Are you still publishing a church newsletter? Or has it become too labor-intensive and expensive? In this article, we’ll cover some clever church newsletter alternatives that you’ll be able to start using as soon as today.
For those who do utilize a traditional newsletter, the business of creating this communication staple isn’t dead, it may just need a Facelift and New Packaging.
Do you need a church newsletter alternatives?
When debating whether or not to continue printing the newsletter, either in print or online, ask yourself:
Are people reading it?
Is there a better use of our admin team’s time?
Is it worth the paper and mailing to continue to produce it?
Can we package the same content in a way that more people would engage with it?
Survey your congregation and determine the answers to the questions above and let those responses influence your next steps:
- If your congregation still reads and a printed piece is of great value to your people, keep doing it! It might be the most effective form of communication for your audience.
- If not, it’s time to start researching alternatives.
Think outside of the church newsletter box and consider these 5 alternatives.
Right now, text messaging is the #1 effective form of communication. It’s instant, people are usually notified immediately of a text (considering most people carry their phone or watch on their person), whereas an e-mail or printed piece might only be viewed periodically. Pro tip: You can use tools like Text In Church to send automated texts to your congregation.
For content, consider taking the information you’d normally use in your printed newsletter and break it up into very very small, digestible chunks to send weekly; most churches recommend sending 1-2 messages per week.
Using your database of contacts, send bulk emails with helpful platforms like MailChimp or Sendfox. By the way, you can easily format your emails to be personalized. Each recipient can be greeted by their name or the body of the email can include personal information that you’ve recorded in your database, like the amount given this year or their family’s attendance.
This method of communication is a strong church newsletter alternative because it can be long-form and designed to look and feel like a newsletter, though created digitally.
Leverage your social media accounts to provide updates and let people know how ministry is still happening through your church. Gather a team of techies to post on your church’s Facebook page, and then create similar but alternative posts for Instagram, Twitter, and wherever else you “live” digitally.
Weekly or Monthly Blog
Leverage the blog on your church’s website to communicate important information to your church members. This digital space is great for sharing things like:
- Life-change stories
- New initiatives
- Recommended resources
- In-depth study tools
Another method for determining blog content is to simply analyze the different components of your church newsletter and consider how they can be adapted into a weekly/monthly column of their own. For example, many church newsletters contain engaging photos and reports on particular ministry events. Why not reserve a spot in your editorial calendar to report monthly on one of your ministries and highlight a recent event.
Pro tip: Don’t overlook the chance to also celebrate your dedicated volunteers. Recognition is free!
SAMPLE BLOG POSTING SCHEDULE
Be consistent! Post at the same time every week so you build excitement among your audience. For instance, post an article every Monday morning based on the Sunday sermon that encourages further study, and then a testimony article every Monday morning.
Choose the schedule that works for your team and stick with it. But remember — start small. You can always add more posts as time and resources allow.
Podcasts are the latest way to disseminate information to and connect with your church attendees.
Whether you publish your show weekly, monthly or seasonally, just make sure your audience is aware of released podcasts. Ask followers to subscribe and also be sure to promote your show.
- Create a “Coming Up at our Church” segment of your show as a way to inform your congregation of upcoming events.
Use the Intro or Close of each episode to share about your church events and how to get involved.
Be consistent. Choose a delivery schedule (weekly, monthly, seasonal) that you can confidently deliver.
Read more: 6 Podcasting Ideas to Connect Online
Will you start communicating with these 5 creative alternatives?
People are busy and yet they’re engaged digitally, with constant access to their phones and devices. Make it easy for them to engage with the content of your church, starting with these church newsletter alternatives.
What are some alternative methods you’ve started using in place of a church newsletter? What has worked for you? Or does your audience still find a print newsletter helpful? Leave us a comment and share your experience!