Keeping in touch is easier than ever before with text messaging.
Many companies use text messages to spread the word about special events, promotions and any changes in operating hours.
Since text messaging doesn’t cost too much, thousands of businesses send updates and text alerts for pennies.
Churches have now realised that they can also use SMS messages to, so to speak, spread the word.
Whether it’s a friendly reminder of an event or a daily message to start the day, churches are looking at how text messaging reaches their congregation easily, quickly and effectively.
This list shows 10 ways churches spread their word in the technological world.
“The text alerts allow us to send out short, immediate information about needs in our congregation, remind people of upcoming events, and generally stay better connected” – Rodney Veldhuizen of Riverview Reformed Church
SMS Marketing Cuts Costs
Text messages aren’t expensive to send, even if it is to a whole congregation.
The cost of text messaging is a fraction of the cost of printing flyers and other paper items.
Not only do you save on printing costs, information is more likely to be spread.
It takes a few minutes to send and receive a text message, whereas it can cost more time and money to print off an announcement.
Here are some examples of how churches save money using text messages:
- Group message dispersed to all members: “Don’t forget about Friday night’s potluck!”, instead of flyers reducing paper waste.
- Group messages back to sender: “We will be there!”, instead of phone calls, thereby reducing time spent on the phone.
Reach More People
“We are much more connected, I find the immediacy of the text a much more effective tool than I have ever had before and I get immediate responses where before it would take days or weeks.” – Rodney Veldhuizen of Riverview Reformed Church
As more and more people rely on mobile devices, it’s easier to reach out to people than ever before.
No matter if you’re used to calling people or handing out flyers, you can reach more people much faster compared to traditional communication methods.
You also have the option of reaching out to people as individuals or getting to members through a group.
It’s nearly impossible for people to disappear completely, and using text messages are the best way to communicate with a large group of people at the same time.
Sending out newsletters or inspirational quotes is easier to send to a whole group of people at once, rather than a single message at a time, and bulk messaging allows you to do that without much effort.
Sending invitations out to whole groups of people is a popular way to reach out.
Appointment reminders can be sent to people individually or in a whole group.
When you’re trying to get your message to your whole congregation it takes a lot of steps unless you have automated messaging.
It’s practical for those who want to set a message for an anniversary date or birthday.
Set up groups to receive the text messages so your church can send out personalized text messages to families, youth groups, kids and adults.
Set criteria for automated messages, such as a christening, birthday, holiday or special event, to create specific messages for certain groups.
This also frees up more time for those in the church to plan and organize events.
Set up personalized text messages for those who have an anniversary with the church or send out birthday wishes.
Create different groups to ensure that everyone in the group gets the right text message sent to them.
Using text messages to get feedback is an excellent tool for those that need some more information.
Whether it’s regarding a sermon, choices of songs or a survey about an event, getting crucial feedback can help any church improve its services to a congregation.
Feedback allows people in the church to get involved and gives them a way to voice their opinions.
When you open the lines of communication to get people’s ideas and answers their questions, they feel like they’re part of the church.
Getting people involved allows them to feel important and relevant within the church community.
Getting feedback is important for any church, especially when it comes to important events that need some more direction.
Using text messaging surveys to have an idea of what people think of the sermon.
Asking for feedback on an upcoming event to see what else could be a part of the event.
One of the main goals of many businesses revolves around growing a subscription list, and churches are no exception.
Creating a subscription list allows people to sign up for text messaging notifications.
Not only can you have current members sign up, they can refer their friends to the church.
This allows new members to see how the church fits their lifestyle and whether they want to attend services on a regular basis. Subscriptions are an excellent solution for those that want to expand their message to new people, and getting them involved with a subscription is an excellent way to do it.
Churches can accommodate anyone on their subscription list.
This allows people to have more access to the church’s activities.
New members begin to understand what goes on inside the church.
Use Text Messaging for Live Polls
A live poll is an excellent way to gauge how people are responding to the sermon in real time.
Consider an interactive sermon where congregants ask questions about concepts presented during the talk.
The pastor responds to questions quickly.
Again, this makes congregants feel as if they are a part of the community and a part of the service.
Interactivity allows them to join in and feel like they’re contributing to the conversation, rather than sitting in their chair.
There are different ways to manage the text messages that come pouring in during the sermon to prevent any unwanted interruptions.
There should be some training and rehearsals conducted before the live texting sermon, otherwise the timing and too much information can stall a sermon.
Surveys allow people to ask questions during the sermon, either to the speaker or another individual.
This gives people a chance to be included during the sermon.
Everyone wants to be kept in the loop, and churches can use text messaging to send out prayers and condolences to those going through some tough times.
Text messages allow the church to work with people, and asking simple questions will help get the answers they need.
Congregants won’t have to go in or call in during their busy schedule to make a special request.
Messaging is quick, and any information the church needs can be handled with a simple text message.
It’s ideal for getting people together to help out in any way they can.
Using text messages to send out condolences or prayers.
Collect information via survey through the text messaging system.
Use Text Messaging for Emergencies
During emergencies, text messages can help out a lot of people.
If any weather catastrophe, fire or accident happens, a message sent out by the church can help guide people to safety.
This is especially important in rural communities where landlines may be few and far between, and cellphone service may be spotty.
Using text messages during an emergency allows the church to spread out the safety information to those in the congregation to keep people safe.
It’s a practical idea for those that may not have the best cell phone service in their area.
Send updates about severe weather.
Spread information about disease outbreaks in rural countries.
No matter if the church is under construction or an event is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, there are many reasons to send out text messages.
Sending out updates help people avoid the hassle of coming to an event that is no longer on the schedule if they have a heads up before the appointed time.
Giving your congregation the information they need beforehand will save a lot of time, effort and headaches.
No matter how small it is, congregants appreciate it when the church reaches out and lets the congregation know about any schedule changes.
Try sending out messages about a single service being cancelled.
Let people know about any construction or remodelling.
Improve Marketing for the Church
Getting your church’s name out to more people is an ideal situation if you want to have more people attend your services.
People can learn more about the church if they see more content from the church.
Placing a link to the church in a text message allows people to click on the link and go straight to the website.
This is practical marketing that is easy to do, and doesn’t take too much time to set up.
Churches should market their events and upcoming sermons to have more people attend.
It’s a practical and easy enough way to market to an entirely new set of people.
Send messages to people who are new to the congregation, or want more information.
Allow people to follow a link to the church’s website to find out more information about the church.
Use Text Messaging to Become Better Connected As a Congregation
We no longer hear “I didn't know” which was quite common before we started texting – Andrea Solid from Mountaintop Faith Ministries
More churches use text messaging and Mobile Text Alerts to improve their marketing strategy.
Churches have noticed how effective text messaging can be. Find out for yourself by signing up for your SMS Marketing trial account for free.
They can use text messaging for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to spread their word or have more people join their congregation.
These are just a few of the examples of how churches use text messages for their own marketing programs.