Our Text Polling Provider

We’ve been getting inquiries about what texting service we recently used for our Stuck In A Rut series text polling, so I wanted to answer the question for all of you who have been wondering. If you have any further questions, drop a comment!

We use a service called Twilio and it is really fantastic, but there is a catch… you need to have a developer who can build out where / how you want the texts displayed. Twilio is basically for developers who just need to buy a cheap phone number and get an XML feed to do with what they will. We have a dev on our team who also does video / graphics work so he custom built what you see on the screens during Stuck In A Rut. It updates real-time and was a really cool element to each weekend’s service, both during the service and polling people pre-service. Basically you buy a phone number for $1/month and then every text sent or received is $0.01 so it’s a great deal, even for high volume usage. Our number is a 10-digit local number rather than a 5-digit shortcode, but because of that, we don’t have to require a keyword in front of the text, which is great for the people who get easily confused by how to format their text using keywords!

We’ve used JarbyCo before and they’ve done a great job for us, but Twilio gives us more flexibility with their blank slate approach to create exactly what we want and to have full control over the process. Another option I just heard about today is Google Voice which sounds like a pretty incredible (and free!) tool to use for easily connecting you to your church guests via text, though I can’t speak to the polling ability of it. Texting overall is such a great way to connect with people since it is universal to the masses and doesn’t require installing an app or extensive details on how to text in. Do some research and find out how you can utilize it in your services!

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