Most churches are surprised at the many ways they could be text messaging and emailing their flock. Here are some ideas to make sure you’re getting the most out of Flocknote:
- On your website: Put a “Get Connected” signup form on the front page of your website “above the fold” (i.e. you can see it without having to scroll down). Don’t let somebody visit your website without giving them the opportunity to easily give you their most important contact info (email address and/or cell phone) so you can continue the relationship. Of course, they’ll also get to choose which of your ministries they’d like to hear from.
- Event reminders: Re-send out info the week or day before all big events. You can do this via email too, but a well-timed text message has been known to double (or even quadruple) attendance the next day at an event. The results are real, y’all.
- Target specific groups: Some churches have the bad habit of saying everything to everyone. This is one of the surest ways to get people to tune you out (whether it’s in announcements on Sunday, your bulletin, or your emails). If you want folks to listen, make sure most of what you say to that person is likely relevant to that person in particular (ex: don’t announce something to 500 people on Sunday that really only needs to be said to the 30 people who went on the retreat last weekend. Simply send it to those 30 people. Flocknote is really good at this (provided you are using it properly and with all your ministries and events). Once you get this concept, your people start paying attention again!
- Proactively help your flock: Announce Easter and Christmas service/mass times (or any other big thing most of your membership would be interested in). When most of your people are wondering about the same question (i.e. what’s the schedule on Christmas again?)…why not be proactive and email/text them the answer before they have to ask. They’ll thank you and more people will show up, too!
- Send out your weekly bulletin: Many churches aren’t doing this yet. For most churches, this is safe to send out to your “Everyone” group. But don’t simply insert an image of your bulletin into your email (hard to read on mobile) and don’t just link to the bulletin somewhere else (a waste of an opportunity!). One good way to do this instead is to use a unique subject line highlighting something happening that week, then in the body put a short bit of intro text followed by a few bullet points of the most important things going on that week (i.e. give them the headlines!). Then link or attach (easy to do in Flocknote) the full bulletin for more info and details if you like.
Note: Some bulletin services will offer to email out your bulletin automatically for you. This is a bad idea for a lot of reasons. The three main reasons are:
- You want to track these emails with all your other communication stats in Flocknote (who is opening it, what are they clicking, etc.).
- Flocknote lets everyone reply back with questions or engage in discussion when necessary.
- You want all your communications to be consistent (come from same place, use same system, same way to reply, and consistent branding).
(More tips for sending out your weekly bulletin here.)
- Tell your inspiring story: Make sure your regular emails and text messages are communicating your exciting mission as an organization! Everything you send out (or don’t send out) is telling some part of the story of your church. Is it an inspiring, challenging, rewarding story that your members are excited to be a part of? Make sure it is!
- The big banner: Put a big banner near the entrance to your church that says, “Text YOUR_KEYWORD to 84576 to choose what ministries you’d like to hear from.” Leave it up! This is a fantastic and ongoing way to remind everyone of the simple step they can take to connect more deeply with any or all of your ministries at any time (whether they are new visitors or long-time members who haven’t done it yet – or who just need to update their settings). We have a banner design you can use, too!
- Drastically increase giving: Texting or emailing a direct link to where people can give/tithe/donate will give you drastically better results (than a paper form, waiting for them to go to your website, etc). It’s an easy win. But don’t forget when you do so to also remind them why it’s worth giving financially to your church. So include videos or stories of all the great work you’re doing as a church.
- Learn about your people: Periodically ask your members questions via Flocknote. We have built-in ways to capture their immediate responses via direct replies or polls through email or text messaging. Ask a question. Listen. Engage. Learn. Then you can serve them in even more radical and inspirational ways.
- Live events: For example — send all attendees of a weekend-long event a reminder text the night before the event, make real-time text message announcements during the event, and then send a followup text message after the event asking what people liked most about it. The feedback you’ll get is super helpful and it’ll likely make you feel warm and fuzzy, too.
- Be generous: Every once in awhile, just give your members something. It’s easy enough to text or email them a link to a free video, audio talk, ebook, pdf guide, or free tickets to the ovine rodeo.
- Gratitude: Don’t forget to just say thank you, sometimes, too. People like that.
- Teach: Your members have real struggles and questions about their faith. Use Flocknote to regularly answer those questions, helping them grow in their faith and equipping them to evangelize with joy.
- Take them deeper: An email or text message is an ideal way to invite people to join a new group, study something, or participate in a community activity because all they have to do is simply reply with their question or to let you know they’re interested.
- Lead and equip your leaders: Make sure you teach and require every ministry leader in your church to use Flocknote for their own ministry communications. It will improve communications for all ministries and the church as a whole, and it will let you take better advantage of all the cool Unolytics stats which show how well each of your ministries are communicating.
- Turn passive-pew-sitters into engaged, dynamic disciples: Typically, a sizable portion of your membership is not very engaged or involved in the many great things your church has to offer. The more you implement the above practices, the more likely you are to develop the touch-points with these folks that will end up drawing them deeper into your community and a better relationship with God.
You can do this! And we’re here to help! Just ask and one of our Happiness Engineers will get you everything you need to take your ministry to the next level with Flocknote.