Best Practices: Text vs Push Notification

 In Blog, Communication, Feature Highlight

Put aware3 to work.

We have ways to keep your mobile tools fresh in every season.

Four Key Factors for deciding to use Text vs Push Notifications.

Today churches have a plethora of choices when it comes to communications – Facebook, email, phone calls, print, Apps, text, Twitter, and their website, just to name a few. Push notifications have higher engagement rates than emails, which makes them a popular choice. It may also be difficult to know when to send a push notification and when to send a text message (SMS).

Here are four factors to consider when deciding how best to communicate:

1. Audience.

Text – Sent to anyone that has an app profile (you have their phone number)—you can also import a list to include others who may not have the app.

Push – Sent to anyone who has downloaded your app (who have not opted out of push messages).

Texts cast a much wider net, all you require is a phone number and you’re able to send a message. This means that Push notifications are best for your members or regular attendees, but they also offer much more functionality for engagement.

2. Engagement.

Push notifications give you the advantage of deep-linking. This means that when you send a message you can direct people to specific locations within your app. Whether you need to send a survey, remind people to register for an upcoming event, or just want people to check-in, push notifications can increase engagement in your app.

Additionally, push notifications have the advantage of being geo-location specific. For example, maybe you want to communicate that there’ll be a potluck in the lobby after 2nd service today. You wouldn’t want to blast a message to everyone on your list, as it would not be applicable for most. With geo-fencing you can send the message to only the people at your location, ensuring timely and appropriate content for the people who would be most interested.

3. Cost.

The next issue to consider is the cost. Push notifications are free, but may not reach everyone in your intended distribution, especially if they’ve opted out of communications. With text you can potentially reach more people, but you should also be aware that there could be a cost to you (depends upon your plan) and to your recipients (depending upon their data plan).

4. Urgency.

Text messages create a greater sense of urgency, making them a great resource for last-minute communications, or can’t-miss alerts. Push notifications tend to be viewed as less intrusive as they follow the device’s settings for privacy and preference.

Both text messages and push notifications have their advantages, and their disadvantages. While there is no absolute right and wrong choice for sending one versus the other, these are four factors to consider as you communicate with your congregation. Like any form of technology though, it’s also up to you to use it responsibly. Don’t over communicate as you may cause more people to opt-out and tune out your message all together.

Got your own story to share? We’d love to hear from you. Tell us the creative uses you have for any of the aware3 features. An upcoming post can feature your idea to inspire and serve churches all across the globe.
Share your Story.