I haven’t written a specific ‘How To’ post for a while. But having just been through the process again myself I thought it would be good to share some brief ideas about how to create your own church email newsletter (Bulletin). If budget is an issue you can actually create your email newsletter for free. Some of you have marketing budgets too which is fantastic and this post is just as relevant for you as I operate on a budget too. Email can be a great marketing tactic if done well, more on that later on.
Email newsletters have been around for quite some time. Some say that email marketing is dead. I would strongly disagree with that statement. If you have good quality content that is worth reading, people will read it. Every email marketing solution has analytics which is the truth teller whatever your personal opinion is.
But before you make any tactical marketing decision about using an email newsletter you need to ask yourself the fundamental reason why you need a email newsletter. The why needs to be signed off on before the how. I’ve written before about what happens when you have tactics, but no marketing strategy. Well worth a read.
1. Scoping discovery
Decide what you want to say in your newsletter and what you want people to do as a result. Make a decision on how often you will email it out.
Find out if you have an existing email list, if you don’t have a current email list you going to need tell your church about it and provide an easy subscribe option.
Investigate which email marketing solution is best for you. Think functionality first. MailChimp is great if you want a free church email newsletter solution. They have a ‘forever’ free solution for up to 2,000 subscribers. We use BombBomb because it syncs in with our church database system (FellowshipOne) and helps us track and map subscribers without duplicating another database system. Constant Contact is another platform I have used in the past which I rate highly.
Start sketching out roughly what you want your newsletter to look in blocks of information. Don’t worry about colours or fonts. That will come. Think what is the most important content you want to share with your audience.
There are plenty of existing templates you can add your logo to for free, or update with minimal tweaking. If you have the budget you can also have a custom-made designed email newsletter. My recommendation is that your email newsletter should be part of your brand identity, the more aligned brand-wise, the better.
Remember when writing your newsletter that brevity is your friend. Writing for the web is very different to writing for print (Check out these 7 tips on web copywriting)
If you have had your own newsletter designed then you will need it coded and set up in your email marketing solution. There are many graphic designers who are also coders that can do this.
6. Launch, measure and review
So you’ve got your email list. You have designed, developed and written your first email newsletter and you hit send. Well done! Now is the time to review your analytics. Most solutions will tell you where people are clicking through, which means what content they are finding useful. You can revise the content accordingly.
Got it? Great. Did I miss something or do you have questions? I’d love to help, comment below. If you want any professional assistance with your newsletter I’m happy to help. Contact me here.