PastorsLine vs. TextMarks
Editor's Note: A church partner shared this internal memo with us. This memo was sent to their senior leaders to get approval to switch from TextMarks. After weeks of grilling us (we didn't mind) and maximizing the FREE 30-day trial, they were able to present an informed case about PastorsLine. Their proposal was accepted.
I’ve had several requests to find an alternative to CCB [Church Community Builder] texting. Currently, we are using TextMarks, but haven’t been satisfied. We want to use text to engage First Time Guests, DRL Guests, and new Team Members. I’ve talked to several different texting providers, and my recommendation is PastorsLine.
CCB offers texting, but there are two major drawbacks. First, we are required to get the mobile provider (AT&T, Verison, etc.). We have been successful in getting this information for many people, primarily parents checking kids in, but there are many people we would like to reach, like first time guests, who we don’t have provider information. Second, because CCB is sending texts through email, there is a high rate of failure. We don’t know if the text was received and have had many reports of people not receiving text messages sent through CCB. CCB is aware of these limitations and is researching solutions. However, we do not have a timeframe for CCB to implement an improved texting methodology, and it’s likely when they do implement texting that there will be an additional monthly or per text cost.
We have been using TextMarks, but is eager to switch text providers. The biggest drawback for TextMarks is that it doesn’t integrate with CCB. Any information we gather from TextMarks needs to be manually entered in CCB. If we want to text a group in CCB from TextMarks, then we need to manually export the group from CCB and import the data into TextMarks each time we want to text. TextMarks also only uses one [shared] short code, so your keyword has to be unique to your organization, “RLConnect”.
PastorsLine is very comparable in price and capabilities to TextMarks, but with the added advantage of integration with CCB for profile updates and automated syncing of groups for texting. PastorsLine also gives us the option of using a [Local numbers] that is unique to our church, so our keywords can be more generic, i.e. “Connect”. We can also [use this]10 digit Long Code [local number] that looks like a local phone number which will come across as more personal.
The other two providers I talked to are both apps. ProAppsLive only does Push Notifications, not true texting. Aware3 does true texting, but their options are more limited than PastorsLine who focuses on texting. Aware3’s strength is their app, not their texting.
|CCB||PastorsLine||TextMarks||Aware3 app||ProAppsLive app|
|Pricing per month||included||$200*||$199*||$219*||$75|
|# of Texts||unlimited||10,000||10,000||250||n/a|
|Cost of add’l texts||n/a||2 cents||2 cents||3 cents||n/a|
|CCB Profile Integration||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|CCB Group Integration||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|CCB Schedule Integration||Yes||No||No||No||Yes|
|Push Notification in App||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
*PastorsLine, TextMarks, and Aware3 have other pricing options
Editor's note: The above comparison is specifically between the built-in texting options of each platform against what PastorsLine offers. E.g. We are a preferred vendor for CCB and as such, one of the recommended text and voice solutions for CCB clients looking for an advanced, mobile communication platform. CCB is a ChMS and does so much more. Aware3 and ProAppsLive are more focused (in our opinions) on creating mobile apps for your church. TextMarks is an established, mobile marketing company that offers texting via a short code. There are a few advantages of using Short Codes in text marketing (e.g. for volume). We believe most churches are best served by using local numbers. Here's why. PastorsLine is 100% focused on giving churches the tools to be better at texting in churches.
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.
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.
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.
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
...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.
“Our land line [SMS-enabled by PastorsLine] is more familiar to 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
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
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.
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
Thus far it’s worked perfectly!! When we wanna send out a text message we use the church office #.
When somebody calls this #, it just takes them to our office phone where a front desk agent can answer. This is perfect! Far better than our individual cell phones ringing when somebody calls our PastorsLine number. It’s only been a week but it’s working great!
Young Adults Pastor, Faith Chapel
[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
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.
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
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
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
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 🙂
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
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
Baptism Worship Service Reminders - bulk texting—we were blown away by the number of people who showed up.
Director of Admin
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