Imagine you spend weeks planning a youth event at your church, only for no one to show up. Or envisage countless hours dedicated to organising your Christian Concert, that no one turns up to hear. For some churches, unfortunately this sounds all too familiar. They plan incredibly exciting events, but for some reason the message doesn’t seem to be getting out, and they aren’t reaching enough people.
It’s been an exciting year for the church, and we have experienced church staff and parishioners embrace email communication like never before… and thus, 2016 has seen the rise of the email segmentation phenomenon! A marketing dream, segmentation claims to increase recipient engagement and make your emails more effective. But what is segmentation, and why should your church do it?
At ChurchDesk we are always keen to hear how our customers are doing, so we sat down with The Revd Gerry Sykes to talk about how he felt his churches, St Paul’s and St Michael’s Wakefield, were getting on.
Inviting back the church’s lost generation
The church currently faces a dilemma. Where have its young adults gone, and how can it get them back? Over the last few decades it has become clear that less and less young people are joining and staying within the church. According to a recent report from The Guardian, the average age of congregations in the Church of England is now 62. Young adults today are more likely to claim no religious affiliation, and less likely to attend worship. They marry later, have children later (with more and more having none at all) meaning they miss important milestones to get involved in the church early on.
We are launching the greatest improvement to our app so far, making it possible to communicate with your congregation from your phone. When we launched “People” last autumn it was with the ambition to make it simple to use for direct and personal communication with the congregation and other interested people. We believe that the church is under increasing pressure - it must find a way to communicate that resonates with the youth group, and have the tools to support the employees and volunteers in the church in the best possible way. Since smartphones have recently overtaken laptops as the UK internet users’ number one device, these tools cannot be restricted to computer use, they have to also be available via phone. Therefore it is with great pleasure that we announce this update.
Many churches I meet have one address book in their Outlook, another in their GMail, and various bits of paper lying about with contact information on. Unfortunately this is rarely used (and even more rarely organised into useful categories) which means that right now there are many people who could be missing out on information from their church. In many places the printed church newsletter has been phased out, or is on a limited release. This creates an even greater need for additional information to be sent out to the congregation, in order for them to be kept informed about what goes on. We know from our studies that direct and targeted communication, such as e-mail, results in more uptake and participation in church events. It is therefore important that we make it quick and simple to get in touch with the right people.
The relationship between our sales team and our clients is a very close one. Many times you understood and you are now certain that YOU want ChurchDesk for your church. There is one small hurdle remaining... the PCC or parochial church council needs to give their stamp of approval. The problem here, that nearly always arises, is that Phil, Arran or any of our other dedicated team can not be there when you present your case for ChurchDesk. As a result of this we have received numerous requests asking for assistance. I have decided to put together this article to help you answer all the most frequently asked questions at the PCC.
Think about the last newsletter you received in your inbox. Was it a newsletter you looked forward to or just another e-mail to add to the daily clutter in your inbox?
If it was clutter, then I would suggest that the information provided in the newsletter did not give you any value. So how do you give your newsletter value and avoid being added to the daily pile of junk? We have put together 10 ideas for you to help you create a great newsletter that gives value to your congregation.
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