PastorsLine vs. Clearstream
Last edited: March 2019.
We think that Clearstream is a great company that serves many churches. This guide is for information only and isn't updated regularly. It's based on publicly shared information only. Please use this guide only as a reference point in your research as you make the best-informed decision based on your specific needs, goals or circumstances.
We’re sure you know how a good, church-focused, bulk text and calling solution can help you make stronger connections with the people in your ministry. And you probably also know that there are many options available. The question is, “Which is the ONE which best answers your particular needs?”
To help you make your best-informed decision, we decided to do a comparison between PastorsLine and Clearstream.
After looking at the details, check out the comparison chart at the bottom.
Let’s be clear from the start, we definitely have an opinion here. All the same, we have tried our best to present only the facts and present them accurately. Having said that, if you feel we have erred or misrepresented anything, please give us a call (800) 260-9705 or pop us an email (link) so we can clear up the confusion.
I. PastorsLine offers unlimited local connections … and more.
- An unrestricted number of local long codes.
- International numbers for several countries.
- Multi-layered approach for number organization, i.e. primary, secondary numbers, etc.
The bottom line? The more numbers you have, the more effective your communication. Here’s why:
- Each team member or church function can have a dedicated number, allowing subscribers to save each number as a known contact.
- Incoming texts go only to the number (and hence person or church function) they relate to. Saves time rerouting texts and reduces ‘lost’ texts.
II. PastorsLine’s unlimited keywords give you virtually endless possibilities.
Think of your keywords as lists of subscribers. If your plan gives you 5 keywords, then you can have up to 5 lists of subscribers at any one time—you cannot have more.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you are using your 5 keywords as follows...
|Prayer||One-time or recurring prayer requests.|
|Camp||Families interested in youth summer camp.|
|Study||People looking for study groups.|
|Mission||Volunteers having time for various projects.|
|Drive||Church members who can help with transport.|
Next month, you have invited an uplifting speaker to lecture and do some workshops at your church. In order to create momentum for this event, you are going to have to delete one of the above lists. Tough choice, right? After all, each of the keywords has its own importance.
You might be able to add more keywords to your plan by buying them. That's an extra cost, right?
PastorsLine doesn’t ask you to make these difficult choices or pay more.
We offer a ‘dictionary-full’ amount of keywords. That is, if you can think of a word and create it, you can use it. We are pretty sure you are NEVER going to run out of possibilities, so you can have as many lists as you want.
The bottom line? As your ministry and its activities grow, your subscriber lists increase to meet all your needs.
III. PastorsLine's features help your church to more effectively reach, connect and engage with your members and first-time guests in order to build deeper, more natural relationships.
- Advanced data capture (FKA autoresponder)—Capturing contact data in a non-intrusive, digital way without links/URLs is a top priority. PastorsLine offers more than the basic autoreply to a link so you can capture additional information like name, email and birthday without having your subscriber leave their chat application. You are likely to get the data as it’s captured in a more organic way.
- Voice broadcasting (or voice messaging)—Contact doesn’t use texting? Connect by voice. Contact not in? Leave a warmer, friendlier communication in their voicemail.
- Voice call forwarding—What about if you are not in? Your callers will hear a personalized message informing them that their call will now be transferred to your voicemail. All messages are shown within the same thread to show you a history of the communication.
- Outboard 1-on-1—You already have a unique local number for your church or ministry. Being able to not only receive but make calls from the same caller ID can ensure a synergistic communication solution that isn’t tied to your personal phone line.
- Birthday campaigns—Getting a ‘just for you’ text on their birthday touches most people in a positive, caring way. They know you care, even after you have gotten them into your disciple process. Great way to save administrative time as well as it’s 100% automated from birthday date capture to automated personalized text.
- Contests—This a great opportunity to get your guest to attend an event or your regular members to engage on your program while also capturing their data. It makes it easy to randomly pick a winner and send a message via text. People are motivated to participate and that’s what we’re after, right?
- Live polling—Imagine an event at your church...perhaps a concert, an evangelical gathering, or a community-church health fair. Asking your participants to give real time feedback lets you know exactly what they are thinking so you can change things up to better meet their needs. Then you have a segmented list of cell phone contacts to follow up with after the event and continue to engage / move along to the next steps.
- More than one number—PastorsLine offers you the option of dedicating specific numbers to specific purposes (or people) for a more personal engagement. You can pick a unique local 10 digit number for each person on your team and create a virtual cell phone network. Alternatively, you can mix and match, allowing people to share the same lines.
The bottom line? Fully automated birthday campaigns use less admin time to increase your communication. Contests motivate people to get involved and think of your ministry as a ‘happening’ place. Live polling gives you a segmented list of cell phone contacts to follow-up with after the event and continue to engage / move along to the next steps. All of these blend together to give your church a broader range of more consistent communication. What you’re looking for, right?
IV. PastorsLine continually increases your communication options.
It’s not about one-size-fits-all.
- Contact doesn’t use texting? Connect by voice with our voice broadcasting (or voice messaging) feature. 1 to 1 calling is available too.
- Need to receive calls? Get those forwarded to your phone line.
- What about if you are not in? Your callers will hear a personalized message informing them that their call will now be transferred to your voicemail.
The bottom line? Being able to not only receive but make calls from the same caller ID can ensure a synergistic communication solution that isn’t tied to your personal phone line. In addition...
PastorsLine is continually responding to user feedback to improve our great platform further.
- For example, Planning Center and Kiosk Builder integrations are built. We plan to integrate with PCO workflows.
- Also, in response to feedback, we have made our plans even more price effective: the $50/mo. plan now comes with 2000 messaging credits; the $100/mo. plan now comes with 5000 messaging credits.
SO… You could opt for an ‘always’ free plan that gives you very little communication power
OR… You could take up our free, full feature, trial offer and experience for yourself what a user friendly, personalized, comprehensive communication platform feels like. The choice is kind of obvious, isn’t it?
Sounds like PastorsLine can take us to the next level. We’re in for the free trial. (https://my.pastorsline.com/register)
It’s interesting but I’m not sure yet. I’d like to find out more. (link to eBook)
|Smallest Monthly Plan||$10/mo.||$29/mo.|
|Keywords, Contacts, Groups||Unlimited||Limited keywords. Based on package.|
|Numbers||1 or several: as number is unique, same keywords can be used with each number||1 or several: keywords are restricted to short codes|
|Use your existing landline or toll-free number||Yes||No|
|Advanced data capture (no links/URLs)||Yes (Digital Connect Texts)||No|
|Multiuser||Yes: advanced teams, role-based users||Yes|
|Contests||Yes||"The Clearstream platform does not offer an actual “text-to-win” feature."|
|Live Polling||Yes||No information seen on website.|
|Birthday Campaigns||Yes||No information seen on website.|
|Start for free or Have to pay||Free: unltd. keywords, 500 msg. credits||Free: 1 keyword, 25 msg. credits|
|Do they offer integrations / API ?||
CCB Approved Vendor (True 2-way, process queues; unlimited syncing overnight & on-demand; smart syncing)
MailChimp (Lists and groups 1-way; Overnight syncing and on-demand; 2-wayJan 2019)
PCO (True 2-way, syncing)
The PastorsLine platform is a church-driven, bulk texting platform developed and managed by church ‘insiders’. We know churches intimately. We’ve attended them, been part of their management teams and worked with them for many years. Our goal is to serve you by helping you spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. We’ve positioned ourselves to be your in-house, IT team for solutions to your communication issues. In addition to everything our platform can do, our partners love our responsiveness to their needs and fast tech support.
I honestly never realized how many people must have been trying to text our landline all along! We never advertised our landline as a number you could text, but we have gotten multiple members of our congregation and even guests from some of our events to send us texts saying, ‘Thank you for this and that’, and it has been really great to see!
Joy Christian, Center,
St. Cloud, MN
At first, the landline feature seemed like it would overload the church secretary since everyone would have the church phone number saved in their phones. This has not happened! People are simply interacting with our events better than ever before! We love the landline feature.
Associate Pastor, Journey Church
PastorsLine has been a fantastic tool which has enhanced communication with out church family. As with any tool, the secret is in learning how to use it effectively. I have been most excited when I see my church members telling their very own unchurched friends to text “PRAY” to our pastorsline number and have them join our prayer sessions.
Pastors, RGF Church
It’s honestly the best feature that we have utilized. Being able to give one phone number for voice and text simplified our process.
Pastor Gateway Church, Ashland, KY
The text message bible study invites are working great. We saw a huge increase from 5-6 to 10-12 and the numbers stayed consistent.
“[PastorsLine is] a huge answer to something we’ve been looking for. I was able to send a template with a field merge by scheduling it... ”
Dr. Matthew Robinson
Sending and receiving texts from our landline number is the #1 feature that ensures visitors and members can engage with us on the most relevant means of communication there is right now. Having one number to advertise, simplifies all graphics, ads, announcements, etc. for us, as well as for those we're trying to reach. I use PastorsLine EVERY DAY. It's changing the way we engage with our members - it's both easier and more effective.
““...the guest connection card...We had a great response -- people whose names and contact info we might not have captured otherwise. Our autoresponder directs them to our Welcome Center...where we have a gift...with their name on it."
The land line is more familiar with our congregation. When we texted from the other number, some would inquire about who was sending the text as the number was unfamiliar, and we did not use it frequently, so by the time we sent another text, some had forgotten the number.
Myrna and Peter Rohdin
New Life Fellowship Church, Elmhurst, NY
By using the same phone number for texting and calling you get people to remember your phone number. When it comes the time that are ready to reach out to us they know the phone number.
We hired [PastorsLine] to assist us in a new “Small Group” initiative we were launching at our church. The tools they provided us with helped us monitor and take action on hundreds of responses. Our workflow was cut in half and our ability to track, monitor and follow through with the data gathered more than doubled.
Associate Pastor, New Believers
I belong to a Church Communications group on Facebook, and you were highly recommended. We signed up with you over others because we are a multi-generational church and you have an ability to reach people on landlines.
For us [a PastorsLine text-enabled church landline] has been huge for people to be able to text the number they already knew for our church. It means they don’t have to remember two different numbers when they are looking to try and get in touch with us. Most people don’t even realize its mostly an automated process.
Connections Pastor, The Exchange
The personal and almost immediate assistance at [PastorsLine] is so great! We feel valued and important! We love that it is church-based!!! … Jason and the team at [PastorsLine] are always ready to help, make things better, and they also welcome feedback.
Pastor @ College Drive Church
PastorsLine has totally changed not only my workflow, but it's taken our "personal" factor up 10x! Just with our welcome process, we have gone from a 40% READ rate to a 40% CONVERSATION rate. That's just crazy!
So thanks 🙂
When we finished our evangelistic event in Houston, 70% of those who were baptized, communicated with me through PastorsLine...it had a big influence.
Evangelist, End Time Hope
"Baptism Worship Service Reminders - bulk texting—we were blown away by the number of people who showed up."
Dir. of Admin.
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