Using SMS To Grow Your Church
Everyone wants to feel like they belong
Everyone wants to feel like they belong. You can completely exceed the expectations of your church’s first-time visitors and event guests by using an SMS system.
There is quite a process involved with getting visitors through your church doors. It often takes multiple invitations from your congregation members to their friends and family before they agree to attend their first service.
There is a chance that your first-time visitors already have some sort of a relationship with the person who invited them, but now a relationship needs to be forged between the rest of the church and your visitor.
Very often churches have first time visitors’ cards with numerous questions on them. They use this information as a guide to find someone in the church that new visitors can connect with. The flip side of these visitors’ cards are that the more fields you have, the less likely a visitor is to complete your card. Every church needs to find the delicate balance between too few and too little questions.
What if you could have a short and sweet visitors’ card, taking down their name, surname and telephone number and then you follow up with an SMS straight after service, thanking them for their visit and including a link to a short survey with questions about their experience and their particulars such as their age, marital status etc. This feedback will then help your follow up team to have more information on hand when making their follow up calls.
SMS messages are read by 98% of people and they are generally read within 3 min of being delivered. With SMS messages you are not hindered by the availability of data on the side of the receiver and generally SMS messages are perceived as more urgent that other texting mediums.
You can leverage this sense of urgency to create top on mind awareness with first time visitors or guests who attend conferences and special events hosted by your church. By inviting prospective new members into the heart of the community of your church, you will be able to connect with them and in that way grow your church.
An SMS service can also be leveraged to stay connected to existing members. While SMS messages do not necessarily always have a direct impact on church attendance, if used properly, they can knit your congregation closer together. The key is to provide value when sending an SMS and not just to advertise another service.
Examples of ways to add value would be to use your SMS service to make services interactive. Send out an SMS with an opinion poll before service, or during the welcoming and then announce the results during the service. Or send out an SMS with a link to a short online survey about the main service, or the children’s experience of children’s church. Consider checking in with existing members who have not attended for a while, using a SMS.
Does your church offer free downloads of your sermons on your website? Do you have a podcast? Why not send visitors and new members a link to your most popular / latest downloads via SMS? When you are providing value like this, your subscribers will be less likely to unsubscribe and because you become a vital part of their lives, they will automatically gravitate towards attending services and events more regularly.
By utilising an SMS service in these and other ways you can make your congregation members feel valued and connected, without adding too much weight to your already hectic schedule. A Bulk SMS system that allows you to schedule messages in advance and to segment and group your subscribers will save you loads of time and energy.
How to get started?
The first step would be to register for a FREE ClickSMS account and to have your account verified. After that, we can communicate with your website developer and supply the necessary API information to them so that they can integrate the SMS system into your online shop. As an added bonus we will double your credits on your first purchase, so please ask our sales team about that offer.
ClickSMS offers a free SMS marketing course. You can sign up here for this course and get started on undersanding SMS Marketing better