As an important piece of your church communication strategy, your email is an area were you can always find ways to improve. In a previous post, we outlined how using a professional email management system can improve your communications and streamline administrative tasks. That’s a great start, but once your system is up and running, here are some areas to consider for boosting the design of your email to make it more effective.
Engaging Subject Line
It might feel like a throwaway line of text, but the words in your email subject line are a first chance to entice someone to read more. Go beyond; “This Week’s Updates” to consider more compelling options. Email management provider Constant Contact suggests options like asking a question, including a deadline, making an announcement, adding a list and more.
An email full of text won’t get read. Your communication has to be presented in easy-to-digest chunks of information. Images can save you words by visually telling a story. They also can create natural breaks throughout an email that let people know where one topic stops and another begins. Many pro email system templates are already designed to follow this format.
Once someone takes the time to read a section of your email, what do you want them to do? If that next task is going to your website for more information, or to sign-up for an event, insert a button for people to click. Perhaps you want a member to come to a service project. Make sure the time and location stand out. Always give your congregation a way to more deeply connect.
Limit the Number of Topics
If you want people to engage, you can’t overwhelm them. Plus, there are just some topics, like this month’s greeters schedule, that the whole congregation doesn’t need to know. Want a firm number? Don’t share more than three items in an email. I don’t have a scientific reason for this, but think of it as a challenge in determining what the most important priorities are in the life of your church. This sort of focused communication will make you more effective in understanding your audience and serving their needs.
Keep a Consistent Calendar
If you promise your congregation that the weekly email is the best way to stay connected with the church, make sure it’s sent on a regular basis. If you don’t, people will realize they can’t count on you. If they bail on your email, they may not attempt to connect with you again elsewhere, leading to a missed chance for deeper relationships.