Email newsletters and marketing are a great tool for churches and yet some churches stick to sending out one email to everyone. Wouldn’t it be better to send out a more customized email with the most relevant information to the people you are contacting? Well, you can with email segments. This post is going to look at what email segments are, how we use email segments at ChurchMag, how you can set up email segments in MailChimp, and finally, some ideas for some segments you may want to use.
What Are Email Segments?
An email segment is where you break an email list up into specific groups. This is different from using separate email lists and has some strengths and weaknesses. At ChurchMag we have a good number of lists but we also have segments in many of these lists. Our main list is “ChurchMag” and that’s for people who have signed up for ChurchMag emails. It has three segments:
- daily updates
- weekly updates
- monthly updates
This means people can specify what emails they want to get.
At the same time we have some different lists, for example, we have a separate list for each purchase people have made from ChurchMagPress so we can email them about updates. This means people can buy a product and not get emailed with our weekly updates which they didn’t agree to.
So a segment is within a list, and you can have segments and different lists. Segments are great if you don’t want to send the same email twice, lists are great if so that someone can unsubscribe from one, but still be on a different one. (For a business example, you buy a product and sign up for a newsletter. You don’t want the newsletter anymore but you still want product updates. That’s really easy with lists, but more tricky with segments, especially in MailChimp.
How Email Segments Work in MailChimp
Now, different email marketing tools have different ways of handling email subscribers but we’ll focus on MailChimp for this post. You can get similar results in different email services but the terms and tools may be different.
In MailChimp, you can select to create segments in several ways. One is having a checkbox that users can select which segment they are in (that’s how we have our main lists segments).
Another is to create a segment based on conditions. This may be your most loyal email readers who always open your emails straight away. Or it could be people who haven’t opened any of your last five emails.
Some Useful MailChimp Email Segments for Your Church
If you are starting to wonder what sort of segments you could use for your church, here are some suggested segments that might help.
- small-group members
- church members (and non-church members)
- parents with children in the church
- different ministries
But this is not a definitive list (you can leave some suggestions in the comments below.)
Changes You Might Want to Make to Segmented Emails
Once you’ve got some segments, its time to put them to use. One quick and easy solution is to use segments to send an email to only those who want that email. So sending an email about a kids event only to the parents who it affects. However, you can also use your segments to send a more relevant email to each segment.
This might be sending your monthly update email out and having a different top notice based on the interests of that segment (so members of the prayer team get something different from people involved in the music).
Any Other Ideas for Email Segments?
Have you got any other ideas for how to do segments in MailChimp for your church?
Leave a comment below.