The Internet isn’t going anywhere. As innovation, whatever that is, continues, it is how we use it that will keep changing. The challenge for churches and organizations is navigating the ever-shifting landscape. One of the areas the Internet changed how we communicate was through email. Blogs then came in. So much has changed in the blogosphere that has affected engagement. For churches that blogged, it might be time to rethink email. I’d like to suggest that making a shift back from blogging to email might make sense for some churches.
For some blogging is or had become a means to keep the church updated. A way to also give those who aren’t members a window into the life of the church. Some church leaders use blogs as open pastoral letters, which is great. And others for teaching and discipleship. I’d imagine this would be one of the ways some of the New Testament writers would be doing today.
Of course, besides ‘WordPressing‘, they’d YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, you-name-it. One of the great things about these different platforms and options is that. Options. There is no one size fits all. Which brings me to the idea of some churches and organizations doing a full-circle to email.
Email is still, in some ways direct. Google killing the RSS reader had an adverse impact on blog readership. Some readers switched to Feedly which is great, but Google had a large piece of the pie, and that didn’t help.
Email is one way of guaranteeing the people receive particular communication. Whether they read it and engage with it becomes a topic for another discussion. I’m subscribed to a few newsletters. Only those that are important to me. As we work on communication strategies we mustn’t forget that email might still be viable.
The most effective form of communication is one that is most important for the receiver. The receiver is the one who determines the value or worth of the message(s). [Click to Tweet]
Segmented mailing lists let congregants choose updates they’re actually interested in. For example, parents who only want updates from the children’s ministry come to mind.
Great engagement on our blogs and social media platforms doesn’t mean it’s always best. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to make sure that the medium is the best for particular messaging. Some communication has nuance and can be dangerous outside of a specific context. This is another instance when mailers can be used. Of course, you know this, but it might be a good idea to revisit our communication strategies. And, this would include newsletters.
Email also presents an opportunity to do ‘insider’ research. This would be difficult or tainted if you broadcast this. In the absence of a church app email is still a great way to deliver surveys and, collect data. Smart churches and leadership are about making decisions and formulating a strategy from more than gut feeling. Data is underrated in the church.
Dusting off our mailing lists could be an opportunity to engage the church anew.
In The End
It is about what works best for our context. With that, it might be worthwhile revisiting and experimenting with email again. Not everyone will join the church’s Facebook group. Not everyone will read the blog. (I still think it’s’ a great idea for churches and leaders to blog.)
For some congregants communication coming straight to their inbox can still be effective. Don’t be quick to rule it out. [Click to Tweet]
Or, it might be time to rework our strategy for it. Could it be time for your church to move from blogging some content to email?
Would love your thoughts on this. How would you describe the way your church or organization is using email? What changes are you considering, if any?
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