Church email mistakes abound as weekly emails are sent from many churches. Why do weekly emails make sense? After keeping your website up-to-date with upcoming events and opportunities, you need a regular communication tool that reminds people of what’s available for them on your website.
Therefore, church emails are an important tool for church communication. They let your church interject into your member’s life. But beware: Make sure you’re building a list in an email management system (like Mailchimp or Constant Contact), all while respecting everyone’s time on your list. If you have regular church email mistakes, you’ll lose subscribers quickly. It’s very difficult to get them back.
Here are five church email mistakes to avoid:
Mistake 1: Sending to everyone. Consider sending different emails to email groups (that you set up). This segmenting (based on demographics) is shown to increase opening rates. Why? Because you can hone the message directly to them. And often your emails become shorter, which is a very good thing.
Mistake 2: Using the same subject lines. Spend time crafting a different, short and beneficial-sounding subject line that’s connected to the email’s information. If you can, use their name in the subject line. (Many email campaign systems allow a placeholder that will be swapped with a name when it sends).
Mistake 3: Telling them all the details. Do what it takes to raise awareness for key events and link to the details on your church website. You don’t put all the details all in your email. If your website is set up properly, they’ll discover other church events once you lead them online. Too many details make your emails too long. Only give them promotional information that will make them interested enough to click on a website link. The shorter your email is, the more people will read it.
Mistake 4: Having lots of paragraphs. Concentrate on subheads, bolded words, bullet points and links. These eye-interruptors will make your emails scannable. Always respect the time of your audience. A great email (that avoids all these church email mistakes) will be less than 150 words, avoids long paragraphs (that are often not read) and ensures scan-ability (so someone doesn’t have to read the entire email).
Mistake 5: Using hidden calls to action. Lead your reader to the “now what” referred to as a “call to action.” The best emails have the fewest calls to action. The most read emails have one point and one call to action. What if your church wants to have lots of email information? Beware of too many buried calls to action in the content. Instead, consider subheads in your email to create sections (if you have to). Something like: “Mom? These events will connect you to other Moms.” Then, have a listing of event links like “Moms Night Out” with a date and maybe the time. The title should be a link that connects to your website for more details. Finally, at the bottom, have one call to action such as, “Check out more church events here.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark MacDonald is communication pastor, speaker, consultant, bestselling author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and executive director of the Center for Church Communication, empowering 10,000-plus churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites and social media. His book, “Be Known for Something,” is available at BeKnownBook.com.