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Use Text Message Marketing to Reach Your Church Community

text marketing

People prefer texting over talking. This is especially true in the United States. That’s why you need to consider text marketing. According to a recent study, Americans send and receive five times as many texts every day as they do phone calls, and they’re spending 26 minutes per day texting. Here’s what’s crazy: when you look at younger generations, texting skyrockets as the preferred way to connect. In a poll conducted by Gallup, surveyors discovered that “sending and receiving text messages is the most prevalent form of communication for Americans younger than 50.”

When it comes to talking to family and friends (and yes, businesses and churches), most people prefer to get a text. Not convinced? Take a moment to ponder these statistics:

  • 82% of texts are read within five minutes.
  • 97% of texts are read.
  • The average response time for a text is 90 seconds.
  • 45% of texts receive a response.
  • 99% of texts are opened.

Stacked up against phone calls, emails, and social media, church text messaging dominates in comparison when it comes to communicating with your community. This doesn’t mean you should abandon every other form of communication. Far from it. Your church’s communication strategy needs to be multi-channel—e.g., church announcements, social media, email, push notifications, and more.

But, practically speaking, here’s the big idea: if text message marketing isn’t a part of your church’s communication strategy, you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity.

In this post, I will share with you eight ways churches are using text marketing. Let’s dig in!

#1. Easily communicate

Do you know how to send and receive a text message? Can you, someone on your team, or a volunteer write clear and concise texts? Then you’re ready to add text marketing to your church’s communication calendar.

You don’t need a consultant. You don’t need to attend an event. You don’t need an in-house specialist to get started with text marketing.

Here’s the deal: You know how to text. You get how text marketing works (in general). So, it will only take you a few hours to get started, learn the system, and send your first text-marketing campaign. It’s easy like Sunday morning.

#2. Send timely messages

Need to let your church know something, like, right now? Do you need to cancel your worship service? Did your youth group activity change at the last minute? Need to send out a prayer request for one of your church members? Don’t have enough volunteers to manage your church event?

Remember, since most texts are read within five minutes, sending a text message is one surefire way to contact your church—almost instantly.

#3. Start a conversation

Here’s the beautiful thing about text message marketing:

The platform is built around having a conversation.

Sure, you can share as much information as you like with text marketing. But it’s also a tool you can use to engage people in a conversation. So, instead of just using text marketing as a promotional tool, plan to start a conversation with people.

For example, if you create groups, such as a group for small group leaders or volunteers, you can use your text-marketing platform as a way to ask for feedback, check-in to see how things are going, and ask if anyone has any prayer requests from that group.

As you look at your communication strategy, be sure to plan on adding conversational elements.

#4. Increase giving

Increasing the number of recurring givers in your church is one way you can increase giving.

The more people set up on monthly, automated giving tend to give more and more consistently. Focusing on the number of recurring givers in your church is vital to your church’s budget.

To turn sometimes givers into regular givers, you can send a text message with a link prompting them to set up recurring giving on their mobile devices.

Pro Tip: Make a list of people who have donated at least once or inconsistently over the past six months. With this list, create a group in your text marketing service and name it something like “One-Time Givers.” Then, either send this group a one-time text or create a series of texts scheduled to send over a few weeks to encourage or remind them to give.