Improving Student Communications with Mass Texting Services

Brian Sun

Over the next four posts, we’ll be breaking down why to use texting and in what contexts, what mass texting services to use and why, including screencasts and instructions for the best mass texting services.

Let’s get started.

Most of your students use Facebook, some use Twitter, but 99.999% of them text. All the time. You see it every day, in nearly every situation. Texting is where they are, so we’re going to go there too with mass texting.


Mass texting and regular texting are two different things.

How Mass Texting And Regular Texting Are Different:

Mass Texting

Regular Texting

  • A broadcast
  • Impersonal
  • Through browser- or app-based software
  • A conversation
  • Personal
  • Through your cell phone’s native functionality


Mass texting and Facebook are two different things.

How Mass Texting Compares to Facebook Groups For Your Students:


Facebook groups

  • Easily accessible on every phone.
  • Every student reads every message.
  • Reaches them on-the-go.
  • Reaches them immediately.
  • Less effort to opt-in to get messages.
  • Easily accessible on smartphones.
  • Easier for students to ignore messages.
  • Reaches them at their computer (the exception is smartphone users, but not everyone has a smartphone.
  • Reaches them later.
  • More effort to opt-in to get messages.


Which Groups Are Appropriate for Mass Texting?

The short answer is groups of more than ten people. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Your leadership team
  • Your whole campus ministry

The reason for this is because it’s tedious to text more than ten people at the same time, especially on a repeating basis.

Which Groups Are Not Appropriate for Mass Texting?

The short answer is groups of less than ten people. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Your small group
  • Your staff team

In texting situations with less than ten people, send the texts from your regular cell phone, not a mass texting service. The reason for this is that texting less than ten people at a time is not extremely tedious, and it’s much more personal.


What is not appropriate to send in a mass text message?

Your students will read text messages 99.999% of the time. But that does NOT mean you should text them about everything.

Do NOT text your students about things like this:

  • Your regularly scheduled meetings that everyone knows about (like worship gatherings and leaders meetings.)
  • Your random thoughts (your students love you, but they don’t want you to mass text them everything God is speaking to you about your campus ministry, sorry.)
  • Info irrelevant to them (use your discernment/ask students what they want and don’t want to hear about via mass text message.)


What is appropriate to send in a mass text message?

The short answer of what to mass text to students is alerts.

Here are some examples:

  • Last minute reminders (“Just a quick reminder, come to game night in McDonald Hall at 7. Bring friends! Msg&data rates may apply. Txt STOP 2quit.”)
  • Sudden changes (“Cru here. Last minute change: leaders meeting is now in the business building, not the sociology building. Text Brian, 9285555555 to ask ?’s. Msg&data rates may apply. Txt STOP 2quit.”)

Again, we’re talking about mass texting. If you are using regular texting to text individual people you can text them about whatever you want because it’s personal, specific, and relevant to them.

Texting is one piece of a larger strategy for communicating with students. Out of the billion mass texting services, we’ve narrowed a few options to help you in your ministry. That’s coming next.

Photo via Flickr user Lordcolus

By Brian Sun | Posted: Feb 14, 2012
Category: Email/Communications | Tags: , | Permalink | Post a comment | Trackback URL.

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