Monday, August 8, 2016

Leveraging Text Messaging with your Youth Groups

Today's youth leaders face challenges

In 2016, the Barna Group found that the top two priorities in youth ministry are discipleship / spiritual instruction, and building relationships. They also reported that common challenges of youth ministry include busyness of youth, and lack of interest from parents.

As you encounter these challenges, we believe SendTree can serve as a tool in your toolbox. If you read further about the research on teens and their communication preferences, you'll find an opportunity to reach busy youth, create communication channels with parents, and build relationships.

Text messaging still tops the list

In today's world of smartphones, messaging apps, and social media, text messaging is surprisingly relevant.

In the last ten years we have witnessed an evolution of communication websites, tools, and apps. Facebook and Twitter were social communication pioneers, digitally connecting us well before smartphones were everywhere. But today, 88% of teens have a mobile phone**, and the list of new communication apps continues to grow quickly.

** 73% of teens have a smartphone, and 15% have a basic cellphone.

In addition to ordinary text messaging, today there are an increasing variety of messaging apps that you can install, like WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, SnapChat, LINE, Viber, and WeChat, to name a few. All of these apps work great for messaging. However, given a group of teens, they won't all be using the same messaging apps, and the hot app today will change tomorrow.

What messaging apps will people be using next year?

Is there a messaging app in common?

Yes. All of these phones have text messaging in common.

SMS (short message service) predates all of the apps and websites, and existed long before the smartphone. Subsequently, pretty much every phone has SMS and can do text.

Because SMS is "baked in" to everyone's phone, there is no special app to install. There's no account to setup, no password to remember. To reach a new person, you only need their phone number, and you won't impose any "app" requirements on them.

The fact that text messaging is "built-in" explains why it continues to stay at the top of people's lists. Pew asked people what they do with their phones, and the top of the list is texting.

Pew Research Center asked teens about how they communicate with people in their lives, and the responses point to text messaging as the dominant daily mode of communication.

While text messaging is only one part of your total communication strategy, SendTree can provide you with the best tools to leverage text communcations. SendTree can help you reach people where they already are — on their mobile devices.

Do not ignore the facts. The research conducted by Pew reveals what we already suspect: people are on their mobile devices, and text is the most commonly used function on their phones. Mobile phones are already in their pocket, willing and waiting for your message to arrive.

A simple text message can make all the difference in getting more people engaged and attending, and can help build relationships.

2016 Back to School Offer

Starting in August 2016, SendTree is offering a deal for youth groups. You can get unlimited service for a fixed cost for the whole year. This is a great way to work within a fixed budget and have no billing surprises.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Support for Grieving Children

SendTree is proud again to sponsor the National Alliance for Grieving Children for their 20th annual symposium, held in Indianapolis this month.

What do you say to someone who has just experienced the loss of a loved one? What do you say to a child? What do you say to your child? Here are a few resources.

NAGC is an organization that networks hundreds of children's bereavement support professionals and volunteers. Children face unique challenges when it comes to grief, and these are the people who help them; let's be grateful for the work they do.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Summertime and Softball!

Summertime is upon us, and so are the summer leagues. This summer, get organized and get ahead. Whether you are reaching 12 people, or 1200 people, text messaging is the most direct way to get in touch and coordinate with people. (As of 2015, 98% of US adults own a cellphone.)

At SendTree, we help organizations send text messages to large groups. We have the best online tools to help you schedule reminders, or setup keywords for people to text. Read more about what we do:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Text Messaging still tops the lists

Text messaging remains quite relevant as a choice for communication. And it makes sense. As of last year, 98% of adults in the US own a cellphone (86% own a smartphone). If you look at how SMS (text messaging) works, it only requires a cell network -- no smartphone required. That means no app to install, no account to create, no password to remember.... One of the reasons people embrace SMS is because it is already "baked in" to the system, and is non-complicated to get started. All you need is the phone number of the person you wish to reach.

Even among smartphone owners, text still tops the list:

Have you ever thought about text messaging as a communication channel your business could be taking advantage of? Text is where people already are, and want to be.

You can read more about texting for your business at our website:

Friday, January 22, 2016

Is there a winter delay today?

Do you have a winter weather communication plan?

Winter weather can make us cancel events, close shop, or delay start times. What is your plan to keep employees or members of your organization up to date?

The circumstances of the person receiving your message can vary greatly based on their location, time of day, communication device that they are using, and their communication habits. So a good plan uses as many channels of communication as possible. Here's a list of popular communication channels that are used to spread the word when notifications are needed:

  • text message
  • email
  • social media
  • hotline
  • website
  • radio / tv

What are your top three ways you'd like to get a timely notification?

Do you know how easy it is to send a text messages to a large group, like all of your employees or members or your organization? SendTree makes the best online tools for sending out a simple text to a bunch of people. You use our online tool to compose a message, click "send", and we'll take care of the delivery:

mobile screenshot: sending 54 employees a message

So, who gets your messages? We make it easy for people to opt-in to receive your text messages. We'll give you a local phone number and you simply tell your people to text the word 'JOIN' to that number. When you send out your text message, it will come from that phone number. Or if you want to get fancy, you can have them text another KEYWORD of your choice to 434343. We can help you do that too.

What about social media? Email?

SendTree can also post your message to your Facebook page or Twitter feed. Just check the appropriate boxes when you compose your message:

post your message on social media too

You can reach people via email too. Just add their email contact in the contact manager. Perhaps you already have an emergency "all-hands" email set up for your whole organization. You can use whatever email address(es) you'd like and just add it to the contact list:

How about a hotline?

Want a "hotline" message that people can call in to check? Remember that local number we gave you? You can setup that number to play a recorded message when people call, kinda like an answering machine. And you can change the recording whenever you want. Setting it up looks something like this:

How about a Radio/TV spot?

Sorry. SendTree can't help you here. Yet. :-)

But my business can't afford fancy tools like this!

Actually, texting has become very affordable. How much are you sending out? If you're sending out thousands of texts, then our $39/month Pro plan is probably the best fit. But if you're trying to reach less than 250 people, then SendTree Lite at $9/month will get you going. Checkout our pricing plans in more detail:

Is text really what people want?

We think so. Nearly everyone has a mobile device in their pocket nowadays. And what activity do they do most? Look at what Pew Research found:

More and more, people seem to be expecting texts from the world they live in. SendTree can provide your organization the tools to reach them.

Psst. Want a deal?

SendTree has a self-guided demo you can try out. For those who have tried it out, we're sending them a sweet discount offer sometime in the middle of February. To try the demo, simply text DEMO to 434343 and play around with it.