Group Texting – Part 2 – Free Platform Options

Free Texting Services

In Group Texting Options, Part 1, we covered some of the features you might be looking for. Now let’s look at the options. In this post, we will look at two free options. I realize a lot of churches have absolutely no budget allocated for new technology. Both of these services also have paid options. The nice thing about a service that offers both is that, if your church has success with using an SMS service and wants to expand it, you can move to a paid plan without having to start over.

However, as I look at some other choices in the next post, you may see that it is worth scrounging together a little bit of money before getting started. When unveiling new technology, there is a lot to gain from getting it right the first time. Some of the features of the paid plans, like scheduling, keywords, and automatic forwarding may add to the potential for success in your rollout.

In addition to comparing the features I wrote about in the last post, I will include some other details about the plan:

  • # of Messages Per Month – Many services base their price on the number of messages you send. This would by the number of notifications you send multiplied by the number of people you send them to.
  • # of Contacts – Some services charge based on how many contacts you have in your database.
  • Price – How much the service costs per month.
  • Additional Charges – There may be other fees  to consider.

The two free option here are Telefio’s Free Plan and extexting’s Free & EZ Plan

Telefio – Free

TELEFIO SCREENSHOTTelefio offers a free plan and three paid plans. The free plan and the lowest tier plan are a little different from other plans. They actually use a process called email-to-SMS. Basically, they send a properly formatted email to a user’s email to SMS gateway. This works, most of the time. I tested it and it worked fine with my T-Mobile and Verizon phones. The one issue is that, in addition to collecting people’s mobile numbers, you need to know what carrier they use. That hassle goes away if you upgrade to their $10/month plan and above which are true SMS plans. The free plan also lacks the ability to allow people to join via text. All members need to be entered manually. If you need to get started for free and have a lot of contacts or need to send a lot of messages, Telefio’s free plan is a decent option. The email-to-SMS platform is not 100% reliable and the manual signup is a bit limiting but it may work for you.

www.telefio.comIMG_2610
Price: Free
# of Messages Per Month: Unlimited
# of Contacts: Unlimited
Signup/Opt-in: Manual Only
Groups: Yes
Keywords: No
Message Scheduling: No
Text and Response: No
Phone Number or Shortcode: Preselected email SMS address

 

ez texting – Free & EZ Plan

If you have a small cEZ Texting screenshotongregation or are looking to send only to a smaller group and if you can limit the number of messages you send, ez texting is a great option. For free, you get 250 messages a month, unlimited contacts, message scheduling and groups. Remember, that means the number of messages multiplied by the number of contacts. For a small church or a church that just needs to send to a smaller group, this might be just right. If you have 50 people on your list and send out five messages a month, you would be right at the limit. That is quite a bit of messaging for free. If you go over once in a while, it isn’t all that bad. You can buy additional credits for 5 cents a message. One extra message to those 50 people would only set you back $2.50.

The free account also allows users to sign up via text or using a widget you can put on your website. I tested out the free service. The only drawback, other than the limited number of messages, is that the keyword users text to sign up is a little cumbersome. You can customize that keyword with the paid plans.

eztexting.comeztexting
Price: Free with the option to purchase additional credits for more messages
# of Messages Per Month: 250
# of Contacts: Unlimited
Signup/Opt-in: Text to Join, Web Widget and Manual Add
Groups: Yes
Keywords: No
Message Scheduling: Yes
Text and Response: No
Phone Number or Shortcode: Shortcode 313131

 

That is it for the truly free plans. In the next post, I will look at some of the paid plans available. They range from budget friendly plans to more expensive but more powerful and feature rich plans.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Group Texting – Part 2 – Free Platform Options

  1. Pingback: Group Texting Options | PastorWill.net

  2. Pingback: Group Texting – Part 3 – Paid Services | PastorWill.net

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