This is an update from the DigiTELL project which is happening in Turkey. This is an exciting project that is pushing out to some of the outer limits of where any outreach has gone with mobile ministry. Lots of good lessons learned to chew on here but please also use it as food for prayer and bring DigiTell and the people of Turkey before our gracious God!
This is the image we posted all over Istanbul this month.
Here is a rough translation: "Ya Yaln?? biliyorsak? = What if what we believe is false?
"Gercek" yaz 0543 1559 gönder = text "truth" to 0543 1559.
gercekne.com = whattruth.com
Here is a summary of what it took to get this off the ground:
- A generous grant that gave us the resources to make this happen early last year.
- We built an SMS server that is prepared to send out over 10,000 SMS automated messages per month using Frontlinesms and tied directly to our salesforce database.
- We completely rebuilt, redesigned and rewrote yagercekse.com (what if it's true?.com).
- We created a landing page gercekne.com,(whattruth.com) - which asks 'what do you see in the mirror? what do you think?' and has just 1 button that leads to a webform before we offer the rest of the yagercekse.com site to visitors).
- Jim Meyer of http://gemstonemedia.blogspot.com/ is an amazing designer in Germany who designed and shot the brilliant image that is now on the ads and landing page. (just doing that shoot is a story in itself).
- We ended up going with "Plan B" which means that we didn't get a 5 story ad. But we did get two 2 meter wide, back-lit ads in the metroline & 45 smaller ads in buses right behind the bus driver.
This is a guy texting us a response while waiting for a train:
In terms of fruit this is what I can say (after 3 of 4 weeks)
10's of thousands saw the add while commuting through the city.
~150 page views of gercekne.com per day
~100 SMS texts to 0543 1559 total
~70 uses of the QR code total
~40 webforms filled out total
These numbers are far short of what we were praying for over this project but then again, we've never done something like this before. And this has been the most fun project I've gotten to do during my tenure here.
Here are my primary lessons learned:
The biggest limiting factors are/were:
1. The webform we currently have is too intimidating (this will be fixed within a month or so)
2. SMS campaigns really need a "short code" to be successful here.
Short code puzzle:
I'm not sure this is something we can do as they are hugely expensive and you can only rent them, not buy them, and thus they can be shut down if the gov't or cell phone company does not like your project. http://gigaom.com/2007/03/16/10-things-to-know-about-short-codes/
This was one heck of a pioneering technological project. And we need to keep moving. If we want to see ads like this continue here we probably need to get another campaign running bynext fall. But I don't know how we could do that. (These are not cheap!)
All of us should be doing our mobile development projects in some thing that is cross-platform. PhoneGap is THE answer: http://phonegap.com/ This is their newsletter from yesterday:
Credit goes to John Dyer http://j.hn/ for showing us this brilliant tool at TIEN 2012
We are toying with ideas and planning on starting to build out a little ev app in July 2012.
If we can get a phonegap app created by this fall I hope we can redeploy this same ad, with the app, and a better webform in place. And then, hopefully, try another similar project roughly a year from now.
All to His glory!!!