Connecting with your congregation is an important thing, especially if you have a very active group of members that do more than come on Sundays for one service. When you begin to have volunteers, small groups that meet during the week, special activities, youth group, and a host of other community building activities and service projects, you need to have a way to contact them with regular and effective consistency.
Normally, when reaching an audience, social media would be a great way to do so, but when you have special information for parents of teenagers, specific people on a missions trip, for a core group of volunteers or deacons, you want to have a very controllable form of communication that is best done through e-newsletters. This form of communication
We want to show you how to get your e-newsletter started from scratch with these easy steps.
1) Find Your Email Marketing Platform. The first step is to come up with a great and reliable e-newsletter company that you would not only sent out your content from, but will collect the contact information of people on your list and help you manage it as your subscriptions become large. One great emailing newsletter company that we support here is BombBomb.com. Even better, you can test out there services here for FREE.
Make sure that the company offers you templates that work on all browsers and have the capacity to do more than mass email people. Some needed features are an email editor, ability to manage your contacts, an email analytics, and a custom form designers to help you build your contact list.
2) Establish the Basics. Hopefully your email marketing platform easily guides you through the process of setting up the foundation for your e-newsletter, but if not, here are some guides:
A. Design a web form that collects contact information including an email address, first name, and a check box that it is okay to add them to your subscription list.
B. A thank you email that will automatically send when they have filled out that web form. It does not need to say much more than thanking them for signing up and maybe what they can expect in the future.
C. Several different subscription lists that will be fore the different groups you email. Several options could be “youth group volunteers,” “lay ministry,” “prayer team,” or “second service congregation members.” This will allow you to be organized and prepared to send out individual emails.
D. Custom templates that may be similar across the different groups or completely different. However you do this, make it look good with the designs provided for you. A text-based email just does not have the pizazz that it could.
E. Test your email list with a couple of personal emails to see how the process is working and know what your viewers will experience.
3) Be Consistent. The biggest problems with people who use e-newsletters is that they set it up one day, have many people subscribe to it, and then do not send out a newsletter for several months. The issue here is that people will forget that they have subscribed for it or because of such a long delay from signing up to actually seeing a use for it will unsubscribe.
Note that your e-newsletters do not have to always to be several pages long or earth shattering information. Many times a month it may simply be a list of announcements you gave at church, a link to your church’s blog or a signup web form for volunteers, or even a link to a YouTube video of your church’s VBS week. Be creative, but always be consistent.
4) Manage Your Lists Well. Do not leave your group to one list unless you are only sending out one e-newsletter. Instead, keep things organized and if done well, the process of sending an email to a group could take no more time than it takes to write out the content. How great would that be to have a fully established email marketing platform that can allow you to contact hundreds or thousands of people that are waiting to hear from you?
Lastly, if your church uses church management software to keep track of everything church related, BombBomb has built in integration with Fellowship One, Church Community Builder, IconCMO, and ACS Technologies, meaning your contacts will stay up-to-date without having to import and export contacts. Learn more here: http://www.bombbomb.com/ministries/
What would be your first e-newsletter be about?