Church texting services provide churches and other religious groups with a more modern, cost-effective solution for connecting with congregants. Text messages are opened five times more than emails are and are responded to seven times more often!
By leveraging the power of texting, and group/bulk texting, churches and other religious organizations can strengthen their impact in the community.
The Two Types of Text Messages
Text messages come in two forms: SMS and MMS. SMS (short message service) are what you probably send to your friends and family on a daily basis. They’re about 160 characters (letters, numbers, spaces, and punctuation marks), and because they’re words-only, they are a great tool for sending out messages, notifications, event times, etc.
MMS is a multimedia message service, and these texts have images, videos, sound files, or other file attached to them. When you text a picture of your dinner to your friends, you’re sending an MMS. MMS is perfect for when words don’t tell the whole story; showing a picture of church members helping the less fortunate will make a bigger emotional impact than simply writing about it.
SMS messages can be read even on most older phones. Younger members, many of whom are savvy with mobile devices, almost always have their phone in hand and typically read text messages in five seconds or less. Bulk SMS, which are designed to help you communicate with hundreds or even thousands of parishioners, is a powerful tool for church marketing.
Organizations leveraging bulk SMS platforms to communicate efficiently, quickly, and in a cost-effective manner. Further, mobile devices have become an increasingly-preferred tool for parishioners of all ages, making it perhaps the one true outreach and notifications solution that can break through a lot of the email clutter to rise above the noise.
How to Begin Group Texting for Your Church
Step one is to create your EZ Texting account. Once you’re confirmed and logged in, the process for texting church members is simple:
- Upload your contacts
- Compose your message
- Select your contacts and send
You can upload contacts one at a time or as a mass upload using spreadsheets. When you upload contacts, you’ll have the option to upload them to a master list or load them into groups you created and customized. Groups help you more strategically reach out to congregants since not every message you want to send will be relevant to everyone on your list. Segmenting groups can help you lower costs and stretch your budget in a positive way.
For example, a church youth group comprised of teens and young professionals may not be interested in hearing about a Bible study group aimed at couples in their 60s. Even though texts can be sent for as little as just a few pennies, you’ll want to avoid sending SMS and MMS to congregants who won’t be interested in your message. This helps ensure donations, the lifeblood of church activity, aren’t wasted.
Once your text message has been sent, your selected groups will receive it in minutes. EZ Texting provides reporting and monitoring tools to help you gauge the effectiveness of your text campaigns. These can help you refine your message, see what church members respond to, and even manage your opt-ins/outs.
How Effective are Church SMS Text Messages?
Texts from churches (or other religious groups) will reach your congregation wherever they are, whatever they are doing. Consider the following statistics:
- 80% of adults text, making it the most-used activity on cell phones. Source: Pew Research Center.
- Texts are opened 98% of the time, compared to just 20% for emails. Source: Mobile Marketing Watch.
- Millennials, the future of your congregation, send 67 texts per day. Source: Business Insider.
Simply put, texting church members is the most effective and immediate way to reach your congregants. Text messages are how your members want to be contacted, and younger church members seem to always have their phone in-hand. Texting boosts event attendance, promotes volunteerism, increases donations, can help you request assistance for members in need, and let’s you send church invitation text messages with ease. Also, SMS can be used to help congregants text in church questions and issues related to operations.
Group texting can also help congregants stay engaged with their faith. A simple SMS, such as a Biblical passage, can keep members thinking about their faith. MMS, such as a picture or video of church members helping the less fortunate, can inspire congregants and even have a positive effect on donations.
Case Studies and Testimonials: How Ministries Are Successfully Utilizing Bulk SMS Text Messaging
Saddleback Church:Saddleback Church in Southern California is one of the largest and most influential churches in the country. It serves the community with over 4,000 group fellowships, local and global outreach campaigns, and five locations for weekly services. Saddleback Church used EZ Texting to increase communication with parents, make services interactive, and send daily Bible passages to foster engagement. Read the case study.
Third Reform Church:Third Reform Church in Pella, Iowa, decided that text messaging was the perfect way to reach youth ministry members. Using EZ Texting, Third Reform Church saw a significant year-over-year jump in special event attendance, thanks to text message announcement campaigns. Over time, approximately 80 percent of students opted in to receive SMS alerts. Parents have also started opted in to manage their children’s church activities. Read the case study to learn more about how Third Reform Church successfully implemented EZ Texting solutions to drive engagement among the congregation.
Lake Pointe Church:At Lake Pointe Church near Dallas, Mason Randall says his skateboarding outreach ministry has grown about 25 percent during the past year largely because of text messages sent through EZ Texting. Read about Lake Pointe Church at Christianity Today
Browns Bridge Community Church:
"EZ Texting allows us to send important information to people in a timely manner. With so many emails and junk mail that goes out in today's culture, texting is the freshest and most convenient way for our ministry to pass along important information in a timely manner."
Seth Delaney, Grace Community Church:"We chose EZ Texting because it offers an affordable mass texting solution."
Sunnybrook Church:“EZ Texting is affordable and user-friendly."
Manley Baptist Student Ministry:"Convenient, easy, fast, low-cost."
What Ministries Should Look for with Texting Software
When evaluating church texting software, there are certain features you should look out for. You’ll want a texting platform that allows you to send text messages after you create them, or schedule them for future times.
Another feature churches should consider when selecting texting software is the ability to save send messages as templates, which saved admins valuable time. Templates can be texts with content that is evergreen, meaning it never changes. You could apply this to events that have a fixed time and date. Also, templates can come in MMS form. Adding a picture of an event or a holiday message seasonal imagery boosts engagement.
This function is especially helpful when paired with the ability to send recurring texts. For example, you can use the template to automatically send texts every Tuesday to remind congregants about Bible study on Wednesdays. Add a picture of the event so people can see the event in action and imagine themselves as part of it. This will go a long way towards increasing event attendance and overall church engagement.
Speak with EZ Texting about Texting Services for Churches
EZ Texting provides churches and other religious denominations with the most versatile texting platform in the industry. We can be accessed from any Internet-connected device, allow for texts to be sent immediately, in the future, or on a recurring basis, and enable templates to be used for anything.
We help ministries boost engagement among current congregants, and feature additional tools like keywords and sign up widgets to attract new members. You can personalize texts by adding recipients’ names.
EZ Texting also provide free advice on how ministries can increase the effectiveness of their communications. Our team of Client Success Managers will be happy to answer any questions about how you can make group texting work for your church and which plan is the best fit for your goals. There no monthly contracts, no sign up fees, and we even have a free plan to help you get your feet wet.