So you've received your first few Explorers- congratulations! But you may be wondering about some best practices for how to message them. Explorers come in through a variety of advertising campaigns with a variety of questions and thoughts. Some are ready to talk right away. Some take a little longer to open up. The most important thing that you can do in your first message is to create a safe space for the Explorer to engage with you and share more of what's going on in in their life.
Here are 5 practical tips we've picked up along the way that will help you start conversations.
1. Respond as soon as you can!
Explorers who are responded to within the first hour of being matched with your church have a significantly higher chance of texting you back than those who have to wait a long time for a response.
2. Introduce yourself and share how you got their info!
Explorers fill out a form online and then receive a text from you, from a phone number they've never seen before. They cannot see their original message, so make sure they know who you are and why you are texting them. Do not reference Gloo, because they don't know who we are! Gloo is just the middle man making the connection.
3. Ask a specific question!
Explorers are looking for meaningful conversation and connection. While telling them you're praying and giving your church address is great, it doesn't necessarily create conversation. Asking a question like "what today has been particularly difficult for you? I'd love to hear more" gets significantly higher response rates.
Connections are relational. Each Explorer is looking to be met with empathy and kindness. 100% want to connect with a person, but only 30% are comfortable engaging with a church.
4. Use the Conversation Prompts!
If you're struggling to know how to begin with a specific conversation, we're here for you! Check out our Conversation Prompts that will help you send a quality first message to an Explorer to get the ball rolling.
4. Message more than once!
Recent data shows that almost 30% of Explorers don't respond until you've messaged them at least twice. If you message once and don't get a response, wait 8-10 hours and send another text to reassure them that you are a real person that cares and wants to hear their story.
A Quick Example
Let's see a few of these tips in action! Below we have a sample conversation with an Explorer named Derek who reached out in response to a Churches Care ad about anxiety, and said he is very anxious because he lost his job and wants to talk to someone. Watch how the responder introduces himself, creates a safe space, asks specific questions, and builds a relationship with Derek through texting.