How to reach 10 million users in two years

10 million registered users and over 100 million clicks monthly. These are some of the stats for the Telenor-developed app WowBox which was launched in Bangladesh two years ago.

  • Solve a customer problem
  • Be locally relevant
  • Offer a loyalty program
  • Mix utility and entertainment

WowBox is a lifestyle app and works as a digital distribution channel for Telenor. In the app you can find localised content, like trending news, sport updates, in-built games, free music, lifestyle articles, and competitions.

For many of Telenor’s customers, WowBox has been their first introduction to using the internet or digital content consumption. Aina Marie Uchermann, marketing manager in Telenor’s WowBox team, explains that the app offers a simple interface so users can explore and find all content in one place. The app is aiming to lower the threshold of a user accessing and exploring the internet, and to inform, educate and entertain through the app.

“The app is free to use, so Telenor customers aren’t charged for the data consumption when using WowBox. That way, they avoid the common fear of bill-shock, which can be a barrier to explore the internet in the markets we operate in.”

WowBox is currently generating one million weekly data sales through the app. “In this market, normally users top up data through SMS with a USSD code or in a shop. With WowBox, customers can purchase and access data with one click, so it makes it a lot easier to top up. Customer insights indicate that the data consumption increases after using WowBox and a recent study from Bangladesh shows that the data usage increases up to 52% after using WowBox.”

This led the WowBox team to create a loyalty program that has increased retention and user satisfaction. For each purchase, users receive bonus points that they can redeem in the app.

The app’s store section with Telenor products and the loyalty program takes up 30 percent of the app activity. The remaining 70 percent is content, such as news and entertainment.

Local relevance is a key success factor

Today they have ten million users in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar. Of the ten million registered users Bangladesh holds the majority of the customer-base so far. Now the WowBox team is exploring other emerging markets in Asia.

“Local relevance and insights are the main success factors for reaching these stats. Another factor is that we have been able to identify and solve a user problem through this service.”

Our local partners and agencies deliver and produce content for the app, in order to offer local and relevant content to the customers. Local content can be everything from Bollywood news, and live cricket results to beauty tips and music.”

How do you acquire new users?

“We get new users through various marketing activities. We often have local events and visit universities where we meet potential users and explain the benefits of the app. We also connect with customers on digital and offline media through videos and other types of advertising.”

“However, the word of mouth effect has worked well as we have a high organic reach, so we spend some of our budget on things that benefit the users and makes the application more attractive so they recommend the app to their friends.”