How to Increase Church Newsletter Subscribers


Email newsletters are something like 1000x more effective than any other type of digital marking. The mere fact that a user has opts in to receive direct marketing messages from you make email newsletters the ideal means of promotion.

While my church has had an email newsletter for many years we have failed to identify the real value that it brings to subscribers. As a result our newsletter subscriber rate has grown at a disproportionate rate to our overall church growth. We’ve fluctuated between 1400 and 1500 for the past 3 years.

Something Had to Change

It’s clear that something had to change. There is no point of having a communication outlet if you don’t define what value that outlet brings to the strategy and, ultimately, the conversation.

It was decided that our email newsletter would become the place for us to to do 3 thing.

  1. Regardless of how far out an event or promotion might be, when able, it will appear in the newsletter first.
  2. Stories that emerge from our community both in local media outlets or in house productions will be highlighted and shared.
  3. The newsletter top header image will reflect the current initiative of the overall church. When there is no current initiative it the head image will point to current communication initiatives.

Once these factors were decided we set out to take the entire month of August to promote subscribing to the newsletter to the church at large. Whenever possible we included an invitation to subscribe to the church newsletter.

The Results

After one month of focused promotion of what we call our eNewsletter we increased our list membership by 48 subscribers. This might seem modest for a church of 1800-2000 Sunday attendance but if you consider we typically see 1-5 subscriber increase each month this is a huge win.

Your Turn

Do you have a communication channel in your organization which needs a clear definition of what it brings to the conversation? Have you experienced a large growth in engagement as a result of clarifying the purpose of a particular channel?