Churches are swamped with blog posts, podcasts, and conferences about how social media is a must for those that want to improve their church email marketing efforts, but it’s rare to hear anything about the power of building an email list.
But did you know that email still outperforms social media across most industries? Marketers spend quite a bit of time analyzing and optimizing their marketing channels. One marketing insider reports if you have 2,000 email subscribers, 2,000 Facebook fans, and 2,000 followers on Twitter, you can expect:
- 435 people will open your email (22%)
- 120 Facebook fans will see your message (6%)
- 40 Twitter followers will see your message (2%)
And the difference gets even sharper when you look at how many people actually click on your messages in each of these channels:
- Email marketing 3.57%
- Facebook 0.07%
- Twitter 0.03%
In terms of percentage, more people are reached and more people respond to messages through traditional emails than they do through social media.
Here are four more reasons why every church should seriously consider building an email list:
- Email lists are easy to build
You can create a lot of on-ramps to your email list. The obvious includes your contact cards and signup forms on your website, but there are other ways to get information. For instance, why not create an eBook that would be of particular interest to people in your community like:
- 10 Ways You Can Pray for the City of ________
- 20 Fun Things to Do on a Date Night in __________
- 5 Local Charities in ________ and How You Can Get Involved
Once you put together a piece, you can host it on your website and people can download it for free by providing you with some contact information.
Now you have local people you can communicate with regularly!
- Emails can be automated
Once people download your content, there are a lot of email services you can use to set up a campaign to follow up with them.
For instance, let’s say someone downloaded your eBook about ways they can pray for your community. You can immediately sign them up for a three-email campaign, which will give them more information about various local concerns and how your church is addressing them. These kinds of campaigns help people get a real sense of what sets your church apart.
- Email allows you to send messages to specific people
In many ways, your Facebook posts are a public bulletin board. You have some control over who sees your messages, but even if you pay to promote your material, Facebook is charging you based on the people that see it: They’re not always people that are going to benefit from hearing from you.
When you’re intentional about the way you build your email lists, you’re sending emails to specific people who have expressed interest in your ministry in the past.
- Analytics can help you create better messaging
Your ability to analyze an email trumps what you’re able to learn from a tweet or a Facebook post. With email analytics, you can learn about who’s reading your email, how many people are following up on your calls to action by clicking on links, when they’re reading them, and even what kinds of devices they’re using to read your emails.
All of this information can help you create subject lines to get more people to open your emails and click on your links. And that can make a huge difference in your marketing efforts.
Invest effort where it matters most
There’s no question that social media is an important way to build relationships with people online, but it would be a travesty to pass up on email opportunities. You don’t have to be an expert to get started reaching out to people with email, and you’ll be surprised at the impact it will have.