Engagement Keywords are a way for people to opt in to receive communications from your organization via text.  Once opted in, you can use a Contact Group to target people who've opted into one of more of your keywords and send them a message.  

Opting In

You'll tell people to text the Engagement Keyword to the short code (444999) to start receiving messages.  For example, if you have a Engagement Keyword of INFO, you might say, "Text INFO to 444999 to get regular updates about what we're up to!"

Once they text the keyword, they will receive a reply on a uniquely-assigned number that is different than 444999, with your auto-responder.  The auto-responder can again be anything you'd like, but it's best to let them know what to expect.  For example:

"Thanks!  You'll receive regular updates about what we've been up to.  No more than 4 per month."

Keyword Intentions

When you're creating your Engagement Keyword, think about the messages you'll want to send to people who opt in.  More specifically, think about the overall theme of the messages.  

For example, if you create a Engagement Keyword named UPDATES, that word has a broad meaning and could cover a wide range of topics.  But if the keyword is MISSIONTRIP, you'd probably want the message content to relate to an upcoming mission trip 😁 

If you send too many messages that are off topic of the original intent of the keyword, people will probably opt out and you'll lose the opportunity to stay in touch with them!

Examples of Engagement Keyword topics might be:

  • A progress update on a fundraising goal
  • A reminder about an upcoming sermon series
  • A quick story about the impact your nonprofit made this month
  • A message to a Small Group or Bible Study Group at your church
  • A request for a donation! (more on this in a minute)

One-way Street

Engagement Keywords are meant to be a one-way street, meaning once opted in, you can send messages to people but they can't reply to those messages.

There is one exception, however. 

Asking for Donations with Engagement Keywords

As hinted at above, you can send a message asking for a donation, and instructing the person to reply with either the default giving keyword GIVE, or one of your custom Giving Keywords.  The message might look something like this:

Hey guys!  We've made a lot of progress toward our fundraising goal of $10,000, but we're a little short (a thousand dollars to be exact).  Reply with GIVE to make a donation and help get us that last mile!

If the donor replies to this message with GIVE, they can make a text donation just as if they'd initiated the donation by texting GIVE to your normal giving number or short code.  Isn't that cool?

Cost

Each Engagement Keyword is a short-code-enabled keyword, and thus is $5 per keyword per month.

Creating a Keyword

To create an Engagement Keyword:

  1. Click Engagement, then Keywords in the menu.
  2. Click New Engagement Keyword.
  3. Enter the keyword you'd like to use, then set the auto-responder. 
  4. Click Create Keyword.

That's it!  Your new keyword is ready to use. 

If the keyword wasn't available, you'll get a message saying so.

Conclusion

Engagement Keywords can be really powerful, and are a great way to keep in touch with the people that care about your organization.

One great way to think of Engagement Keywords is a means to nurture people that curious but aren't quite ready to donate, and turning them into donors over the course of time.  By showing the impact your organization is making through regular text message updates, hopefully you'll convert them into regular givers!

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