By Jonathan Howe
Last week, I discussed 10 content suggestions for churches to use as starting points for creating weekly email newsletters. This week, we turn to content that might cause issues in your church email newsletter.
While these may be occasionally acceptable, email newsletters with several of these will likely see decreased engagement and effectiveness. So here are six content landmines you want to avoid in your email newsletter.
- Long articles. As I mentioned in last week’s post, it’s great to have an article from the pastor or a staff member in your email newsletter. But I also noted that this article needs to be brief. If someone opens an email newsletter and sees paragraph after paragraph of text, they are not likely to read the email. People tend to scan emails and look for bullets and headlines. Keep your articles as short as possible and use a variety of headlines and bulleted or numbered lists if possible.
- Lengthy prayer request lists. Speaking of lists, prayer lists are great content for email newsletters. But the landmine is long lists of request after request. It’s probably best not to include every single prayer request in your email newsletter for a variety of reasons, but the space they take up might be the most important reason.
- Overly specific events and details. When including event information, include the bare minimum with a link for more information. While you may think that including detail after detail after detail will be helpful, many readers will tune out the details, and you’re likely to find yourself frustrated that people aren’t paying attention to this information. Also, try to limit the events listed in the newsletter to those that are church-wide or involve large groups of people in the church.
- Detailed recaps of the previous week. It’s fine to list a few stats or details from the previous week, but you don’t want to go on and on about what is in the past. Try to keep your email newsletter focused on the future of the church and upcoming events.
- Multiple fonts and colors. This might be the biggest landmine for church newsletters. I’ve seen too many email newsletters that use multiple colors and fonts within the text of the newsletter. Try choosing a simple layout with one or two colors and one or two fonts and stick with them.
Again, I encourage you and your church to have an email newsletter. Just be smart in how you use it and what you include.
Have you found any of these in your church newsletter? What else would you add to this list?