Text Message Marketing for Churches

How Churches Use Text Messaging


First, the church will select a keyword. A Keyword is a unique word, phrase, or acronym that represents a religious organization. Members text this keyword to a toll-free number. This number is used to send and receive SMS and MMS in bulk.

For example, if you are the pastor at Gate of Heaven church, you might want to use the word GATE as your keyword. Or perhaps instead, something contextual such as PRAY.

Auto Reply

Each text campaign uses an “auto reply”. The auto reply or autoresponder is the first message the congregant receives when they text the keyword to the toll-free number. This message typically welcomes the congregant to the church text system, and relies any relevant details such as the link to the website or perhaps a Bible passage.

Inform the Parishioners

Text marketing is most successfully used by churches who do a great job of communicating the opportunity to join the text alert system. This can be by asking the pastor to make an announcement prior to or immediate following the mass or service. Sending out an e-mail invite with instructions on how to opt-in. Printing details in the church bulletin and on social media pages.

Send out Text Blasts

Parents & Teens, the youth group has been canceled tonight and rescheduled for next Tuesday at 5 pm.

Please keep Joe Smith in your prayers as he is undergoing serious surgery tomorrow a.m.

Remember, God does not give you more than you can handle! Feeling down this week? Read 1st Corinthians 10:13. We’ll be reviewing this passage on Sunday.

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Church Message Marketing Uses

Churches and religious organizations across the United States have been using text message marketing for years.

At Text2VIP, we’ve taken a deep dive into the messaging strategies which have been employed by our religious-based portfolio of clients. In addition to using text marketing to send schedule updates, prayer requests, and notifications, churches frequently use SMS as a method to request volunteers or solicit donations. By using a link to the donation website in the text message, church leaders are able to make the process of contributing/donating a simplified one for church members.

We have come up with the following use cases on exactly how churches are using text messaging with Text2VIP:

church text message event reminder

Reminders and Special Events

A great way to get congregants more involved is to encourage them to come to special events. Make sure to select and invite the right group of contacts for the event. This is a great opportunity to promote social gatherings, musical performances, guest speakers, and more. Keep prospects in-the-know by including important event details including date, time, location, attire, and more. SMS allows churches to communicate all of these examples.

Changes in Schedules

Mobile Marketing statistics have consistently shown that 93% of contacts read text messages within three minutes of receipt. That means text messages are the best way to alert members when services or classes have to be canceled or changed. You don’t have to worry about whether your contacts will remember to check Facebook or Twitter. They’ll get the message and appreciate the notice. Several churches have begun recording sermons and messages on audio or video if services have to be canceled. Ministers put a lot of effort into preparation, so this is a great way for the congregation to benefit from these efforts. These recordings can be linked to the text message.

phone church online text message

Inspirational Messages

Churches using text marketing on the Text2VIP platform will frequently send inspirational messages and/or bible passages to their parishioners. This is a great way to remind people of the power of communication and connectivity as it relates to prayer. Below is an example using MMS. Whether using SMS or MMS, the churches using text messaging can send short messages of encouragement, inspirational Bible verses, and prayer requests.

church motivational quote text

Automatic Drip Campaigns

Whether initiated by a new visitor opting in for text messages for the first time, or simply as a personal reminder to longtime parishioners, the use of Auto Campaigns have become increasingly popular on the part of church organizations. These can include messages about church schedules, ministries, or community outreach.

Boost your Parishioners by getting started with SMS Marketing Today!

Text2VIP’s Mobile Text message marketing software can boost your guest count, donations, and bottom line. SMS marketing is one of the best ways to promote your company and keep in contact with parishioners.

As the Mobile Marketing platform provider to thousands of churches and businesses since 2009, you will benefit from our experience.