Marketing
November 22, 2021

Email Marketing for Churches: 9 Tips for Crafting Better Church Emails

Email Marketing for Churches: 9 Tips for Crafting Better Church Emails

If you think email marketing is an old school way of marketing, think again! 

It may take you by surprise to find out that email marketing triumphs over all other marketing channels with a 4x the ROI than any other marketing channel. 

I know churches aren't looking to make money, but this statistic still shows the POWER email marketing can have on grabbing attention and nurturing people you are reaching.

Plus, through email marketing you aren’t nurturing your community on a “borrowed” platform that you don’t own. 

Through email marketing you have an incredible opportunity to nurture and build trust with your subscribers so that they get connected and stay connected with your church. 

When I say “email marketing” you may be thinking of the traditional church email newsletter. 

But you need to know, church email marketing is muchhhh more powerful than your basic newsletter and is the most powerful marketing channel for churches (and all organizations) to leverage.

To start creating emails that build the like, know and trust factor with your church read below for 9 Tips for Crafting Better Church Emails.

Table of Contents

  1. Take Advantage of the Power of Plain Text Emails
  2. Send Emails As a Real Person Not as an Organization
  3. Spark Curiosity by Telling a Story
  4. Consistency is Key 
  5. Use a Single Call to Action 
  6. Use GIFs
  7. Add Links to Your Images
  8. Optimize Your Footer
  9. Make Sure Your Email is Mobile Friendly 

Church Email Marketing Tip #1: Take Advantage of the Power of Plain Text Emails 

Plain text emails are plain ol’ email that looks like you sent it personally to an individual person. It has no images, design or pretty fonts. 

We’re used to thinking a newsletter has to be this fancy, impressive design template with images and videos, but that actually may not be serving your purpose as a church anyways. 

Sending a plain text email improves your deliverability because they are supported by more email clients, are quicker to load and therefore reduces the chances your email will end up in a spam folder. 

On top of that the email appears more like a personal message or one-on-one conversation so your subscribers may be more likely to read what you wrote and to respond!

Make sure to only have 1-2 sentences per line break for easy scanning and write in short simple sentences. 

Church Email Marketing Tip #2: Send Emails As a Real Person Not as An Organization 

Your goal with sending marketing emails should be to sound like a real person emailing one friend. 

Make sure your email address signifies it is from a real person. Instead of info@examplechurch.com make sure you have emails set up like danielle@examplechurch.com 

This is more personable and make people feel like they are talking to a real person instead of an organization spamming them with email. 

You’ll also want to make sure that the “sender name” is a real person’s name as well. We all check who an email is from, before opening it.

This is proven by data.


45% of subscribers say they are likely to read your email because of who it’s from, 33% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line, 13.10% based on the value you are offering them and 7.1% based on the intro paragraph. 

You are better off using a noticeable person's name, than your church name in your email “sender” section because the “sender name” drives email opens and engagement. 

Church Email Marketing Tip #3: Spark Curiosity by Telling a Story

In your subject line or first line of your email, think about how you can spark curiosity so that people have to finish reading to find out more. 

Humans love completion, so if something is incomplete, or we get an incomplete idea or story, we will be intrigued to read more. 

A person should open the email to satisfy their curiosity!

In your emails, focus on telling an interesting short story to keep the email personal and not only focused on whatever information you are wanting to get out.

When you write your emails come from a place of service and adding value to your subscribers. 

Ask yourself: How can you teach something through a story? What story can you share to add value to their lives, make them laugh or make them feel like you understand them? 

By changing your writing approach, you’ll nurture and connect deeper with your readers. They will feel like they know you and your church in a more personal way.

Church Email Marketing Tip #4: Consistency Is Key 

A key difference between sending out a church email newsletter and church email marketing is having an overall long term strategy, that is more than only sharing the “bulletin”. 

Sending out a weekly email that provides value to your subscribers will help to nurture them until they are ready to take their next steps or just continue to nurture them as a valued part of your church community. 

Here’s how the pros do it: they create one piece of content per week (like a blog, youtube video or podcast). In the case of a church, this would be your Sunday message! 

Then they send an email related to the piece of content, to intrigue their subscribers to click on the link inside and consume their content. 

They do this week, after week, after week. 

Once they are ready to “sell” something or make a “big ask”, their community is already warmed up through tons of value packed emails that have helped them in some way so they are more likely to click on whatever that “big ask” may be. 

For your church, the “big ask” may be inviting your subscribers to Christmas service, a class you provide or to join a small group.

The key is consistency, never missing a week. When you provide value every week, your subscribers begin to know, like and trust you and your church. 

Church Email Marketing Tip #5: Use a Single Call to Action 

Most church newsletters have WAY too much information and way too many “Calls to Action” or CTAs. A call to action is the ONE thing you are asking your subscribers to do in your email.

If you have too many Call to Actions people will be overwhelmed and confused and more likely to close the email up and move on.

Make sure you are only asking your subscribers to do one thing for example: clicking a link to head to your latest message or podcast or registering for one event.

Don’t feel like you need to fit everything you are doing as a church in one email. 

Each email should be sent to the appropriate group of people, with only ONE goal in mind. 

This will keep your subscriber focused and will increase their likelihood of engaging with your email. 

Church Email Marketing Tip #6: Use GIFs

Brands that use GIFs in marketing see a 43% hike in click rate and a 103% increase in conversion rate. WOW! 

The reason is simple. Most people are visual learners.

GIFs not only grab your reader's attention with motion, but they add personality and relatability to your email. When people can say “I totally relate to that!” you’ve captured their attention and they will keep reading or see what your email is all about.

You can grab them at giphy.com and add them to your email.

Church Email Marketing Tip #7: Add Links to Your Images

When you place images in your emails, like event graphics or GIFs more sure to add your Call to Action link to the image. 

People naturally click on images, so when they click on your image, it will take them to where you are wanting them to go. 

This is a great strategy to get more clicks and engagement through your emails.

Sneaky, right? 

Church Email Marketing Tip #8: Optimize Your Footer

Most people scroll right on down to the bottom of the email to see what's there before they move on. 

So you need to optimize your footer by adding your contact details, all your social buttons, your website URL, and an easy way to unsubscribe.

This way, people can easily get to where they need to go. And hopefully, it’s not the unsubscribe button. 

I’m a fan of funny unsubscribe messages like these to give people a good taste on their way out or convince them to stay a while longer.

  • We don’t like to say goodbye but if you want to leave us you can unsubscribe here.
  • This is the way out but please don't go.
  • If you are looking for the Unsubscribe button, we saw it here somewhere
  • You aren't looking for the Unsubscribe button, are ya?
  • Don't go, we miss you already!
  • Are you going away? No, I'm not crying, I've got something in my eye. Unsubscribe here.

Feel free to copy these!

Church Email Marketing Tip #9: Make Sure Your Email Is Mobile Friendly

1.7 billion people check emails on their mobile devices! 

So making sure your email is mobile friendly is crucial to reaching your subscribers.

Here are some best practices to keep your emails mobile friendly: 

  • Keep your subject line short and sweet so your message doesn't get cut off before your communicate it fully. Mobile devices display 25-30 character’s so 5-7 words is a safe bet.
  • Optimize your preheader text. The preheader text is more prominent on mobile devices so use it to emphasize what you said in your headline to get higher opens.
  • Use a plain text email so your subscribers can consume your content easily. It needs to be a single column layout and clutter free.
  • Make sure your copy is scannable with brief paragraphs, bullet points and headers. 
  • Add your CTA towards the top of your email if it is a longer email.

Conclusion

There you have it.

Church email marketing will lead to greater opportunities to nurture the people who’ve visited your church and to connect with people online one step further than social media.

The goal on your social media channels should be to get people on your email list because people on your email list are your real community. They are the people who are one step closer than those who only follow you on social media. 

Now you’ve learned my 9 Tips for Crafting Better Church Emails in order to build your like, know and trust factor with your subscribers: 

  1. Take Advantage of the Power of Plain Text Emails
  2. Send Emails As a Real Person Not as an Organization
  3. Spark Curiosity by Telling a Story
  4. Consistency is Key 
  5. Use a Single Call to Action 
  6. Use GIFs
  7. Add Links to Your Images
  8. Optimize Your Footer
  9. Make Sure Your Email is Mobile Friendly
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