Free apps are usually a ‘one-size fits all’ solution. There are no unique keywords for special promotions and no voting/polling options to keep the conversation going. They don’t integrate with other apps you are already using and need the Internet in order to work. Plus, they suit very small groups of users...recommended max is 50.
Cloud-based apps usually improve on this situation. Via an Application Program Interface (API), one cloud-based app can talk to another because they are connected by what is called ‘the cloud’ (a communications network). Also, cloud-based text solutions are usually built ‘future forward’. Basically, this means that they have your growth built-in—as your needs change, the app’s architecture can accommodate it fairly easily.
The BEST options are purpose-built platforms for churches & ministries that incorporate text, social, and voice features. These apps are like top-of-the-line, fully loaded cars—they’ve basically got it all. AND they are the most cost effective, too.