How to Use Church Email Marketing for Dramatic Results
Picture this… Your congregation is growing rapidly. Your members are engaged and excited about what you are doing. They’re showing up to events and getting involved more than ever before. Plus, they seem to be the exact people you always wanted to have in your church.
And you wonder, “What is happening?”
This is what can happen when you set up a church email marketing campaign. Email is still a popular form of communication, and it is one of the most effective tactics because of its ability to get you in front of the right people and to keep in touch with them on a consistent basis.
Let’s dig into the benefits and methods of church email marketing so that you can see it do its work for you.
The Many Benefits of Church Email Marketing
Email marketing isn’t just for small businesses and major corporations. There are so many positive things that can happen for your church when you start using it. And you certainly don’t want to miss out on these…
1) It Strengthens Your Relationship with Your Members.
Email is one of the best means of building a relationship with your members because it’s a way to show them what you are all about and to demonstrate how important they are to you. By staying in touch with them regularly, it’s like you are keeping up with an old friend.
Without it, your members really only know what they experience during Sunday services, and they can feel disconnected from you in between services. By staying in touch with them, you will remain top of mind, and they will grow to understand more about you and the “personality” of your church.
2) It’s an Easy Way to Keep Everyone in the Loop.
As you are strengthening your relationship with your members through email, you are able to keep them in the loop as well. Instead of just giving them verbal announcements about things that are taking place, you can keep in touch between Sunday services about special events and opportunities for them to further engage in the community.
3) It Helps You Grow Your Congregation.
It’s pretty easy to get people to opt in to your email list, especially if you offer them something that they really want in return; therefore, it’s an easy way to attract new members to your church. It will allow you to build a list of potential members that you can stay in touch with until they are ready to come to one of your services or events.
4) It’s an Inexpensive Marketing Tactic.
Compared to other marketing tactics, church email marketing is pretty inexpensive. You’ll just pay a monthly fee for an email marketing platform and that’s it! Most platforms start at around $25/month and go up depending on the number of people on your list.
5) It’s a Reliable Form of Communication.
Social media is subject to the algorithm of the social media platform, which means that only certain people will see your posts—not everyone who follows your page. Email, on the other hand, is much more reliable.
6) It Allows You to Target Your Subscribers.
Some email marketing platforms allow you to segment your lists by interest or other specifications so that you can send more targeted emails. And this segmentation can often happen automatically.
For example, if you send out an email that contains different links to your website, you can tag people who click on certain links so that you can reach those people in a more targeted way later. Some initial segments that you might want to set up include the following:
- Church Members
- Regular Attendees
- Potential Members
- Youth Ministry
- Outreach Ministry Volunteers
Church Email Marketing Tips
Now that you know all of the benefits of church email marketing, here are some tips that will help you get the most out of this tactic…
Use an Email Marketing Platform
Sending emails out to hundreds or thousands of people at once is easy when you use an email marketing platform such as ActiveCampaign or Infusionsoft by Keap. They offer templates for easy design and layout, and they allow you to set up autoresponder emails that go out automatically once someone opts in so that your emails can run on autopilot.
Of course, you’ll also always have the option to send out a broadcast email whenever you want (one that is not part of your automated series).
Only Email People Who Have Opted In
When members are willing to opt in to your email list, it improves their open rates and engagement with your emails. Of course, it also ensures you aren’t spamming them.
To get people to opt in, offer something they will want, such as an e-book on a desirable topic or an audio recording of an inspirational message. You’ll need to have an opt-in form on your website that asks for their first name and email, and you’ll need to make sure that form will be automatically generated from your email marketing platform.
To get your existing members on your email list, you can tell them about the freebie they can opt in for and where to find it on your website. Or you can pass around forms that they can turn in with their name and email so that you can keep them informed.
Take photos and videos, and use them in your emails. A picture is worth a thousand words, and it will make a lasting impression on your subscribers. Talking about the ministry work your church is doing in another country is one thing, but visual storytelling is an entirely different thing. A video will go even further!
Keep It Brief & Scannable
When people read an email, they don’t want to read paragraphs and paragraphs of content, so keep your paragraphs short and easily digestible.
Most people scan to see if there is anything that they want to read, so make sure you break up sections with headings and use bullet points, bolded type, and different colors to make certain things stand out.
When you have a lot of information to share on a topic, include a brief description of it in the email and then have a link to a page or blog post on your website where they can read more.
Write Intriguing Subject Lines
Make sure the subject lines of your emails are intriguing so that people want to open them. Here are some subject line examples:
- See what we have in store for you this April!
- What the Bible says about loneliness…
- Check out the photos from our recent mission.
- Volunteer opportunity – Help us fight hunger!
Be True to Your Church
Determine what makes your church great and display those things like beautiful peacock feathers. Put personality into your emails. People are inspired to engage when they feel a connection with you, and your church brand is what does that.
Use Calls to Action
Never assume that people will take action on their own. Calls to action (CTAs) are essential in any marketing campaign, including email. In each email, be sure to include clear CTAs with the next step you want them to take.
For example, if you send out an email about the ministry work your church is doing, include a CTA for them to join the mission. If you send out an email about upcoming events, give them an opportunity to RSVP.
Another good CTA might be to ask them to “like” your Facebook page or to share some information on their favorite social media platform. Whatever you do, just be sure to simplify the action step for them. If you want them to share something on social media, for example, include share buttons so that all they have to do is click them.
Pay Attention to Your Results
Through the email metrics and reporting features in your email marketing software, you can see the open rates and click-through rates on your emails. With that information, you can determine what emails are most received and which ones aren’t as effective. Then, you can use that information to tweak things to make future improvements.
Churches and ministries will benefit dramatically when they use church email marketing to spread their message and keep members (and potential members) engaged and informed. You’d be surprised how effective it can be!
If you need help putting together an email campaign, give us a buzz. We are here to help!