Send a mass text to a group of individuals, complete with mail merge fields

The Problem

Let’s say you need to send a message to a group of individuals – a class, group or congregation. It may be a reminder or an announcement of some kind. Email is useful, but it may not work for time-sensitive messages. A phone call is better, but individual calls, even on an automated system, can take a considerable amount of time.

Group texting can be a useful way to communicate to a group of individuals in a very short amount of time. Standard group texts, however, reveal information about other recipients that you might not want visible to the entire group. It’s the equivalent of doing a carbon-copy to everyone on a group list, as opposed to a blind carbon copy.

Solutions

There are, however, third-party texting solutions that are capable of sending individual messages to groups. Some apps even include the ability to merge fields into the text for a customized message.

Android users can choose from:

  • BizTexer Smart Text Marketing
    For the ability to setup an automated system with responses, this app may be the best fit.
  • Group SMS (Mass SMS Sender)
    Group SMS (Mass SMS Sender) provides an option for merge fields like first name and last name for customized messages to each sender.

iOS (iPhone/iPad) users have far fewer options on mobile. The TextBomb app claims to do much of what the two Android apps above can do, but users have reviewed it so poorly, it can’t be recommended as a viable option. One of the web-based versions below will likely be a much better fit.

Web-based versions vary in price and features. Below are a couple of options that offer competitive pricing and a reasonable feature set.

  • txt180 offers monthly plans for $9.99/month on an annual subscription, though I’d recommend starting with a monthly no-commitment plan to ensure proper fit.
  • ezTexting plans start at $0/month for up to 500 messages. Paid plans start at $50/month.

There you have it. Several options for sending private mass text messages to a group of people on a regular basis. As with any new product or tool, it’s best to weigh the options and determine the best fit for your particular organization and scenario.

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