Texting is a quick and efficient way to send information to your congregation. From welcome messages to volunteer reminders, you can get the word out to people when you need to.
Now we’re releasing a new system for you to send mass texts from your own 10-digit toll-free phone number!
A2P: The New Messaging Technology
When we first built texting in 2020, bulk texts could only be sent through a short code—a five-digit number that could be shared by multiple churches.
But a lot’s changed since 2020!
Phone carriers have created a new technology called A2P which allows churches to use companies like Planning Center to send bulk texts through a 10-digit phone number.
A2P (Application to Person) is now the standard requirement with carriers, which also ensures bulk texting stays compliant and within best practices. Unlike the short codes before, the new organization-specific phone numbers can’t be shared, which mitigates security risks and offers a safer texting experience.
New Pricing for Texting
Texting will now be $5/month to maintain your own toll-free number, with no set-up fees.
We’re waiving the first month’s $5 fee for everyone who signs up for a phone number before November 1st, 2023.
You’ll still purchase texting credits as needed, which will continue to be $0.02 per credit.
How to Start Texting in Your Church
Before you can begin texting, we’ll have to collect a few key pieces of information about your church in order to verify that texts being sent through Planning Center are from a legitimate organization.
Navigate to the Text Messaging tab on your account’s billing page and fill out the form with the requested information. Here’s what we’ll need to know:
- Credit card information | How to add a credit card to your account: Set Your Billing Information
- Estimated monthly texts | Choose the option that will cover the number of texts you expect to send each month.
- Opt-in form URL | You’ll need a method to gather consent from the people you’ll be texting. This article can show you how to create a People Form to gather consent: Common Forms.
- Church contact information | Physical address, website (this can be your Church Center site), email address, and phone number.
- Contact person at your church | This should be someone with Organization Administrator permissions in your account.
That’s it! As soon as you submit your application, you can begin sending texts to your church from your very own 10-digit number. You can even tell people to save that number in their phones so they know it’s you!
Our partners at Twilio will take up to a couple of weeks to confirm that the information you provided in your application is valid, and then send you an email once it’s been officially approved.
For more information on how to send texts in Planning Center, check out this article!
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