V3: SMS Contests
Keep your people engaged with contests. Most of us love to be a winner...even if the honor is the only prize.
Jason Alexis avatar
Written by Jason Alexis
Updated over a week ago

One of the secrets to strong relationships is keeping in touch. Yet, how much new stuff do we have to say on a daily (or even every few days) basis? A way around that is SMS contests.

Most everyone likes winning. It doesn’t even have to be for an actual prize. Just knowing that we won makes us feel good, feel special, feel noticed. Text to Win campaigns keep you in touch with your church members and keep them interested in you.

What could you do?

  • ‘Market’ a church workshop series by setting up a relevant, daily Bible question.

  • ‘Advertise’ a youth summer camp with several, well-timed, coupon codes for discounts on the cost of the camp.

  • ‘Entice’ attendance at a church music event by offering reserved seats to those who text in the ‘secret phrase’.

SMS Contests in V3

How to get to the Campaigns Page

Step 1

Log in to PastorsLine.

Step 2

Use one of the two methods below:


Click on Campaigns (lighting bolt icon, turquoise box in image below).


From your Dashboard, in the Add New section (turquoise box in image below), click on Campaign.

The following page will open:

Continue as below.

To create a contest:

  1. On the Campaigns page, click on Create contest. The Add new contest screen will pop up.

  2. Complete the information on the screen (messages + keyword) and click SAVE.

You can have people text your keyword to a long code (your telephone number or one of your telephone numbers) or send your contest details to a group with a message letting them know the keyword to reply with in order to enter the contest. 

To send a contest to a group via their phones:

  1. On the Contest page, find the contest you want to send. Click on the ‘flying arrow’ icon in the Action section (the leftmost of the three icons). The Send Contest screen will pop up.

  2. Use the drop down menu to select the group you want to send the contest to. Add a message, choose whether or not to rotate through your multiple long codes (if you have more than one telephone number), and click SEND. Your contest has now been sent to all the contacts in the group you chose. 

To have people opt in by texting the keyword to a long code: Tell the people about the contest from the stage during a event, by email, on your church’s Facebook page, or in a brochure / on a poster in the church foyer. Your message will say something like “Text the [KEYWORD] to [888-123-3454] to WIN [this thing]”. You can use one of our free, promo templates here.

To see and acknowledge the winner: 

1. On the Contest page, find the contest you want to check. Click on the ‘winner’s cup’ icon in the Action section (the rightmost of the three icons). The Contest Winner screen will pop up.

2. You will see the winning phone number. This is a random system choice.
*If you wish, you can select a different random person to win; Click cancel and repeat step 1 to choose a different or another winner.
*At this time, only 1 winner can be selected using our contest feature. If you would like to choose multiple winners, you could repeat step 1 until you have the number of winners you want, making sure to write down the numbers of the winners chosen, and send them an individual message letting them know they've won. *To close the contest, you will need to use the contest winner feature to send one of the winners the message. This "tags" them as a winner, and everyone else as a "loser", and closes the contest from receiving future entries.

3. Add a message (Congratulations! You have won. To claim your prize...) and click SEND. Your contest winner has now been notified.

To view your contest results: 

Each contest now has its own view. You can filter participants by Entered (took part), Winner(s), and Loser(s).

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