Ok, so perhaps these aren’t secret. But they are a secret if you are never made aware of them. Below is a list of some of the best, current, studies and research I have found that are both current and applicable to churches and non profits. If there is anyway I can help you or your organization achieve your goals in communication, send me an email. Now, on to the secrets. I’ve included a potential action item that you our your team may consider.
How to Build Large Email Lists
Having the ability to communicate your message to your audience is key to any organizations success. In an ever-increasing online world, it is important to be able to reach your audience through email. people are on the go, not always able to attend a live event. The importance of building large and effective email lists is now a must for any organization. Here are some tools you may consider using to help build your email lists. Again, I’m not endorsing any strategy, but these are options that have proven effective. As always, your content should be good enough that people will want to read it.
- How To Quickly Build Your Email List with Social Media Contests
- This is a great resource on how to use contests to increase engagement and newsletter subscriptions. An important take away is your contest,while offering a potential reward, should also somehow help offer some type of tool or service that is beneficial to the participant.
How are you driving engagement through your website and/or email. Have you even considered creating engagement. Sit with your team and create some options that you feel may add value and engagement to your subscribers. Tip…Ask them.
- The (Easy) Secret To 1,375% More Subscribers
- This is all about using a pop up subscription box. Some people hate these, some people put up with them. (I’m currently testing one on this site) Regardless of philosophy, pop up subscription boxes have been shown to increase newsletter sign ups.
I have yet to see a church incorporate this feature, but teamed up with a great free resource, I think it would work!
Important Studies about Email You Should Know
- The Science of Email Marketing: The Evolution of Email
- This is a long slide share, but it is well worth the read. I would recommend communication teams highlight which slides are relevant to their organization and make necessary changes. He addresses everything from using an ampersand (&) in your emails, to what words provide higher click-through rates (CTR), to timing of emails, to the impact that adding a visual to your email makes. This is a thorough document, well worth the read…and take notes.
Have you or someone on your team recently studied your email newsletter CTR, subscription rates and what type of headlines have generated the best responses?
- How To Email Your List
- A super helpful email dissecting how often one should email your subscribers and the impact emailing frequency has on unsubscription rates and sales. In the non-profit world, unsubscription rates to people responding to some kind of a call to action.
At the cost of a few unsubscribes, would it be worth it if a few more people signed up for that important church event? perhaps think about emailing two reminders out on the day of an event.
I think this is something almost every church and non-profit could learn from. Here is a great visual to get you started on A/B test and in the process learn about what makes a great landing page. By the way, i think landing pages are a great tool for launching sermon series. Don’t just add a generic page ob your website, create a new page completely dedicated to your new series.
Think about what exposure and effectiveness your organization could gain if you had a volunteer or staff person help you run some A?B testing on your website.
More on A/B Testing
I love testing and finding just the perfect marketing approach. However, I love taking action even more. The danger with A/B testing is that many organizations get stuck in the minutia of details and they keep testing, testing, testing and never end up doing. Here’s a good reference for how what you should test/change when you start your next round of A/B testing.
On Building Trust
Many organizations give away some sort of freebie to entice you to sign up to their newsletter. They assume the goal is to get you to sign up. They’re wrong. In fact, the main reason is to build trust with their audience. Example: If I give away something for free and you find it useful, it helps you to trust my opinion and my product (if I were to sell something) It’s the law of reciprocity at work. Check out more below.
How would giving away a free, useful, resource to your city help your church or organization build trust?
On Writing Content
Write From Their Perspective
It’s so easy to write content from your perspective vs your clients. Take for example a company writing sales letters trying to sell all the reasons why company A should hire their services. This rarely works. In this article, even though it’s a sales based letter, it relates well to all non profits as well. W
What is a common pain that society is facing in your city. How are you acknowledging it. How are you highlighting the “real” problem” How are you addressing it?
More on Great Content
Another great resource on what to consider when writing good blogging content. However, these best practices transcend just blogging they should also inform what and how you write when sending a church email or newsletter.
Create a standard template when sending out church or department newsletters. Ensure that you and/or your team are asking the appropriate questions when writing any content. Example> How to capitalize headlines, how and when to use sub headings, do we include introduction paragraphs or not, what about pictures and visuals, etc. What is your list when sending out an email? Does your team know?
Some good Old fashion Online Resources
Some known and unknown resources you may consider when helping you launch a new online presence/business.
For churches, think about how you could use these in the context of spreading the good news of the Gospel to your city. For instance, what are some of the emails you should or could send after someone subscribes or sign ups to an event or training at your church. (The confirmation email doesn’t count)
Do you have some other resources you have found helpful in church communication? Please let me know, but even more importantly post so that our peers can learn as well. What did you think of some of these articles? If there is anyway I can help you or your organization achieve your goals in communication? send me an email.
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