Use Different Modes of Communication to Promote your Text Call to Actions
In our experience, these modes of communication are written in order of effectiveness. Try using multiple ways when presenting opportunities to your people!
1. Verbal - Verbally cast vision and announce the call to action
Take time to verbally announce the opportunity to text in during your church service announcements, sermons, at conferences, in videos, etc.
This gives you a chance to explain the heart and vision for why you want someone to text in - to engage in something together as a church, to be able to stay better connected throughout the week, to easily capture prayer requests, etc.
Make sure when you do the verbal announcement, give people time to act!
People are busy and distracted. By taking a few moments during service to give people the time to text in, it puts the opportunity right in front of them and significantly increases the likelihood of them acting.
2. Email - Add a call to action in your email newsletter
Sending out an email newsletter? You can add your text call to action in the content of the email. You can either add a sign up form where people can enter their phone number to opt in or ask them to text right in the email (Text KEYWORD to ______ to receive _____.)
It can be helpful to put a screenshot of the text thread with that keyword to that number right in the email if you’re asking them to text in right then.
3. Social Media - Elevate your call to action on social media
Use your social media campaigns to encourage texts in. Promote your text call-to-action on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Make them visually appealing and give enough information for why they should take time to text in.
4. Website - Add a SMS opt-in form to your website
An SMS opt in form allows people to subscribe to your text communication by entering their mobile information on your website rather than directly texting in.
5. Signage and Print Materials - Place calls to action visually in front of people
Put your call to action on the screen, indoor signs, and outdoor signs. Use your bulletin or other printed materials to encourage texting into your various opportunities. The more times a person sees the opportunity to text in, the more familiar they become with this mode of communication at your church.
✨ Cross promote - the best strategy is a multi-faceted one
Don’t just use one mode of communication to encourage opt-ins. Hit people from all sides in order to make your opportunities known to them.
✨ Make your call to action clear
Keep it simple. Ask people to text your keyword to your phone number and let them know what they will get.
✨ Motivate people by adding value
Because you are asking people to give you something (their effort, their time, and their phone number) motivate them to act by giving them something that’s valuable.
A couple of ideas are something that either enriches their life (e.g., a helpful resource) or makes their life easier (e.g., simplifying sign up for an event).
✨ Make it easy with an SMS QR code
Use an SMS QR code generator to make opting in easier than ever. It automatically opens their messages app with the phone number pre-filled. You can even populate the text message ahead of time so that when someone scans your code, all they need to do is press send!
Here's a free one to try. (Navigate to the SMS tab, and make sure not to use parentheses or dashes in the phone number or it won't work with iMessages.)
✨ Be patient
Text engagement takes time and oftentimes does not happen overnight. Trying different modes of communication and offering different types of opportunities will help you learn how to best serve your people.