Getting Started Guide: Engage

Quickly set up everything you need to succeed in the Engage tab

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

Welcome to your Engage tab! This part of your account is focused on connecting you with your people through texting. Here you can add your congregants to the system, gather prayer requests, broadcast out announcements, send out text series, and so much more.

Certain features like Quick Responses are set up on the front end and then are ready to go- the system can automatically send responses to people who text in on certain topics to relieve administrative burden from you. Other features like Keywords are set up on the front end but can be modified anytime as people interact with them. Still other features like Broadcasts can be used on demand for quick announcements and communication.

All of these features are unlimited and included in a free account.

There are over a dozen features packed into this little tab, and for the sake of keeping things simple, we aren't going to cover them all here. The goal of this article is just to walk you through getting things set up so that your account is as helpful and efficient as possible. At the end of these steps, you'll find links out to other articles that will help walk you through using each of our main features. Each step will include a link to the full guide to walk you through exactly how to set up that particular feature or piece.

If you haven't already, make sure to check out our Full Account Setup Guide for a few necessary setup steps every account must take. Once you've completed those, come back here to go through a few steps that are highly recommended to get started with the Engage tab.

Basic Setup Steps

  1. As people text commonly asked questions and categories (services times and locations, how to give, statements of belief, etc) to your Gloo phone number, you can set up Quick Responses that will automatically be sent back and relieve the administrative burden of answering these common questions. Under your Engage tab, navigate to Settings -> Automations -> Quick Responses to set up and turn on your responses.

  2. Gloo automatically acknowledges when someone sends in a text so people receive immediate feedback. Customizations give you the ability to make sure every text sent automatically by the account fits your unique culture. Edit each response - or simply do nothing and the default will be sent! Under your Engage tab, navigate to Settings -> Automations -> Customizations to edit them.

  3. Our next step will walk through adding people to your system. But anyone can text your Gloo phone number at any time to opt themselves into your communications. Under your User Onboarding Settings you can customize that experience to make sure you are capturing the information you want from those opting in, as well as give them the appropriate next steps to move forward. Under your Engage tab, navigate to Settings-> Automations -> Onboarding to customize these responses.

  4. At this point you might be thinking, "this is all great, but who exactly am I even texting!?" Well, like we said in step 3, one option is to publicize your number at church, in your community, or online, and allow anyone to text in. But another option is to add people yourself, whether that's manually, through a csv upload, or through an integration with your existing database. Check out the article above for a walk-through of each option.

  5. As you're setting things up, always feel free to use the Texting Simulator to text things out. Just click on the Texting Simulator on the left hand side, type out some messages, and watch how the system responds to you! This way you can get a feel for what it would be like for one of your church congregants to start messaging with your system.

  6. Due to new federal regulations, the messaging industry is making changes to the message volumes that can be sent over an unverified Toll-Free number, like the one you've just claimed. With text messaging being such a personal and effective form of communication, it makes it susceptible to spamming and ill-intended usage. This means that carriers are cracking down in order to protect consumers, and there are certain limits in place until your number is verified.

    As a service to you, every new account phone number that is claimed will be initiated into our Toll-Free Number Verification process. This process, however, can take several weeks, and so until then we recommend limiting your message volume until your number is verified:

    For the first week after claiming your number, you'll need to limit your usage to less than 1,000 messages. This is the time it will take our provider to receive our application on your behalf and move you to a pending state. While you are pending approval, you can increase your usage to:

    • Daily limit: 2,000 messages

    • Weekly limit: 5,000 messages

    • Monthly limit: 10,000 messages

    Visit the article above to learn more best practices to make sure your number is not flagged as spam!

Next Steps

That's it! Once you've completed those 6 steps, you'll be ready to go to use your Engage tab to connect with your church. There are over a dozen features available to you, but to keep things simple we're going to recommend 5 features to familiarize yourself with to get started. The first is a catch-all Inbox for your account, and the other 4 are our most popular, easy to use features. Check out the guides below to get started texting with people, and come back to these guides to build your knowledge as you go!

  1. The Messages tab of your Inbox is a catch-all for every message sent to and from your Gloo phone number. Familiarize yourself with this tab to make sure no message slips through the cracks.

  2. Broadcasts are text blasts you can send out to everyone in your account, or just specific groups or people. They're a great way to quickly send out information, announcements and updates.

  3. Easily gather and respond to prayer requests using our Prayer feature. Anytime someone texts in something around the idea of prayer, the system will recognize the request, record it for you, and allow you to come in, pray for people, and respond to their requests.

  4. Create as many custom Keywords as you'd like for people to use. Anyone who texts in the Keyword will receive an automated response. These are great for sending out targeted information, gathering signups, and so much more.

  5. People can subscribe to text Series to receive training materials, devotional content, first time visitor followup, and more! Instead of just sending one response like a Keyword, Series send back a whole series of responses that you've created on the front end to shepherd people beyond just Sunday mornings.

Master these 5 features and you'll be well on your way to meaningful engagement with your people!

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