A human-powered chatbot that teaches you how to become a Growth Hacker!

Ferdinand Kjærulff
Jan 30 · 4 min read

Let’s start with some mind-boggling numbers. Africa has a population of 1.1 billion but it is expected to rise to 4 billion by the end of this century. Four in 10 of the world’s people will be African by the end of this century. Nearly a third or 400 million of them are on the internet, which is the second-largest internet-user population on the planet, just after China. 139 million of these users are on Facebook, 98% of whom connected via mobile.

You can reach this group of young people with Facebook ads and chat directly with them for less than 0.04 USD/user. It would cost less than 5 million USD to reach and engage all 139 million Facebook users in a conversation. So what would be the topic and what would we talk about?

A simple idea would be to start a conversation about education and their future career. It might be possible to inspire them to learn new stuff and help them find new opportunities. However, the current average teacher/faculty ratio in US universities is 1:16, so it would require around 8.7 million teachers to provide high-quality education as we know it to our target group of 139 million reachable users.

So a solution might be to build an AI chatbot that would be able to inspire and teach students on scale and at marginal cost. Imagine we could create an AI tutor for the millions of people that cannot afford or have access to high-quality education in Africa.

A chatbot would be able to personalize each lesson plan and hopefully make the students learn at a much faster rate than if they had to compete with 19 other students for the teacher's attention. A chatbot can pick up on a student’s strengths and weaknesses and apply a series of algorithms to tailor the lessons accordingly. It can figure out how to teach you in a faster way over time.

So we build a chatbot for conversational education in online marketing or growth hacking which might be a framework for other areas of education or training in other skills. We launched a localized version in Gambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. We’re promoting it with Facebook with the following ads:

The Chabot consist of a welcome flow to onboard the user, it follows up on the user to complete freely available courses online and comes with suggestions to potential job opportunities.

https://bit.ly/3aZENAb

We started the online campaign in early October and recruited more than 10.000 users — 4.000 users in Ethiopia alone. The average cost of acquiring a chatbot user with Facebook ads is approximately 0,04 USD.

As it can be seen on the graph we had to delete users on the way when they became inactive after signing up to the chatbot.

In peak times we have nearly 4.000 messages/day being responded to by the chatbot in each country. We have an online freelancer from Kenya working as the “chatbot operator” to ensure that the chatbot works as it should and is following up on students.

https://www.upwork.com/o/profiles/users/_~~c57d045a77cfa228/

It is still in the early stage, but both the “chatbot” operator and the chatbot is currently learning what works and what does not work. So stay tuned:-)

We’re naturally excited if this might be a solution that could be scaled to the potential 100 million users in Africa.

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Ferdinand Kjærulff

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