Missions and Chatbots: How To Leverage Chatbots To Create Leads From Your Facebook Campaign

" Every Christian a missionary; 
Every Non-Christian a mission field. "
- Winkie Pratney

Summer is the most interesting season. Well, that is just for me, especially when you are somewhere in Asia. If you want to travel somewhere in Asia…it must be during summer. You can go to the beach, enjoy seasonal fruits, explore by walking, check out local street food, commute without hassle, and wear comfortable clothes. 

 But this summer is different. I got to spend 2 summer weeks doing missions, digital missions! What do I mean by that? Digital Missions is doing something that would impact the lives of many but in a digital form. It might be creating a digital tool like Apps,  forging a digital strategy, designing social media campaign or maybe a collaboration with some digital ministries.

Singapore is one of the most strategic locations in the world. You can reach some Asian countries in just 3-5 hours. It has been tagged as a blessed country since they don’t experience strong tropical storms and their economy has been strong for so many decades.

I was invited to join #IndigiServe. An internship program of #Indigitous for those who want to do short term #DigitalMissions together with some believers that has the same passion; to help fulfill The Great Commission using technology and innovations.

From left to right, top to bottom: Me, Howard, Ian, Sam, Russ, Meredith, Lillian, Simon, Gwen, Keith, Wyeth
360 Hub, Dunearn Road, Singapore

In my pursuit to help reach the unreached, I was led to co-founding a digital ministry to reach the likes of my former self. A self-confessed serial dater, cheater, and a ghost (context is romantic relationship ghosting). I count in the analytics of people who seeks true love, happiness, fulfillment and being complete in a romantic relationship. So basically our target audience is Non-Christians.

We started this garage project to reach the broken-hearted, inspire healthy relationships and create memes. And I must admit it. It was the memes that keep me going for 3 years. For 3 years, by God’s grace and wisdom, we build the followership of our facebook page from 100s to millions…with memes. This is my dream ministry. Creating memes for Jesus…and I’m really serious about it. Kidding.

During this 2 weeks internship program, we worked on a chatbot that would leverage our social media campaigns and lead the messages in our inbox to our diverse community. A chatbot that would make our lives easy as an admin of the page by answering FAQs and reroute them to our website, youtube channel, other social media platforms, Gnowbe online courses, FB groups and Podcasts that may address their concerns.

From left to right, top to bottom: Ian, Howard, Me, Sam

In between those working schedules, we still manage to have our nightly adventure nights. I tell you, you’re going to need a lot of inspiration during these two weeks of #IndigiServe and Singapore will not disappoint.

We configured the chatbot, made a Session: “How To Move On” inside the chatbot (in JPEG form) and did a series of post across our social media platforms and add a call-to-action that would lead our followers to PM the page. On June 05, 2019 we went live!

In the next morning, we analyze the data and an astonishing 742 people PMed the page that day. Out of 742 people, 554 started a course and 514 finish up-to-the last page. We saw a big potential of adding value again to our followers by giving them another great user experience inside the chatbot. So we made some adjustments and set another goal to hit at least 10 link clicks redirecting them to our new learning platform which is Gnowbe (we put our content “How To Move On and How To Become A Digital Missionary” in Gnowbe) and to our website.

From left to right, top to bottom: Chi Ming from Gnowbe teaching the basics on how to use it, Ian, Howard, Sam

The results went south. We just have 6 clicks for Gnowbe “How To Become A Digital Missionary” and no one finished the course, 56 clicks on Gnowbe “How To Move On” and no one finished the course too and lastly, just 5 clicks to our website. We assumed that users will be clicking the link to Gnowbe platform even if we haven’t informed them that we actually have a new learning platform. So we analyzed the data, the flow of the chatbot, thought about what we did wrong in the content migration to Gnowbe and came up with some improvements. We made the pathways much clearer and fewer, created a social media campaign to inform the followers that we have a new FREE learning platform and made a call-to-action for them to PM the Facebook page again.

June 13, 2019, 4PM…we went live again (enabled chatbot) and the stats started to pick up. People are starting to sign-up for Gnowbe and started the course. At 10 pm, under the “How To Become A Missionary” program, we already have 67 people registered in Gnowbe App, 64 started the course, and 7 finished the course. For the “How To Move On”, 67 registered, 35 people started the course, and 30 finished the course.

We learned not to assume. Not to assume that the followers will click external links without explaining to them what is it all about. We learned that with clearer and proper pathways in chatbots, it will leverage our campaigns that would help our users get the information they need.

Innovation might be uncomfortable at first but it will undeniably create opportunities you can’t imagine. Same in missions. The method may change but the Message is still the same. We are living in a changing world. Change is the only constant thing in the world. If we say (as Christians) “We go where people are”, people are in digital space right now. If the digital space was a country…it would be the biggest. And we are to help fulfill The Great Commission, we should not ignore the digital realm. I believe that behind every screen is a person. A person that has a soul. A soul that needs Jesus.

The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few and offline. Let’s go online. Let’s go digital. Let’s go #DigitalMissions.