Stock Photo by @RyanL via Twenty20
Good communication is critical for churches, and that extends to every channel they use to speak to members. Church leaders should always be looking for ways to fine-tune their messaging and ensure that every potential touchpoint is being used efficiently.
Here are five quick tips for writing emails that will connect with your audience.
1. Start with a clear subject line
There’s plenty of space in your emails to be fun and cheeky, but the subject line isn’t the place. You want your subject lines to be clear and informative. And they should also be concise, as the majority of emails are opened on mobile devices, where screen space is at a premium. You should shoot for communicating the gist of the email in about 40 characters, or 6 to 7 words. Aim for short and to the point. Being “boring” is better than being unclear.
2. Use people’s names
Most mass email tools allow you to insert recipients’ names into the email greeting automatically, but some churches don’t use them. Instead, they write a general salutation or don’t start with any greeting at all.
Personalizing your greeting is the right practice, and people want to feel like you’re speaking directly to them. This is particularly important for church audiences, where you want to encourage two-way conversation and keep recipients from feeling like a nameless cog.
3. Send them from a real person
Not only do you want to end your email with a sign-off from the pastor or some other person, but you want to make sure that person is also represented in the reply-to email address and *FROM* field.
People engage better in correspondence from an actual person, and when your email comes from one, your open rates will improve. When people see an organization’s email, they don’t assume it’s significant to them personally.
With this in mind, try and write your emails as if it’s a one-on-one discussion instead of a mass conversation with everyone.
4. Vary the way you use your emails
Email is an excellent tool for reminding people about events and other important information. But if that’s all you use it for, people will start to tune it out. The minute people start thinking, “I saw this in the bulletin,” your open rates will begin to plummet.
Think of your email as a tool for increasing connection. Share testimonies, ask for prayer requests, announce exciting news, and share devotional thoughts. You can even share cool stuff you’ve discovered (like this post on worship!). Varying how you use this channel will make people anticipate your emails more.
5. Focus on one key point
Consider how you read an email. If you’re like most people, you scan it looking for pertinent information so you can move on. This is why it’s a good idea to keep your emails focused on one specific thing you want to communicate. If you have a variety of messages, people will miss most of them. Remember: email doesn’t have to be (nor should it be) a digital bulletin.
Pro-tip: Adding a P.S. to your emails is a way to ensure people get the main point. Studies have shown that 79% of email openers read the postscript!
Get the right graphics for your online platforms
You need quality images for social media posts and some of your emails. Save your staff tons of time hunting around online for the right copyright-free images: Sharefaith has more than 90,000 church graphics for every situation.
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