Why People Aren’t Reading Your Church Emails—and How to Fix It

By Adam McLaughlin

There’s no shortage of ideas to communicate to our church members, and they all seem to creep into our announcements and church emails. Soon we’re communicating everything about everything—which becomes noise—instead of communicating a few things with intentionality.

Imagine a recipe that requires 10 ingredients, but all 10 ingredients are used in the same quantity: 1 cup each. It’s a recipe for disaster! 

This is what happens when we try to communicate with equal importance. 

1. Stick with the limits

Instead of cramming in everything, prioritize two or three things that are most important. That’s not too hard in the worship service, because time constraints require limiting the number of announcements. But in church emails, where we have unlimited space, it’s easy to overload people with too much information. When everything becomes important, nothing is important.

Thoughtfully curating and editing your email will help you keep readers’ attention. If you have 10 things to announce, choose a few to highlight with engaging descriptions and all the details. For the rest, just provide one sentence and a link to “learn more.”

It’s also good to switch up the kinds of announcements you highlight. If readers know what they’ll find in the church email every week, they’re more likely to skip reading and hit “delete.”

2. Emphasize the ‘why’

We’re inundated with advertising messages that deliver more spam than value to our inbox. People will feel more connected with your church if they understand the “why” behind your announcements, not just the “what.” In each email highlight, try to convey the motivation or significance. Here are some examples:

What: A call for children’s ministry volunteers.
Why: To help kids build a friendship with God.

What: Fundraiser for missions and outreach.
Why: To share God’s love with our community and world. You could even share a story from a missionary or tell about a local family who received support through the church.

What: Home Bible studies.
Why: To build relationships with other believers for friendship, encouragement, and discipleship.

3. Point to other resources

There’s always going to be more information you could share, and a lot of it can be accessed online. Your email should point people to the right places:

  • Calendar and weekly schedule
  • List of home groups
  • Social media feeds
  • Sermon podcast, video, and transcript

Don’t bury these links in the small print at the bottom. Make them prominent. 

This post has been adapted from the original post by Adam McLaughlin in the July 2019 edition of Ministry Team magazine.

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