At some point, you probably considered signing up for a church text messaging service. You know the benefits of better communication and keeping your church engaged. You’d love to have an easy way to send group announcements and reminders. But where do you start? What features do you need? How do you find a text messaging service that fits the needs of your church and team? 

Here are 6 must-have features to look for when considering a text messaging service for your church. 

 

Free Trial Period

 

When researching a new product, it’s difficult to know if it’s the right fit for you. Look for a trial that gives you unlimited access so that you can get a real-world feel for the platform. If anyone else on your team will send text messages, make sure they have access as well during this time. Here are some factors to consider during your trial period:

  • Does it have the features you need?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Does it work on a variety of devices, such as your tablet and laptop computer?
  • What resources are in place to help you learn how to use the service?
  • Is customer service available to help troubleshoot and answer questions?

Avoid buyer’s remorse and look for a free trial period that gives you enough time to test out the full list of features.

 

All-Inclusive Pricing

 

When you first consider a church text messaging service, the price can seem to fit easily into your budget, until you realize it doesn’t actually include everything. Before you buy, be sure to know exactly what you’re getting and how much any extras may cost.

Here are some factors to consider when evaluating the pricing:

  • Is a custom church phone number included?
  • Is there a limit on messages you can send?
  • Is there a limit on how many keywords you can create?

Often, text messaging services for churches will only allow a limited number of messages. Look for a service that includes a church number and unlimited messages and keywords. Otherwise, you could end up paying much more than you anticipated.

 

2-Way Communication

 

Group text messages are fast and efficient for your church, but what happens when someone replies? You need the ability to locate new replies quickly and respond to them within the platform. A 2-way messaging functionality will avoid the frustration of having to change applications to keep up with past conversations and follow-up.

 

Robust Customer Support

 

Even if a text messaging service has all the features you need and is easy to use, at some point you’ll probably have a question or need help. Customer support should be responsive and knowledgeable about technical issues, feature questions, and able to provide ideas and best practices for church text communication.

When evaluating customer support, here are some points to consider:

  • How easy is it to contact support?
  • Are you able to communicate with a person who is an expert on the platform?
  • Do they understand the unique needs and challenges of churches?

Great customer support can be like an added team member, helping you to successfully use the full application.

 

Analytics and Reporting

 

Messaging reporting may not be your top priority at first, but you might be surprised at how helpful it can be to get real-time insights into how your messages are resonating with each audience.

 

Built-in List Organization

 

Not every message needs to go to your entire church, and therefore segmenting your contact lists is extremely helpful. Look for a text messaging service that allows you to organize contact lists into groups such as volunteers, small groups, ministry leaders, and more. Also, make note of any size limitations for lists or a limit on the number of groups you can create. The more groups you set up, the more relevant each message will be to your people.

 

Is Response the right text messaging service for your church? Find out today with a free trial today.