Digital Outreach: Email Marketing in Ministry, part 3

Published on: December 1, 2012

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In Part 1 and Part 2 of our series on email marketing, we highlighted the basics of email marketing best practices and how to get the most out of your email marketing with tried and true email marketing strategies.

Now, with a strong email marketing program, you’re ready to grow your email marketing list. There are a dozen ways to bring the members of your spiritual community into your online community.

Important reminder: a basic email marketing best practice is to get permission from your new email subscribers. Don’t add any/all email addresses just because you have them. If someone is surprised to find your email in their inbox, they may mark you as spam. Your best bet is to send your emails to those who ask for them by signing up.

4 Ways to Build Your Email Subscribers’ List:

  • Have printed sign-up forms during fellowship. Any time your congregants gather to socialize—especially before or after Sunday service—prominently display a sign-up form and call attention to it. Ask people to sign up! Include a strong reason why they should sign up, such as explaining what content they’ll receive: event announcements, special workshops, suggested prayers or meditations or other resources.
  • Add a sign-up form to your website and be sure it’s prominent and fairly short (2-4 fields). Remember to give reasons why they should sign up.
  • Invite your social media audiences to subscribe via email. Only 10-15% of your social media audience will see each of your posts, but up to 40% or more of your email subscribers will read your emails. Cross-promote your email and social communication to grow both audiences and reach more people more of the time.
  • Include a checkbox to subscribe on all registration forms for seminars and retreats. If another group is hosting their retreat in your spiritual center, ask the event hosts if you can invite their attendees to subscribe. For example, if Unity Retreats hosts a retreat at Unity Village, perhaps Unity Village Chapel could have an email or social sign-up onsite at the retreat check-in. Work with all your spiritual partners to help grow each other’s reach!

After these four are in place, you can venture into things like QR codes in your bulletins (more on QR codes in an upcoming article) or spend some money to mail a letter or postcard mailing to your community members. It may be worth investing money to ask for an email address so you can send them more info in the future and less expensively through email.

Ogun Holder
Rev Ogun Holder serves as the senior minister of Unity on The River in Amesbury, MA. He is the author of Rants to Revelations: Unabashedly Honest Reflections on Life, Spirituality, and the Meaning of God and co-host of the Pub Theology Live podcast.
Jessica Best
Digital Marketing Evangelist at emfluence
Jessica Best is digital marketing evangelist at emfluence, a digital marketing firm in Kansas City, Mo.

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