What Do You Need to Get Started?

Once you've established who your end users are, what kinds of messages they prefer, and what kind of content you are going to offer, you can begin to identify resources and plan for implementation.

A good texting program requires the following components. If you need to learn more about any of the items, click on the link next to each item to go to that section of this toolkit.

Use this Handy Checklist

A web-based platform or cell phones [Go to Technology]
A vendor for your platform (if needed) [Go to Choosing a Vendor]
Staff to implement the program [Go to Costs]
A budget [Go to Costs]
A marketing plan [Go to Marketing to Types]
An evaluation plan [Go to Evaluation]

You'll also need a plan for implementation. Consider using the following components as you develop a plan:

Message templates, customized for different texters
A schedule for message delivery
A spreadsheet that allows you to sort messages, phone numbers, and other information
A text message policy for your agency [Go to Developing a Policy]
A flow chart to map your text messages based on potential responses
Translation of messages into other languages

View our sample texting policy and download a template for your own program.

Move ahead to the next topic, Costs.

Computer keyboard