The Benefits of Text In Church and Combining It With DonorWERX
Today’s churches need a solid tech stack if they’re going to keep up with the changing viewpoints and priorities of their congregations, and it’s that exact perspective that led to the development of Text In Church. If your old school connection cards are going ignored in the back of pews, or even if you simply want a more modern and direct way of communicating with your members, Text In Church is a platform worth considering.
To put it simply, Text In Church is a community-building platform that allows you to interact with your congregation through text messaging. Text In Church won’t replace the old school connection cards that some members may prefer, rather, it’s a modern addition that is much more engaging.
What is Text In Church?
Text In Church has been specifically designed to do three things: gather information, follow-up, and engage people with real conversations. Together, these three functions work to help you build a true community atmosphere at your church. While it shouldn’t be the only way you aim to connect with your members, it is certainly a fantastic addition to your current channels of communication and one that has the potential to be far more personal and effective.
What To Expect from Text In Church
There are plenty of “community” applications out there, but most of them are all the same. They come with their own set of downfalls and, the majority of the time, they are not effective at truly engaging guests due to those downfalls. So, before you dive into Text In Church further, here’s a look at what you should and should not expect.
- No group chats: Group chats are annoying and far from engaging. One or two people often end up talking while all other members have to deal with irritating alerts or having their own messages overshadowed by a prevailing conversation. That’s anything but effective, which is why Text In Church doesn’t use the group chat concept. Instead, it’s all about one-to-one text messaging for true engagement.
- A community feel: When you signup for Text In Church, you’ll actually get assistance choosing the right phone number, which is a big deal considering this is the number every guest will see when you reach out to them. To ensure things feel personal and like they’re talking to a friend or actual pillar in their community, Text In Church will help you select a local phone number.
- Instant personalization: When you send a message to a guest through Text In Church, the platform will automatically insert their real name and help you personalize your message. This will save you a substantial amount of time without compromising the individuality you’re trying to achieve through your communications with guests, regardless if you’re chatting to a dozen or a hundred people.
- Easy management: With Text In Church, there is no cumbersome platform you have to use to manage everything. Instead, you can do what you need to do from whatever device is most comfortable, thanks to the iOS and Android apps. From the apps, you’ll be able to send messages on the fly, schedule text messages to send at a future time, and have actual conversations with guests directly from your phone. Text In Church feels more authentic because it is more authentic.
Adding People is Easy
Text In Church offers a few different methods when it comes to adding people to your member base. You can take advantage of the single-click integrations the platform offers to automatically import people from MailChimp, Planning Center, and Church Community Builder (CCB), or you can import from a CSV file. Manual adding is also supported, or you can have people add themselves by giving them a keyword to text to a specific number. This will enable them to fill out your Smart Connect Card.
Understanding The Smart Connect Card
Text In Church has designed a platform for Smart Connect Cards, which enable you to effectively and quickly gather information from potential members through your website. With the Smart Connect Card, you can easily add a form to your site allowing people to “Plan a Visit” to see your church. It’s all pre-made and ready-to-go out-of-the-box, which means you’ll won’t have to dedicate time to designing or programming.
As with any new software, you need to consider how Text In Church will integrate with your existing tech stack before you jump in feet first. Fortunately, given its popularity, Text In Church actually offers a number of integrations, allowing you to seamlessly connect it to the church management services and other software you already find yourself using.
Aside from MailChimp, Church Community Builder, and Planning Center, which were all mentioned earlier, Text In Church also opens the doors to thousands of other integrations thanks to its ability to interact with Zapier. Through Zapier, you’ll be able to hook up ToDoist, Survey Monkey, Evernote, Constant Contact, and countless other applications to your Text In Church interface, allowing you to customize it so it works exactly as your church needs it to.
Text In Church comes with an automated workflow already setup so that you can start engaging your members right away. This six-week follow-up system will save you a substantial amount of time and enable you to send just the right messages to your members exactly when they want to see them. Text In Church’s workflow plans both emails and text messages, helping to make every member feel important and attended to.
Text In Church even has an internal reminder system, which means you can set reminders for your own staff so that they always know just the right time to personally reach out to your guests. This takes the guesswork out of follow-up and helps to ensure that no guest gets forgotten about, which is essential to growing your member base.
When it comes to follow-up, you’ll also save time by using the proven templates that Text In Church has designed. The Automated Workflows that they have created allow you to plug information into effective and simple templates, ensuring that guests always get the right information in a way that inspires them to continue pursuing a relationship with your church.
Start Real Conversations
The automated follow-up is one incredibly valuable aspect of Text In Church, but where the platform really shines is in its ability to get guests engaged on an individual level. It’s this effortless but personal interaction that will truly help bring up your growth rates overall and improve the relationships you have with every person who connects with you through Text In Church.
The reason why Text In Church is so effective for this purpose is simple: everyone reads their text messages. Every day, around 23 billion text messages are exchanged and 90% of those read within just 3 minutes. Plus, 45% of those texts get a response, making it one of the most engaging and direct means of communication.
Text In Church encourages you to send announcements, invitations, reminders, and more to help people feel connected to your organization, but you should also take the time to talk to people individually. The simplicity of one-on-one communication that you can achieve through Text In Church is simply unmatched by any other medium.
Getting Started With Text In Church
If you want to start using Text In Church, you need to begin by selecting the right plan. Text In Church offers three plan options, and you can pay either monthly or annually for the one you select.
- Basic: With the basic plan, you can send up to 500 emails and texts each month. It costs $37/month if you pay monthly or $444/year (averaging $30.71/month) if you pay annually.
- Pro: With the pro plan, you can send up to 2,000 texts and an additional 1,500 emails each month. It costs $67/month if you pay monthly or $804/year (averaging $55.61/month) if you pay annually.
- Premium: With the premium plan, you can send up to 3,000 texts and an additional 2,500 emails each month. It costs $97/month if you pay monthly or $1,164/year (averaging $80.51/month) if you pay annually.
If you choose the Basic or Pro plan, you will receive technical support. Unfortunately, this only supports email and online chat channels. Only the Premium plan enables you to call a support line directly for assistance. However, regardless of the plan you choose, you can always score a 30-day free trial to test out the platform.
While only the Premium plan offers phone support, there are still plenty of ways you can get assistance. Regardless of your membership tier, chat and email support remains available. You can access these Monday through Friday during normal business hours. There’s also a robust online help center available on the platform any time of the day.
Training webinars also make getting started simple. They’ll help you go beyond simply using the platform. You’ll actually have the capability of making the most of it through communication strategies and more. These resources will certainly prove valuable as you begin leveraging this new software.
Once you have signed up for Text In Church, you’ll be able to add a few additional services if you desire.
If you want assistance getting your account setup, you can pay a one-time fee of $97 for the Kickstart service. If you aren’t tech-savvy or if your team simply has no time to fumble around with a new platform using the trial-and-error method, this may be worthwhile to you.
All you’ll need to do is provide Text In Church with a database of your contacts and their support team will import them for you, setting up groups on your behalf. If you wait and choose not to get the Kickstart package upon signing up, you’ll pay $300 if you decide to pursue it at a later point, so go ahead and decide if you want to do a manual setup or an assisted setup before you jump in with both feet.
Another up-sell you might pursue is the ability to send an additional 500 text messages each month for an extra $12/month, regardless of the plan you choose. This add-on may be worthwhile, but you’ll need to do the math. You should know how many members you have that you plan to add to the platform and then decide how many texts you’ll send to them each month. If you plan on a weekly text message, the total number of members you have should be multiplied by five (since some months have five weeks).
Another up-sell you will be offered when signing up is the ability to receive training. Text In Church offers their own training platform called Church Marketing University. With this training, you’re going to receive a full range of services, including an Introductory Church Assessment. This assessment will help you find better ways to reach the people who walk through your doors. The training also includes online courses to help you learn specific ways to market your church in your community. All of this comes in the form of a one-year subscription for $97.
The Setup Process
Maybe you don’t want the Kickstart program where Text In Church sets things up for you. If so, you’ll have to pursue the manual onboarding process. This involves six steps in all. It begins with personalizing your account and a video introducing the Text In Church team. The guidance provided will help you learn how to use the platform. You can select a phone number in this step. Choose one that’s unique to you. You should also make sure church members and guests will recognize it as a local number.
If you want to save time on importing data, there’s one extremely helpful feature that Text In Church calls “Social Sync.” With it, you’ll be able to search for users’ social media profiles automatically and extract any public data from them into your system. For instance, when you enter in your own phone number as a test number during the getting started phase, Social Sync will see if that number is connected to any accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or elsewhere. If it’s public, the service will link the profile to your number.
Using your synced profile, Text In Church will send a test message so that you can get a feel for how guests will receive your communications. Lastly, you’ll be asked for watch a short video on guest follow-up strategies. If you choose to do so, Text In Church will enter you for a chance to win a $100 gift card, which makes it a definite must-do.
Adding Members to Complete Setup
After those few steps, the most important thing left to do is add members to your database so that you can begin interacting with them. If you choose Kickstart, the team will do this for you. Otherwise, you can use whatever database you have on hand and import everyone using the Import People button. It’s an extremely quick and painless process, allowing you to import via a CSV file that contains your membership or guest database.
If you’re not sure about CSV file formatting, you can download the sample template provided by Text In Church. It allows you to populate it with your data before uploading. Review the headings and make sure the information matches. If it does, everything should transfer into the database seamlessly. Leave the page open until the import finishes, and then you can head to the Groups tab to organize your contacts.
Making The Most of Groups
One of the most powerful aspects of Text In Church is that you’re able to separate contacts into different groups. You can do this based on whatever criteria you choose. For example, you should consider making a group for contacts who are already members of your church. You should then consider utilizing a separate group for new guests who have only visited your church once or twice.
There are countless group ideas to consider. Think of Sunday school class members, and don’t forget other small groups with common interests. Your choir, single mothers, grief recovery members, or youth group members can all come together. In general, if your church has a dedicated group for something, you should separate members of that group accordingly in the app.
By default, when you begin using Text In Church, you’re going to see three groups already setup and ready for you to import contacts. These groups include First-Time Guests, Members in the Loop, and your Leadership Team. In addition to a name and description, each of these groups has an automated response setup. This will send new members a message when they join. Each group also has a keyword. This is what people will text to your Text In Church phone number in order to join groups.
Alternative Ways of Joining Groups
Of course, texting isn’t the only way for people to get into a specific group. People are also able to add themselves to a group by going to your website. Of course, that’s only if you include a special link there. If you want to do this, simply go to the Digital Connect Card section under the Groups area. You can add one of these cards to your site using this tool.
This enables people to signup through your site without having to send a text. So even if someone can’t receive texts, they can join your groups. If they do not have a phone number where they wish to receive text messages, the website signup card will enable them to receive any messages you send via email instead.
Once you have your groups laid out, you should spend some time exploring the Automated Workflows. This is how you’ll determine how to interact with people in your database. You can also change the follow-up plan for each group you create. The Groups area will also show you a message history. This allows you to look back on all the messages you send overtime.
How Does Text In Church Work with DonorWERX?
Text In Church is a fantastic outreach and follow-up tool. It allows your church to stay on top of your members’ priorities and preferred means of communication. Even better? It adds another communication channel to your organization. However, it’s not a one-step solution. If you truly want to see better engagement within your church, you need to take a multi-faceted approach. This should address the complexities and subtle differences of your diverse congregation.
With DonorWERX, you’ll be better prepared to do that. The DonorWERX platform focuses on modern collections and advanced donor relationship building. And when paired with the software Text In Church provides, you can create a powerful strategy for reaching your growth and fundraising goals.
These two platforms work excellently together to empower your church to reach more people at the right time. Schedule a Discovery Call today to learn how Text In Church and DonorWerx can help your organization succeed and flourish.