Usually the phrase “texting in church” brings up bad connotations.
You picture disinterested teens, sitting in the way back of the congregation, rapidly messaging back and forth on a mobile device. Although this scenario may be all too real, there’s something about it that we, as church marketers, can’t ignore.
Over 99 percent of all text messages are opened and read within five minutes or less.
That factor alone makes text communication for churches a no-brainer. Want to learn more? Let’s start out by discussing the foundational basics of church texting.
3 Pillars of Church Text Messaging
Sure, the open rate is fantastic. That doesn’t mean you should text your congregation “just because.” Make sure your messages fall under one of these three pillars.
Although you’re not selling anything, your text messages should provide a high level of value. They should make people want to attend, serve at and grow in your church.
As a congregation leader, you want to encourage individual growth on all levels. Fire out daily devotions, or at the very least, weekly scripture reminders.
If you’re focusing on a certain chapter, send out messages that reference these verses, and even assign short passages of reading.
Fire out words of encouragement. Inspire congregation members with weekly motivational messages, Bible verses, or positive affirmations.
Keep congregation members in the loop with text messages that relay important information. Keep everyone safe and in the know with one simple blast.
Ready to learn more? Let’s review four sample text message campaigns for churches.
4 Text Message Campaigns for Churches
1. Inspiring Devotionals
All creatures are created in the image of God. Be kind to one another, because each has a little of Him in us.
2. Service Cancellations
Due to the severe weather alert, all services will be canceled today, March 14. All activities for the coming week will resume as scheduled.
3. Small Group Reminders
Don’t forget! The women’s small group is meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the East Tower.
4. Event Announcements
Our annual block party is this Saturday, from 3-7 p.m.! Bring your favorite dish to pass, and come join us for fellowship and friends.
How Do You Promote Your Church Texting List?
Ask the Pastor to Make an Announcement
Let’s face it. Your pastor is the focal point of attention. Why not have him or her encourage congregation members to join your texting list?
Before the sermon starts, your pastor can ask attendees to take out their phone, and opt-in. Don’t forget to tell them why this communication tactic is important, and how it will benefit them.
Don’t ask attendees to opt in just for giggles. Make sure there is purpose behind your request.
Print Opt-in Details in Your Bulletin
If people are still flipping through your Sunday bulletin, type out opt-in details on the inside page.
Remember, if you push texting as a communication method, and a way to keep members in the loop, you’ll experience much more success.
Share More Info on Social Media
If you have social media pages for your church, make an announcement about your new text communication option. Remember, your goals are to educate, inform and inspire. Make these priorities clear whenever asking people to join your text list.
Church text messaging shouldn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth. Just like any other communication tool, this one helps you stay efficient.
If congregation members are the first to hear about important events, they’re more likely to stay involved. When your pews are packed every Sunday, you can then focus on the more important things.
Text Campaign Best Practices
Respect Time of Day
Avoid sending messages before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. This may be considered disruptive, which could negatively affect participation.
When Applicable, Segment Your List
Don’t send out women’s small group reminders to your entire list. Sort out applicable subscribers, and message accordingly.
Don’t Break Your Initial Frequency Promise
Let’s say from day one, you vowed to only send six messages per month. Don’t ignore that guideline. Breaking this promise will only result in an unhappy and annoyed congregation.
Outside of these three rules, the sky’s the limit. Get creative with your church text communication.
Make sure all messages either inspire, inform or educate your congregation, and you’re good to go.