Once you have purchased or subscribed to a SMS service, your members and visitors can easily agree to accept messages from you or opt-in to your service. You are not allowed to simply enter in a batch of phone numbers into the application and send out messages, because that is considered spam and is not allowed by cell phone carriers. Once your members and visitors opt-in to receive your messages, they are sent a message giving them instructions on how they can opt-out or turn off your messages, and a phone number they can call if they have questions about the service. How do you get your members and visitors to opt-in to ministry? You can publish information about it in your weekend service programs, announce it in your sermons and post it on your website or social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook.
Opting in to ministry.
Campaigns are used to sell products and their creation is usually delegated to an advertising department. For you and the ministry, they will be used to sell your text message services to your members. You want to use the service effectively and keep your members reading and responding to your messages. In order to do that, you should follow these steps to keep them tuned in to Jesus:
Respect your members’ privacy.
Never give out any of their personal information, either on social media or in a text message. Your members and visitors may be happy to supply their own numbers in a text message and allow you to do so, but never do this without their permission.
Create messages that will compel your members to think and want to provide answers or comments. This type of open messages often provides you with an insight into new ideas and can create further conversation.
Keep them tuned in.
Most advertising campaigns provide bonuses to members, for speaking up or continuing a conversation. You, too, can provide bonuses, by offering a point system and handing out points to those members who deliver thoughtful comments. When you are trying to reach the youth you may want to create a game they can play with a conversation. Posting the winners or celebrating those who have the highest point totals during a weekend service, provides an incentive for those not engaging in the conversation.
Timing is everything.
Choose the time of day wisely. When you want to reach a specific sub-group of your members, you may want to think about the time of the day and the day of the week when they will be most likely available and willing to chime in on a conversation, or to read your message.
Keep it simple.
People tune out when a conversation becomes lengthy. Shorten conversations by providing new points of interest. Remember you only have 160 characters to communicate your message.