Developing a Texting Strategy: Setting it up

by admin May 14, 2013   Programs

Developing-a-texing-strategy-for-your-youth-ministry-service(This is part of the Developing a Texting Strategy for your Youth Ministry series)

What if I told you that setting up a texting program that would help you communicate with teenagers could be done in 5 minutes?  You might think that I am lying, but this could be the game changer for your youth ministry.  It was for me.

The program we are recommending is sms 360, and they have a free trial plan that you can check out here.

Here is the simple process: 

Step 1 – Set up an account

Make sure to put in your youth ministry in the name of the organization, and pick your keyword well.

I put one eighty youth as the name of organization so that when students are recieving texts from me, they don’t delete because they don’t know my churches name.

I also put down the keyword as 180 which is so easy for the students to know and remember.  The key in the long run will be if students remember this, and share with students to get them in to the database.

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 9.40.40 PM

 

 

Step 2 – Learn how to send a message.

Make sure that you text the number and subscribe personally.  You are the tester.

When you log in, you will be a home menu.  Click on the send a message button.  Create a message that you can send right away or schedule for another time.  I personally setup the text messages the day of my youth gathering so that I don’t have to think about it later that day.  I text the students once a week, and it is right after school…10 minutes after to be exact.

sms 360 for youth ministry

 

 

That is basically it.  That is all you really need to know.  All it took was 5 minutes of your time.  I know you are probably still a little skeptical, I was, but give it a few weeks and you will see the need for having a text message service for your youth ministry.  Start messing around with it and in the next post we will show you how we grew our list to 80+ students in a month and a half.

 

On a side note I have been getting tons of interaction from youth pastors on the services they use.  There are tons of programs out there like sendhub, and group text to name just two.  I don’t go the free route, and I personally don’t want a ton of text messages going to my personal phone.  If  teenager is struggling they can reach me on facebook, and some do track down my cell, but I worry already about how much time social media takes up in my day to day life.  This is the reason way I go with a professional service.

I also know that our budgets are tight, and that sometimes we are trying to turn water into wine when it comes to our budget.  For me this was worth the $250 a year for the ability to text teens about youth ministry stuff.

Thanks for your comments, I love exploring all the texting services that you all use.  

 

  • Jeff Hume

    Remind101 is a free service that does everything you mention. Designed for school teachers it includes keywords, scheduled delivery, multiple lists (I use a JH, SH, parent), and does not come from your number. I have their app on my phone and ipad. And did I mention FREE with no ads.

    • Thanks Jeff for the comment. I did check out Remind 101. It looks pretty legit. Thanks for the share.

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