Ever notice that your church management software asks for your people’s mobile number and their carrier? Here’s why they do that and how you can look up mobile carriers to get past the roadblock.
Has this happened to you? You build your guest followup system in your church management software. It includes emailing or texting people a welcome message or a invitation to come back the next Sunday. You’re all set. Then you get the stack of connection cards after the service and discover that some of your guests gave you a mobile number but no email address.
Now you can’t email them or text them. I suppose you could pull out your phone and start texting them one at a time. But you can’t otherwise send them a message. Why won’t the church management software work without knowing the carrier?
It’s a Simple Hack
That’s because the app isn’t actually texting your people – it’s using a free email-to-SMS hack. It’s actually pretty cool – I just tried it by sending an email to my kid’s mobile number and I got a quick reply.
Every US mobile carrier has a way to convert a brief email into an SMS message. For instance, if your guest’s mobile number is (123) 456-7890, then you just email your message to some version of 1234567890@mobilecarrierbrand[dot]com.
But there’s the rub. If you don’t have their carrier’s name and configuration, your message will never get delivered.
Now You Can Look Up Mobile Carriers
I’ve found various lookup sites, but my favorite so far is freecarrierlookup.com. Not only do they give you the carrier, but they give you the email configuration for that carrier so that you can use the email-to-sms hack right from your own inbox.
But what about the stalker factor? My bottom line is that if they offered their mobile number on a connection card, that’s at least implicit permission to text them. And knowing someone’s carrier doesn’t violate their privacy or put them at risk.
So if you’re using one of the many church software apps that require knowing the person’s carrier, now you can quickly look up mobile carriers to get through to them.