*NEW* Automated Messages - Demo and walk through!
00:00 Intro
00:12 Our Why
00:40 Ways Automated Messages (AM) can be used
02:05 Example of an AM
02:45 & 07:10 How to add someone into an AM campaign:
03:10 How to create an AM campaign:
06:20 & 09:40 Tips / Suggestions:
09:00 How to view scheduled messages:
09:13 View, Edit, delete or send now on scheduled messages:
09:25 Future plans: 

We are so excited to announce to you our new, Automated Messages module, currently in public beta. This means that it functional but we will continue to tweak this module based on your feedback. 

 There is no “one size fits all” method of texting. Each church has different needs and we want to support those needs and allow you to create what YOU want, and what will work best for your church! That is why we spend so much time adding integrations and adding features that give you the ability to create a process that works for you.

 We want to save you time and money and still keep the focus on what is really important: building relationships!

For many of you, this has been a feature you have been waiting on and you already know what you want to do with it. For many others, you might not be sure why this is a powerful. Here are a few things churches can do with it.

  1. You can already scheduled several messages within our platform, the AM feature now allows you to schedule a series of messages in one interface. Great for ongoing daily messages like  21-day prayer, 40-day lent, or 7-day devotional. 
  2. The # 1 way most churches use this feature is for guest follow up. With our most used digital connect texts and this newly released AM feature, you can get you guest info and do follow up all via text and only requiring them to text a word. That’s it. If you are doing physical connect cards as well, we allow you to manually enter their info. No problem. And with our integrations, you would be able to fully automate your guest follow up using your ChMS.This is a great way to do a member’s assimilation class where they receive a series of follow up texts. And with the option to do it based on days or date, you can make it everyday or date-based for more control. The list goes on.

You can use this feature for things like prayer campaigns, lent, any type of follow up process, assimilation, guest follow up. Pretty much anything that requires you to send multiple, scheduled messages to someone, you can do with this new feature.

Here is a quick example of our newest feature, Automated Messages. With this, you can have people opt in, or you can add them to automated message campaigns manually. Here, you can see I have texted the keyword “WELCOME” to our number, and after completing the data capture campaign associated with that keyword, I entered the automated messages campaign and these 3 messages have been scheduled to send at later times.

 We recommend adding your automated messages on to a data capture campaign to ensure that you have their name and email address before starting your automated messages, but it is not required to set it up that way.

 As mentioned, there are THREE ways to get your members into a AM. 

  1. Using a keyword as mentioned above. Bonus if you tied this to a data capture campaign as well. 
  2. Manually entering their information to trigger the automation.
  3. Using our integrations (like CCB and PCO)  to automatically trigger when new members are synced over.

In this article and video, we will cover using keywords and manually entering their information.  

Here is how to create an Automated message campaign:

  1. You can go to the campaigns page and select “Create Automated Messages”
  2. Name your campaign something that will be easy to identify the purpose of this campaign.
  3. The “Edit Triggers” option allows you to choose how a person is entered into the campaign. They can be entered by texting a keyword, by finishing an auto data capture campaign, or by group.
  4. By keyword means anyone who texts your keyword to your number will be entered into this campaign.
  5. By finishing an auto data capture, that means anyone who goes through a data capture you have set up will be entered into this campaign
  6. By Group means anyone who is added to the group will trigger the campaign. *Please note that anyone who is already in the group will not be added to the campaign. Only NEW people who are added to the group will be.
  7. Click “Add New” to add a message.
  8. Title you message something that will remind you what that message is for – ex. “1st       message sent the Monday after”, or “Thank you for visiting – MONDAY”
  9. Choose when you want it to be sent. You can choose either “On a specific date” or “After”. Unless you are doing something that is date specific, you probably want to choose “After”
  10. Click “Save”
  11. Next, choose your “From” number. Default will automatically send the message from whichever number they texted into. If you have multiple numbers, you can also choose to send from a different number. You might want to use this if you want this message to be from a designated “guest services” number or a “pastor’s” number.
  12. Type in your desired message, and take advantage of using merge fields to personalize your message even more!
  13. The message on the right is for anyone who is already in this automated step. To avoid sending someone the same message multiple times, you have the option to send a different message. You can also turn this on and leave it blank to skip sending a message at all.
  14. Choose the number of days you want to wait to send the message. 0 days means we won’t wait any days, and will send on the next day of the week you chose.  The number of days chosen is the number of minimum days we will wait to send your message. The Day of the week is the first day of the week AFTER the number of days you chose to wait.
  15. For example: If a guest texts your keyword on Sunday, and you want to send a message to them the next day, you would need to put “0” and choose Monday. This tell us you don’t want us to wait any days, and you want it to be sent on the first Monday after they texted in. If they didn’t text in until Wednesday, they would be sent the message the following Monday.
  16. Choose the time you want the message to be sent. Always be respectful of your guest’s time and make sure you are not scheduling your text to go out at a time that might be inconvenient or disruptive to your guest.
  17. Click “Save”
  18. Repeat this process until you have completed your campaign.

Remember – Less is more sometimes. The purpose is to CONNECT and build relationships – not to flood them with a bunch of links and forms right away. While inviting and informing is a good thing, we recommend a two-touch process first. The first two messages should be adding value and building the relationship – thanking them for coming and then letting them know you hope to see them again next weekend.  They may not be comfortable giving more personal information or know if they want to be plugged in yet. 

So now that it is setup, we recommend connected this AM to a data capture campaign if you plan to use a keyword option to get your guest to subscribe. This is the same setup I used in my demo., 

See how to set up a data capture (formerly Autoresponder) HERE.

You can manually add contacts into a automated message campaign. You can add them through the campaign page by clicking this “add contact” icon and searching for their name, or you can add a group of people by searching for a tag or a group.

 You can also add people in the inbox by editing their profile on the far right side, searching for and selecting the automated message campaign name OR if your automated message campaign is set up to be triggered by group, you can also add them to that group and then click save on their profile.

 We allow you to do multiple things from the main pages like the inbox, contacts page, groups page and the campaigns page in order to reduce the amount of clicking around required to “get the job done”, making it more convenient for you!

 You can even add a new contact and drop them straight into an automated message campaign all at the same time, right from the inbox! This could be really powerful for churches who manually enter in names, or have a check in kiosk for new guests!

 If your campaign is set up to be triggered by group, you can add people into your campaign by adding the contact (or multiple contacts) to that group. You can add people into groups through the inbox, the contacts page, or the groups page. In the contact page or the groups page, you can select and copy one person at a time, or choose multiple people at once.

 One last way a contact or group of contacts can be added into an automated message campaign is through using our integrations.  If you have a group or list of people in your Church management software and you sync that group to a group that is set up with an Automated Message campaign, all of those contacts will automatically be put into your campaign.

 Once a person has entered your campaign, you can view the scheduled messages in the contact’s conversation box OR you can click scheduled messages and see all of your scheduled messages there.

 You can view, edit and delete scheduled messages in the conversation box as well.

 We want to help you automate your process, but at the same time, not lose that personal touch that is so important for churches to have. We plan on adding even more options in the future – things like being able to see how many people are in the “queue” for each “step”, or being able to assign tasks internally to other users on your account as people enter certain steps.  

Take your time, let them know that you care about them first, that they aren’t just another number. Build the relationship and earn their trust and let the pieces come together naturally. Check out the “Anatomy of a guest follow up process” on our website for some more suggestions and tips.

If you need more information about anything discussed in this video, check the help articles and if you can’t find what you need, please reach out to us! We’d be happy to help!

One final note: If you make any changes to your Automated Message Campaign (like scheduled date or time, etc), after people have already been entered into the process, those changes will NOT be reflected for them. They will only be applied going forward - to anyone NEW to the campaign. 

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