Churches are constantly seeking new ways to communicate with their congregation and connect with first-time guests. Unfortunately, this can mean that churches focus too much on new communication methods. They end up ignoring older but very effective methods, like email marketing. While social media is a popular, trendy, and an important way to connect with your church members, some churches are neglecting this simple way to interact with their congregation: email.

Here are four reasons why email marketing is critical for churches this year and into the future:

#1 – Email Marketing has no Algorithm

We’ve all heard about the “algorithm” that social networks have. When you post something to your profile, it may not show up in someone’s feed, even though they follow your account. When you send an email, though, it’s almost guaranteed to end up in the recipient’s inbox. Unless the email goes to their spam folder, it will be delivered to the top of their inbox at the time of delivery. Email marketing platforms allow tracking when an email is opened. This is an effective way to know exactly who saw your message and when they saw it. This privilege is not available on any social media platform.

#2 – Emails are Much More Personal

When a first-time guest visits your church, it’s critical to follow up with them and make them feel welcome. Sending an email and addressing the guest by name feels very personal. There are ways to automate this process and send emails in bulk to all of your first-time guests. You can use an email marketing platform to automatically insert the guest’s name into a template and send an email directly to them. If your guest has questions and replies to the email, their reply will go to an email inbox you choose.

#3 – Email is More Private

Posting announcements to your church’s social media page or Facebook group is a great way to keep your congregation informed about upcoming events, but what if you want to send a prayer request just to church members? Email gives you complete flexibility to control exactly who receives the message. It’s a great tool for sending exclusive announcements that certain guests and visitors don’t need to see.

#4 – Email has no Character Limit

Text lists and push notification announcements are becoming increasingly popular for churches. Their biggest hurdle is that they all come with small character limits. Email gives you the power to share a longer message without having to link out to a website for more information. Your message is put right in front of the recipient without any additional steps or hassle on their end. Plus, you can leverage email marketing to drive more traffic to your website.

How can you Take Advantage of Email Announcements?

If you are ready to try an email list with your church congregation, there are many platforms available at various price points. MailChimp, Aweber, and Constant Contact are among the most popular choices. Many churches use Mailchimp because they offer a free plan with powerful automation tools. When email marketing is used in combination with social media marketing and text/push notification announcements, your church will have an expert level of communication.

Here are a handful of additional helpful articles from the ChurchTechToday library on email marketing for churches: