Staying connected with the congregation throughout the week can be challenging. They have jobs, children, and to-do lists a mile long. With so much competing for their attention, you need to use something always available – their phones. Email newsletters are an easy way to communicate with the congregation. However, you have to be strategic about what content you include to get people to open, read, and act based on the church email newsletter.

Here are tips on how to approach the church email newsletter:

#1 – What type of information should we include?

Since it’s nearly impossible to overcommunicate, there are several items you could include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Sermon Series
  • News & Updates
  • Scripture
  • Devotional
  • Note from the pastor
  • Link to last week’s sermon
  • Prayer requests
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Video devotionals

No matter what information you put in the email, make sure you include a single call to action. This is the one step you want the reader to take as they scan the email.

Examples of a call to action:

  • Watch this week’s devotional from Pastor Smith
  • Register for this event
  • Sign up to serve
  • Click here to set up recurring giving

#2 – What should the church email newsletter look like?

Email systems have a variety of tools available for you to customize the design of church emails. There are two main schools of thought regarding branding church emails. Some people prefer to include a header with the church logo and branding. Others recommend using plain text only. Consider testing out both options to see which version ends up with a higher open and click-through rate.

Regardless of branding vs. plain text, keep the content fairly short. People will tend to read an email with 1,000 words or less over one that’s really long.

Also, people don’t read emails anymore – they scan them. To deal with this, try including headlines, short sentences, and bullet points. As they scan, they’ll notice the item that most applies to or interests them, and then they’ll read that portion more carefully.

#3 – How often should you send an email newsletter?

Since you’re including a single call to action in each email, you might want to send two per week. One might be focused on an upcoming event while the other could center around the next sermon series.

#4 – Who should receive the church email newsletter?

Send messages that contain church-wide information to everyone who opted in to receive church emails. However, when you have specific details related to segments of the congregation, only send those messages to people who will be interested. For example, send a message about the weekly Bible verse in Children’s Church only to parents with small children.

#5 – How do we get people to open on our emails?

This is a million-dollar question that the biggest marketers work to answer each day. Here are two keys to getting people to open and act on your emails:

  • Craft an attention-getting subject line. “ABC Church News” isn’t going to get someone’s attention. Instead, highlight the call to action from the email in the subject line. Use part of the sermon series title or mention an upcoming event to capture their interest.
  • Instead of using a generic “To” email such as “ABC Church News”, consider using the name of the senior pastor or another church leader. People are much more likely to open an email from their pastor than a generic one from the church.

Church email newsletters can help you stay connected with the congregation throughout the week and ensure people are aware of news and special events. Invest the time needed to craft messages that people will want to read and will help them during the week.

Check out these resources related to Church Communication:

8 Helpful Books on Church Communication

Connecting Church Communities Through Video

8 Essentials for Church Communication

6 Church Communications Conferences