- Prayer of The Day
- Donations with URL
- Paying Ties Reminders
- Upcoming Events
It’s all about getting the word out.
Whether you want to spread the Gospel or give your flock insight into an upcoming special event, churches and ministries have to use modern technology to promote everything from Sunday pot luck dinners to Wednesday scripture studies. A weekly bulletin historically provided the information members of your church or ministry needed to stay on top of the latest news.
Now, the answer is leveraging the power of text marketing for church and ministries.
Although digital marketing involves tactics such as email newsletters and social media posts, SMS marketing software has emerged as a highly effective way for religious institutions to stay in contact with their members and promote a wide variety of special events, such as holiday worship services.
The question is not whether you should leverage the power of SMS messaging, but how you can use it to your best advantage. Read on to learn how to utilize it to raise money for and get the word out about crucial spiritual matters.
What is SMS Marketing for Churches and Ministries?
Known as an acronym for short message service, SMS capitalizes on the principle of ’short and sweet.’ Messages can be no longer than 160 characters, though MMS-enabled services can also be used to include links, pictures, and videos. This model makes SMS marketing idea for churches and ministries because it can be used for dozens of purposes.
SMS text message marketing for churches and ministries can be used to give members the inside scoop about upcoming events, inform them of last-minute changes, update prayer requests, or send out inspirational daily devotions.
To receive alerts and subscribe to your institution’s SMS service, all a member has to do is agree to receive messages. Then you can directly reach him or her through a channel that delivers numerous benefits instantaneously.
Reasons Why a Texting Platform Helps Churches and Ministries
Churches and ministries operate on tight budgets, whether their congregation numbers among the thousands or dozens. However, promoting your church doesn’t have to be a budget buster. In fact, all it takes is a little time and effort to get members signed up and grow your SMS subscriber list. SMS marketing is affordable and delivers one of the highest rates of return than any other type of marketing investment.
Let’s review a few benefits of using SMS marketing:
- Everyone has the capability to receive text messages, from the most senior to the youngest members
- More than 90% of text messages are read within the first four minutes of reception, meaning you’re making a near-immediate impact
- Providers that give you global reach allow you to connect your congregation across international barriers
- SMS gives you the most impact for the least amount of work, freeing you up to devote time to other activities and needs
- Last minute worship changes or service reminders arrive in real-time, keeping everyone up to date easily
With the average user looking at his or her phone more than 150 times per day, text message marketing for religious institutions is not an option. Instead, it should be the foundation of how you get the word out about your church or ministry.
How to Get the Most Out of SMS Marketing
Text message marketing often relies on the use of short codes, which are five or six-digit numbers specifically made for SMS and MMS. Short codes can be random or customized, depending on your needs. Once your church or ministry chooses a short code, you can also pick out complimentary keywords, which are words, phrases, or even emojis that members can use to interact with your messages. For example, members could respond with the keyword PRAYING4U to sign up for prayer lists and updates.
First time messages from members should be answered with an autoresponder reply. The auto reply thanks members for subscribing, as well as includes important information about how to stay in the loop or stop receiving texts. Messages should be sent for a specific purpose. Sending messages that have no important information can cause members to unsubscribe.
Finally, make sure to walk the fine between sending sporadic messages every other month and bombarding your members with texts every day. The key is to provide helpful information that your congregation can use to enrich their spiritual lives.
Optimizing SMS Marketing for Churches and Ministries
Getting the most out of your SMS texting platform starts by identifying the needs of your congregating. How can SMS be used to meet those needs? For example, prayer requests used to be handled by weekly church bulletins, but text messaging gives you a tool to better personalize prayer requests. Prayer requests and responses can be as confidential or public as the member desires, and lists can be sent out only to those members that respond with a keyword indicating their interest.
Here are some other ways your church or ministry can use SMS marketing to extend your spiritual reach:
Bring a Friend
Building a flock is a lifelong mission made easier by using an SMS texting platform. First, you ask current subscribers to bring a friend or a family member to the next worship service. Then, after capturing the interest of a friend or family member, you can grow your subscriber list by inviting a member’s friend or family member to opt into your texting service.
Churches and ministries operate on the timeless principle of giving. But passing around donation plates during Sunday services doesn’t take care of every financial obligation for churches and ministries. From promoting a bake sale to highlighting an annual pledge drive, SMS marketing can help your religious institution can meet its financial goals. The key is to send subtle, yet clear messages that describe why your church or ministry needs more money and what the money will be used for.
A few days before every worship service, you can send a text message to all members that reveals the topic or summary of the upcoming sermon. The topic of the sermon piques the interest of subscribers, while using a texting platform to describe the upcoming sermon can help spread the word about the important of the upcoming spiritual message. If you have to change the topic of or speaker for a sermon on short notice, SMS messages are also a great way to update the congregation.
Internal Communication Tool
Poor communication among the staff of a church or a ministry can lead to lingering issues. By using a texting platform, you ensure the delivery of timely communications that keeps every employee informed of the latest news and connects members across departments. SMS messaging allows you to make changes to an event itinerary, send updates on a planned renovation, announce mission trips and more.
Text Marketing with Dash Notify
Our SMS marketing services have helped churches and ministries gain more exposure in the community, as well as touch the spiritual side of members. Contact us today to learn more about how Dash Notify can help you efficiently and effectively provide for the needs of your congregation.