More than Just a Language App: How busuu Used Connected Content to Become a Supportive and Friendly Coach for Foreign Language Learners

Language app busuu wanted to take on the role of helpful, supportive coach, keeping its users on track for their Study Plans. Read on to see how dynamic personalization, cross-channel messaging, and some human empathy in campaign planning helped them get there (with great results, too!).

There are lots of great reasons to learn another language. Maybe you want to interact with locals while you’re traveling. Perhaps you want to converse more easily with people who speak your native tongue as a second language. Or you might just be chasing the satisfaction that comes from mastering a new skill.

But who has time to learn a new language? With busuu, everyone does. Through its web and mobile apps, the company enables users to learn Spanish, French, Mandarin, and many other languages, simply by practicing a mere 10 minutes a day.

When it comes to mastering a new language, however, sticking with a program can be challenging, given all the competing demands on consumers’ time. That’s why busuu takes user input and builds a personalized Study Plan, including a timetable, reminders for a session, and estimated completion dates that update based on each user’s progress. busuu factors in which language a user wants to learn, their desired level of proficiency, and their available times to study.

busuu’s goal: Keep users motivated to stick to their study program

busuu decided they needed to send supportive, motivational messaging across email, push, and other channels that would help their users stay on top of their language learning goals. These highly-personalized, cross-channel messages would be gentle reminders for users to study, as well as to help them track their progress. The goal? busuu wanted to be more than just a learning tool; they wanted to be a supportive, helpful coach.

What’s more, busuu needed ways to keep its users on track at times when they’d fallen off the wagon. They learned that people are often over-ambitious about how often they want to—or are even able to—study, and it’s normal for them to fall out of their routines.

To create and send encouraging messages and keep users from getting discouraged when they came up short, busuu turned to Braze.

busuu’s strategy: Use the Braze platform to remind users to stick to their Study Plan

Using Braze, busuu now sends push notifications to each user at the day and time that they indicated they’d like to study. But the personalization of these messages extends beyond just when they’re sent—using Connected Content, the Braze platform’s dynamic content tool, these notifications are highly personalized by send time as well as by other details, such as desired proficiency. When it came to copy, busuu recognized that users would be getting these messages several times a week (if not daily!).The busuu team put their customer-hats on and realized it may be demotivating and maybe even annoying to receive the exact same message every day, so they created three copy variations within these notifications.

But what happens if a user is on their study game? busuu uses exception events within the Braze platform, so if a user has already completed the day’s session, they don’t receive a notification.

In addition to these reminder messages, busuu keeps users apprised of their progress through weekly emails. These emails include the information like:

  • Number of minutes studied, compared with their weekly commitment
  • Number of days studied, compared with their days commitment
  • Their fluency score
  • Estimated time to reach their goal

When creating these emails, Braze accesses only the most relevant, highly-personalized information for each user. As a result, the notification is in real-time and up-to-date. Not only does this ensure that the messages customers are receiving are as helpful and accurate as possible, it also helps the busuu team avoid some major time-to-value barriers since they can personalize these emails from just one template.

That’s all great for those who are on top of their study routines, but what about those who aren’t? Once again, the busuu team injects some empathy into their campaign by considering the experience from the customer point of view.

The busuu team recognized that, for a user who has fallen out of their routine, it can be discouraging to receive weekly progress emails with a long string of zeros representing how many minutes they’ve studied. By using Braze segmentation capabilities, busuu amended the messages for inactive users who have zero time studied. These users now receive an inspirational message to help them get back on track.

busuu’s results: More opened emails—and greater engagement

Using Connected Content from Braze, busuu has seen a 70 percent increase in direct opens compared with other push notifications. The company also saw a 93 percent increase in open rates for weekly progress emails compared with other engagement emails.

And those inactive-user emails that used to be chock-full of zeros? The new ones saw an open rate increase of 19 percent, and a click-through rate increase of 126 percent!

This campaign has been so successful, busuu is experimenting with Web Push to reach the web-only subset of their user base. The early reports are encouraging, as busuu is seeing promising open rates and engagement. busuu is also actively incorporating Connected Content into other types of campaigns.

What marketers can learn from busuu

It’s a fact: People respond well to brands that feel helpful, thoughtful and responsive. They want to feel that the brand knows what’s important to them right now. They want to feel that the brand is on their side.

This Connected Content campaign is overflowing with empathy. It’s a perfect example of how combining the creativity of teams that develop campaigns, plus technology and empathy, can make the busuu brand feel more human. And all this can be accomplished at scale, too.

There are numerous other examples of how organizations have used targeted, customer engagement strategy to achieve meaningful results. Check out the Braze Client Stories Page to learn more.