You've decided it's time for your church to explore a new church communication system! Now you'll want to identify and evaluate the best texting software for churches on the market. Below, we've outlined the key features you should look out for in church text and email systems, highlighted features that are unique in each of the top three leading vendors, and created a table to summarize some of the important differences between the different systems.
- Text In Church
All of the companies above are reputable, and are used by thousands of churches in the United States. Before we get into the details of each system, let's start with an overview of church communication software.
What is church communication software?
Church communication software is technology used by churches to streamline communication with their members with the goal of improving member engagement and attendance. Leading systems allow churches to organize members into groups and have two-way communications via text message and email. Some companies only provide texting software for churches. Common use cases for church communication software include welcoming new members, handling event registration, sending event reminders, and providing a platform for members with common interests to socialize. Church communication software integrates with church management software.
How much does church communication software cost?
The systems below have slightly different pricing models. Some are priced based upon your number of members, while others are priced based upon your messaging volume. The entry level cost for the systems is between $7 to $37 per month. A medium-sized church with 500 members can expect to pay $50-75 per month for its communication system. While evaluating the systems, keep in mind that some offer unlimited free emails, some charge extra for voice messaging, and some allow your unused message credits to rollover to the following month.
What are the key features of church communication software?
- Member profiles: Each system should allow you to upload your members and their corresponding text and email addresses. Systems with bulk member upload will save you time while you're onboarding on the new system.
- Communication channels: All systems should allow you to communicate with your members through SMS and email. Some systems also support communication through voice message at an extra cost. Finally, look for systems that allow you to manage 2-way conversations in via both text and email.
- Email templates: Look for systems that come with an easy-to-use email builder and pre-built well-designed templates. Some systems come with advanced features such as polling, or the ability for members to RSVP to events directly within your emails.
- Groups: All systems should offer groups that you can use to organize your members. The best systems offer unlimited groups and the ability to create sub-groups.
- Conversations: All systems should streamline your ability to have two-way conversations with your groups. The best systems will allow you to do this through both text message and email.
- Automated Workflows: Automated workflows are a series of email, text, or voice messages that can be scheduled to send to contacts in the future. These can be triggered when you receive a new piece of data from a member, or when a member is added to a group.
- Analytics: The communication systems should provide an analytics dashboard through which you can see data on communication volume by group. The top systems will also give you performance data on your communications. For example, how many church members opened or clicked your most recent email.
- Integrations: Leading church communication systems integrate directly with church management systems. The most common systems are Planning Center Online, Church Community Builder and Breeze ChMS.
Text In Church
Text In Church Pricing: Text In Church offers three plans that are priced based upon your number of texts per month:
- Basic: costs $37/month for 500 texts per month
- Pro: $67/month for 1500 texts per month
- Premium: $97/month for 2500 texts per month
- Smart Connect Cards that sync with automated workflows, and are great for plan-a-visits, pre-registration for kids, event registrations, and volunteer sign-ups.
- Text In Church offers unlimited emails for free.
- Ability to use your local phone number to drive the highest delivery rates.
- Integration with Zapier and pre-built Zaps.
PastorsLine Pricing: PastorsLine offers plans that are priced based upon your number of texts per month and the number of integrations you use. Here's the cost four of their most popular plans:
- Inception: $8/month for 300 texts per month and 0 integrations
- Dash: $21/month for 1000 texts per month and 1 integration
- Locomotion: $42/month for 2000 texts per month and 2 integrations
- Launch: $200/month for 10,000 texts per month and 5 integrations
- Unused messages roll over to the next month.
- You can run polls and contests using SMS messages.
- SMS birthday campaigns to send members well-wishes on their birthdays.
- PastorsLine is the only system that has integrations with Breeze and Tithe.ly.
- Private Facebook community where you can share best practices with other customers, get updates, and join sub-groups.
Flocknote Pricing: Flocknote is free for ministries under 40 members. Flocknotes prices for paid plans are based on your number of members, which is defined by the number of contacts you actually have in the system:
- $7/month up to 50 members
- $19/month for 100 members
- $55/month for 500 members
- $242/month for 10,000 members
- Pricing model is per-member, which is great for churches with high messaging volume.
- Flocknote supports text-to-join in Spanish.
- Flocknote also allows you to add multiple-choice polls to your emails.
- Offers an unlimited amount of sub-groups giving you an additional level of control over your communications.
- The most robust analytics package of all systems to monitor communication volume as well as open and click-rates.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of each of the systems we discussed.
|Text In Church||PastorsLine||Flocknote|
|Base Price||$37/month for 500 texts||Free up to 40 members||$8/month for 300 texts|
|Bulk Member Upload||YES||YES||YES|
|Communication Channels||Email, text||Email, text, voice (costs double)||Email, text, voice ($.09 extra)|
|Conversations||YES||Only via SMS||YES|
|Analytics||Limited to email open & click rates||Very limited||Full-featured|
|Integrations||Church Community Builder, Planning Center Online||None||Breeze, Tithe.ly, CCB, PCO|