodEye knew that their client could be gaining more, valuable prospects for a low cost that way. “Getting app installs was okay, but what about the traffic they acquired that didn’t install the app? That was the issue we needed to fix first,” says Dhawan. They began by building a robust Facebook Messenger chatbot, which became the linchpin in eventually overcoming all four of the brand’s main challenges.

The bot they created offers multiple news categories, live sports scores, a news-search function, and push notifications according to a user’s chosen subscription. It imports the latest headlines via RSS feeds, and offers surveys and quiz funnels for engagement and data collection. The bot encourages app installations because, when a user clicks on a headline to read a story, they’re redirected to the full news item in the app if installed. If they haven’t yet installed it, they’re redirected to the app store to do so.

The app CodEye created for their client offers teasers for top news stories and information. When a user taps “Read More,” they’re redirected to the mobile app or to the app store.

The news chatbot allows users to quickly and easily get a taste of what the full mobile app offers, all within the familiar Messenger interface. Once CodEye had this engaging tool in place, the next step was to expose more users to it. They used two simple campaigns to get a solid user base for their bot, and then grew it exponentially thanks to the highly effective Facebook ad campaigns they ran next.

The Recipe

CodEye built the media bot in Chatfuel, and used custom PHP and Javascript code as well to direct users to the mobile app on both Android and iOS phones. They used Facebook Ads Manager to run ads to reach new users similar to existing app downloaders, and gathered data in Google Sheets for analysis. They also used these tools and features to achieve results for their client:

  • REF links. A REF link is a URL that doesn’t just send a user to your bot’s Welcome Message, but to a specific part of your bot instead. CodEye shared a REF link in their client’s Instagram and Facebook Stories. When a user swiped up in the Story, a Messenger chat window appeared. Instead of opening the bot’s Welcome Message there though, the REF link directed users right to an engaging message that was relevant to the content of the Story. It was designed to encourage users to interact, because those who responded to the bot in that window became subscribers. The team at CodEye gained 150 subscribers this way with only $100 in ad spend. From there, they moved into a giveaway campaign using Reengage messages.
  • Reengage messages. The team then sent a Reengage message to these 150 new subscribers, telling them about a new refer-and-win program. The users were told that if they invited three friends to play tambola, a bingo-style game, with them in the app, they’d earn 50 points towards future play for themselves. The next day, they used another Reengage message to tell these same users that if they referred even more friends, they’d have the chance to win exciting prizes like a mobile phone or a car.
CodEye used the popular Indian game tambola to incentivize subscribers to share the offer with their friends, which brought them many new, warm leads.
  • Lookalike Audiences. The number of bot subscribers skyrocketed, and the agency got over 2,000 of these new subscribers to download the mobile app with the referral and giveaway funnel. Since they also gained access to these users’ Facebook IDs in the process, they were able to easily create a Lookalike Audience for Facebook ads next. They made custom audiences to target users similar to:
  • Those who previously installed the app
  • Those who had clicked the “Send Message” button on the client's Facebook page
  • Those who had Liked or taken any other actions on the page previously

They ran these ads until they were no longer necessary. Eventually, their bot had enough subscribers that the referral funnel gave them a steady stream of warm, new traffic.

  • User attributes. CodEye’s efforts didn’t stop once they brought new users to the bot and the app, either. They kept interacting with their chatbot subscribers through regular campaigns. They integrated different funnels to keep the media company’s engagement numbers healthy, including live cricket-match scores, quizzes for prizes, and the opportunity to submit stories and jokes for a chance to be featured. Through user attributes, they kept track of which type of content each user was most interested in so they could send them more of it.

The Results

Thanks to the Chatfuel bot they built, the CodEye team was able to solve all four problems their client originally faced. Here are the impressive metrics they achieved in each area:

Problem #1: Failure to retarget ad traffic

Result: The media company’s cost per acquisition went from $20 to $0 once there were enough subscribers for the referral funnel to do all the work. All told, they gained 194,000 bot subscribers by spending only $1,000 on ads because they were able to harness the power of retargeting.

Problem #2: Not enough app installs

Result: Once CodEye fixed the retargeting issue, they got 25,000+ app installs a month for their client—which was a 40% increase from before—and led to a total of 200,842 installs at the time of this writing. The app was well-received by the new downloaders, too—it gained hundreds of five-star reviews within 30 days.

At the time of this writing, CodEye had gained 200,842 total app downloads for their client.

Problem #3: Low engagement

Result: The media company has enjoyed a 30% boost in organic engagement on their Facebook page since the bot was implemented. CodEye was able to help them with something many other media companies struggle to do digitally: drawing users in and keeping them interested.

Problem #4: Support team tied up with manual, repetitive tasks

Result: Since the CodEye team set up a feature to automate FAQs about selling ad space, the bot now handles about 90% of the repetitive tasks and questions on the topic. As a result, the support team is now free to handle other, more complex inquiries, while the bot facilitates revenue generation automatically.

Swayam Dhawan’s advice for others looking to build better funnels to improve results for their business:“First, do not make it overcomplicated. Second, understand your target audience. Then create a plan to engage them, and use a chatbot to minimize ad cost. If you can get that right, everything else will take care of itself.”

Extra, extra! 📰

The results CodEye achieved with a bot are within reach for businesses across all kinds of industries. You can build a bot for free with Chatfuel—and there’s no special knowledge or coding skills required!

First, view our intro video and browse our how-to articles to get familiar with the Chatfuel platform. For tips and advice, join our active Facebook community. Now’s the time to harness the power of Messenger bots for your brand!