Like every other brand or company trying to make profit as well as increasing their clienteles, churches are also trying to stay connected with old and prospective members, in order to increase the church’s outreach. Text message marketing is a marketing technique that churches can employ to spread the message of their church, increase its outreach and attract new members to the church. Keeping in touch is easier for churches using SMS because it is fast and cost effective. Most churches make use of emails or social media to communicate with the public. However, compared to SMS marketing it is not as effective. According to research, 98% of the text messages sent are opened and read within 3 minutes of being sent to the recipient. Hence, making mass text messaging an easier and direct method of communication between the church and its members. A lot of people rely on mobile devices which makes it easier to reach out to people.
Why SMS marketing?
Out of all other marketing methods, SMS marketing is perfect for churches. In this present age, a lot of people are connecting and communicating through digital means, of which one of the leading methods is SMS. Text messages are not expensive to send, even if it is to a lot of people at the same time. The cost of text messaging is not up to the price of printing flyers and posters. SMS is also time effective, it takes few minutes to send and receive text message. Texting is quick, and any information the church needs can be handled with a simple text message. SMS marketing reaches more people than any other platform. It makes the church and the community stay connected and also gets immediate responses from the public. SMS marketing makes it possible for churches to communicate with people individually or as a group. Sending out biblical quotes and information is easier to send through text messaging rather than sharing them through pamphlets and newsletters, which is stressful, expensive, and less effective.
Uses of church SMS
Text message marketing has various uses for the smooth running of a church. Each use of church SMS marketing is either to spread the gospel easily or to increase the population of the church. Some of the uses of church SMS are listed below.
Text message marketing has various uses for the smooth running of a church. Each use of church SMS marketing is either to spread the gospel easily or to increase the population of the church. Some of the uses of church SMS are listed below. Text message marketing has various uses for the smooth running of a church. Each use of church SMS marketing is either to spread the gospel easily or to increase the population of the church. Some of the uses of church SMS are listed below.
Service and event reminder
SMS marketing can be used to send out scheduled service reminder to members of the church. Using text message marketing, churches can significantly increase attendance at their events and church service. Text reminders help members to know when and where to show up for the service or event and what to bring along with them to the event. It can also be used to send texts to members when an event has been cancelled. If there is a change in venue or time, it can be passed across to members through text message. No matter how small it is, members of the church appreciate it when the church reaches out and lets them know about any schedule changes. The fast response rate of SMS has made it the best technique to pass such message across to members.
Using text messages to get feedbacks from members of the church is an excellent tool for the growth of a church. Whether it is regarding a sermon, time of service, or about an event, getting vital feedbacks can help churches improve its service to their members. Feedback allows members of the church to get involved and gives them a way to voice their opinions. Asking for feedbacks on an upcoming event or after the event, to see how the congregation feels about such event. When a church opens a platform to get member’s ideas and also answers their question, they feel like they are part of the church.
The world has evolved and church donations can now be done digitally. Many churches are beginning to learn that offering can be done through mobile devices. Digital offering can increase giving and also attract new people to start giving. Churches can text a hyperlink to members that would lead them to their donation page. For example: a church can ask members to send a keyword to a particular short code, after which a hyperlink would be sent. This would make it easier for the church to keep track of how many people have donated and how much.
Church SMS can be used to get the personal information of members. The church can ask members to send their information via text message to the church secretary. Information like their date of birth, home address etc. This is easier and more accurate than the old method of placing a register book in front of the church to get the personal information of members.
Live poll is another use of church SMS. It is an excellent way to gauge how the congregation are responding to the sermon in real time. Considering an interactive sermon where the members ask questions about the topics presented during the talk. The speaker responds to the question quickly. This makes the members feel like they are a part of the community and a part of the service. Live polls allow people to ask questions during the sermon either to the speaker or another individual. This gives people the opportunity to be a part of the sermon.
Increase member retention
Once a church gains a new member, it is important for the church staff and other volunteers to make them feel welcome as a part of the church. This can be done by following one of the church outreach ideas by sending out text messages to these new members about upcoming sermons and their benefits to the community. Each time new members join the church, a follow-up text can be sent to them asking them about their experience at the church. Such actions make these new members feel welcome to the church and appreciate the effort the staff and volunteers make to keep them happy. Members remain happy with follow up messages and tend to return to the church.
During emergencies, text messages can help out in spreading the information. If there is any weather catastrophe, fire outbreak or any other disaster, a message can be sent out by the church to guide people to safety. This is important in rural areas where access to telecommunication might be limited. Using text messages during an emergency allows the church to send out safety tips to people in order to keep people safe.
Getting a church’s name out to more people is important if the church wants to have more people to attend their service. People can learn more about the church if they see more content from the church. A church can place a link to the church in a text message which allows people to click on the link and go straight to the website. Text message can be sent to people who are new to the church or want more information.
How it works
When a church has decided to use SMS marketing to improve their outreach. They would need to register with a service provider like Express Text which has the necessary features and facility to provide churches with quality text messaging experience. After that the church would have to upload the contact information of their church members on the website of the service provider. The church would go on to create a short code. A short code is used for text messaging and it is usually 5 to 6 digits long. This short codes are used to send messages to people to inform them about the happenings in the church or relay specific information within a certain period of time. Short code is used in replace of a phone number, but only used to send text messages. In addition, picking a keyword is also important in starting a marketing campaign for a church. A church’s keyword should be simple and easy to remember, and also unique to the particular church. For example, a church named GOD’s Love Church can have its keyword as “GLC” in order for people to easily remember. Furthermore, setting auto reply is another thing to put in place. The church’s auto reply must confirm the subscription of members to their communication list. This is the first message members will receive, so churches have to make it relevant and valuable. It should represent the image and purpose of the church.
In conclusion, churches are turning to SMS marketing to stay in touch with their members. SMS marketing has a 98 percent read rate, which means that churches will be able to reach their members and keep them connected. Church SMS is affordable, fast and easy to use. Many churches who have employed the use of SMS marketing to increase the outreach of their church, and also stay connected with their members and prospective members have written great reviews of how efficient SMS marketing as a method of communication is to the success of their church.