Do you maintain a list of e-mail addresses for everyone in your church? If not, consider some ways you could benefit from this fast, effective, and inexpensive form of communication:
- Save money and time over snail mail
- Notify/remind volunteers of their upcoming times to serve
- Communiqué from the pastor (biblical insights, sermon notes, etc.)
- Alert congregation to the sermon topic and invite someone who could use it
- Send a regular newsletter
- Notify congregation of service cancellations (i.e., snow storm)
- Thank new visitors for coming and give contact info if they have questions
There are countless ways you can tap into the effectiveness of keeping a database of e-mail addresses for the people in your church, and there are several free and paid services available for maintaining it.
Before you even look into the various services available or invest in your own custom solution, it is a good idea to begin collecting e-mail addresses from the people in your church. If you don’t already include a space for people to write their e-mail address on everything you do (visitor cards, offering envelopes, sign-up sheets, etc.), now is a good time to start!
Perhaps you could even begin to organize your e-mail addresses into groups. Some suggestions include:
E-mail addresses can be put in multiple groups and categories.
Once you have your gathering process in order, you can start testing different services that may work for you. You might find in the beginning it is easier to keep your own Excel file and cut and paste from each group whenever you send an e-mail.
E-mail list services:
The big advantage to securing a service to do all the work is that you don’t have to worry about the maintenance of it. E-mail addresses change all the time and updating that can be quite a headache. Sending an e-mail becomes a breeze because you can login from anywhere in the world and send something to your list(s).
If you are going to use your lists as a way to promote or market the church, be careful in your approach, as junk mail has ruined even the noblest of efforts. The Email Doctor is loaded with helpful advice for e-mail marketing.
Bottom line: maintaining an e-mail list for your congregation is an excellent way to stay in touch with you congregation and save time and money in the process.