There has never been a better time to grow your parishioner email list, but gathering them can be difficult. Other than asking for it when people formally register as members to your parish, you need to be creative when it comes to asking for their email address. Following are four “outside the box” ideas to help you not only grow, but maintain, your email distribution list.
1. Designate a Communication Sunday Once a Month
Hold a Communication Sunday where you pass out cards for all members to update their contact information. It can be as simple as a full card with all areas, and a simple checkbox at the top that says “no changes.” Encourage full participation by having a drawing for a gift card, tickets to a local movie theater, or even dinner with the pastor if he’s up for it!
Pro-tip: Make an announcement at the end of Mass that explains why it’s important for correct contact information, especially email. And make sure they know that their information will never be sold, rented, or leased to third parties.
2. Capture Email Addresses at Registration Time
There are many events happening at the parish at any given time — think charity raffles, festivals, Bible studies, and presentations. If it’s something that parishioners need to register for ahead of time, consider asking for their contact information (i.e., email address) to make it official. It’s a fast, easy, and free way to stay up to date.
3. Create Bonus Content
Ever signed up for something because it sounded good? Of course you have! You can do the same thing with your parishioner email list. Consider making exclusive content available online, which can be accessed through an email link sent by the parish. Perhaps recording the pastor’s homily and making it available on the website, creating a compelling blog series by a well-known parishioner or knowledgeable staff member available only through email, or an online parish-led online Lent or Advent reflection series.
4. Make It a Contest
Encourage your congregation to submit their contact information through a drawing. For prizes, you can ask a business who already supports the parish through bulletin advertising to donate to the cause — think gift cards, fun experiences, and free or discounted services. The better the prize, the higher the participation rate! Be sure to advertise what could be won in the weeks leading up to the drawing.
Looking for a way to make use of the email addresses you collect? Check out WeShare’s Engagement Campaign — free for all WeShare customers!