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10 Ways Your Church’s Email Marketing is Hindering Your Goals

Email is a popular way to promote upcoming events, share announcements and updates, build community, and encourage involvement in church life. However, email campaigns can be ineffective or even harmful if they are not well-crafted. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 email mistakes you might be making and how to fix them. By following these steps, you can ensure that your campaigns are effective and engaging.

1. You aren’t effectively capturing email addresses from congregants.

Your emails aren’t going to reach the right people if your email list is out of date. Remove email addresses that bounce back and make sure new email addresses are added as they are received. Grow your email list by setting up multiple opportunities for congregants to provide contact information. Ask new members for their contact info as they sign up for your mailing list and give people the opportunity to provide an email address on your website, in worship services, on forms they fill out, and at events. The more interested people you can send emails to, the better.

2. You’re sending too many emails.

Email is a very important communication tool but sending too many emails gives a spammy impression and will cause congregants to lose interest. In fact, a study by Campaign Monitor found that 43% of email subscribers say they unsubscribe from brands or announcements because they send too many emails. So, what’s the solution? First, only send emails to people who have opted in to receive them. Next, look at how many emails you send on a regular basis and think about whether you might be reaching out too often. Ask yourself, “Would I want to hear from my church this much or would fewer emails work just as effectively?” If your Open Rate (the amount of people who open your emails) is low, you might want to consider scaling back the frequency or changing the cadence of your campaigns. Finally, make sure each email you send has a specific purpose and is valuable to your recipients.

3. You aren’t emailing congregants enough or at all.

Alternatively, not reaching out to congregants enough can hurt your strategy just as much as emailing them too often. In today’s digital age, email is one of the most effective ways to stay in touch with members of your church. By regularly sending updates and announcements, you can ensure that everyone is always in the loop. And the best part is that you can do it for free! If your church isn’t already taking advantage of this powerful tool, now is the time to start. If you’re unsure of how to begin, you can always send a quarterly newsletter email letting your members know what the church has accomplished recently. You should be proud of what your church does for its congregants and community, and your church family wants to know about it so they can be proud, too!

4. Your email title doesn’t stand out or generate interest.

In a crowded inbox, recipients are quickly scrolling through and only stopping to read messages with headlines that grab their attention. Make every title count so that your campaigns don’t get lost in the clutter. Avoid using generic phrases like "Church Update" or "News from Our Ministry." Instead, be specific and concise, using language that will resonate with your readers. Additionally, try to include a sense of urgency or excitement in your headlines to encourage people to open the message right away.

5. Your graphics and animations are too big or not optimized.

It’s not worth adding visual interest to your email if it’s going to negatively impact the user experience. While visuals can be eye-catching, they can also cause problems for people who are viewing the email on certain devices or have a slow internet connection. Either use graphics and animations sparingly or test out your emails on different devices to make sure they look the way you want them to before sending them out. Lastly, remember that graphics and animations are not always necessary!

6. Your call to action isn’t clear.

Every email you send out should have a reason, especially if you are trying to get the reader to complete some sort of action. Do you want them to click on a link or donate to a cause? Be sure to spell that out clearly and give instructions that are easy to follow. For example, if you want readers to register for an event, make sure that registration link is included, labeled clearly, and easy to find.

7. You aren’t triple-checking and revising your emails.

Churches should always make sure that their emails are grammatically correct and concise. Emails that are repetitive and riddled with errors reflect poorly on the church and make it difficult for people to understand your message. Instead, take care to proofread emails and go over them more than once to fix errors and remove unnecessary phrases. This will ensure that every email is conveying the right message in as few words as possible.

8. Your tone does not reflect your church’s brand.

Make sure your messages are aligned with your church’s brand and personality, so that you don’t confuse your members. Can you be more playful and use jokes and slang or does your church leadership tend to use a more serious and reverent tone? Understanding the context of the individual email is equally important. Is your email referring to a joyous event or a current event that is negatively impacting your congregation? Your phrasing should reflect the given circumstance.

Regardless of your church’s voice, you can never go wrong with messages that come from an uplifting and grateful place. Do this by showing gratitude for your congregants and sharing the church’s impact related to the subject of the email.

9. You’re not tracking analytics.

We mentioned Open Rate earlier in this blog post, but there are several other ways you can measure the success of your email campaigns. It’s important to know who is opening your emails and clicking on your links. Use analytics to determine what’s working and what’s not and use this valuable information to improve your email strategy. Here are a few other important metrics to consider:

Bounce rate – how many email addresses ‘bounced’ or didn’t receive an email
Clickthrough rate – how many people clicked on a link in your email
Abuse reports/ spam complaints – how many people marked your email as spam
Unsubscribe rate – how many people unsubscribed from receiving future emails

10. You’re not making it easy for people to unsubscribe.

When a reader wants to unsubscribe from your emails, you should make the process easy to prevent aggravation and a negative impact on your church’s brand identity. Make sure the unsubscribe button is clearly visible and takes the reader to the correct link. Additionally, on the unsubscribe page, briefly ask why they are unsubscribing, as that information might help you change up your strategy down the line.

Email is still one of the most effective ways to communicate with your audience but optimizing your email strategy can be a challenge. From designing beautiful emails to making sure they land in inboxes, there's a lot to think about. At The Church Online we are Email Marketing Experts, and we specialize in helping churches get the most out of email campaigns. If you're looking to take your strategy to the next level, reach out to us today. We'd be happy to help you achieve your goals.

Call 1-866-794-9797 or click below to Request a Consultation.

Request a Consultation

Does your church need a social media calendar?

Does your church need a social media calendar?
Learn what it is, how to make one, and how to use it to reach your goals.

A social media calendar is the best way to plan content, share ideas within your team, and create a consistent posting schedule. This in turn can strengthen your church’s online presence, boosting participation and expanding your reach to the world. A well-planned content calendar also streamlines the posting process, so you can reach your goals while using the time you save to focus on other aspects within your ministry.

In this blog post, you will learn:

  1. What a social media calendar is and what it isn’t
  2. How to create a social media calendar
  3. Content ideas that work for your church
  4. What to do once you’ve created a calendar
  5. Additional best practices to hone your planning strategy

What is a Social Media Calendar?

A social media calendar is simply a layout of post ideas that your church aims to publish on each of your social media accounts. You can organize content days, weeks or even months in advance, and you can plan content around holidays and special occasions, such as an annual conference or church anniversary. A social media calendar is not used to store captions, photos, or videos, just a general blurb about what each post is about.

How Do I Create a Social Media Calendar?
There are different ways for you to plan and organize your content in a calendar, but the easiest way to start is to map out your ideas in a spreadsheet.

See the Google Sheets example below:

Shared spreadsheets are ideal for collaboration, so everyone can provide topic ideas and stay on the same page. In an interactive spreadsheet, like in Google Sheets, everyone can add notes and comments and see updates made in real-time. While a social media calendar is more to organize ideas and is not meant to house specific details, you can still provide some additional information for future reference in a column reserved for notes and comments.

What Types of Content Should I Include?

One of the major roadblocks for establishing a social media strategy is deciding what to post. Start by establishing your church’s long-term goals and then determine what types of content will help you achieve them.

In general, if you make a habit to regularly document your church’s daily and weekly activity, you will never run out of content ideas. Make sure people from all ministries are involved, so you’re sharing varied content from each part of the church experience.

You can start by:

  1. Inviting people to upcoming events
  2. Discussing what your church is doing for congregants and the community
  3. Sharing powerful takeaways, themes, and quotes from sermons

Remember that your audience wants to see the actual people involved at your church, so don’t be afraid to share what makes you unique and what it’s like to be a part of your church family. You can also keep your content fresh, relevant, and engaging by sharing prayers related to current events or taking part in popular social media trends and challenges.

I’ve Created My Content Calendar. Now What Do I Do?

Now that you know what type of content to create, the next step after planning is to draft and schedule your future content to your social media accounts. For Facebook and Instagram, you can use Creator Studio. Note that they are both owned by Meta, so you can schedule content for both platforms in the same place. Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest and YouTube all have scheduling options within their individual platforms as well.

You can also use third party social media management programs to manage multiple platforms. Those can be valuable if your church has several social media platforms, and you want to schedule the same content to multiple platforms at once. However, note that most of these programs require a paid subscription, while scheduling or manually posting through each social media platform is free.

Things to Keep in Mind as You Go

Creating a posting schedule that works requires continuous experimentation and refinement. Here are some things to keep in mind in the process.

  1. Do not feel compelled to post content just for the sake of posting. Choosing quality over quantity is always the best strategy.
  2. Content should be relevant and fresh, with the intention of socializing and sharing with your audience. Repetitive content or posting the same content on every platform will cause you to lose engagement.
  3. Make sure you’re only making content for the specific types of people you are trying to reach. Always make sure your content has a relevant purpose by asking, “Why would someone want to see this post from us on this specific platform?”
  4. Your church does not need to be on every platform. Take the time to learn about why people use each one and determine if your church’s content would do well on each. Focusing on 1 or 2 platforms and optimizing content for just those will yield much better results than juggling every platform at once.
  5. Keep track of what posts get the most likes, comments, and shares. That’s a signal that this content resonates with your audience the most. Use this information to create more successful content moving forward.

If the process still seems a bit overwhelming, or if your church simply doesn’t have the resources to establish a strong content strategy, consider working with The Church Online. We have a team of social media experts who can do everything from creating content to tracking metrics and driving engagement. We’d love to help you share the true heart of your church and its message.

Call 1-866-794-9797 or click below to Request a Consultation.

Request a Consultation

The Future of Online Ministry: What is E-Membership in the Ministry?

Since the rise of the Internet, we have been able to access the world at the click of a button. From online shopping, to free entertainment, to social networking–we are completely exposed to the age of media. If the events of the past year and a half have taught us anything, it’s that having an online presence is more than important; it’s a necessity. But how does the Internet and the Church relate?

With some exceptions, the church was generally seen as the only gathering place for Christians around the world. Because of the pandemic however, social gatherings have been put on hold. Though many churches are reintegrating in-person worship, there is still this unabating need for e-Church and e-membership. Many churches are still exploring alternative gathering. Virtual worship has now become the new normal and it has proven its success.

Through The Church Online’s streaming platform and various social streaming services , like Facebook and YouTube, churches have created a virtual gathering place. Now online church and e-membership have become proxy to in-person gatherings.

What is E-Membership?

E-membership is when a person becomes a part of an organization or, in this case, a church by means of the Internet. E-membership has become popularized due to the global pandemic, however, it was not absent before. This form of membership offers an alternative way for believers and unbelievers to make a connection with the church and become a member of that church without having to physically be there.

Benefits of Offering E-Membership

Expanded Reach

You can spread the Gospel to anyone,anywhere. A positive aspect of being online is that your church can appeal to a global audience.

24/7 Access to Your Ministry and Resources

Online church allows members who aren’t able to leave their homes to still experience worship. Those who are near and far can have a spiritual resource to be empowered by.

Meeting Younger Generations Where They Are

Connecting with younger members is another important part of e-church and e-membership. A majority of millennials, Gen Z, and younger generations are continuing to look to social media and the internet as gathering places. Meeting them where they are can be an effective way to evangelize.

Flexible Worship

Sometimes it can be difficult for families, especially new families, to make it to church together, but online worship offers an opportunity for them to encounter the Word together virtually..

Becoming a Global Ministry

The church will always have room to grow online. The opportunities for congregation growth are tremendous when it comes to global ministry because the internet gives people the ability to access the church directly from anywhere.

Giving Made Easy

Tithes and offerings are what help fuel the mission of the church and though many churches are used to “traditional” tithing, there is a way to modernize the approach. Providing a variety of options to give online and through texting have become highly-effective strategies for ministries. Many churches have seen sharp increases in donations by integrating these technologies into their digital presence.

What is the future of church membership?

E-membership has opened a lot of new opportunities for churches. It has allowed them to amplify their ministry and expand their reach. E-membership will be an important part of the future. The Internet isn’t going anywhere and if anything, it is expanding. This isn’t to suggest that in-person gatherings will or should be a thing of the past, are not a critical part of healthy ministry relationships and fellowship opportunities, or that churches will be forced to offer e-membership. However, it is something to consider as we all navigate and transition into a digital world.

If you are interested in building an online presence for your church, receiving marketing guidance, brand management and more, The Church Online is here to help! Reach out today and let us help you meet your goals.

Onward and Upward!

-The Church Online

Is Social Media Your Friend or Foe?
Learn How to Leverage your Social Media Goals

Ministry does not have to be reserved for the sanctuary. Social media can be a vessel for ministry and amplify the message of the church. Widely popular social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even TikTok provide you with the voice and the audience you need to grow your church family.

Tags and Hashtags – Learn How to Use Them Effectively

Here’s how. There are many routes you can take to start expanding your church using social media. Right now, in a global pandemic, there is a demand for virtual connections, especially in the church community.

Choosing to stay connected through social media is one of the most important practices of growing your congregation. Tagging your church’s location in-app can make your organization easily clickable making it easy for people to find you and learn more about your ministry. Add in some relevant and popular hashtags, and you can create a post that is prepared for ultimate engagement (likes, shares, retweets, etc).

You can also encourage your current members to tag a location and use a specific set of hashtags like #ChurchName #InviteAFriend when posting about the church on their social media. Having a set of hashtags unique to your church makes you more discoverable outside of your congregation and you can follow the conversation about your church.

Using hashtags effectively also means knowing best practices, missteps, or things to avoid. Use hashtags that are relevant and specific to your church but be mindful because something too specific can be harder to find. Hashtags should be concise, so make sure that you’re not stringing too many words together. Branded hashtags, for example, are a great way to keep your hashtags short and relevant, but also reflective of your church. Sometimes less is more, so also try limiting the number of hashtags you’re using per post.

Engagement is Key

Engagement plays a huge role in brand recognition. Being organized and welcoming on social media allows you to expand your online presence. As you develop and strengthen your brand voice, you will be sure to gain followers and new members of your church family by optimizing your posts for engagement.

Here’s how you can optimize your posts:
1. Make sure your social media accounts are business profiles
2. Track your follower interaction by using analytics tools on your social media platforms
3. Post when your followers are most interactive
4. Use relevant hashtags and follow them to stay connected with your followers
5. Generate genuine content and stick to an overall theme for your posts (colors, graphics, logo, photo style)

Another way you can optimize your presence is to take advantage of your location by following various organizations in your community that your church supports on all social media platforms and by generating comments/likes on their posts. Share their posts on your church’s Instagram and Facebook stories, comment on their posts, and you can even ask if they are comfortable reciprocating those actions.

You can also engage your audience by interacting with conversations being generated on your church’s hashtag church’s comments on your posts. Prospective members like knowing the church they are choosing takes interest in them. By following and engaging in those conversations, you give a personality to your church and optimize the reach on your church’s social media accounts.

Stay Connected

Getting connected and staying connected with your community, especially in a global pandemic, should be part of your church’s routine. If you’re wondering how to stay connected, here are some various services or events you can offer to your community:

1. Host a virtual concert with your worship team or bring in a special guest
2. Conduct live Q&A sessions with your pastoral team
3. Invite guests to meet the pastor/reverend virtually
4. Get testimonials from current church members and share them
5. Stream live Bible Studies with various themes
6. Create and send care packages for families in the community with a note to follow you on social media and participate in virtual events

Invitations Work – Ask People to Follow You!

Being involved in the conversation can be a game-changer for the way people outside of your congregation view you. Staying interactive with the church’s social media accounts every day through posts, stories, live-streaming, and interacting with comments and questions is important. When you encounter comments or questions, try incorporating an invitation by inviting them to visit and follow the church’s social media page.

Investing in your community is needed when expanding your church and using social media to do that can be effective in the long run. Take action now and start implementing some of these tips into your everyday approach to social media. If you would like to explore our social media marketing services, let’s start a conversation. We will be happy to help you achieve your goals!

Onward and Upward!

-TCO Team

Does Your Church Often Get Confused with the One Across Town?
Clarify Your Brand Voice.

Tomato, tomahto. Potato, potahto. There are many words and phrases that sound similar and mean the same thing. If your church has a common name, you can relate. Distinguishing your church from the one down the street or across town can be difficult. You need to figure out how to set yourself apart.

Of course, your goal as a church is to draw people to Jesus. To do so, you need to capture their attention and get them to connect with you virtually, these days, and eventually in-person. To do that, you have to differentiate yourself. Like most things in life, it’s essential to find a church that’s the right fit for a person and their family. So with everyone striving to stand out, how do you achieve your goal? For starters, you need a distinct approach to brand marketing. Branding gives your ministry a unified look and a distinctive means to communicate key aspects of who you are in a simple, straightforward, and visually attractive way.

This article will act as a guide to help you to raise brand awareness and visibility and boost church recognition among congregants. Let’s get started.

What Is a Brand?

The public image or reputation of an individual or group. A brand typically includes a name, slogan, logo or symbol, design, brand voice, and more.

The process of creating those marketing elements is known as branding.

Branding is essential because it gives your church an identity, makes your church memorable, and encourages churchgoers to attend your service or event.

What Is Brand Awareness?

Brand awareness is a term used to describe your target audience’s familiarity with your brand and how well they recognize it. For starters, do people in your community know your church exists? If so, what do they think about it? What impressions have you made? Are they positive or negative? Being aware of how your brand is situated in the marketplace (aka your community) and your church’s overall perception are important factors that impact your brand.

Building Brand Awareness

After you take the time to evaluate your brand, you will need to put a plan in place to strategically build an effective and memorable brand. Here are some essential elements to consider using to help you stand out and welcome new people to your church community:

1. Logo A logo is one of if not the most memorable components of brand identity. For example, do you see the prominent red target symbol when you think of American retailer Target? If you answered yes, you would see that logos connect consumers to brands themselves.

2. Colors – Assigning a color palette drives your church’s identity allowing you to create unique designs for your church while remaining committed to your true identity.

3. Website – Not only is your website the face of your church, but it is also the first phase of discovery. The vast majority of people who discover your church will find you online. Having a well-designed website that is easy to navigate is essential as your church’s first impression occurs daily.

4. Social Media – Creating or updating current social media profiles on multiple platforms using a consistent look and tone (refer to items 1-3)-is a great way to develop your brand identity, establish a reputation, and stand out among your peer institutions.

Our creative team can help you distinguish yourself by:

1. Clearly articulating your ministry’s brand identity with a powerful logo design.
2. Designing and printing marketing materials that captivate your congregants, including flyers, church letterheads, business cards, offering envelopes, programs, direct mailers, pledge cards, and more!
3. Producing a user-optimized website that enables you to reach your current and prospective congregants.
4. Creating marketing videos and trailers that capture the essence of your ministry.
5. Consulting with video experts to set up a successful and smooth live stream of church services/events.
6. Drafting email campaigns to help keep your church top-of-mind and up-to-date on happenings with consistent messaging.
7. Updating or creating social media platforms to match the look of your website.
8. Optimizing social media platforms with paid advertising to specific demographics and geographical locations.
9. Prioritize your brand, style guidelines, and social media presence into a marketing strategy to ensure brand voice consistency.

If you have a similar name to other churches in your area, we believe distinguishing yourself is worth the investment. Call us, and let’s start a conversation today.


Sustaining Your Faith During Difficult Times

Sustaining Your Faith During Difficult Times

Floods. Hurricanes. Death. Debt. Illness. All of these bring about difficulty in our lives. They make life harder, more challenging. How do we maintain and sustain our faith during times of hardship? How do we ensure that God remains our top priority? How do we prevent ourselves from losing faith?

There are several actions we can take to sustain our faith during times of trial. We can begin by reading the scriptures. God’s Word is a primary way of connecting to Him. When we read about Biblical figures, we are really reading about ourselves, in a sense. The struggles of Moses become our struggles. The doubt the apostle Thomas feels becomes our doubt. Scripture puts our lives into context of the greater Biblical narrative.

Prayer is another action we can take to strengthen our faith, but we must be intentional about it. Prayer is not a one-way conversation; it is a constant dialogue with our Creator and should be treated as such. If we speak to God, but don’t listen for His often-quiet response, we may focus too much on our own needs and not enough on God’s will for our lives.

Scripture and prayer:these are familiar comforts during difficult times in our lives. But what do we do when the scriptures aren’t speaking to us? What path can we take when we are having a challenging time discerning God’s will? God created us to be social creatures – to interact and engage with one another to overcome struggles. What would the peace movements of Martin Luther King, Jr. or Gandhi have been without those marching and fasting to keep moving forward? We need one another more than we tend to realize. When we are struggling, it can be hard to ask our neighbors for help, but sometimes, in the immortal words of Bill Withers, “We all need somebody to lean on.”


Creating a More Welcoming Church Atmosphere

Creating a More Welcoming Church Atmosphere

Sometimes saying, “Welcome to our church family!” simply isn’t enough. It can be difficult when we try as a church to be welcoming without seeming overbearing. People attend worship services for a variety of reasons, and everyone worships differently. Some enjoy shaking hands and getting to know a bunch of new people at once, while others like to remain more anonymous during a worship service. The key to maximizing the welcoming potential of your church is to know how to approach different types of people.

Of course, being friendly is crucial to creating a welcoming atmosphere. Breaking the social ice with a smile, hello, and brief introduction will put many at ease almost instantly. However, for those who are a bit on the shy side, making sure they know that there is no pressure on them to identify themselves or stand out from the crowd will often provide a significant sense of relief.

Another way to create a more welcoming atmosphere is to offer social events either before or after worship. These gatherings are a great way for visitors to get to know church members and regulars, allowing them to operate in a low-pressure social situation. Here, it is imperative that church leaders, as well as the pastor, are able to make their presence known, if possible, providing that social bridge to those who may be stepping foot inside of their church for the first time.

Finally, often the best way to make someone feel welcome at your church is by making yourself available to them. Exchanging contact information is a great way to shepherd visitors into the life of the church. Alternatively, you can invite them to a meal or out for coffee to discuss worship, their faith, and life in general. Making one friend within a church setting is the simplest, most human way of welcoming someone into the life of the church.

Welcome 2021 – It’s Time to Move Onward and Upward!

Welcome 2021 – It’s Time to Move Onward and Upward!


This year, we began a new tradition of choosing an annual theme for the company, which is representative of the mindset we are adopting based on our current goals and aspirations. Because of the challenges of last year, we felt the appropriate theme for 2021 would be – Onward and Upward. Despite everything happening around us, we are committed to pushing through and moving onward and upward to accomplish amazing things with all of our ministry partners.

Throughout an unprecedented 2020, our company has worked hard to provide services to ministries throughout the United States that allowed them to continue to engage with their members. Over the past year, our team has changed and grown, doubling in size as we have welcomed many new additions to our team, and we plan to use the momentum as a catalyst to increase awareness and opportunities for ministries seeking to best engage with people throughout the world.

We are excited about where we are headed. As we forge our way in 2021, we are appreciative of all of our ministry partners. Our relationships with you have positioned all of us to reach millions of people throughout the world… together. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of serving alongside you in ministry. We believe that there is much that we will accomplish together in 2021 and we look forward to walking through every step of this journey with you – Onward and Upward!

10 Socially Distant (But Fun) Summer Activities

10 Socially Distant (But Fun) Summer Activities

1) Bean Bag Toss – This is an ideal game for social distancing. Spreading the targets out about twenty feet apart not only keeps players distant, but also allows for a fun, challenging contest!

2) Water Balloon Battle – Since swimming in the pool may not be an option for keeping cool, having a water balloon battle is the next best thing. Socially distant water balloon battles mean no close-range ambushes, but if rules of distance are kept, a fun time will still be had by all!

3) Tic-Tac-Toe – This time-honored classic game can be played through a window, using a window-safe marker and tape for the lines.

4) Lawn Bowling – Get creative with materials and set up your own lawn bowling alley! The whole family is sure to enjoy this competitive activity.

5) Sidewalk Chalk Drawing – Spread out and let your creativity flow, using sidewalk chalk to draw whatever you set your mind to drawing.

6) Bocce Ball – Easy to learn and set up, bocce ball is a great game to introduce to the whole family.

7) Virtual Game Night – Compete with friends and family who are also trying to social distance by playing a classic board game via a virtual hangout!

8) Socially Distant Walk – Going for a walk can still happen in these strange times! Just make sure you keep your distance from one another in the process.

9) Scavenger Hunt – Using walkie-talkies, compete against one another to go on a socially distant scavenger hunt!

10) Simon Says – Simon says, “Stay apart!” In this version of the classic game, spread all participants out, and encourage no touching of the face.