For many, a church isn’t complete without a church newsletter. However, do you have the kind of newsletter members look forward to or do they just toss it to the side?
A great newsletter is engaging and makes recipients eager to see what’s inside. Whether it’s a traditional paper or digital version, the right design and content makes all the difference in getting more volunteers, more new members and better attendance for special events.
By following a few simple rules, you can up your church newsletter game and make the next newsletter far more effective.
Include Engaging Content
No matter how your newsletter looks, no one will give it a second glance without engaging content. Use clear, catchy headlines for each area of content to make it stand out. The object is to not only inform readers about upcoming events and next week’s sermon, but to also give them something to think about. For instance, include scripture that’s relevant to current events or a special message from the pastor.
Thom S. Rainer offers 10 great tips to make your newsletter content more useful and engaging to readers.
Keep It Simple
Readers don’t have time to read a novella every week or even every month. This is why it’s a good idea to find content to link to if you want to expand upon certain ideas. Links could be to other sites or a relevant blog post on your church’s website.
Try to keep printed newsletters within 2-3 pages with a larger font (this makes it easier for everyone to read it). For email newsletters, opt for 1,000 words or less. Less is usually better, but as Constant Contact states, keep your email newsletters concise.
Make It Visual
Images are always a plus when it comes to a great church newsletter. They help break up text and draw the reader’s eye to important topics. Want more volunteers? Make sure they notice the call-to-action with an irresistible image. Images are also great as the background for scripture or to showcase the success of a previous event.
Break Up Content
Long blocks of text are hard to read, even in printed newsletters. Most people scan content in an F-shape online. Scanning also applies to printed newsletters. This means you have to break up content if you want readers to take notice.
Using bold headlines, images and short sections of text make it much easier for readers to scan and find what they want. Remember, having whitespace in your newsletter is a good thing. The easier it is for readers to scan the content, the more likely they are to stop and read the sections most applicable to them.
Create A Theme For Each Newsletter
While this isn’t a set rule, it can be helpful to create a theme for each newsletter. This makes it easier for you to come up with relevant links to other content, scripture to share, thoughts from the pastor and more. Plus, it also gives you a chance to get readers involved. Give them the upcoming theme and ask for content from them, such as a poem, personal story or image. These are great for adding to your church’s website and linking to from your newsletter.
Link To More Content
You don’t have to limit your newsletter content to just your thoughts. You’re also not limited to the text in the newsletter. Don’t be afraid to seek out engaging content from other sources, such as fellow churches and worship leaders. With email newsletters, it’s easy to link to other articles or content on your church’s website.
For printed newsletters, create a short form link to include in the newsletter along with a short description of where the link leads.
Ask For Feedback
One of the best ways to create great church newsletters is to ask for feedback. Ask your members what they’d like to see or what they don’t like about the current newsletter. Getting feedback with each newsletter helps you design something that works best for your members.
Offer An Email Version
Finally, if you don’t offer an email newsletter, now is the time to start. Use your church’s website to ask members and non-members to sign up. The great thing about an email newsletter is you’re not limiting your content to just your members. Anyone from around the world could request the email version on your site. This helps you reach more people. It’s also a good idea to offer the latest newsletter on your site to showcase what potential signups will be receiving.
Need a website to start offering your email newsletter? See how our website design services help your church create the perfect site for your needs.