A good church email newsletter will keep the readers informed and build trust between church leaders and the community. As not everyone will see an update on social media, it’s helpful to keep everyone in the loop with a useful newsletter.

Think back to the most recent email newsletter you received. What made you open it and read to the end? Was it the enticing subject line, a desire to be in the know, or an awaited exciting update?

In this blog, we share tips to help you write a newsletter that gets opened and read!

1. Focus on your audience

Start by considering what your community would like to know, rather than what you want to tell them. Which updates and events are most relevant to them? Avoid the trap of including everything, and instead, filter it down to three or four focused areas.

Take this one step further and create newsletters aimed at different groups in your community, such as a family-focused newsletter for parents, making the content even more relevant to the audience.

2. Subjects and headlines

Entice readers to open the email with a catchy and short subject line, hinting at what’s enclosed. Throughout the newsletter, use short headlines to draw the reader's eye down the page. 

3. Make it easy to read

Short, concise text will help get your message across, whereas long paragraphs can be off-putting and important details may be overlooked. Break up blocks of text with bullet points and paragraphs. Considering playing with emojis to add colour and expression to your writing. 

For your services and events, do include the most important details or a short line of text, but a link to your website will enable interested readers to find out more. 

4. Be consistent

Publish your newsletter regularly, monthly or weekly – whatever you have time for – but do keep it consistent so that readers know when to expect it.

Regular features will create a consistent feel to the newsletter so your audience comes back for more. Free tools such as Mailchimp (email newsletter tool) or Canva (free online design tool) include templates and designs to create simple and eye-catching email newsletters.

5. Provide something unique

Be consistent, but also provide something unique! A surprise or new feature will encourage readers to open it, especially those who don’t often. Use your services and events to highlight your newsletter, hinting at upcoming announcements to entice new people to sign up, and current subscribers to open it! 

6. Involve your community

Are there members of your community with a story to share, and an interesting hobby or a thought for the day? Inviting your community to contribute to the newsletter will increase engagement and inspire a deeper sense of community amongst the readers. 

7. Use a newsletter tool

There are great advantages to keeping your newsletter simple, but, if you like the idea of designing a layout or adding automation, a newsletter tool may be for you.

Mailchimp is a free and easy tool, although there are other options available – search 'free newsletter tools' on the internet and try a few out. 

A good tool will allow you to create a template to use each time, add images and video, customise text, schedule ahead and give simple reports such as how many people opened the email and clicked the links. The reports are especially helpful when you are trying something new and want to see the results.

GDPR and Data protection

Advice on consent and managing data can be found on Parish Resources.


This blog is part of the Step-by-step guide to online and onsite services

Keep up to date with all things digital and join our Digital Labs newsletter.

Subscribe here

Source URL: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/digital-labs/blogs/seven-ways-improve-your-church-newsletter