Stop Doing Email Wrong

I keep thinking the reign of email will come to an end. But it doesn’t and it won’t likely for some time. I don’t know any healthy churches that aren’t using email as a part of their communications strategy. Unfortunately, many of them are doing it poorly.

Cutting and pasting email addresses is not the best solutionThis post is for you if your church is still cutting and pasting email addresses into the to:, cc:, or bcc: field in Outlook, Gmail or whatever program you are using.

In my post “Five Church Communications Resolutions for 2018,” I challenged churches to get serious about email. In my post “The One Reason Nothing Comes of Those Resolutions,” I pledged to offer some initial steps to live out that resolution. For this one, I feel like I only need to offer one step.

To read more about email strategy, check out “Let’s Talk About Email.

 

MailChimp LogoSign up for an email service like MailChimp.

Note: There are other great email services out there. I use MailChimp for work and personal lists. However, you may also want to check out Constant Contact, Emma, GetResponse, and others.

Why?

Here are some of the main reasons you should use an email service rather than the cut and paste method.

Email Spam

SpamYou may not know it but when you add a bunch of names to a to:, cc:, or bcc: field, many email providers (Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) assume that the message is spam. Some providers block spam completely; others just send it automatically to a spam or junk folder. That means your recipients may never even see your email.

Email Analytics

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 6.26.54 AMHave you ever wondered how many people open your email? How about how many people click the links you put in those emails? MailChimp provides you with a report that will tell you how many people open the email, who those people are, and when they opened it. It even shows you how many people clicked on each link.

Your goal should be to get as many opens and clicks as possible. It is impossible to improve on your results if you don’t know what the results are.

Expanding and Maintaining Your Email List

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 6.28.18 AMOrganizations that use the cut and paste method have no simple way to grow and update a mailing list. The list is usually kept in a document or spreadsheet. There is no simple way for people to subscribe, unsubscribe, or change their address. MailChimp provides sign-up forms you can put on your website. People can also change their information or unsubscribe from a link in the email you send them.

More Professional Emails

In case you didn’t know, people receive a lot of emails. How does yours measure up? MailChimp’s templates and simple drag-and-drop editor make it simple for you to create attractive, professional looking emails.

Mobile Friendly Emails

IMG_B96435B74300-1For the last e-newsletter I sent for the Rio Texas Conference, 54.1% opened the email on a mobile device. With over half of subscribers reading on their phone or tablet, I need to make sure that my emails look great on smaller screens. MailChimp’s template automatically optimizes for mobile devices. Even better, before I send a campaign, I can see what it will look like on a computer screen, tablet, or phone. I can even preview it in a specific inbox like Gmail or Outlook.

Scheduling Emails

Did you know that the time you send an email drastically impacts how many people will open it?

Learn more about the importance of scheduling and other factors that impact open rate in “Do You Want People to Open Those Emails?

Automated Emails

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 6.38.17 AMIf you want to grow your email list and create engagement with your readers, automation is the answer. MailChimp can automatically send a custom email to people when they sign up for your list, or when you add them manually. You can set it up to automatically resend an email to anyone who didn’t open it. You can even have it automatically send a custom email on someone’s birthday. The possibilities are endless, and once you set it up, you don’t need to think about it. MailChimp does all the work.

There you go. If you made a resolution to get serious about your church’s email, you are ready to proceed. MailChimp offers all the help you need to get your list imported, set up automations, and send your first email. Good luck!

 

3 comments

    1. I really like MailChimp though I was pretty happy with Constant Contact. The biggest hangup people have with MailChimp is that it is called MailChimp! I wonder if any churches are having luck with any other services.

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