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Getting Your Church to Open Your Easter Emails | Easter QuickWin #5

Getting Your Church to Open Your Easter Emails | Easter QuickWin #5

And…. SEND

You have spent the past hour writing the perfect Easter email for your church.

Full of all the important information you need you share.

It holds everything your congregation needs to plan their Easter weekend.

When to attend. How to serve. Everything….

But then it hits you. What if they don’t open it?

What if it goes to the Gmail equivalent of purgatory? The dreaded Promotional Tab.

All that work… gone.

Statistically, churches and non-profits see email open rates of 25-26%.

Considered high by email standards, it’s not enough. We are sharing the most important message the world has ever heard.

We need people to read it…

Getting our email read begins with the subject line.

Here’s a simple tool to help you…

Get your church to open your Easter emails

Easter Marketing QuickWin highlights:

 

  • A well written email subject line is the first step to increasing email open rates
  • An unopened email doesn’t help anyone
  • Use a headline analyzer to help write email subject lines your church will open

 

Writing The Perfect Easter Email | Easter QuickWin #6

Writing The Perfect Easter Email | Easter QuickWin #6

Does email ever feel like both a blessing and a curse to you?

 

Blessing – It delivers needed information, interesting facts, and news

 

Curse –  The potential for ads, junk mail, and spam

 

Despite the potential pitfalls, recent statistics put email response rates higher than social media.

 

As much as 40 times higher… and it doesn’t’ appear to be slowing.

 

But merely sending email with a compelling subject line isn’t enough.

 

To be effective, your email content must deliver valuable information that warrants a response.

 

Here’s:

How to Write the Perfect Easter Email

Easter Marketing QuickWin Highlights:

Say less in your emails and leave them wanting more

  • Emails that over inform, under perform
  • Provide specific, detailed information in short doses
  • Provide a link for more information

 

The Anatomy of a Perfect Church Email

  • Header Image (branding)
  • Inspire with a Story (3-4 sentences)
  • Inform with Details (bullets or synopsis)
  • Invite to Respond (clearly tell them what action to take)

 

Easter Marketing Guide - Anatomy of a Perfect Church Email

5 Part Promotion Plan to Increase Christmas Attendance

5 Part Promotion Plan to Increase Christmas Attendance

Only 5 Sundays ’til Christmas. Is your church ready?

If you’re like most of the churches I’ve worked with, by this point, you’re well on the way to planning your event.

You know what you want to do. You’ve just got to get it done.

Assuming you’re well on the way to planning. What are you doing to make sure your community attends? Do you have a Christmas promotion plan?

While the question may seem ridiculous.

It is Christmas after all, and families go to church around  the holidays. Right?

It’s one you need to consider.

There are some simple things you can do to increase attendance and connect your community…. but it takes planning.

Since time is in short supply, I’ve created a Christmas promotion plan for you.

It’s based on my 12 years in church communications and will get your message…

  • Heard multiple times
  • Seen in various forms
  • Delivered in time for people to plan to attend

Here is your 5 part Christmas promotion plan

1) Verbal – Start 5 weeks before

Statistically, people need to hear about something 3-7 times before they respond. With the typical church goer only attending 2-3 times a month we need to maximize the number of times we announce opportunities.

Don’t just share the when, where, how of your event. Take time to let people know how participating will affect their lives. If they come, how will they be impacted?

Your goal here is to not only inform them, but to inspire them. If they see the importance, they become an advocate for you and will be more likely to invite someone else.

2) Print – Start 4 weeks before

There is a fine line with print. Too early and people forget about it. Too late and they’ve already made plans.

Start talking about Christmas in your bulletin 4-5 weeks before your event. Letting people know details and filling in information.

Make it easy for your church to invite friends by providing flyers or invite cards 3-4 weeks before your event. This gives them time to make connections and saves them the embarrassment of forgetting details.

At the same time, send a postcard to your church family. Reiterate the details and let them know about the invitations for their friends. This reminds those who’ve been at church and informs those who’ve missed recently.

Your goal is to deliver information but also to hint at what to expect. Set the tone for them so they know what they’re getting in to. If it’s a serious event than speak more seriously, if a lighthearted opportunity than be fun.

3) Web – Start 4 weeks before

Your website is the digital front door of your church. Most visitors will visit you online before they ever walk in your building.

Make the most of it by sharing about your event and what they can expect when they arrive. Use the space as an opportunity to break down mental barriers that people might have about attending a church event.

4) Email – Start 2-3 weeks before

Depending on the day of your event, plan to send several emails over the course of 2-3 weeks. This is a great place to repurpose what you’ve used in print already so you don’t have to start from scratch.

The key is to remember that people live busy lives. You want to deliver the important details, set a tone for what to expect and let them know why attending is important. Encourage them to bring a friend and leave them wanting more. Better to deliver several emails, people want to read, then a long winded one just because you had the room.

5) Social Media – Start 2-3 weeks before

Use your social media as a way to spread the excitement of what is coming. Minimize posts about the when, where, how of your event. Instead, build excitment with posts about last minute planning, rehearsals, volunteers and what to expect. This is your opportunity to make your Christmas event personal and relational. Link to event details for those who want to know more and encourage followers to share your content.

Following this promotion plan will help ensure event success.

For some, I know this list is enough. I also know, some people would rather have a check list to follow or an actual calendar. So, I’ve created an automated one for you. It takes all these items into account and even includes suggested delivery dates for your planning.

You can download the Excel sheet here…

Christmas Promo AutoScheduler

Watch this 37 second video to see how easy it is to use.

I’d love to know how this resource has helped. Let me know in the comments below.

Email: How to reach your church through their INBOX

Email: How to reach your church through their INBOX

Let’s face it, there is nothing glamorous about email.

For many,  it is a necessary evil that invades our space with info we’d rather ignore.

But, done well, email gives churches a way to tell their story in a user-friendly way that members are already engaged with.

The question is how do we do it well? What steps can we take to keep cost low and deliver a quality email people want to open and read?

We need to understand…

The Power of Email

Email is the communication medium of choice for several reasons.

  • low cost
  • ease of setup
  • its personal (goes to the user)
  • its part of our everyday lives
  • its transactional (people can interact with you)
  • email has nearly 3x as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined (2.9 billion)  statistic from https://blog.kissmetrics.com/email-crushes-social-media/

A look at the total emails sent every day vs the number of social media posts its even more staggering.

Email_infographic

 

With reach far exceeding social media, email has the potential to be a powerful communication tool. If we know how to use it.

Unfortunately, email has some…

Challenges

Personal email plans, like the kind you get from Yahoo, MSN, or Google, are created to send messages to small groups of people. Try to send a large group message and you run into trouble.

Email providers track every message that passes through their systems. They don’t read them, but they measure…

  • number of recipients
  • percentage of emails opened
  • number of links clicked
  • number of undeliverable emails (bad addresses, typos, etc.)
  • number of emails marked spam

Each of these areas has a point value assigned to it. Below a specified point value your email goes through. Hit the next level and your emails go into the junk mail folder. Exceed the final level and they label you a spammer and block your account.

If you’ve ever fought to get your account unblocked its not fun. My IT buddy has done it several times and its a long, ugly process.

Solutions

There are two options to help get around this.

Option 1: Church Email

  • Create a dedicated email address that is only used for church communications
  • Write your email
  • Format your content
  • Copy and paste names out of your contact list
  • Send the message to a small number of recipients, every 5-10 minutes, until your list is complete. (Every provider has different rules for number of emails and time between matching subject lines.)
  • Use a tracking service, like Sidekick, to make sure people are opening your emails ($10 a month)
  • Track and purge bad addresses from your contact list regularly
  • Pray you don’t get banned

Option 2: Email Service

  • Import your email addresses
  • Pick a template
  • Write your email
  • Send your message
  • Let the service track
    • opens
    • reads
    • clicks
    • bad addresses
  • Watch your email analytics to know what is working and what’s not
  • Contact tech support when you need help

Most likely, Option 1 is a slightly different angle on your current approach. Before you discount Option 2 take a look at the breakdown.

Email_infographic2

 

If you have fewer than 2000 email addresses in your list MailChimp is free. You get access to their basic tools and analytics with options to upgrade if you need extras. They take the headache out of Option 1 and keep your email from getting flagged. And, for the price, you can’t beat it.

Email is the communication medium of choice. While I haven’t addressed the importance of writing engaging content,  I hope this post helps you share your story in budget friendly ways and avoid the most common technical issues.

 

This post appeared first on ChurchTechToday.com