No matter how busy people are, they’re still constantly accessing their phones and other devices. Make it easy for them to digitally engage with the content of your church, starting with these church newsletter alternatives:
1. Text Messaging
Right now, text messaging is the #1 effective form of communication. It’s instant, people are usually notified immediately of a text (considering most people carry their phone or watch on their person), whereas an e-mail or printed piece might only be viewed periodically.
For content, consider taking the information you’d normally use in your printed newsletter and break it up into very small, digestible chunks to send weekly; most churches recommend sending 1-2 messages per week. Alternatively, you can text a link to your newsletter if it is available online.
Using your database of contacts, send bulk emails with helpful platforms like MailChimp or Constant Contact. You can easily format your emails to be personalized. Each recipient can be greeted by their name or the body of the email can include personal information that you’ve recorded in your database, like the monetary amount given this year or their family’s attendance.
This method of communication is a strong church newsletter alternative because it can be long-form and designed to look and feel like a newsletter, though created digitally, plus good analytics.
3. Social Media
Leverage your social media accounts to provide updates and let people know how ministry is still happening through your church. Gather a team of techies to post on your church’s Facebook page, and then create similar but alternative posts for Instagram, Twitter, and wherever else you “live” digitally.
4. Weekly Blog
Leverage the blog on your church’s website to communicate important information to your church members. This digital space is great for sharing things like: life-change stories, testimonies, new initiatives, and recommended resources.
Another method for determining blog content is to simply analyze the different components of your church newsletter and consider how they can be adapted into a weekly/monthly column of their own. For example, many church newsletters contain engaging photos and reports on particular ministry events. Why not reserve a spot in your editorial calendar to report monthly on one of your ministries and highlight a recent event.
5. Amazon Alexa Flash Briefing
Flash briefings are a subset of Amazon Alexa skills (skills are essentially "apps" for your Amazon smart speaker). They are audio clips that are usually topical and ephemeral, and almost always short — just a minute or two in duration.
They can be very newsy, like those from ESPN and CNN. But they can also provide folks with inspirational content. This can easily be done using myChurchDaily.com and enables your members to get a daily or weekly update. Simply record and upload your message using the friendly website and your message will be available every day on your church member's Alexa devices.
6. Weekly Video
Your senior pastor or a high profile leader can easily do a short video communicating upcoming events, sermon series and other interesting info using a mobile device. It should be short, less than 5 minutes and can be placed on your website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube page, emailed or link texted.
Podcasts are the latest way to disseminate information to and connect with your church attendees. Whether you publish your show weekly, monthly or seasonally, just make sure your audience is aware of released podcasts. Ask followers to subscribe and also be sure to promote your show.
Create a “Coming Up at our Church” segment of your show as a way to inform your congregation of upcoming events. Be consistent. Choose a delivery schedule (weekly is best) that you can confidently deliver.
8. Weekly Postcards
Yes, we are referring to snail mail. Putting together a well-designed postcard with a nice image can get some attention. People still get mail and they will look at it if it’s not too cluttered. Be sure and put website info on it so people can get more info. You can get a bulk mail permit and send them out weekly.
We are all about helping your church fulfill its purpose through technology and other means. We’ve been serving faith based organizations for over 20 years. Reach out to us today by emailing [email protected] or using the live chat at the bottom right of this screen.