Does your church send email newsletters with information about upcoming events and church news? If so, can you tell how many people read each email? Are you seeing an increase in visits to the church website or more event registrations within a day or two after sending a mass email?

An email marketing software can help with those items and much more. Here are a few reasons why your church should consider email marketing software:

Reason No. 1: Be certain your emails reach people

If you’re sending mass emails through Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, or another standard email system, those messages will probably get flagged as spam. Have you looked at your own email account’s spam folder lately? It’s likely full of messages you never want to read and certainly didn’t ask to receive.

When you use email marketing software, this reduces the chance that your messages will be marked as spam.

Reason No. 2: Save time and data

If someone on staff maintains a list of email addresses in a spreadsheet or within their email account’s contact list, it quickly becomes inefficient.

What happens when the staff member responsible for maintaining the email list is no longer on staff? The church could lose a lot of valuable information if those email addresses aren’t stored in a central, church-owned system.

Even if you export email addresses each time from a church management system (ChMS), that’s still time you’re spending unnecessarily. When you use email marketing software, you can leverage any integrations between the email service and the church’s ChMS.

Some ChMS tools have a built-in email system that offers tagging and helps your emails avoid being viewed as spam, so check on that before paying for separate email marketing software.

Reason No. 3: See how well your emails perform

Email services provide reports on each message that goes out, including how many people opened the email, how many clicked on any links within the email, and more. Don’t be surprised if the open rate is 25% or less.

While that can be discouraging, that’s a fairly standard open rate. Use that information to try different attention-getting subject lines or sending targeted emails to specific groups.

Reason No. 4: Send individuals information that’s relevant to them

There are a couple of ways you can approach sending emails out to the congregation. One technique involves sending everyone everything (information about all upcoming events, invitations to sign up for small groups, etc.). That approach will make your emails long (which, let’s face it, very few will actually read the whole thing).

A more effective method involves sending emails that are directly applicable to the recipients. That means you only send an invite to the marriage retreat to married couples, for example.

Email marketing software gives you the ability to assign categories or tags to each person (single, married, parent, new to the church, first-time guest, members, or not in a small group).

There are several email marketing software vendors out there, including the following. Many provide free trials and lower costs for smaller email lists, which should help keep costs down.

Overall, using an email marketing service can help your church reach people with information that’s relevant and useful for them. That’s a win for them and the church as a whole.