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Marketing, Technology | Feb. 18, 2014

An Easy-To-Use Church Communication Tool

Church Communication - MailChimp

Most church staff members have a love/hate relationship with their church newsletter. They love that it can get lots of information to members and that people actually read it. But they hate that it takes so much time to compile, edit, print, fold, address, and mail out. (I can’t blame them; I would hate that part as well.)

That’s why we’ve been suggesting MailChimp to churches as a way to get their newsletters out. MailChimp is an e-mail subscription service that allows users to send e-mails to thousands of recipients. So instead of putting newsletters in the mail, you can e-mail them, saving both time and money. Seriously, you can’t beat that.

You may be thinking, “Why MailChimp?” Here are a few reasons  (and even some more here)…

It’s Free!

Most churches can utilize MailChimp’s free service. This allows churches to mail to up to 2,000 different contacts. If your church has more than 2,000 newsletter or e-mail subscribers, you can always upgrade your account for a minimal monthly charge (it’s still less than postage!).

It’s Easy To Add Contacts.

You can mass-import e-mail subscribers into your MailChimp account very easily. And after your first large import, you shouldn’t have to do this much. MailChimp also integrates with Facebook and WordPress, so people can sign up to receive your church’s e-mail from the Web as well.

It’s Nice-Looking.

No one likes bad design, right? MailChimp has ready-to-go templates that look great viewed on a phone or a computer. You can also import your own template if you wish.

It’s Easy To Send E-Mails.

Every time you send an e-mail, MailChimp will walk you through the process step-by-step. This is way easier than folding and inserting tons of newsletters into envelopes.

You can use MailChimp for more than just sending out digital newsletters though. Here are some other ideas:

  • Send updates on Youth events to Youth Group contacts only. (This would apply to any other event and age group, of course.)
  • Send out urgent prayer requests.
  • Notify your members of service opportunities.
  • Notify everyone of weather-related service delays or cancellations.
  • E-mail everyone when the Pastor is starting a new sermon series.

Of course, mailers are good to use at certain times, but by using MailChimp, you can quickly and easily spread the word about church happenings directly to the people who need to know.

I do not recommend that churches use e-mail as a way to advertise to non-members. E-mail only people who have asked to be on your list. Don’t use it as a way to promote your Easter services to complete strangers.

Does your church use e-mail at all to keep members informed? Has it worked out well or not so well? We want to hear from you.

Sarah Blackmon Church Marketing Specialist, d2design
Sarah Blackmon Church Marketing Specialist, d2design
  • I agree with all this. I’ve used mailchimp and think it is a great tool. However, at 2 different churches I’ve served, staff decided not to offer the newsletter online because the church would lose their bulk mail rate if too many people chose to get it online. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions to overcome this line of thinking?

    • Sarah Blackmon

      Shawn,

      Is the church only using their bulk mail permit to mail the newsletter? Or do they do large mailings every now and then as well?

      • As far as I know, just the weekly newsletter.
        Thanks for pointing Kelly my way. I enjoyed speaking to her.

        • Sarah Blackmon

          Losing a bulk mailer permit isn’t a bad thing if you don’t need it. It cost around $300 to renew each year. So if the church had a goal to get everyone on an email newsletter and keep some printed copies of the newsletter at the church for pick up, you could potentially save the church hundreds of dollars each year….