It’s important to you that visitors feel welcome and noticed when they attend your church.
Unfortunately, many visitors leave before talking with anyone.
Text messaging provides a new avenue for connecting with your visitors in a more meaningful and direct way. Most people prefer text messaging over phone calls or emails. While just 45% of emails are read per day, 98% of texts are read.
Start by sending a welcome message. Provide visitors a specific keyword to text in order to receive more information about your church.
Before and after service has a visitor slide, saying “New here? Text the word “NEW” to 123-4561 for a special welcome message.”
When visitors’ text “NEW” to your number, it triggers a welcome message that automatically sends to their phone.
Engage Visitors with Relevant Information
Every visitor is different and they’re looking for specific information to decide if your church is a good fit. Provide your visitors with information that’s relevant to their individual lives.
Automated welcome message: “Hello! Welcome to First Church of God. We are excited that you are here today. Just reply with any of the following words for additional information – KIDS, GROUPS, BELIEFS, EVENTS”
Each keyword (KIDS, COMMUNITY, BELIEFS, EVENTS) triggers an automated text message with information specifically related to the category chosen.
- KIDS: design information specifically for those who want more information about your children’s program.
- GROUPS: provide information about the different groups at your church such as bible studies, women/men’s groups, etc.
- BELIEFS: this could be a video of your pastor explaining your church values and denomination.
- EVENTS: send any general church events going on in the next few months including volunteer opportunities, parties, VBS, and more
On average, churches have 10-20 different ministries for their congregation to engage with (such as early childhood, elementary, jr. high, high school, senior groups, bible studies, small groups, women’s and men’s groups, etc.).
Create a direct line for each ministry to communicate quickly with interested visitors. There are many ways ministries use direct lines including ministry-specific updates, event invitations, personal communication between visitors and ministry staff, etc.
Direct lines give ministries freedom to communicate in ways that are most effective for them to send messages, provide updates, communicate with individuals, and more through both mass and direct messages.
Here’s an example:
John and his kids visit your church, and he engages with three different ministries: early childhood, jr. high, and the men’s fishing group.
Here are examples how individual ministries leverage their direct lines to communicate…
- Two-way Direct Communication
In service, John receives a text directly from a volunteer in the nursery asking him a question regarding his toddler. John responds directly to the nursery with the information they need.
- Mass communication
John receives an invitation to the jr. high Light the Night event for his jr. higher.
John receives a text from the fishing group ministry leader updating him about the location and time of their next meeting.
The ability to communicate with individual ministries and receive personal texts help visitors engage with your church and get involved.
Keep Track of Visitor Interests
Using tags, you can store information on visitor profiles to help you send relevant information. A tag is simply a keyword added to their profile that helps you better understand your visitor. The more someone interacts with you, the more information that is tagged to their account.
John visits your church for the first time. He texts you the keyword “NEW” - two actions happen automatically:
- He receives your initial welcome message.
- The system adds a tag to his profile with the keyword “NEW” indicating he is a visitor.
To continue this example, let’s say John is a dad and interested in your children’s ministry. He replies to your initial welcome message with the word “KIDS”. Two more actions happen automatically:
- He receives information about your children’s ministry.
- The system adds a tag to his profile with the keyword “KIDS” indicating his interest in the children’s ministry.
The next time you have a children’s ministry outreach event, you can search for all visitors with the tag “KIDS”. This way, you send your invitation only to visitors with kids.
This is just one example that demonstrates the power of tagging. There are dozens of ways tags help you intentionally engage with your visitors.
Other Ways to Use Tags
- Assign members of your team to follow up with a personalized text to visitors with specific keywords.
- Create a follow up campaign specific to certain keyword tags.
- Automatically remove certain keyword tags when X happens.
- Manually add tags to someone’s profile when necessary.
Ready to learn more? Start a free trial to experience the possibilities for yourself or text “BUZZ” to 309-605-0390 to brainstorm ideas with a member of our team.
Follow Up with Visitors
Often, visitors feel unsure how to connect with a church outside of Sunday morning services. Create follow up campaigns to engage your visitors and help them connect with your church community.
Create a follow up campaign using sequences. A sequence is a series of text messages that automatically send to visitors at specified intervals determined by you.
A “welcome” sequence may look something like this
- Text 1, triggered by the keyword “NEW”
Welcome message (The system can also add a tag “welcome sequence” so you easily find everyone who has received your welcome sequence.)
- Text 2, Day 2
Video message from your pastor with keyword options like “Reply with the word MORE to get involved in a membership class.”
- Text 3, Day 4
Invitation to a visitor’s event with keyword options like “Reply with the word YES to RSVP”
- Text 4, Day 8
Another message of your choosing that helps a visitor know your church better. Sequences can be as long or short as you'd like.
Setup the system to notify your team if someone uses a specific keyword.
If a visitor replies to the second text with the keyword “MORE” – then the system automatically alerts a team member to send an individual text or call this visitor and register them for a member class.
The Possibilities are Endless
Beetexting provides hundreds of options for engaging with church visitors. Do you have an idea or question you’d like to discuss? Text “BUZZ” to 309-605-0390 to brainstorm ideas with a member of our team.
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