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Can you boost attendance at church events using text message notifications?
According to a General Social Survey as reported by CNN, church attendance has declined in the last several years. Pastors, ministry leaders, and other church officials often struggle to entice members not only to regular weekly services, but to special church events as well. SMS (short message service) provides an easy, efficient way to reach your congregation anytime, anywhere.
SMS to Reach Non-members
Grow your church membership using SMS mobile keywords. Create a unique mobile keyword to grab the attention of non-members. The mobile keyword is then texted to join your SMS marketing program. The keyword may be JOIN or SPIRIT or another word appropriate for a new membership campaign. It's a fast, effective way to generate interest in your church and reach community members on-the-go.
To utilize SMS to reach non-members, it's essential to make your keyword visible. If people can't see it, they can't use it. Print it on flyers and post on community bulletin boards, post to your social media pages, have your current church members share it in person and on their social media accounts as well.
SMS marketing allows you to evangelize with evangelizing. It's easy to accept an offer to attend a church event via a text message — no pressure, never intimidating. You even can set an auto-response that welcomes the individual or says, "We look forward to seeing you on Sunday."
Boost Attendance and Outreach with Scheduled Reminders
Your church members are busy people. They have family obligations, work, school, volunteering commitments and sometimes things fall through the cracks because a date or time is forgotten. Text message notifications helps keep everyone updated on important announcements such as:
- Upcoming special events like the children's Christmas pageant or pot-luck supper
- Special musical ministry times: "Youth choir to sing at 10 a.m. service"
- Reminders for regular weekly events: "Wednesday Night Fellowship meal at 5:30 p.m."
- Church service delays or closures due to inclement weather
- Changes to dates, times, or venues for upcoming events
Did you know? Text messaging has a 98-percent open rate. This means if you send a bulk SMS to your church member list, it increases outreach significantly over standard email notifications, which have an open rate of about 20-percent.
Increasing Attendance for Church Services with SMS
When members feel more connected with their church, they're more likely to attend regular services as well as special events and programs. In today's modern world, we are connected digitally using the internet, apps, social media, and even traditional email. However, it's the mobile phone that plays the most significant part in keeping people connected.
Two-thirds of all Americans own a smartphone, with smartphone ownership highest among millennials or those born between 1982 and the early 2000s.
According to the CMO Council, 87-percent of millennials keep their smartphone nearby both day and night. 78-percent of those same millennials typically spend more than two hours daily using their phones. This same age group also sends and receives the most text messages. If you want to reach the younger members of your church, text messaging can be most effective.
Increase church service attendance, in particularly among the millennial group, by sending regular text message reminders about services as well as fun, interactive messages that help all age groups connect better with the church. Send personalized mobile eCards or try our unique Shuffle Responder SMS feature that randomly sends words of inspiration, quotes, daily worship passage, or even jokes.
Boost Membership for Missions and Retreats
SMS reminders are perfect for upcoming mission project or retreats. Set reminders for the approaching sign-up date, send a reminder on sign-up day, and then send follow-up SMS reminder for those who missed the sign-up and still wish to join. Using SMS reminders not only increases the number of church members participating, it saves your committee members and church secretary the time and hassle of having to call the phone list.
Use SMS Reminders for Upcoming Holiday Events
How often does the holiday pageant reminder make it home? The kids receive a flyer at youth group, but it typically disappears before you have a chance to see the important information. Follow up bulletin announcements and social media posts with SMS reminders to ensure a full house enjoys your special holiday event. Use text message notifications to remind holiday event participants important rehearsal times and details.
Text Message Notifications for Support Groups and Prayer Relays
Ministry outreach in the form of support groups and prayer relays requires a fast, effective, and reliable method of information delivery. Text message notifications get the job done. Customize any SMS to notify your members about support group meeting times, location or time changes, and for prayer relays.
Isn't it time to inspire your congregation through the communication channel they use daily? Contact Trumpia to determine how our multi-channel messaging platform with text message notifications can boost attendance at your next church event.