Email marketing is an effective way to connect with your church. With so many options on the market, which one is right for you?
Why email marketing?
Before we discuss the best email marketing solutions, it’s important to understand why email marketing is important. While email may seem like an “outdated” communication network, there are a lot of hidden benefits it brings.
First, email inboxes have no algorithm. When you send an email to a first-time guest, you know they are going to receive it without a doubt. Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram control feeds using algorithms, meaning your content may not reach every person who follows your church account. Sending emails ensures that your message will arrive in front of your audience. Guaranteed!
Next, emails feel more personal. It’s easy to automate emails for efficiency, but they still feel more personal. When you receive an email, you feel like it was sent just to you — even if it was sent to thousands of people. Emails are a great way to make a connection with visitors and make them feel welcome.
Finally, emails are more exclusive. If you have a critical prayer request for your church to pray for, you may want to limit who can see it. Social media posts are visible to everyone, but an email marketing solution allows you to send private info such as prayer requests only to members of your church and not guests or those simply interested in joining your church. Email marketing gives you complete control over what goes where — a privilege that is not found through many other communication systems.
How do I set up an email marketing list for my church?
If you’re researching the best option to set up an email list for your church, you’re in the right place! There are thousands of companies offering email marketing, but we’ve narrowed it down to our three favorites for churches.
Mailchimp is arguably the most popular service for church email marketing. This is because Mailchimp has a free plan, allowing you to add up to 2,000 contacts. This plan is perfect for church plants getting started, and Mailchimp’s powerful platform allows you to add “tags” to segment your email list by members, occasional attenders, visitors, and more. Mailchimp lets new users sign up through an online form, or emails can be added manually with the person’s consent.
When your church requires more than 2,000 contacts, Mailchimp offers reasonably priced paid plans. A list of up to 5,000 contacts on the Essentials plan is $49.99 per month. Plans and pricing scale up from there depending on the size of your list.
Aweber is another popular service for church email marketing. While Aweber has no free plan, they offer the best prices for churches requiring large lists of 7,500 contacts or more. Aweber comes with all the features you would expect such as a drag-and-drop email builder, online sign-up forms, and analytics. Aweber doesn’t make the most sense for church plants who can utilize Mailchimp’s great free plan, but it’s worth a try for large churches. They offer a 30-day free trial and discounts on the first year of service.
Constant Contact is the oldest company on this list, operating since 1995. They offer advanced features like surveys and polls directly in emails and access to an online donations page. Constant Contact is by far the most expensive option on this list, charging $20/month for a small list of 500 contacts. A 5,000 contact list would cost $65/month or $95/month depending on the plan you select. With that being said, Constant Contact offers ultimate flexibility with their advanced features, and they offer non-profits up to 30% off for pre-paying.
If your church is looking for something different and has already tried Mailchimp and Aweber, Constant Contact is a great option.
How else can I connect with my congregation?
Email marketing is critical, but you can also connect with your congregation through social media, a text message list, and push notifications. Unlock features like unlimited push notification announcements, interactive prayer requests, fill-in-the-blank sermon notes, and more. My Sermon Notes is the ultimate church engagement platform! Click here to learn more.