Your ministry has a lot of competition in the email inbox.
In addition to businesses and brands, 71 percent of nonprofits have reported that they’re doing more marketing now than two years ago.
How can you make sure your ministry’s communication stands out and captures your audience’s attention?
Here are 5 the fundamentals of email marketing you need to know:
1) Grow a healthy email list
The key to growing a healthy email list is simple: You have to ask people to sign up and set expectations for how you will communicate with them.
In addition to asking for contact information at your organization, you can include a link to your signup form on your website and on your social media profiles.
Paper promotions work too — add information about your mailing list to your congregation’s pamphlets and flyers. Make it clear what kind of information you send your members and how often.
2) Create great content
If you want your messages to get read, they need to be relevant to your audience. Make sure that you know what your audience values.
What type of information would they like to receive in their inbox? Maybe they’d like an overview of upcoming events, pictures from a recent fundraiser, or a personal message from your ministry.
Whatever their interests are, make sure you’re not overwhelming your audience with too much information.
We recently found that organizations that include 25 lines of text or less in an email receive the most engagement.
3) Build a beautiful email
Create the best visual first impression by making sure your emails look great in the inbox. Start off right by choosing a mobile-friendly, one-column template so it can be easily read by people viewing your email on their smartphones.
Make sure that you’re using your logo and the colors that you use in the rest of your marketing, so that your congregation is immediately recognizable. Use images that feature members of your community so your messages feel unique to your congregation.
4) Increase your engagement
Your subject line and your timing may have an impact on how many people open your emails. Keep your subject lines short, between four to seven words, to avoid getting cut off in the mobile inbox.
Your email also has a better chance of being opened if it lands in your subscribers’ inbox on the day and time that works best for them. Once you start sending emails, you’ll have enough data for a suggested best day and time to send to your audience, based on their behavior.
If you’re looking for a good place to start, our research shows religious organizations typically receive the highest readership with emails sent on Thursdays at 11 a.m.
5) Track your results
Each time you send you can tell how many people opened your message. Measuring engagement is important because it helps you understand what your audience is interested in and allows you to identify who is most engaged with your congregation.
Focus on these 5 email marketing fundamentals to reach and engage your community better than ever!
This guest blog was provided by Miranda Paquet of Constant Contact. Amanda believes in the really big impact of really small businesses and is am constantly inspired by Constant Contact’s amazing customers and can’t get enough of their success stories! You can find her on Twitter @mirandapaquet.