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What Is Church Email Marketing?

Marketing your church may seem like a worldly idea, but it's an easy, effective, and affordable way to keep your members and visitors informed and coming back! As a good steward of the tithes and offerings your church receives, using email to cut costs and increase response is something every church administrator should consider.

Email marketing helps you keep visitors and members informed and interested—by using attractive, professional-looking email communications to stay in regular touch with them and build strong relationships. It's better and more effective than regular email.

Boost customer communication
Email newsletters are fast and inexpensive to create, so you can send them more regularly than paper ones. And email marketing puts you in members' inboxes more accurately than regular email. So you'll avoid spam filters and be seen by more people.

Talk to them with targeting
Want to increase the impact of your email newsletters? Segment your database and create smaller customer lists based on their interests and needs. Then send more relevant and targeted messages to them. They'll be more likely to respond – and more likely to act on your emails and get involved in your church.

Get more referrals, more easily
Email newsletters are easy to forward to other people. So your regular attendees can give their friends a risk-free peek at what's going on at your church. It's easy for these new friends to sign up for your mailing list when you put our "Join My Mailing List" button on your website. And through regular communication, you could bring those interested in your church to a service or event you are having!

Get immediate response and action
It's quick to send emails, and it's quick to see results with real-time reports. You can even schedule email delivery for when your church members most likely to check email, so you'll increase the likelihood they'll read it and take action.

Track who reads and responds
See who opened your emails, who forwarded them to friends, and even who you need to resend them to. You can also tell who clicked on which links in your emails, allowing you to understand what people are interested in reading about, and tailor your content to get the best response and most action.

Getting Email Addresses
For all its impressive features and amazing qualities, sending out church email newsletters is useless if you don't have the email addresses of your church members. Here is a collection of suggestions on how to grow or maintain your list of church members' email addresses.

* Put an announcement in the bulletin, requesting everyone to send an email to the church email address in order to have a record of their email address.

* Provide a tear-off or request card in the bulletin that enables people to write down their email address. They can place this in the offering plate or leave it with a church leader.

* If you have some form of contact with members (phone, Facebook, etc.) send them a message or give them a call and ask them for their email address.

* Pass around a sign-up sheet in your meetings, especially small group meetings or Sunday School classes, to collect email addresses.

* Request an email address on the church membership form.

* Include an email address request line on your visitor information cards.

* Include a contact form on the church website in order to collect names and email addresses. You may also wish to include a "Join Our Mailing List" button or "Forward to a Friend" feature for broader distribution.

* Put email request cards in high traffic locations of the church facility, such as lobbies, near restrooms, etc.

* Make an announcement from the pulpit requesting email addresses.

* Use a video that displays the church email address and website as a means to gaining additional email addresses.

* If you do not have a church directory, consider starting one. Request email addresses as part of the information in the directory.

How Often Should a Newsletter Go Out?
Although you may want a simple one-word answer to the question, the real answer actually depends on various factors. How much time do you have? What kind of information do you include in your newsletter? How big is your church? Here are some things to keep in mind as you ponder the issue:

Not Too Often
Email is all too often abused. We call it spam. People don't like to receive things that take up their time, yet apparently don't deserve their time. Don't allow the church newsletter to be guilty of that perception. And, yes, an everyday newsletter is too often.

Do you have time to send out a newsletter every day, week, month? Consider your own time constraints, because putting together a newsletter does take considerable time–or the time of other church administrators. Consider the importance of a newsletter compared to the importance of other church ministries, and prioritize accordingly.

But Just Often Enough
The point of a newsletter is, among other things, to keep church in people's minds. If you go dark for months on end, you will not achieve this important quality.

The church has a message. There are many compelling reasons to send out a newsletter. Neglecting a newsletter is neglecting the opportunity give your people spiritual encouragement, prayer requests, relevant church news, important updates, and deeper integration within the life of the church.

The Simple Answer
A monthly newsletter is a good frequency for many ministries. This provides the "often, but not too-often" approach, and gives contributors the time to work on developing content for the new newsletter edition.

A seasonal newsletter (four times annually) is another suggestion. By having more time to work on the newsletter, you can provide more material or make the newsletter longer.

In addition to sending out a church newsletter, your church may also want to consider sending out occasional important updates via email. This does not need to be a newsletter, but rather a way of maintaining email contact between newsletters, and providing only that information that is necessary for people to know immediately.

Keep it interesting. A boring church newsletter is one that lacks pictures.

Remember, "church email marketing" isn't a term meant to denigrate the dignity of the Body of Christ. It is a term that is used to spread the life-changing Word to as many people as possible using the medium of email communication.

The term "e-mail marketing" isn't intended in a secular sense. Rather, church email marketing is keeping the church unified and informed using the tool of email.

Think about it. Email has incredible potential, as long as you know how to use it effectively:

* Keep in touch with church members easily and instantly.

* Start a weekly or daily email devotional.

* Effectively launch special services, sermon series, or web links using email marketing.

* Use comprehensive email lists to let people know about special needs, emergencies, or other important church information.

Email marketing doesn't have to be a complicated science, accessible only to the web-savvy computer programmer. Effective church email marketing is easy to do and easy to learn for the busy church secretary, administrator, or pastor. You just need church email marketing solutions that will work.

Make this year be the year in which you master the art of effective church email marketing. As the preferred mode of communication, church email marketing will benefit your ministry immensely.

This information is courtesy of ShareFaith, www.sharefaith.com.

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Religious Product News