Connecting with people over what they want and need helps to build great relationships. The PastorsLine poll feature gives you a simple and easy way to find out just what’s on the minds of your church members and guests.
If you can write it, you can ask it: which life issues they would like to study about in small groups, which sermon topics would be especially uplifting to them, how should the next year’s budget be allocated?
Don’t forget feedback! Use polls to find out how you are doing on an endless variety of areas such as church cleanliness, first time guest reception, and prayer request follow-up.
The PastorsLine polling feature is quick to set up and use. This means you can use it often to keep your church membership interested in their church AND help them feel the interest the church has in them.
Something special happening at your church? Sending out a poll to find out who’s attending is a nice way to inform people about the event AND encourage them to attend.
How does the polling feature work?
(Screens are outdated but the content is still mostly relevant.)
Adding a new poll as a Regular Campaign
The PastorsLine polling feature is one of our Campaign options. So, open your Campaigns page.
Click on Create New Campaign and choose Create poll from the dropdown menu. (brown box below).
The Add New Poll screen opens.
Fill in the information requested and then click Save. Note that:
- You can have up to four (4) response options, but you can turn off 1-2 response options, leaving the required minimum of two (2). This is very helpful when there are just three (3) answer choices (such as workshop date options) or you want responders to answer “yes-no”.
- AUTORESPONDER MESSAGE - This is the text your poll responder will receive after answering the poll. If no Autoresponder Message is available, PastorsLine will use the AUTO REPLY MESSAGE (located at the bottom of the screen).
- At the moment, the total limit of characters allowed is 160—question + all answer choices combined. This ensures that you are sending only one text instead of several.
- CREATE KEYWORD - When activated (green button) and filled in, this feature will allow your audience to text the keyword to your telephone number to activate and/or answer the poll (more on this below).
NEW: If you project your poll on a big screen and your poll has a keyword, the keyword will be visible. In the example, the keyword 'POST' is shown.
Sending your poll (three options)
Open the Campaigns page.
- Option One: The first option is to click on Send (flying arrow icon in brown box below).
The Send Poll screen will open. Choose the specific group to send to. If you have more than one PastorsLine phone number, choose the number you wish to send the poll from. You will see a preview of your message. If all is ok, click on Send.
For options two and three, click on Results (bar graph icon in gold box below).
The Results for Poll screen will open. Notice that it is like a PowerPoint slide. It shows an empty bar graph of your poll. At the bottom, is the message: Text (keyword) to (phone number). The idea here is to cut and paste the link of this screen into a document or presentation for live polling use (church concert, evangelical event, etc.). Here’s how it would work:
- Option Two - Your audience texts your keyword to your phone number. They receive a text back with the answer choices. Your audience texts back their answers. They receive the relevant autoresponder or auto reply message.
- Option Three - Your audience texts your keyword + their answer to your phone number. They can do this because the answer options are displayed on a big screen. They receive the relevant autoresponder or auto reply message.
At the moment, the live polling screen refreshes every 10 seconds, showing the answers as they come it. It’s actually quite exciting for the audience...if we say so ourselves.
How to see your poll results
Click on Results (graph icon in gold box above).
You will notice that there is one line (list) for each answer choice. When you open that specific list, you will see details of who chose that answer.
You can export the lists for use in follow-up and/or next steps. Each list will be in the format of an Excel table. At the moment, there will be one Excel table per tag. You can easily cut and paste the information from several tags to create one Excel table.
NEW: Now, PastorsLine stores the data from each poll under the relevant Campaign. So, IN ADDITION to the tag view (above), there is a composite view of all the data from all the answers in your poll.
How could you use this new view?
1. Filter by Entered - The 'Entered' filter shows you all people who have begun your poll but not chosen an answer yet. You then have the option to follow up if desired.
2. Filter by Answer - Let's say you ran a poll about a Teens and Drugs series. Answer A was 'Definitely interested'. Answer B was 'Perhaps'. Answer C was 'No, thanks'. Since you can filter this view by answer, you could filter by answers A and B, sending a text with more information to your potential attendees.
Adding a new poll as an Automated Message (AM) Campaign
A great use for an AM poll is as part of your Guest Follow-up campaign. For example, why not ask your guests how they liked your service? Perhaps even whether they really felt attended to—or is there room for improvement?
On your Campaigns page, select Create Automated Messages from the dropdown menu. The Automated Messages screen will appear. Click on Add new. The New Automated Message box will pop up. Polls are now a message type.
This means that you can link a previously created poll to your AM Campaign.
You can enter people into your AM Campaigns and linked polls via data capture, keyword, by group or manually.
To manually add contact, click on the Add Contact button (person icon) under Action and enter phone number, names or groups.
When you send a poll automatically using the AM campaign, the user can just reply to it with his answer choice. The results are still viewed as in a regular poll campaign. Watch this video to see exactly how it works.
Polling in the future
We are planning to work on this campaign option. At the moment, we are gathering information about how churches are using this feature. We prefer that our improvements suit your needs, too, not just our ideas. So...if you’ve got some feedback for us, we’re awaiting it eagerly.
Last thing...if you have a specific polling need or use case, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Perhaps we can ninja a solution for you until things get changed.