Let’s be honest, nothing is unlimited. Even if your phone’s data is, they are going to slow you down (throttle your speed). Even with unlimited text messaging on your phone, you can’t use this effectively as a church solution with multiple numbers, integrations with other systems and options to send from anywhere.
We know “unlimited text messaging” sounds great—that ‘one price covers all’ feeling of security knowing you will never run out of SMS power. But here’s the thing…
Other companies like ours that offer virtual texting solutions are using “unlimited text messaging” as just a marketing ploy.
One reason it is just a marketing ploy is the side of the mobile phone carriers. They see unlimited texting as an opportunity to blast spam and scams. The carriers feel that it is their responsibility to protect people as much as possible from these unwanted texts. So, they monitor all local number text traffic, blocking any messages over the quantity allowed. The size, content and carrier of the message are not important.
Here’s an idea of what the carriers see as blasting: a daily rate of over 500 messages; an hourly rate of over 100 messages; a ‘per time’ rate of over 25-50 messages per number. See our solution for this.
If your rates exceed these limits, your phone number is blocked, your texts don’t go through, and you won’t be told about it. It will look like everything is reaching its destination...except it isn’t.
Responsible companies who offer ‘unlimited mass texting’ have no choice but to restrict you in some way so you don’t keep calling up to complain that your messages aren’t being received.
Also, companies are usually in business to make a profit. Offering you unlimited texting costs them money. How do they recoup their expenses so they can give you a great deal AND make money?
- Limited # of contacts: OK, so you can text your contacts as much as you want but only up to a certain number of people. Let’s say you have 100 active contacts in your database. It’s fine as these are people who come to your church weekly. What if you want to add visitors or those who may not attend as often? Being able to connect with them or establish a profile for them when they do return is a great digital strategy. With an unlimited plan, you are going to lock in a rate for 100 contacts and would either need to negotiate a price for a higher amount or pay per contact to add others. What most churches do is decide not to engage and possibly create a backup system using Excel to track that data. This isn’t an effective way to create a synergistic strategy. If upgrading is not an issue, you are going to pay to add people whether or not you plan to text or call them.
- Annual contract: To make it worth their while, the unlimited texting services typically lock you into a one-year contract. One thing we know: situations change. Found a better texting platform? Have to cut back due to budget issues? Sorry, tough luck.
- Mostly short codes: It’s likely that the companies who offer unlimited text messaging are allowing you to do so via shortcodes. Shortcodes are designed for bulk, one-way texting and these companies typically buy the privilege to do so in bulk. The challenge is that most churches are not marketing companies or schools. You are already 3 steps behind if you are getting unlimited text messages but can only use a shortcode. What this means is your audience is hardly going to reply because they don’t perceive your texts as personal. Another issue is one of the shortcodes is most likely a telephone number which is being shared amongst hundreds of businesses. This means you have no control over which companies are doing what with this same shortcode. And if you want to use a particular keyword, someone else might already be using it. Another 2 steps backward. You can spam your list to “get value” but there are just so many texts you can send to your list before they block you. End result? You will have unlimited messages that don’t do much. You can read more about the whole ‘shortcode vs. long code’ issue here.
PastorsLine has researched the unlimited texting option thoroughly…
...and we have opted out.
We prefer to:
Offer you unlimited contacts—we want churches of all sizes to be able to use our platform to spread God’s word. And as they do, we believe they will grow. We want to partner with them as they journey forward.
Give you monthly AND annual options—you choose what you are most comfortable with and you can cancel at any time.
Use the more versatile and more secure long codes—If you took a moment to read our article, you understand why. If not, here’s another chance.
Be fair about costs—Sure, we are also in business but that doesn’t mean we can’t be upfront about things. Think about it: unlimited texting is like insurance. You are paying for something which you may or may not use (and after a certain point, given the mobile carrier restrictions, you won’t be able to). With some insurance, you have to. With texting, you don’t. You have the option to pay for what you really need. With PastorsLine, you can always buy more texting when you need it. (We use a ‘credit’ system and you can always buy another bucket of credits.) And the Great News is that your credits never expire.
We have clients on the basic plan who are texting champions and don’t even use up all their credits each month. We also have clients on the basic plan who have got 50-75-100,000 contacts in our database.
How much is this basic plan? Our Inception basic plan is only $10 a month.
Get more info about our pricing at this link.