What does the church use to send bulk sms/text messages?

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What does the church use to send bulk sms/text messages?

Postby trinathon » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:26 pm

We're looking to implement a way for our bishop to send text messages in bulk to either the whole ward or select organizations/committees. Seeing as we're a YSA ward most of our members respond better to text message. Is there a standard that the church uses to do this? Any information would be appreciated. Thanks

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Postby aebrown » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:51 pm

There's no standard way at this point. A suggestion for implementing this was recently made in the thread Suggestion: "Send a Text Message" option.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

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Postby genman » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:27 pm

In the meantime, one way to do it that requires some manual setup, would be to have, say, the Ward Executive Secretary build up some email distribution lists (e.g. in his gmail account) for sending out text messages to various groups in the ward. For anyone who has a text-capable phone number, you could save the phone number in the form of an email address. For example, cell phone number 123-456-7890 with ATT&T wireless would be 123456789@txt.att.net; if the carrier was Cricket Wireless the email-to-text address would be 1234567890@sms.mycricket.com; etc. Just google "email-to-text address" for additional references.

For determining who the cell phone carrier is, one way is to enter the number in one of the following websites for example, and it will report who the carrier is:

Eventually, hopefully the "Send a Text Message" feature will be embedded as an option under "Send a Message" and it will all be handled automatically. But in the meantime, you can do it today by manually building up an email address list(s) using email-to-text addresses.

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Postby scgallafent » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:44 am

tnid.us does not handle ported numbers correctly, so a customer who moves from Verizon to Sprint is still listed by this site as having a Verizon number.

I'm not sure which database number-finder.info is using. I checked it on a couple of numbers and the results were way off base.

I've got a non-Church project that sends SMS messages. I use Twilio. The cost can add up pretty quickly!

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Postby genman » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:43 am

scgallafent wrote:tnid.us does not handle ported numbers correctly... number-finder.info...results were way off base

Sites like these will get you close in most cases. Hopefully you get an auto reply for invalid numbers for the carrier. We are not talking about thousands of phone numbers, just a few dozen for the ward. You could just print out your list and ask people to verify. This is just a workaround for now; one way to do bulk sms text messaging.

If someone knows a good free site that has fairly high accuracy on identifying the carrier for a cell phone number, please post it and let us know so we can bookmark it. When I did a quick search on "email to text address", I saw several; tnid.us and number-finder.info just were a couple of examples.

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