There are dozens of ways you can connect to your parishioners these days. These include e-newsletters, emails, direct mail, and social media. And don’t forget that tried and true communications workhorse, the weekly bulletin! People may be using their telephones less, but phone calls still have a role to play in your communications. I suggest you try out ringless voicemails.
In the old days, parishes would create volunteer phone trees or calling lists. These would help spread the word when big news needed to be shared quickly. Thanks to technology, you can still have that same impact and reach your parishioners in your own voice – but without all the volunteer hours.
How to Use Ringless Voicemails
There are dozens of independent providers that offer “ringless voicemails” at a minimal cost. Just sign up, record a message, upload your telephone list, and the service will dispatch your voicemail to each number. And here’s the best part – these services don’t trigger a ring on the phones you’re trying to reach. Instead, the next time a parishioner picks up his or her cellphone, there will simply be a “new voicemail” notification waiting from your parish.
Such services should be used sparingly, no more than once or twice a year. When we are working with a client, we use SlyBroadcast but we also like Just Deliver It. Here are a few ways you could use this service:
- Have your pastor or stewardship director send a message to your supporters for no reason other than to say “thank you”
- Remind parishioners to sign up for the parish festival – send a registration email first, and follow up with the ringless voicemail to reinforce the email
- Remind your existing parishioners to park in an overflow lot to make room for Easter or Christmas Mass visitors
So, the next time you need to contact your entire parish, try out ringless voicemails. Used sparingly, they are a powerful communications tool.