If your church isn't already utilizing an email marketing system to stay connected with members and visitors - then you're missing out! Communication is essential, as you already know, but using only traditional messages like mail, flyers, and bulletins are both time-consuming and expensive. Sending an email is an easier and cheaper alternative - not to mention the ability to track analytics and things like bounce-rates.
Don't get hung up on the word "marketing." That's the classic business term - but the medium has evolved into a strategic communication tool - especially for nonprofits. You're able to segment your email list into groups so that you can "target" audiences with specific communication that's relevant to them. There are so many things that you can do by utilizing email marketing! With traditional communication, you're limited to things like letters and paper flyers. But today, you can send video, HD imagery, surveys, event reminders, and more. Here are a few of our favorite uses for email marketing:
This one is classic. Most churches follow the typical process of sending out "thank you for attending" letters to visitors that attend a weekend service for the first time. And while it's pretty cool getting an individual letter from the church that you attended this past weekend, people are becoming more and more reluctant about how much personal information that they're choosing to give out. Getting an email address (and consent) from a visitor gives your church the ability to send the same letter - while saving on the paper, ink, and postage!
Your church bulletin has all of your upcoming and special events. But let's be honest, how many times have you picked up those same bulletins off of the pews after service? Not to mention you need to put that same announcement into the bulletin week-after-week so that people don't forget. But with email marketing, you can schedule those same reminders to be delivered weeks and days before the event in advance.
We've seen one church use email marketing to send out its weekly prayer list to their membership, which is a great way to keep members connected. Members send their prayer request to a single person who then adds those request to a weekly email that goes out to all the members.
Create Surveys & Polls
We love surveys and polls! They're powerful tools for collecting information and getting feedback from both members and visitors. Create visitor satisfaction surveys to learn what first timers thought about your service, or quick polls to better understand how members prefer to give.
There's tons more stuff that you can do with email marketing, like team communication, event registration, and more!
Our Email Marketing Tool of Choice
So as many of you are probably aware, we're true fans of MailChimp! Not only is it one of the most popular email marketing software on the planet; giving users the ability to have an email list of up to 2,000 names and sending 12,000 emails per month - but it is absolutely free forever!
How cool is that!
We may be a bit biased, so don't take our word for it - check out some of the other popular online email marketing for yourself.