Church email newsletters: Autoresponders and A/B Testing | Tech Help for Churches

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On today’s Tech Help for Churches,

Advanced features in church email newsletters — autoresponders and A/B testing

As we’re winding up this series on church email newsletters (don’t forget to ask questions if there’s something that I haven’t fully covered or you think I missed something), I asked myself what else did I need to include. The only thing I could think of was some more advanced techniques for using tools that normally only email marketers use.

Then I thought, maybe online marketers have something to teach us about email newsletters, especially autoresponders and A/B testing.

You should note that both of these features aren’t included when you first sign up for MailChimp. One will be added after you use it for a while (at least A/B testing used to be that way). Autoresponders, which Mailchimp calls “automation” is now a paid feature, but I think it’s worth it.

Let’s start with autoresponders. When someone joins the church (and thus the email newsletter), they don’t have the background that most members of the congregation have. They don’t know how the church is structured, its history, and even volunteer opportunities. These are all great subjects to send emails about automatically when someone joins the list.

A/B testing is different. Internet marketers use it to get more people to buy their stuff. Our goal should be to test to find when the congregation is most likely to read the church email newsletter. We can also find out what subject line sticks out the most and what “from name” works best.

For the how-tos, watch the video.

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Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div.

Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div. has been a tech volunteer with Quest Community Church in Lexington, KY since 2000 and is the founder of TrinityDigitalMedia.com, llc. He became part of the technology in ministry team when his church’s attendance was around 200 in one Sunday service and has witnessed it’s growth to 5,200 average weekly attendance in one Saturday service, four Sunday services in one online and two physical campuses. He literally wrote the book on podcasting in churches, twitter in churches, & servant-hearted volunteering, as well as writing various articles for publications like “Church Production” and “Technologies for Worship” magazines.