Want to know a secret?
I worked in the marketing department of a church in California for nine months…and I had no idea what I was doing.
I had some experience writing content and copy, but it was pretty limited. I could write a blog article on the history of revival in Los Angeles, but I didn’t know how to write an email that could get a response from our 1,500-person church community.
Six years later–including two years of training from a bonafide copywriting guru–and I now know a few things about writing content that gets a response.
I also know that churches that know how to communicate well are more likely to meet their goals, whether that’s to raise funds for a new church building or to lead a church wide mission trip.
In the following article, I’ll talk about how churches can learn to create better written communications, namely emails.
But first, let’s take a look at why great written communication is so critical to church.
Benefits of an Awesome Church Email
As a church leader or pastor, you may have underestimated the power of an awesome church email.
Not only that, but with all that goes on in a church, thoughtfully writing an email can take the backseat to more urgent tasks.
But the truth is, knowing how to write an effective email–or text message, or fundraising letter, or church postcard–can make all the difference when it comes to church engagement and participation.
Sending an effective email can help increase:
- Participation in small groups, prayer meetings, and even weekend services
- Online giving, including recurring tithes and one-time gifts
- Buy-in to your church’s mission, values, and opportunities
Ultimately, writing better communications to your church helps you to cut through the noise and drive your church members to respond to opportunities that will serve them–like signing up for a small group, registering for a conference, or partnering with your church in generosity.
If you’re not getting the response you’d like, keep reading.
7 Ways to Write a Better Church Email
There’s no shortcut to becoming a good writer, but there are guidelines that will help you write more effectively.
Here are 7 guidelines for writing better emails to your church community.
- Use a messaging tool.
A messaging tool like Tithe.ly Messaging won’t make you into a brilliant wordsmith. But it will help you spend less time on formatting and deploying your emails–and more time on actually crafting your message to the church.
Tithe.ly Messaging helps you to send beautiful, high-quality emails to your church members and visitors with minimal effort. With preset templates designed just for churches, you can create a professional-looking email in minutes. Then, you can spend the rest of your time writing an email that will actually make an impact.
- “Start with the why.”
Remember: You’re never writing an email just to remind your church community about an upcoming event, or talk about a new Bible study, or ask people to donate to a special fund.
You’re asking people to dive into deeper discipleship with Jesus and help advance the Kingdom–or whatever your church’s mission happens to be.
In the end, the core mission of your church is your “why” for every email or piece of communication.
Remembering that will help you to write better, more effective content that communicates your heart and drives people to action.
(Thanks to author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek for this brilliant piece of advice).
- Remember, it’s not about you.
Getting people to engage with your church isn’t about convincing them how great you are (!)
Whether they are new visitors or long-term members, your contacts want to be invited into something exciting that will be personally transformative.
In other words, they want to know how responding “yes” to an opportunity will impact them.
Donald Miller calls this “the hero’s journey.” It’s about leading your target audience (in this case, your church) on a journey that positions them (not you) as the hero.
Of course, Jesus is the hero to all our stories. But inviting others into greater purpose and transformed identity is Biblical (1 Peter 2:9). When you focus your communications on your church members, and not your church, then you’ve hit the mark.
- Keep it simple.
Simple, clear language is best for helping your email list quickly learn new information and respond.
Whether you’re giving vision for a specific fundraising event, communicating a change in services times/locations, or addressing a current event, avoid writing sentences or paragraphs that are too long. Instead, break up information into small chunks, lists, and bullet points.
With that, choose clear language that’s easy to understand. Your email newsletter is not the time and place to showcase your seminary degree.
- Call your church to action.
Every email should give an opportunity to respond. Whether that’s a “Register Now” button, Giving link, or even a “follow” on social media, your email should prompt the reader to take action.
Make sure to include at least one button (made easy in Tithe.ly Messaging) that drives your reader to respond. And don’t wait until the end of your message to invite action. Many of your readers won’t read through until the end of the email, so don’t hesitate to throw in a button at the top of the email too.
- Be consistent.
In all your church marketing and communications, strive to use the same language, voice, and tone.
What do I mean by that?
If you’re more of a formal church, stick to formal language. (Hello, We’d be honored to have you, Join us) If you’re a more casual community, then stick to less-formal lingo (Hey! You’re invited, Show up with a friend)
That also applies to words you use for your weekend service (Church? Service? Mass?), church members (Member? Parishioner? Congregant?), and even the Bible (Bible? The Word? Scripture?)
In any case, be consistent in your language and tone. That not only helps build clarity, but helps build culture.
- Remember your audience.
Who are you writing to? Is your typical member a retiree, post-graduate student, or married couple raising young children?
While most churches do span several generations, it’s wise to remember your core demographic and make sure that your email is written in language that will engage the majority of your members.
You may be a 35-year old pastor, but if your average congregant is 65+, then you’ll want to write in such a way that’s relevant to them.
Email Your Church with Tithe.ly
Tithe.ly is an all-in-one platform that makes it easy (and inexpensive) to send beautiful, high-impact emails to your community regularly. To learn more about using Tithe.ly to connect with your community, click here.