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Four Questions Religious Organizations Should Ask Before Sending Their Email Newsletter

Ryan Pinkham July 16, 2015

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Whenever you’re sending emails to your members, you’re fighting for attention. They’re looking at a steady stream of messages, so you need yours to stand out.

So before you hit send on your next newsletter or announcement, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are your subject lines compelling?

A subject line like “February Newsletter” isn’t going to get your readers’ attention. It’s just not exciting — it doesn’t tell members what’s in the email, why they should take the time to open it, or how this month’s newsletter is different from last month’s edition.

Instead, try any of these subject line templates:

  • [#] volunteers needed for [Name of Event]
  • Your donation helped [#] people last month
  • [#] ways you can get involved this month
  1. Do you have interesting visuals in your emails?

A lot of people use the preview panel when reading emails, and if they’re on a mobile phone, they’ll only see a small portion of the top of the message. Get their attention by using real photos of members or a program in action. People will relate to those images. They might know those people, that building, or a place in the local area, and that might get them to open the email to read more.

  1. Is the email content useful?

When you’re sending emails to your members on a regular basis, it can be difficult to keep your information fresh and useful for your audience.

One of the best ways to keep your email content from going stale is to ask people what they’re most interested in reading. You’re integrating with the people on your email list on a regular basis, so take the opportunity to check in and see what they think of the information you’re sending out.

Take their suggestions seriously and use the feedback you receive to tweak your email strategy.

  1. Is this the right frequency and timing for my email?

Are you sending emails at a time when your audience is available to read them? If people don’t have access to check email during the day — using a smartphone or a desktop — they’re going to look at their inbox at the beginning and end of the day, and only view the important messages. The rest will get deleted because their emails are piling up.

Also consider how often you are sending your emails. If your audience is receiving too many, they may stop opening your messages or unsubscribe altogether. Try testing different times and dates, and use your email reporting to find which schedule is getting the best open rates.

Put these tips to work.

Once you’ve asked these questions, you’ll get a good picture of how to effectively build relationships between your organization and your loyal members and supporters.

Look for opportunities to make small improvements each time you send out. Your members will notice the difference!

Ryan Pinkham is a Content Manager at Constant Contact. He wants to hear your story and learn the creative and innovative ways that you’re marketing your business. He’s worked in small businesses his entire life and now is excited to work with them.

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