Building Bots for Messenger: Chat Leap Helps Businesses Optimize Bots to Acquire Customers

Chat Leap is a one-stop solution used by businesses and marketing professionals to build, deploy, and run bots and messaging solutions for multiple instant messaging platforms. Their focus is on helping businesses develop an instant-messaging bot as a marketing channel that will enable them to aggregate various customer outreach and response capabilities in order to acquire, onboard and retain customers.

We caught up with the team at Chat Leap recently to learn more.

In 100 words or less describe your service?

Chat Leap enables marketers to build and optimize bots that can be added to their entire omni-channel marketing stack. Businesses today use email, landing pages, SMS, push, and by using our platform they holistically create an instant messaging bot as a channel, which helps them acquire, onboard and retain customers. Digital marketers and CRM managers who use our platform successfully improve their customer acquisition costs, lifetime value, and overall engagement with their users. They do it by easily building a bot suited to their needs, with all the pre-defined analytics, optimization and growth tools, and integration to their CRM and BI services.

What technologies/tools do you use?

Our tech stack consists of a microservice architecture all built in-house; a high-end web application, in which our customers build their bots, launch campaigns, and view performance analytics. It was built with React, Redux, Node.js, and the data layer is powered by Elasticsearch, and an API bridge that abstracts the messenger api to make it more suitable for declarative programming. We think of it as a custom built React-Redux for bots. Built with Node.js, it is a real-time BI engine that tracks all the events, infers context into conversations, schedules personalized interactions, and more. We also use Cloudinary for transformations on images and videos. This has proven very valuable and abstracts the complexities of working with different formats, resizing aspect ratios, and more.

What Messenger Platform features do you leverage?

We leverage mostly visual and social elements. We found that in order to keep users engaged, follow actions, and maintain customer loyalty, there needs to be more emphasis on visual features. Using video, images, quick replies, surveys, all these and more are easier for users to obtain. For the most part, using free text hasn’t yet proved itself to be something people want to do with a bot. Our customers only use it when it’s really needed. We can also easily add high end Chat Extensions to the bots, thanks to our structured approach.

How was your experience designing and building your service? What did you learn? Was there anything you learned that you didn’t expect?

The first thing we noticed is that drag and drop interfaces, which are very flexible, are quite overwhelming for marketers who are used to having structured step-by-step flows. So we built our bot wizard, keeping our customers focused, as we visualize them with every step they go through building the bot, keeping them from swerving off track. We look at Facebook’s Power Editor and other marketing platforms as a reference to a flow that works well. We also created several business type templates – lead generation bots, games, content publishers etc. This way they know exactly what they’re building, and they don’t have to sit for hours and days, brainstorming on the conversation flow – we already have the best-practice part solved for them, they just need to add their creative assets and use their own brand’s language, and they’re done.

Who are your customers trying to reach?

Our customers are trying to reach all those that dropped in the middle of a funnel, stopped opening their emails or responding to their push notifications, and basically – anyone who’s a potential new or existing customer.

A bot on Messenger begins a conversation that later continues in a one, canonical thread, allowing businesses to re-engage with customers and keep them retained and updated. We think the conversational and social features embedded in Messenger are unparalleled to any other form of digital communication. Messenger’s massive distribution across the world, and the daily usage among its users, make it a must-have channel for these businesses, and the conversion and retention rates our customers are seeing prove that.

How is building a bot different from a traditional mobile app?

We think apps are great at what they do but consider them more as a product. With bots we see the potential of connecting with users when they’re outside of your product, helping them with easier tasks and keeping one open thread of conversation that is valuable to all sides. We believe that bots will one day begin to replace some functionalities that are currently more common with apps, like food ordering, shopping, transferring goods, etc. But they will only do it when they really are better than apps and able to save time doing so, and be collaborative and social.

What is your favorite feature of your platform? Why?

When we looked at existing marketing automation technology, something that we saw was missing was optimization for the quality and timing of push messages. Every push message our customers’ bots send has the following characteristics: 1. The timing is personalized per user taking into account every interaction they previously had. 2. Even if the push consists of three different messages (for example: text, image, text w/ quick replies), our system sends one message as a silent push and the rest as silent. The personalization boosts CTRs dramatically, and the silent pushes help prevent user churn. Our customers are reaching 60% CTR on their campaigns, and retaining engaged users for months (hopefully it will be years, but time will tell).

What metric does your platform fulfill for your customers? Awareness? Engagement? Retention?

There are several KPI’s our customers are improving across their customer engagement strategies: SAAS based businesses are seeing better conversion rate than landing pages using ads to messenger, up to X1.5 improvement. Gaming apps are seeing X14! on their CTR for retention messages that take users back to play a game. They’re also seeing increases in DAU, and cross-device usage for those that have apps both on canvas and mobile apps. In general, our product was built to track every single event, so it’s very easy for marketers to see results soon after launch, and without having to implement analytics events of any sort, everything is pre-configured for them.

What are the methods of discovery you are using that have been effective?

Our platform supports 10 different “Growth tools” for Messenger, including trackable m.me links, custom landing pages, automatically replying to comments on page posts, JSON ad creation, checkbox plugin, and more. Everything is tracked with attribution reports. Effectiveness varies across the different spectrum of our customers and their bot use cases, but in general the most popular growth tools with our customers are the “send to messenger” plugin for Web pages and Messenger destination ads

What will you build next?

We are excited about Messenger embracing HTML5 technology – we’ll definitely be investing in the Webviews and Chat Extensions down the road. Our customers have also been requesting to launch Ad campaigns directly from our system (instead of copying the JSON from our system to the ads manager), so we hope to deliver that ability soon.

Why Messenger?

Messenger’s unparalleled reach of over 1B people and continued exponential growth is obviously a huge reason we love Messenger. We also love Messenger’s rich SDKs that go beyond building the bot, enabling useful interactions like opt-ins from web pages, sharing, and more. Messenger’s tight integrations with Facebook’s ad platform is also something that is very important for our customers. And finally, we consider ourselves as partners with Messenger, having been featured in its platform directory, getting access to beta features and being invited to its exclusive events. We see this as a long term, beautiful friendship.

Our Building Bots for Messenger series highlights different experiences on the Messenger platform. These businesses and developers have approached building their bots in a unique and interesting way, and are seeing success on the Messenger platform. Look for more bot profiles right here on the Messenger blog.

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