There are several easy things ministries can do to build their opt-in email lists and increase response to email messages. Whether your goal is to move products, solicit donations, promote events or just simply expand readership, some basic practices and a few “tricks of the trade” will help you achieve your goals.
Here are a few simple things to implement that will work almost every time.
First, put your opt-in on your home page. Make it easy to sign up. That means email only! A simple email box with an action line, like, “Get special deals on resources” or “Sign up for important notices” will lower the barrier for entry. If you want or need more information, put it on the next page, so someone enters their email address (and you capture it), then they have the opportunity to enter their name, address, list preferences and so on.
Second, only send them things of value. If you are able to segment your list according to preferences, this helps you know what is valuable to individual recipients. In other words, if someone wants a weekly devotional, but you keep sending them news about events, they may get in the habit of ignoring your emails. If you have nothing of value to send them, send nothing at all. You want your messages to be read, so the more you know about your list’s wants and needs, the better you can serve them by sending them relevant information.
Third, utilize the “subject” line. Avoid routine subjects like, “Pastor Smith’s sermon notes,” unless it is a highly targeted list, like one strictly for Pastor Smith’s sermon notes! Use the “from” line to identify yourself. For example, the sender’s address could be “Pastor Smith” and the “subject” could be more compelling copy, such as, “The Power of Spoken Words.” Recently, I received an email from Joel Osteen’s ministry. The “from” line was simply “Joel Osteen” and the “subject” line was “Lift your life TODAY!” Short, simple and to the point. And good copy from someone who knows how to communicate.
Email is powerful. Don’t treat it as an afterthought. These are just a few basic tips, but with the right strategy and execution, email can provide a means of communication as effective as any other medium. BMCFerrell can help your ministry develop a better email strategy to improve your communication and increase response. Shoot us an email for more information. And make the subject line good!