A text message is the most direct path to reach someone and is read within a few seconds of being received, making this channel a timely, effective, and simple way to communicate.
Below are some ways to use text in your congregation:
- Urgent Messages. Prayer Requests, weather cancellations, and change of plans.
- Engagement. Encourage members to take part in devotionals, small groups, and upcoming events.
- Reminders. Send a message for upcoming meetings, special events, and sign-up deadlines.
- Raise Awareness. Build excitement around upcoming events with a teaser.
For more on Outbound Text use cases read this article.
In order to create a successful outbound text campaign, profiles need to have been created for the people you want to reach. Profiles can be added 3 ways:
- Manually (one at a time) by an admin. Go to the Profile > People page in the portal and click the Add Person button.
- Imported with a .csv file. Learn how to import from this article.
- Created automatically through a user action. If you have an aware3 app, a profile is created if a user gives via an aware3-powered channel (such as via app, text, or web), fills out an aware3 form, or checks in via the app.
Schedule a Message
Once profiles are added to the portal, you are ready to schedule an outbound text! To schedule a text, go to the Messaging > Schedule A Message page in the portal.
The message can be sent to everyone that has opted-in to text messages by selecting Everyone, or sent to groups of people that are segmented by a specific tag. Send to a tagged group when you want to reach people with similar interests, hobbies, volunteer experience, locations, and other similarities. It's a great way to segment your messages and helps to keep information relevant.
To pick a tagged group click on the box below Audience and select from the drop-down list of tags.
For more information on tags and how to use them read this article.
*Note: A user must opt-in to receive text messages. If they have yet to do that, they will not get the outbound text. For more information on the opt-in process read this article.
Enter Your Message
Write what you'd like to communicate to your church family!
*Note: Using URLs within your outbound text message is supported. Our team recommends using a url shortening service like bitly to shorten your URL. Shortening URLs enhances your member experience and helps your message stay within the character limit of 130.
Send Date, Send Time, and Frequency
Select the Send Date and Send Time. You can send the message now, or you can select a date and time in the future.
Select how often you want to send the message. You can send the message just Once, or you can have the message go out Every Day, Every Week, Every Two Weeks, Every Month, or Every Year.
If you want the message to go out more than once, select the End Date on which to stop sending the message.
*Note: You will only be able to select valid end dates relative to the frequency: for example, if you schedule a recurring monthly message, then the first available end date will be a month after the start date.
Manage Scheduled Messages and View Sent Messages
Go to the Messaging > Sent Messages page in the portal.
This page will serve as a communication hub where you can view what messages have gone out, view what's scheduled, and even delete messages.
Use the pagination feature to navigate through the list of scheduled and sent messages. Messages will always be sorted from newest to oldest, and the Scheduled messages will display first.
Cancel a Scheduled Message
To cancel a scheduled message in a series of recurring messages, click on the Actions menu on the right side of the scheduled message in the Sent Messages table. You can cancel a single message in the series, or the entire series.
Check out our short video on outbound text messaging below!
If you have any questions or need help, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org!