The trick is creating something called a follow up series: a set of auto-delivered e-mails sent to new subscribers, designed to get visitors comfortable with your church. Follow ups are easy to create if you use an e-mail marketing service that provides pre-designed e-mail templates. You can just drop your content in and specify how many days you’d like to go by between messages.
Then every new visitor will receive all the details you’d like to share about your church. That is, after you get their e-mail addresses.
She then goes on to explain a few key strategies for collecting emails from first time visitors, what you might include in a series of auto-responders, and how to ask subscribers if they’d like to continue receiving emails once the series is over.
Benefits of an email auto-responder system
There are a lot of benefits to setting up an email auto-responder system for your church:
- It’s a “set-it-and-forget-it” mule that keeps on working for you.
- Almost everyone uses email so it’s an important medium to utilize in your overall church communications arsenal.
- Do this well and the visitor sees your commitment to excellence.
- Church shoppers need to land somewhere and you are sharing vital information that will help them connect.
- Services such as MailChimp and AWeber make this a user-friendly and easy process regardless of your computer proficiency.
- The church shopper has provided their email address willingly (through a contact form) and are wanting to receive info.
A few reminders about the limitations of email auto-responders
Reminder #1 This should not be your only plan for follow up!
Reminder #2 An email isn’t a relationship. As Matt says in the comments, “What I’m looking for when visiting a church is a personal connection that goes beyond information.”
Reminder #3 The email will actually backfire if it isn’t done well. I personally use MailChimp for my disciple making newsletter. The author of the article, I believe, works for AWeber. Both are top of the line choices. Find a good program and work on the design and content before you hit “send”.
Go on over and read the rest of Amanda’s thoughts about church email auto-responders.
Are there other benefits to email auto-responders? Have you seen a church that did this well? What are some concerns you might have about such a plan?