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Blog » 4 Ways to Engage Congregants During the Summer Slump

4 Ways to Engage Congregants During the Summer Slump

As the summer months approach, many churches experience a decline in attendance and engagement. Vacations, family activities, and other seasonal commitments often take precedence over regular church attendance. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch with your church throughout the summer. With thoughtful planning, the right tools, and creative strategies, you can keep churchgoers engaged and maintain a vibrant community – especially by leveraging the power of digital platforms.

Digital platforms can help you bridge the gap and maintain a strong connection with your congregants even while they are away from home. A well-executed strategy that includes email newsletters, social media, virtual events, and SMS text messaging ensures that your ministry remains a source of support, inspiration, and community during the slower months of the year.

Newsletters

Maintain regular communication with members to keep them informed about upcoming community events, sermon topics, volunteer days, and virtual opportunities for involvement. A great way to do this is with a monthly newsletter that includes these key elements:

  1. Clear and compelling subject line – Grab readers’ attention with a captivating subject line that encourages them to open your email.
  2. Interesting preheader – Provide a concise summary of your message’s content in the preheader, which appears after the sender’s name and subject line.
  3. Beautiful newsletter design – Create an appealing layout with a clear format that is easy to follow. Experiment with templates, color designs, fonts, graphics, and other elements to find the perfect fit.
  4. Relevant content for your audience – Tailor your newsletter to include information that is pertinent to your subscribers’ interests. Address topics that appeal to their wants or needs and align with your church. For example, you might want to include an inspirational reading of the month.
  5. Call to action (CTA) – Encourage readers to take action by including a CTA. Whether it’s visiting your website, making a gift, signing up to volunteer, or joining a prayer group, make sure your CTA is easily visible and straightforward to follow.

Social Media

Use the summertime as an opportunity to grow your online community. One of the key steps to staying active and consistent on social media is to develop a content strategy. Your strategy should include regular updates and keep your congregants involved in real-time happenings, whether you are featuring current photos from the season or promoting events and volunteer outings.

As part of your content strategy, it is also important to identify holidays, days of recognition and causes that are important to your followers. Be sure to post content on these days throughout the summer to increase engagement and stay top-of-mind.

While posting consistently is the first step to growing your online community, social media is also a place to encourage your followers to share their spiritual experiences on their own accounts, leave comments, and connect with you by tagging your account. Be responsive in the comments section and reply to direct messages to keep in touch with your congregants as they reach out to you.

Events and Special Programs

The summer is a time to embrace the season and take advantage of the warmer weather by hosting your events outdoors. There are many ways to gather the community, including:

Don’t forget to encourage volunteerism during this time period. Organize opportunities for your congregation to give back, whether you plan local volunteer outings or longer mission trips.

You can supplement in-person events with online versions to offer opportunities for members to stay connected spiritually while they are traveling on summer vacation. For example, use video platforms like YouTube to livestream prayer groups or worship services. These relaxed settings provide an excellent opportunity for church members to bond and build relationships outside the traditional church environment.

Virtual Outreach

Even while members of your congregation are away from home, they always have their smartphone in their pocket, and you can maintain a connection with them instantly by using SMS text messaging and sending automated re-engagement emails with personalization.

  • SMS – SMS text messaging offers a way to foster relationships by communicating information to your subscribers when and where they want to receive it. Use this method to share important event updates and offer opportunities for digital donations, or remind your subscribers about upcoming special programs. For example, you might send an SMS text message reminding your congregation about a virtual Bible study:
  • Automation – Identify congregants who have not interacted with your ministry in a while and create automated email campaigns aimed at re-engaging them. The re-engagement emails should include relevant content such as upcoming event announcements, program recaps, or volunteer spotlights. You can also share inspirational messages or resources to guide them on their spiritual journey.
  • Personalization – Personalized content helps your congregants feel like a valued part of your community even while they are away. By tailoring your communication based on their past behavior and interests, you can create a more meaningful connection. Incorporate their names in your messages to add an extra touch of personalization, making them feel seen and appreciated. Individualized content helps build stronger engagement and a sense of belonging among your congregants.

By combining in-person community gatherings with regular virtual touchpoints, the summer months can become a time of spiritual renewal and growth for both churchgoers and the church as a whole. See how you can use Constant Contact’s tools to support this growth and make a difference in your congregation.

Constant Contact has all the digital marketing tools you need in one place. Easily grow your audience and engage existing members with industry-leading email marketing, powerful contact growth tools, automation, SMS text messaging, social media marketing, and reporting. By integrating with ACS Technologies, Constant Contact makes it easy to connect with your congregation regardless of where they are.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact delivers for small businesses and nonprofits with powerful tools that simplify and amplify digital marketing. Whether it’s fundraising, growing your donor base, or engaging an audience, we deliver the performance and guidance to build strong connections and generate powerful results. For more information, visit www.constantcontact.com.