Texting People

General Information

Breeze allows users to text one or more people at a time for quick communication. The texting tool is meant for one-way communication and cannot receive replies. Churches can send 250 text messages per month at no additional charge. While we do pay for each text (and so need to have boundaries at some point), you're welcomed to enable unlimited texting1 to exceed the 250 monthly limit. It's just one penny per text after the first 250.

On the technical side, when a text message is sent to a group of people, Breeze sends individual text messages to each person in the group. If, for instance, you send a text to 30 people, Breeze will send out 30 individual texts, all containing the same message, one text being sent to each number (and counting as 30 texts toward your limit). By way of another example, if you send one message to 200 people, that counts as 200 texts toward your limit. Breeze will automatically filter out duplicates (if a multiple people have the same mobile phone number) and only send one text per phone number (and only apply as one toward your limit).

Note: The character limit for a single SMS message is 160 characters, this is an industry set limit and there is no way to increase the limit at this time.

How many texts do I have left?

To see how many remaining texts are left each month, you can open the text compose box and at the bottom, to the left of the cancel tab, it will show you how many remaining texts you have.


At this time the phone number that sends texts cannot be changed. Replies cannot be sent to this number, as it is a one-way text. Please note that text messages will only send out to numbers in the mobile field. If a mobile number is in the 'Home' field, the message will not send to the mobile device.

Individual Texts

  1. Navigate to a specific person.
  2. Click on that person's mobile phone number to bring up the compose text window.
  3. Compose your text and click "Send Text Message."

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Group Texts

  1. Pull up the list of people you'd like to text (by running an advanced search, searching by tag, or another method).
  2. On the right, select "Text People."
  3. Compose your text and click "Send Text Message."
1 By default, texting is limited to 250 messages per month. To exceed this limit, enable "Unlimited Texting" within General Settings.

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Scheduling Texts

While by default text messages will send right away to the list of recipients, users can also schedule a text to be sent at some point in the future. To do so:

  1. Compose your text message to an individual or a group as you normally would.
  2. Instead of clicking "Send Text Message," click the arrow just to the right of the "Send Text Message" button and select one of the available options1 to send the message in the future.
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If you'd like to see what's scheduled to be sent in the future, when it's scheduled, or remove a message before it's sent, you can access your scheduled messages within your text history. To access text history:
  1. Navigate to "More > History > Text."
  2. Select a text to view its details. The details screen will also provide a way to unschedule/remove the message if desired.
1 All times are in your local timezone as specified within your account's General Settings.

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Restricting Texts

People who do not want to receive text messages from Breeze can either:

  • Reply to a text message with the word "STOP" (this will disable all text messages from Breeze)
  • Have their mobile phone marked as "Do Not Text." This setting is available by navigating to their profile and clicking to edit their phone field. (This will prevent the profile in question from receiving group text messages sent through Breeze but they will still be able to receive individual text messages from Breeze. Including Volunteer Reminders which are sent as individual messages.)

Short-Code Number Sent from US Texts

874-47

We’ll help you inform your members about their messaging options by automatically sending them the first time they receive a text message from your Breeze account. This message is sent just before we pass along your message or reminder.

Things to know:

  • Breeze handles this automatically and there’s no action required on your end. 
  • This first-time confirmation message, sent only once to each number, is free to the church and will not go against the free 250 messages per month count. 
  • This message will include the name of your church and information on how they can opt-out of texts if desired. 
  • Texting the word "START" will allow them to start receiving texts again

Number Sent from Non-US Countries

Canada and UK have a long phone number with the code from their country.
All other countries will have texts that come from a 415 Area Code (US San Franscisco).

Billing

While the subscription is billed from "anniversary day-of-the-month," text messaging is billed by Calendar month.  Your 250 free text messages will reset on the 1st of each month. 

Providers

Breeze uses two different providers to send text messages, depending on whether it's text giving, US, or international accounts:

Nexmo

  • International Long Number
  • Some early text-to-give accounts

Twilio

  • US Shortcode number: 874-47
  • The remaining text giving accounts

Texting Outside the US

By default, Breeze will assume that all phone numbers are in the same country as your church.1 When preparing to send a text, we'll automatically format it according to your country so it sends correctly.

However, if you are attempting to send texts internationally, you will need to include the plus symbol along with the country code so that Breeze doesn't attempt to reformat the text according to your own country's specifications.

For example, if your church is located in the United States and you want to send a text to someone in the United Kingdom, you would want to format phone numbers similar to:

+44 20 5555 5555

However, if your church is located in the United Kingdom, you can simply use your local format such as:
 
020 5555 5555
Below you will find what countries are supported for texting within Breeze and their corresponding country codes.2

Australia +61
Bahamas +1
Brazil +55
Canada +1
Colombia +57
Dominican Republic +99
Ecuador +593
Finland +358
India +91
Ireland +353
Malaysia +60
Mauritius +230
Mexico +521
New Zealand +64
Nicaragua +505
Nigeria +234
Norway +47
Philippines +63
Singapore +65
Slovenia +386
South Africa +27
Thailand +66
The Netherlands +31
United Arab Emirates +971
United Kingdom +44
United States of America +1
Vietnam +84
1 Your country can be set within Account Settings > General Settings.
2 If you don't see your country on the list, please email us as we may be able to add it in to the country code list.
Note that Breeze may use a different sending number depending upon the destination of the text. For example, a text to Vancouver, Canada will come from a US/Canada phone number while a text to London, England will come from a United Kingdom number.
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Comments

69 comments
  • Can Breeze automatically send text reminders to volunteers the same way it sends email reminders?

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  • Hi @pastoralonso!

    Yes, it can. This talks all about volunteer notifications and how to send them out via email or text: Volunteer Notifications

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  • My problem is not all of our members have an email or a cell phone, especially our older ones.  In cases of an emergency or announcement that should go out to everyone, they are left out of the loop.  Is there a way to send verbal messages to a home number, aka landline?  We would like to do some sort of a mass calling to them and not have to do individual calls.

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  • what is the number we give out to people to join the mailing list?

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  • Hey @support!

    Right now, the texting tool is meant for one-way communication and cannot receive replies.

    The email, text and letters list will include all those who have an email, numbers and addresses listed in the database. When you email people or groups they will get an email, etc unless otherwise specified.

    Right now we recommend that you create a list of people who consent to receiving communications via email and those that do not. Can also be used for other forms of communications such as mailing out letters.  In the future, we're developing an automated "subscription" method that will assist with this, in the meantime, here's how you'd handle this.

    Create a form asking if it's ok for people to be contacted by their email or via text message on their cell phone; create the appropriate tags; then use those tags to send messages. 

    Step 1: Create a Form

    1. Navigating to "More > Forms"
    2. Click "Create New Form"
    3. Drag the fields in you'd like to include and set your color scheme
    4. Click "Create Form"

    Step 2: Create Tags (OK to contact via email, OK to contact via Text, Do not contact, etc)

    1. Click the "Tags" tab on the top right.
    2. Navigate to the folder in which you desire to place the tag.
    3. Click the "Add New Tag" button.
    4. Give the tag a name and save.

    Step 3: Assign people to Tags

    1. Click the "Tags" tab on the top right.
    2. Navigate to the folder containing the tag and click the tag.
    3. On the right, click Add Person.
    4. Begin typing the person's name. The name will appear in a drop down list.
    5. Select the person's name.
    6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until everyone you'd like to add has been selected, then click "Add".

    Use the "Search" functionality when emailing people/texting people

    1. Click the "People" tab in the top right.
    2. On the left, click more filter options.
    3. Select all of the criteria you would like to filter by. Results will show up on the right.

    Step 4: Include a Footer Message to Unsubscribe

    1. Open a new "Compose Message" by clicking "Email People"
    2. Click the 3 dots after A
    3. In the compose box type: "To unsubscribe, reply to this email with UNSUBSCRIBE"
    4. Under "More" click "Save as Signature"

    Step 5: Remove anyone who "Unsubscribes" from the appropriate tag.

    1. Navigate to a person's profile page.
    2. Click tags from the left menu.
    3. On the right, click to edit the tags assigned to that person.
    4. Deselect the tags you'd like unassigned to that person.
    5. Click to save your changes.
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  • Are there limitations based on an individual’s cell phone provider?

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  • Hey @hrfuqua!

    There are not.  Sometimes a carrier will not recognize the short-code and a simple call will allow them to unblock that number. However, if you are seeing something different, please let us know as we are happy to troubleshoot. 

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  • I'd like to send texts to multiple members who won't have any tags in common. I can scroll through our list of 1,067 people and select the few I want. Instead, I would like to search for their name and put a check mark by their name, and then send one text to everyone with check marks by their name. However, each person's check mark is removed when I search for the next name. Is there a way to filter by names, preserve all selections, and then send one text at one time to all of those people. Or is the only option at this point to scroll through everyone and pick people?

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  • Hey @Jennifer - great question!  You are correct that it won't preserve the selection that you've used thus far.  

    What I've done at my church is create a tag that I call "Sheley's use" or anything along those lines.  I regularly delete/add people to that tag based on people that I'm updating/communicating with.  I'll go through and add people to that tag (which you can do directly from the tag so it's even quicker than searching for their name int he People page) and then communicate with everyone directly from that tag.  Hope that helps! 

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  • Is it possible to send voice/ text-to-voice messages for those who do not have texting and/or would prefer a voice message instead?

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  • Hey @btoenjes

    Great question! At this time, that is not a current feature within Breeze. We sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness and your efforts in explaining where Breeze has room to grow. Know that your feedback is really helpful and lets us know what's most important to to you as we create our next development roadmap.

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  • A member of my church said that people legally have to opt-in to receive text messages sent via breeze and we also have to include "standard SMS rates apply". Is this the case? I know laws/regs might vary state by state, Any idea of where I can get started figuring out if this is the case?

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  • Hey @dhodgesbatzka!

    Thank you so much for reaching out! I appreciate you letting us know! I'd love to bring some clarity around this message and will be getting back with you shortly!

    Blessings! 

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  • Can I provide a short number for people to opt-in via text?

    If so, How?

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  • what does it mean when there is a failed attempt, and the reason says "destination unreachable" I just tested the texting on my husbands cell phone number and it returned fail with that reasoning! 

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  • Hey @sberwind,

    That's a great question!  I'll respond to you via email.

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  • I have one mobile phone that will not receive the text messages and comes back saying "Invalid Message".

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  • Hey @office!

    This is a message we see often when a phone carrier sometimes will block the number and provide the message invalid message. With Invalid Message and General Error it would be best for the members of your church to reach out to their provider and ask why these particular text messages are failing. If we can be of further assistance, or if one of the mobile providers has additional information for us, please don't hesitate to let us know!

    Blessings!

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  • Sorry I am going to have a lot of questions!

    What does it mean if it says for someone the text "expired"?

    Also if a texted failed to send (failed/invalid message) or if it says ignored (no mobile number) - do those texts get subtracted from our 250 texts a month?  

    Is there a way to see the total number of texts sent in a given month without individually counting them? 

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  • Sorry That doesn't really answer any of my 3 questions. If a texted failed to send (failed/invalid message) or if it says ignored (no mobile number) - do those texts get subtracted from our 250 texts a month?  What does it mean if it says for someone the text "expired"? and Is there a way to see the total number of texts sent in a given month without individually counting them? 

     
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  • Hey @office!

    Happy to continue to answer your questions. This is going to help answer all of the questions about what certain texts errors mean as well as talk about if they count towards your 250 limit. 

    Viewing Your Text History

    Expired texts is an error dealing with a phone carrier issue. They will need to reach out to their provider and ask why these particular text messages are not able to go through. 

    You can access the amount of texts sent through your invoice. It will show you how many texts you were charged for.

    1. Navigate to the "More" tab.
    2. Click on "Account Settings".
    3. Look for and click on "Invoices" on the left-hand side of your screen.

    Blessings!

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  • Are there plans in the future to provide a way for two way conversation with texting? Or allow the person to respond to the text and it goes to the sender's email address? 

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  • Hey @drtom,

    Thanks for reaching out to us! It's hard to say what is or isn't on the Future Roadmap for Breeze as it is determined by Customer Feedback and then Prioritized by our Senior Staff and Developers. What we can say is that this has been a topic of conversation within our Team and could be something we see in the future, however, We simply don't have a guarantee or a timeline for this! 

    Blessings!

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  • I would like to text only selected people within a tag.  (For instance the people who are scheduled to work that Sunday)
    How do I do this?

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  • There doesn't seem to be any way to select people within a tag to email or text them. I think this would be a very useful feature. You either have to email or text the entire group or none of them.
    The way around it is a very lengthy process. You have to go to people, then filter by the tag you want and those people will show up on your screen and now you can select individuals from that filter to text or email them.

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  • @lamenda and @drtom, for this, you would need to go to 'people', do a filter search for the tag that you want and you can select the people within the tag. You can also pre-save your searches to make it easier on you.

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  • Our pastor uses an iPhone, and he is unable to text an individual from Breeze. When he taps the mobile phone number, it dials the phone instead of giving him an option like my android does. Is there a different way to text on iPhones?

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  • @Cathy - Is your pastor wanting to text the individual from the Breeze platform (utilizing the shortcode) or from his personal cell phone number?

    If he is wanting to text an individual using the Breeze platform he will need to navigate to People > Search who he is looking for (do not click on the person) > and then use the action panel at the bottom of the iPhone (in the app) to send a text message within Breeze.

    If he is wanting to text an individual using his personal cell phone number, he will simply want to hold down on the number, rather than taping it, until the options pop up. The options that pop up on the iPhone will be: Call, Facetime Audio, Send Message, Add to Contacts, Copy Phone Number. 

    Hope this helps! 

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  • Thank you!!

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  • When the text message is sent out, our church name is abbreviated.  How do I change for full name?

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