Does your church send out an email newsletter? Maybe it is a weekly newsletter or a monthly newsletter. An e-newsletter can be a great way to communicate reports of the things that have been happening at your church, as well as to announce upcoming events and opportunities. It can also be a great place for church leadership to communicate the mission and vision of the church. But there are some important considerations to assure that an email newsletter is being done properly. Continue reading this post to learn three church email newsletter practices that you should stop doing!
3 Email Newsletter Practices To Stop Immediately
Placing Multiple Email Addresses In the “To” Field
When you send out the email newsletter for your church, do you simply paste a bunch of member’s email addresses into the “To” field of your email program? If so, STOP! All the email addresses in the “To” field and the “Cc” field can be viewed by every person who receives the email. This means that any person who has access to that email has access to a treasure trove of email addresses. Most people won’t do anything sinister with those addresses. But what if even just one or two of the recipients start sending unsolicited emails to these addresses? Worse yet, what if someone takes those email addresses and sells them to some spammer email list?
If you are sending email newsletters to multiple church members using a regular email program (which you should also stop doing – see below), you should place the email addresses in the “Bcc” (blind carbon copy) field. This way, none of the recipients are able to see other recipient’s email addresses.
Sending Email Newsletters from a Regular Email Program
A regular email program (logging into Gmail on a browser, using the built-in mail app on your computer or phone, etc.) does not include a standard built-in unsubscribe mechanism. At this point in history, anti-spam laws are often very strict. You wouldn’t use a fingernail file to cut down a 200-year-old tree. Neither should you be using the wrong tool for emailing newsletters to an email list. Why not use a tool that has the proper mechanics built in to help you comply with anti-spam laws! Recipients have the option to click “Unsubscribe” in an email sent from an email list service if they no longer want to receive emails from your church. Plus, if you use an email list service (something like MailerLite), there are other benefits. You can create groups in your email list so that you can send targeted emails to people interested in certain things (youth group, financial seminars, concerts, mission trip opportunities, etc.). A service like MailerLite also provides numerous layout options so that you can design a professional and easy to navigate newsletter. MailerLite is also free until your list or number of emails sent have grown to a pretty significant size – many churches may never have to switch to a paid plan.
Sending from a Personal or Other-Domain Based Email Address
Yes, it would be simple to just send church email newsletters from your own personal email address. But that isn’t very professional looking. Even if you use a service like MailerLite, you still need to specify a “from” email address. It also doesn’t look very professional for a church to send a newsletter from an email address that uses a non-church related domain name (like firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com). If your church has a website (and it should!), you should have a domain name for your church (like www.yourgreatchurch.com). So set up an email address using that domain (something like firstname.lastname@example.org). That will look much more professional to the people receiving your email newsletter. Watch this website for future tutorials or posts about how to set up a church domain based email address.
So, what should be your takeaways from this post? When it comes to church email newsletter practices, follow these three guidelines:
- NEVER place the list of recipient emails in the “To” or “Cc” field of an email. At minimum, they should be placed in the “Bcc” field.
- Start using an email list service like MailerLite.
- If you haven’t already, set up a custom email address that uses the domain of your church website. Use this address when you send out email newsletters.
[Post last updated on February 24, 2019]