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SMS Marketing Misc.

Top 10 Texting Services for Churches and Best Practices

Top 10 Texting Services for Churches and Best Practices

For centuries, churches have relied on congregants’ generosity to serve their communities. While fundraising has traditionally been conducted face-to-face, innovations in technology have created new opportunities to connect with donors and drive revenue.

One of the most prominent ways churches can leverage technology to meet their goals is through text message marketing.

Text message marketing can help your church engage its congregation and create a thriving giving community. Your church likely has exciting events, programs, and in-person services, but text messaging can help your organization connect with members once they leave your building. As a result, congregants will feel spiritually and emotionally connected to your church, leading to long-term support.

To power your text messaging campaign, you’ll need to work with a reliable provider. However, with so many texting services for churches available, it can be difficult to find the best solution to meet your specific needs. This guide will get you started. Specifically, we’ll cover:

With the right strategies and tech foundation, your church can tap into its vast fundraising potential and build strong relationships with congregants. Let’s begin!

Texting Services for Churches: Understanding the Basics

For many churches, diving into the digital world can feel new and overwhelming. However, with technology’s rapid advancements and donors’ changing preferences, it’s more important than ever to modernize your fundraising and communication efforts. In fact, 60% of churchgoers are interested in giving to their church digitally, and over half of donors worldwide prefer giving online to mission-driven organizations.

While there are many ways your church can optimize its online fundraising, the best way to engage donors is with text-to-give. Text-to-give is a fast and convenient process that allows churchgoers to donate directly from your texts. Streamlining the donation experience will help your church drive revenue and boost retention, allowing you to meet your fundraising goals.

With a robust text messaging campaign, you can also feel confident that churchgoers will see your messages. Text messages have a 99% open rate and a 90% read rate within just three minutes of sending.

With your texting service for churches, your church can reliably reach congregants.

Your church can leverage text messaging to keep churchgoers up to date with your organization, send inspiring donation appeals, and help congregants feel like they’re truly a part of your church community.

Top 10 Texting Services for Churches

To get started with your text messaging campaign, you’ll need a comprehensive text messaging provider. This software will act as a hub for drafting and sending messages and managing your contact list. By partnering with a user-friendly provider, your organization can run an effective text messaging campaign with minimal effort, giving you more time to develop quality messages.

Let’s take a look at the top text messaging platforms so you can kickstart a winning text marketing and fundraising campaign.

1. Tatango

When it comes to choosing a user-friendly and intuitive texting software, Tatango is the best texting service for churches.

Since its founding in 2007, Tatango has established itself as the leading expert in the text messaging space.

Tatango’s user-friendly software and advanced functionality make it easy for churches to meet and surpass their fundraising goals. To date, Tatango has empowered organizations to raise over $400 million to support their missions and the communities they serve. Reliably reach hundreds or thousands of congregants within seconds with powerful features such as:

  • Personalization
  • Mass texting
  • Fast messaging speeds

Tatango’s scalability allows you to grow your audience over time, which is especially useful if you’re a new church building its community. As congregants opt into your text messaging campaign, you can automatically send powerful welcome messages to create a feeling of community. You can also use Tatango’s intuitive automation features to send thank-you messages to donors right after they give, helping your members feel valued and appreciated.

Tatango’s team of experts are well-aware that targeted messages are more likely to inspire action than generic appeals, and they’ve designed their platform with this in mind. Tatango’s extensive segmentation capabilities allow you to segment your audience based on recency of opting into your campaign, last donation amount, and other relevant factors.

With these comprehensive features and more, Tatango is the best provider to power your church’s text messaging campaign. Contact us and let our experts help you create a winning text messaging campaign that maximizes fundraising and builds long-lasting relationships.

2. ChurchCast

ChurchCast integrates your church information systems with its user-friendly notification system. This software provider explicitly designed its texting service for church ministry leaders, making it simple to send newsletters, schedule changes, bible study information, and other important reminders to congregants. Plus, it allows you to expand your messaging to other channels, including email and voice calls.

3. Flocknote

Flocknote helps churches develop engaging texts with tech-savvy features like polls, files, and embedded videos. With its unlimited standard texting plan, churches can regularly send messages to congregants without worrying about going over budget. Flocknote also offers a user-friendly interface to view and track all replies to your messages.

4. Text in Church

Text in Church connects pastors with existing and new churchgoers through offering text and email solutions. This provider has integrations with Planning Center, Church Community Builder, and MailChimp to allow these different systems to talk to each other and maintain good data hygiene. In addition, this texting service for churches offers automated workflows and built-in templates to streamline communication for more engaging text experiences.

5. Clearstream

Clearstream makes personalizing text messages easy through its intuitive inbox feature. Here, churches can assign ownership to multiple church staff to monitor incoming messages and send responses to questions, prayer requests, and more. This software provider also allows you to create sub-accounts with their own lists, integrations, and keywords so you can provide communication experiences for multiple groups.

6. SlickText

SlickText prioritizes subscriber growth so churches can quickly expand their audiences. With its custom QR codes, shortcodes, and website popups, SlickText makes opting into text messaging campaigns a fast and simple process. Plus, its automated workflow tools allow organizations to create welcome series and respond to subscriber behavior for optimized texting conversations.

7. Trumpia

Trumpia uses advanced automation to sort contacts based on interests and engagement history and power different messaging paths for each audience subset. This texting service for churches offers an autopilot mode to reduce organizations’ efforts and send the right messages at the right time. By leveraging Trumpia’s tracking features, organizations can easily track how many people click, read, and engage with their messages.

8. Twilio

Twilio helps organizations reach supporters using their preferred communication channels, including email, text messaging, or phone call. Through generating real-time data from each donor interaction, Twilio can personalize every donor’s communication experience, helping them feel more connected to your organization. Plus, with its SMS and WhatApp messaging capabilities, organizations can meet their audiences wherever they are.

9. Qgiv

Qgiv offers modern, easily customizable forms so organizations can create and send surveys, polls, and other relevant files to their donors. This software provider’s top features for church text marketing include automated reminders, supporter segmentation, and data reports — all designed to reach donors more effectively. Qgiv also automatically generates a fundraising thermometer for each campaign so you can send donors fundraising updates and encourage them to donate more.

10. BurstSMS

BurstSMS makes managing contacts a simple and efficient process through multiple list uploading options, integrated web forms, and segmentation. To protect your church’s text campaign from data leaks, BurstSMS gives your organization control over setting unique account-level permissions based on your needs. Plus, its multichannel approach allows you to convert texts into emails and vice versa.

6 Ways to Leverage Your Church Texting Service

Once you have a robust tech foundation, you’re ready to launch your text messaging campaign. Text messaging has a high degree of flexibility and can be used in various ways to meet your church’s marketing and fundraising goals. Here are some ways your church can make the most out of your church texting service.

1. Donation appeals

Text-to-give can give your church the momentum it needs to power digital fundraising. With a text-to-give campaign, you’ll send community members a donation request along with a link to your mobile-friendly donation page. Then, donors can simply tap to access the entire donation experience right from their phones.

Leverage your texting service for churches to send powerful donation appeals.

Mobile giving is an incredibly valuable method for churches to boost fundraising. In fact, mobile-friendly donation pages yield 34% more donations. Backed by your texting service for churches, you can launch a text-to-give campaign to raise money for your annual fundraising campaign, giving day campaigns, or fundraising events. By establishing a reliable donation pipeline with text-to-give, you’ll have more room in your budget to finance events, programs, infrastructure, and other expenses.

However, your text messages shouldn’t just be limited to donation requests. Provide updates on your fundraising progress, explain the impact of your campaign, and express appreciation for donors’ generosity. This will help actively engage community members and encourage them to give.

2. Event reminders

Your church likely hosts multiple events for churchgoers, from weekly services and youth programs to fundraising events. Keep your church members updated by texting event reminders and mobile-friendly registration links to facilitate an easy sign-up process.

Ensure that your registration forms have the following mobile-friendly features:

  • Ability to fit any size screen. Churchgoers should be able to easily access your registration form without encountering any accessibility issues. This means that your form should automatically format to any screen size so users don’t have to do too much pinching or scrolling. Ensure that all buttons and prompts can be clicked to create a positive registration experience.
  • Ample space between elements. A cluttered registration page is difficult to read and can lead to frustration and abandonment. Create ample white space between each prompt so registrants can easily fill out each element without missing any important details.
  • Limited prompts. It’s equally important to only ask registrants for the most essential information. A lengthy registration form is time-consuming and difficult to fill out on mobile devices. To simplify the registration experience, ask registrants for their names, contact information, and billing information if applicable. You can mark other prompts as optional or collect additional details from churchgoers at the event.

Before you send out texts with sign-up forms, test for mobile performance by navigating to the registration link on your phone or using free tools like Google Lighthouse. This will help you audit your mobile performance and identify areas for improvement, ensuring that users have the best possible mobile experience when using your church’s texting service.

3. Volunteer requests

Volunteers are a pivotal part of your church’s operations, but it can be difficult to build up your volunteer base without the right strategies. Text messaging is a great way to reach potential volunteers directly and ask them to help out at your upcoming shoe drive, Sunday school event, worship service, or fundraiser.

With your texting service for churches, you can send volunteer requests to maximize support at your next event.

Make sure your volunteer requests are as specific as possible so volunteers understand what is being asked of them. You’ll want to highlight the following details:

  • Type of service activity
  • Event date
  • Time span, and if applicable, shifts
  • Location

Send out volunteer requests ahead of the event so churchgoers have enough notice to set aside time to help. If you need to send out urgent updates, such as asking for an additional volunteer if someone is sick, the right texting service for churches can help you reach community members quickly and reliably.

4. Congregant surveys

To help your churchgoers feel valued, allow them to voice their feedback through congregant surveys. These surveys can be easily customized and texted to members to get their thoughts on different areas of church life. For example, you can create surveys that address the following:

  • Level of engagement with your last event
  • Suggested guest speakers at future programs
  • Suggested changes in weekly services
  • How welcome they feel at church

This information will help your church better understand what members hope to get out of attending your services, programs, and events. Plus, your churchgoers will appreciate the opportunity to be heard, leading to a stronger church community. Using your church’s texting platform, create and send a mobile-friendly form that will allow users to answer your questions easily, and include a deadline to encourage people to give their feedback promptly.

5. Sermon recaps

Your church’s sermons may impact churchgoers in the moment, but once they leave the church and get wrapped up in day-to-day responsibilities, they might forget about the main points. To remind people of your sermon’s message throughout the week, text quotes, main ideas, and thought-provoking questions that reengage churchgoers and help them feel more connected to your church.

Leverage your texting service for churches to engage congregants with sermon recaps.

This is also useful for people who missed your service but still want to keep up with your sermons. Your church can also include a link to a full transcript of your sermon or text video clips of it to keep churchgoers engaged. To supplement your sermon, consider sending a link to resources on your website inviting community members to learn more about the topic at hand.

6. Devotionals and Bible quotes

Many churchgoers want to tap into their faith and grow spiritually each day. To serve this need, create a text messaging campaign dedicated to sending daily devotionals or inspirational Bible quotes. Since your churchgoers already spend so much time on their phones, this can help them develop a healthy habit of engaging with their religion regularly.

Along with your quote or Bible verse, your church can include a link to a resource on your website that gives more context to its meaning and how churchgoers can practice its message in their daily life. If your churchgoers are new to daily devotionals, adding supplemental materials can help them become more familiar with the purpose of devotionals and their applications.

Since preparing these messages daily can feel overwhelming, your church can easily draft texts ahead of time and schedule them to be sent with the right text messaging provider. This reduces your church’s efforts and helps you stick with a regular texting schedule for supporters that want daily quotes. 

Church Text Messaging Best Practices

With a strong text messaging strategy, your church can successfully create texting campaigns that engage churchgoers, create a strong sense of community, and encourage giving on a large scale. Leverage the following best practices to develop winning text messaging campaigns and deepen your connection with churchgoers.

Choose a memorable keyword.

Once you partner with a church text messaging provider, you’ll receive a 5-digit shortcode (ex: 23456) or 10-digit long-code to which your supporters will text your keyword. A keyword is a short word or phrase that allows churchgoers to opt into your campaign.

To receive messages from your texting service for churches, supporters will have to opt-in using your chosen keyword.

When creating your keyword, keep the following qualities in mind:

  • Make it relevant to your church. To help churchgoers feel confident that this text messaging campaign is for your organization, make the connection obvious in your keyword. Include an abbreviated version of your church’s name or initials, plus a word that summarizes the purpose of your text campaign. For example, a church called Pink Hearts Church could choose a keyword like “PHCUPDATES” for a general text messaging campaign or “DONATE2PHC” for text-to-give.
  • Make it memorable. A generic keyword like “DONATE” or “UPDATES” isn’t unique to your organization and is therefore unlikely to spark an emotional connection. Instead, ensure that your keyword is relevant and easy to recognize as belonging to your church. This makes it easier to market your keyword and can help other churchgoers easily share it with friends and family by word of mouth.
  • Make it simple. Avoid making your keyword too long, using words that are difficult to spell, or incorporating random symbols. This can cause churchgoers to type in your keyword incorrectly, leading to frustration and possibly abandonment altogether.
  • Pick distinct keywords if running multiple campaigns. Your church will likely run multiple text messaging campaigns to send updates, encourage donations, and pursue any other purposes relevant to your goals. Make sure to pick distinct keywords so your churchgoers can easily sign up for the texts they want to receive.

Tap into your creativity to make a catchy keyword, but don’t overcomplicate it. A simple keyword that’s relevant to your church and its campaign is much more likely to inspire people to opt into your messages.

Encourage congregants to opt-in.

Before launching your text messaging campaign, you need to make sure you have a robust contact list. A multichannel marketing approach can help you spread the word and encourage as many congregants as possible to sign up for your text messaging campaign.

Promote your keyword and code on the following platforms:

  • Email. Send an email to your churchgoers with clear directions on how to sign up for your text messaging campaign, along with its benefits. Many of your churchgoers may be used to receiving your emails and already familiar with this communication method, so explain the value and convenience of receiving text communications, too. You can even segment your emails to make your requests to sign up for text messages more personalized and relevant to the recipients.
  • Social media. Advertise your text messaging campaign on your social media accounts by posting engaging graphic designs or video guides that walk viewers through signing up for your campaign. To increase your visibility, consider adding a memorable hashtag to your posts so more people can learn about your church and get involved.
  • Your church’s website. Your website is the foundation of your digital presence, so create web content relevant to your text messaging campaign. You can develop blog content that describes your text messaging campaign, include instructions on how to opt in on your donation page, and feature your keyword and code prominently on your event landing page if you’re raising money for a specific fundraising event.

You can also promote your text messaging campaign in person during Sunday services. For example, after giving the sermon, your religious leader can announce that churchgoers can text your keyword to get a copy or highlights of the sermon. You can then hand out flyers to churchgoers on their way out with instructions on signing up for your text messaging campaign.

Include a single call to action.

To make your text messages as effective as possible, stick to one call to action per message. This will make congregants’ next steps clear and therefore more likely that they’ll take your intended action. For example, if you’re hosting a fundraising event, refrain from asking for volunteer support and donations in the same text, as this can lead to congregants feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what step to take.

Instead, put these requests in separate text messages and space them out over time so you’re not sending too many asks at once. Make sure your call to action is concise, brief, and gives congregants all the information they need to complete your request. For example, if you’re requesting donations, explain the purpose of your fundraiser, ask for a certain donation amount, and send a mobile-friendly donation link.

When you send requests using your texting service for churches, make sure to include a single call to action.

Your call to action should also increase urgency and compel people to take the next step right away. Phrases like “Donate today to secure our future!” and “Give now to ensure our church’s financial viability!” motivate donors to give as soon as they receive your message.

Determine the frequency of your messages.

While congregants who sign up for your daily devotional campaign will want to hear from you every day, churchgoers who signed up for your text-to-give campaign may not be as eager. If you send congregants too many donation requests, they’ll be more likely to disregard your requests altogether or even opt out of your campaign. On the other hand, sending messages too infrequently can lead to a lack of engagement.

To find the text messaging sweet spot, you’ll need to actively monitor metrics like:

  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Unsubscribe rate

The ideal texting service for churches will allow you to easily track these metrics and more to understand how often your churchgoers want to hear from you. Remember that you should prioritize quality over quantity whenever you’re reaching out to congregants.

As you research texting services for churches, look for software with reporting and analytics features.

When you’re first starting a text messaging campaign, don’t be afraid to experiment with what time you send your messages, the day of the week you send them, and how often you send messages each week. You’ll soon learn what kind of texting schedule leads to the highest amount of engagement.

Partner with Tatango for Church Text Messaging

With over a decade of experience in powering successful text marketing campaigns, Tatango has established itself as the premiere texting service for churches. Tatango can help you design and execute a robust text messaging campaign that will help your church engage congregants. Contact our team of experts today to create a text messaging campaign that will drive revenue and build strong relationships.

Want to learn more about how mission-driven organizations are leveraging text messaging? Explore these additional resources:


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