Are you more likely to read a text message or an email? If you’re like the vast majority of people, it’s the text message. And this is why having a church texting service is so vital for churches!
Here’s a breakdown of what church texting solutions are, the key features offered, and the top seven reasons they benefit your church.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Table of contents
- What is a Church Text Messaging Service?
- 7 Benefits of a Church Texting Service
- 1. A church texting service can consistently deliver communication on time
- 2. Text messages are more likely to be read than email
- 3. Broadcast urgent communications with a church texting service
- 4. Text messaging can feel more personal
- 5. Church texting services can send automated messages based on individual interactions
- 6. Collect information and streamline processes via text
- 7. Church texting services help leaders minister to church members
- Mass Texting Companies Features You Need to Know
- Why You Need a Church Texting Service
What is a Church Text Messaging Service?
As noted by Clearstream.io, texting is the most immediate way to connect with your people. And while email and social media are helpful, they aren’t nearly as effective.
Text messaging statistics show that 89% of phone users read a message within 30 minutes after receiving it.
Here are some other enlightening stats:
- The average click-through rate for SMS messages is 19.3% compared to 4.2% for emails
- 91% of customers surveyed are interested in signing up for texts (according to consumer research)
- American users check their smartphones on average 47 times daily (but the average for the 18-24 age group is 86 times daily)
Pastors and church leaders have been communicating with members through text messages for a long time, but investing in church texting services takes your text communication to a whole new level.
A church texting platform allows you to send mass text messages to your church members all at once, either churchwide or within the groups you’ve set up.
7 Benefits of a Church Texting Service
Here are just a few ways that using a church texting service can benefit your church…
1. A church texting service can consistently deliver communication on time
Church communication can be tricky when there are so many ministry and church events happening throughout the week.
How can you ensure information from church leaders is delivered in a timely and thorough manner?
Texting services for churches provide a way for your leadership team to get on the same page and schedule messages in advance.
The ability to schedule text messages is a huge benefit because it allows you to
- Send messages at the optimal time
- Avoid bombarding your members with multiple messages on the same day
- Ensure you send crucial reminders and information
2. Text messages are more likely to be read than email
The average person reads 98% of the texts they receive, while the average open rate for email is only 20%.
This stat should be enough to make any church leader want to invest in a text messaging strategy.
With church members more likely to read your text message than they are to open an email or see a social media post, you can be confident that important information is getting through.
And don’t worry about coming across as too pushy.
People appreciate receiving texts from businesses as long as they’re relevant and not too frequent.
Just be sure to follow the following guidelines:
- Get permission – Only text people who have opted in to receive messages.
- Be clear about opt-outs – Always include an easy way for people to unsubscribe from your texts.
- Respect frequency preferences – Don’t text too often
Also, know that texting is going to be more popular with youth. So when it comes to youth groups, conferences, and the younger generation, mass texting can definitely be the most effective way to communicate.
3. Broadcast urgent communications with a church texting service
In the event of an emergency, you can use a church texting service to send out urgent communications to your church members.
You might need to alert people about a severe weather warning to an evacuation notice, or other pressing church-wide announcements.
With bulk text messaging, you can quickly and easily get the word out to all your members, no matter where they are.
And because text messages are delivered to their mobile device, your members will receive your message even if they’re already en route.
4. Text messaging can feel more personal
When was the last time a friend or family member sent you a text message?
Chances are, it wasn’t that long ago. In this day and age, you expect check-in texts from people you have close relationships with!
A text message feels more personal than email, which is why they’re such an effective tool for church communications.
Personalized messaging can foster deeper relationships within your church, and is a great tool for ministry leaders to build rapport with their teams.
Remember, your texts don’t always need to be about events and announcements. For example, you can ask for or share prayer requests.
Mass texting also works for offering your members encouragement or letting them know you’re thinking about them.
5. Church texting services can send automated messages based on individual interactions
With church texting services, you can send automated text messages based on individual interactions.
One way to do this is through text to join keywords. Keywords are the words or short phrases someone types in to be added to a mass texting list.
After sending the keyword, the users are sent an autoreply, link, or added to automated workflows in your texting software or church software you use for managing members.
For example, a church member could text the word “PRAYER” to a certain number. Then, the service adds them to the prayer team so they can start receiving automated text messaging with prayer requests and updates.
Examples of common text to join keywords for churches are things like
- GIVE or GIVENOW to receive a link for giving
- VOLUNTEER to receive information about a volunteer team and follow up from a church leader
- GROUPS to receive a link to the online small group directory
- NEWHERE to provide “plan your visit” info for first-time guests along with first-time guest follow up
6. Collect information and streamline processes via text
Mass texting can be part of your communication strategy when it comes to collecting information and streamlining processes.
For example, you can encourage first-time guests to opt into text messaging to instantly communicate with a leader or volunteer from the church. Then, you can add them to automated workflows for follow-up and assimilation.
(By the way, this works for an online church community as well as in person.)
You can also use text messaging to collect information from your members, like contact info updates, small group preferences, or filling out a digital connection card.
So, you can save your team a lot of time and energy by automating these processes.
Other ideas for how you can text in church include:
- Sending out a church-wide survey
- Registering for events
- Signing up volunteers
- Requesting prayer or sharing praise reports
7. Church texting services help leaders minister to church members
Text messaging for churches is about more than administrative processes; it’s also about ministry.
We know it doesn’t sound very personal when you hear the term “mass texts.” But they can actually help you stay more intimately engaged over time than you would on your own, without a tool to help you.
A texting service can help you be more intentional and consistent about checking in with church members on a regular basis.
This is equally important for new church plants or large multi-campus churches.
Ultimately, a texting service can help you build deeper relationships. Multiple ministries can use this tool to care for people.
Mass Texting Companies Features You Need to Know
Are you almost ready to take the plunge and invest in a church texting service?
Before you narrow down your options and send messages, there’s some interesting terminology associated with mass text services that you need to know.
Text Software Features
Expected texting features would include scheduling, two-way communication, and the ability to segment your list into groups.
Here are some other terms to know when it comes to texting service features:
- Autoresponder – an automated message sent in response to someone taking a specific action, like texting a keyword or opting into a list.
- Broadcast – a one-time mass text to your entire list. It might be an announcement, reminder, or something else entirely.
- Contact List or Record – this is the list of people who have opted into your mass texting service. Many services offer unlimited contact records.
- Drip campaigns – drips are automated emails or sms marketing sent to customers over time. It might serve as a welcoming program to new members or to engage congregations over time.
- Groups – you can segment your contact list into different groups. While some services offer unlimited groups, others will limit you.
- Keywords – text to join keywords are the words or short phrases someone types in to be added to a mass texting list. Some services offer a limited number of keyword texting options in your account, while others may be unlimited.
- MMS and SMS – MMS stands for multimedia messaging service. This allows you to send videos, images, and GIFs in your texts. SMS (short message service) is a text-only option. SMS messages are usually cheaper.
- Short codes – these are five or six-digit numbers that act like a phone number.
Additional Features of Text Platforms
In addition to these basics, you might see additional features such as
- Online forms
- Pools and surveys
- Personalized birthday wishes
As noted by Clearstream.io, a critical factor for choosing the right texting service is to ensure that it integrates with other software you use such as Pushpay/CCB (Church Community Builder), Planning Center, Rock RMS, Mailchimp, Zapier, etc.
Why You Need a Church Texting Service
Now that you know more about what texting services are and how they work, it’s pretty clear that texting services provide fantastic benefits for church members and leaders.
Church texting services:
- Save time for busy pastors and church leaders.
- Reduce the number of missed appointments or events.
- Build a sense of community among members.
- Encourage giving and volunteering.
- Help with ministry support like prayer and care requests
Are you currently using a church texting service? Let us know how it’s going in the comments below.