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12 Mistakes Good Churches Make on Their Weekly Email

Flocknote’s Happiness Engineers have helped thousands of churches with their weekly emails over the years. Many churches, who otherwise do a great job communicating, still make a lot of common mistakes in their weekly email newsletter.

A church’s weekly newsletter is such an important opportunity to get right—it gives your folks a pulse on what’s going on in your community and helps them to feel a part of what you and your ministries are building. But as long as the information I want to get across is all there, why does anything else matter? You’d be surprised! In many cases, even just small tweaks can make a major difference in the effectiveness of your church’s communications. Let’s dive in to our list of what to keep an eye out for when it comes to your weekly church newsletter!

1. Not sending emails at all – We share information through so many other channels…is communicating by email really a big deal? In short, yes! Emails are one of the most critical channels for a church to reach its flock when they need to and reaches far more people and more directly and effectively than most other channels. If you aren’t sending a weekly email to everyone, then this is the time to start! [Watch: “Nobody Reads Email Anymore?” (S1Ep1) – The Finding Uno Show]

 2. Not using a proper email service – Unfortunately, we still see churches who copy and paste chunks of email addresses at a time into the bcc field and just blast out emails through their regular provider. Using a proper email service (like Flocknote) allows you to track sending data to help you manage your communications well, and also includes legal necessities for sending to large groups of people (like the option to unsubscribe).

3. Not sending consistently – Regular communication helps your members feel a part of the meaningful mission of your church, and it even creates anticipation for what’s coming next! But people like to know what they are signing up for: it can be frustrating to not hear from you for a while, and then at times hear from you too many times in a week. We find once a week is a really good rhythm for churches. [Watch: “When & How Often Should You Send Email?” (S1Ep4) – The Finding Uno Show]

4. Not using consistent branding – Having a consistent look and feel of your email each week (considering color theme, use of logo and brand images, etc.) helps make your communications look more polished and professional… but more importantly, more thoughtful and intentional. That doesn’t mean every email has to look identical, but when you have certain elements that are consistent it makes it easier to switch other things up while not losing the value of cultivating a church identity. [Learn how to share a custom template with other admins at your church using Flocknote.]

5. Not using the subject line well – Your subject line is one of the most important factors in whether or not someone chooses to open your email! Use the subject line as an opportunity to give a headline of what unique information is in this week’s email [Watch: “Writing a Great Email Subject Line (For Churches)” (S1Ep3) – The Finding Uno Show]

6. Too long / too much info – Your members should be able to get the main information of your email in 30 seconds or so. If you consistently put too much information in your emails, you’re training people to think of your emails as something that they don’t have time to read through right now—they’ll just plan to come back later, but most of the time, “later” never comes. [Watch: “Say Less, Communicate More” (S3Ep03) – The Finding Uno Show]

7. Not optimizing for mobile – Most of the emails you send to your members are read on their mobile devices. Don’t put your primary content in a static image (like a flyer or an image version of your bulletin) just pasted into your emails. The text will be too small for people to read on their phones. Take the time to put important information straight into your email as text so that the size and format will automatically adjust for mobile viewing.

8. Not knowing your audience – Who are you speaking to? Avoid sharing lots of specific insider information that speaks mostly to the highly involved, the people who already “get it”. If it’s not really valuable for everyone and speaking to the wider group, it shouldn’t be the primary focus of your weekly email.

9. Treating email as one-way communication – Things like the bulletin and announcements at church are naturally one-way (not really an opportunity for interaction and discussion.) But if that’s how you treat your weekly newsletter, you’re missing out on key benefits of using email as a communication channel. It’s not just about telling people what you need them to know, it’s an opportunity to build relationship: to listen to, understand, respond to, and serve your people. Invite them to respond, use interactive elements like polls, and engage in conversation with them through replies.

10. Not asking “What’s the purpose?” – If you don’t understand why you are sending the email, don’t send it. Make sure each email you send has a clear intention: focus on a couple of main priorities, make sure they come across clearly in the email, and end with a clear call to action.

11. Not going back to evaluate – Remember to go back and ask, did it work? (Did people open the email? Did they participate in the way we were hoping they would?) If it didn’t, change what you are doing. Taking the time to look back and see how you did gives you the chance to make improvements that lead to more success in your future communications. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback! [Use Flocknote to “Say Less, Communicate More” (S3Ep03) – The Finding Uno Show as well as your church’s communications as a whole.]

12. Not spending enough time – Your members are getting bombarded with all sorts of messages…if yours is just average it won’t stand out above the noise. Avoiding the mistakes above and finding ways for your communications to be meaningful takes time. Of course in church work things get super busy… but when it comes to communication, getting this right can have a major impact on achieving the main goals of your church community so taking the time is worth it.

This list was adapted from this episode of The Finding Uno Show, a fun & free show hosted by Flocknote Founder & CEO, Matthew Warner. Looking for more advice about being more intentional with your church communications?  
Watch or listen to full episodes at 

Use this list of 12 mistakes as a sort of pulse check on your own church’s communications. How do you think you are doing? 

If you see areas for improvement, we don’t recommend tackling everything at once. Try to choose two or three adjustments you can make in the coming weeks and start from there. You’ll be amazed by the impact you can have on the effectiveness of your church’s communications in a short time by making these small tweaks. Go for it!

Written by Cathy McTighe

Written by Cathy McTighe

Flocknote Happiness Engineer