Best Practices: Series

Learn to craft engaging Series people will want to participate in.

Brian Knollman avatar
Written by Brian Knollman
Updated over a week ago

Series are a great way to consistently engage with your church. Whether you’re encouraging people with a devotional, following up with new guests, or distributing training content, Series offer easy automation and opportunities to invest beyond Sunday services. Here are 5 great tips that will help you unlock one of Gloo’s most versatile features.

Tip #1 – Know when to use Fixed Series and Rolling Series

Gloo offers two different types of Series, and each one is useful in different ways. Maximize the effectiveness of your Series by choosing the appropriate type for each situation.

  • A Rolling Series is set up so that people can opt in at any time and they’ll receive the messages for X number of days relative to their subscription date. This way you can have people going through the same content at different times. We recommend using Rolling Series for things like first time visitor follow up, self-paced devotionals, and prayer prompts.

  • A Fixed Series, on the other hand, sets specific dates for each message so that you can make sure all subscribers receive the same content at the same time. A few great ways to use Fixed Series are taking the whole church through a holiday devotional together - like Advent or Lent - or doing a church-wide prayer initiative. A fixed series will keep everyone on the same page as you go through the series.

Tip #2 – Account for user error when setting up opt-in keywords

Since all Series are activated using keywords, it’s a good idea to keep in mind some of the Keyword Best Practices as well in order to make sure people are able to easily opt into your Series.

  • Use multiple spellings and versions of your opt-in keyword to help prevent user error. For example, if you are running a devotional series through the Gospel of John, consider setting keywords of “John,” “Jon,” “Gospel of John,” etc, so that anyone who tries to opt in will be able to, even if they have a typo or don’t text in exactly what you said.

  • Make things even simpler by using an SMS QR code when promoting your series. People can simply scan the code to send a text to Gloo that is already filled in for them, so you can make sure they’re texting exactly what they need to!

Pro tip: For further ideas on how to encourage opt-ins, check out this article!

Tip #3 – Communicate expectations of text frequency up front

Since people will specifically opt into each series, you can send texts more frequently than we’d usually recommend with Broadcasts. But people only know what they’re getting into if you tell them up front! It’s a great idea to clarify in the message that is “sent when subscribed” how long the series will run and how often the messages will come. Letting people know at the beginning will help prevent people opting out of your series because of too many messages they weren’t expecting.

Pro Tip: Have an extra long series? Create an opt out keyword specific to that series so if someone changes their mind, they can just opt out of the series, NOT the whole system. You can do this by adding an effect to the keyword.

Tip #4 – Include a few calls to action in your messages to drive interaction

Like so many other features in Gloo, Series can be used to drive interaction with people, not just one way messages with no response! Consider having calls to action sprinkled through your Series - people are more likely to respond and engage if they’re asked to act on something specific. Here are a few ideas if you’re getting stuck:

  • Are you running a series to encourage people to share their faith with friends and family? Consider asking for Prayer Requests each time a new message goes out. You could also encourage people to submit Stories of how God is using their conversations.

  • Are you using a series to follow up with new guests? Set up the “Talk” keyword from our Templates Library and encourage subscribers to text in “TALK” to have any questions answered.

  • Are you finishing up a series on the Gospel of John? You could set up a Survey in one of the final messages of the series and ask people what their favorite part was, or which of the 7 signs impacted them the most, or what book they’d like to go through next.

Tip #5 – Be creative!

When brainstorming how to use Series in your church, the sky's the limit, so be creative! Series are so versatile, and you can use them to encourage, inform, prepare, follow up, train, and so much more! Here are a few ideas of ways to use Series:

  • Devotionals

  • First time guest follow up

  • Sending training resources for evangelism, bible study methods, leading small groups, etc

  • Preparation for baptism

  • 40 days of prayer initiative

  • New believer/church member follow up

  • Messages of encouragement to staff and volunteers

  • Regular touch points with attendees to check in and gather prayer requests

If you need more help getting those creative juices flowing, these ideas and so much more can be found in our ever-growing Templates Library!

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