Email Newsletter

4 things your church email newsletter MUST do every time

A church email newsletter is an excellent way to remind and inform your members of events, sermons, and resources they need to know about. Unlike the printed newsletters of the past, you can actually know how many are reading the emails and what they’re interested in. So you can improve!

If done properly, your open rate (people opening an email for at least 4 seconds) will increase and your congregation will feel more engaged with ministries. However, according to statistics for non-profit organization emails, the open rate remains quite low with about two-thirds of recipients not reading the non-profit emails. This is a pretty low bar to fix!

Let’s improve this for your church. Here are 4 things your church email newsletter must do every time you send your email communication:

  1. Give edited information in a tiered manner. This is tricky. Of course, you want to provide all the information you’d think they’d need. The problem? Most don’t want all that information. The easiest solution? Send separate emails (with more personalized information) to segments of your list. Then you can deliver information they’d want. If segmentation isn’t possible, then consider tiering content based upon how many people need it. Start at the top of your event listing with Tier 1 (all-church events and information); then after that, move to Tier 2 events (all-ministry; e.g. Kids, Students, etc.). Perhaps those 2 tiers are all your newsletter should list. It’s up to you. Or simply provide a link to your web calendar for smaller events.
  2. Provide scannable content for a fast read. No one likes a long email. How do we know? Research reveals it. A shorter church email newsletter is always better than a longer one! How short should it be? Most people prefer less than 150 words. But that’s difficult if you’re not segmenting. So, make sure you have scan-ability in your content. Use sections to cluster events for each demographic (e.g. Adults, Kids, etc.). Make headlines bold (or larger) so people can quickly search from top to bottom for content they’d like to read. Use bullet points rather than long paragraphs. Keep sentences short by editing wordiness and remove unimportant details. Only concentrate on information that would compel someone to attend or click the link.
  3. Connect to your church website for more details. In summary, you want a church email newsletter as brief as possible with eye interruptions that make it scannable. So where do you put the details that someone might need after they’re interested (e.g. times, dates, etc.)? On your website. Then link your email to a web calendar event or ministry page. Just resist putting too many details in your email. People will start scanning and quickly ignore most of your email.
  4. Concentrate on the subject line and who’s sending it. After you have your church email newsletter written, decide what email subject line would encourage someone to open the email. It shouldn’t be long but it should be in active voice. Some email programs allow you to personalize the subject line based on the database. Try that! Also, research has shown that more emails are opened if they’re from a person rather than an organization. Consider having the email newsletter sent from the Pastor, loved Ministry Assistant, or, if segmented, a Ministry Leader.

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