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.