Did you know that only 1/4 of your people are actually reading your church emails?
You may be thinking... Well, not at my church. Besides, those stats are probably old or made up!
Not made up. The stats are from from a recent MailChimp Survey. So if only about 1/4 of your people are reading your church's emails and newsletters, does that mean you should "nix" them?
I would argue that you should do the exact opposite. Even if the majority of your people are not reading your emails. Let's talk about the reasons why your church should have a newsletter and how to do it well.
At a time when physical attendance is at an all-time low, your people need to be reminded that you are still there for them, even when they couldn't make it to church.
Newsletters do more than just tell people what's going on in your church, they call people to action. This can be in the form of a signup form, an online giving button, prayer requests, and more!
Unlike social media that's broadcasted to the entire world, your newsletters can be written specifically to a target audience. This means a deeper connection with people that willingly want to hear what it is you have to say. Most mass email tools will even insert a person's name into the email you're sending, making them feel more personal to your recipients.
Using a mass email tool like ChurchTrac Mail or Mailchimp, your church can easily send emails to your entire congregation with minimal time and little (or no) money.
In a perfect world, all of your people read your emails. Unfortunately, we don't live in that world. So here are a few pro tips I've learned from other church leaders that have been very successful with getting more of their people to open (and read) their newsletters...
Tell your people about the newsletter. Not just once, but regularly remind them that you have a newsletter for them to read. Service announcements, within the sermon, in videos, etc...
Most people are creatures of habit. Email your newsletter at the same time on the same day every time. Weekly newsletters are best as they keep your church fresh in peoples mind as opposed to a single monthly newsletter.
Leverage your other communication tools outside of email to advertise your newsletter. Mention it regularly on Facebook, Instagram, your church website, and SMS messages. Yes, I said text message. One church leader told me that she sent a mass text message with a link to her newsletter signup form. Within an hour of sending that text message, her newsletter recipiant list doubled!
Notifying your people about upcoming events and announcements is great... but you want to encourage 2-way communication. Include links for your people to do things like submit a prayer request, ask a question about last week's sermon, give online, and more.
When I turned 18, my dad gave me a small toolbox complete with a hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, measuring tape, and a few other odds and ends to get started. I added additional tools along the way, but I still continue to use those tools he gave me. There are just some tools you will always need... no matter the job.
It's almost impossible to overcommunicate in church. Getting everyone on the same page and keeping them "in the loop" requires that we communicate multiple times via multiple channels. Church newsletters are just one of the many tools that we use in our communication toolbox. And It just so happens to be one of the most effective.
If you're not sending newsletters to your congregation yet, start now. If you are sending them, take a step back and re-evaluate it to see how you can make them better.
I'd love to stay and chat, but I actually have a newsletter to write. Be blessed!