Perhaps you have been thinking about sending out your prayer letter by email, or you may already be sending it out through Outlook as an attachment. However, you can make your emails more impactful by using an email service like MailChimp to send your letter.
I did a survey with my ministry partners and found in general that women like to read the printed letter and men prefer to read by email. I suggest sending both. Sending your prayer letter by email should not become the only way you communicate with your ministry partners. You should continue to send it by mail as well. Also, using multiple touch points of communication each month enables you to stand out.
There are several other email services that are available, but MailChimp has a generous free option and is very easy to set-up and use. Here are some of the key features:
- With MailChimp you can personalize each email to your partners using merge tags. This will make your email standout.
- All your text including pictures and links are in the body of your email (people don’t generally like to open attachments in emails). You can send both text and HTML.
- MailChimp provides reports for email sent so you can see who has opened your email and clicked on links.
Here are some tips that will help you get started.
- First sign up for the free version account at http://www.mailchimp.com. You can have up to 2,000 contacts (12,000 emails sent each month). Beyond 2,000 contacts there is a tiered monthly fee that includes a 15% discount for non-profits.
- Fill out all the info and get all your settings in place.
- Create a list and import your contacts into your list. You will need to put all your contacts (name and email address) in an Excel spreadsheet to import them into MailChimp. Click here for instructions on how to do this. You can export your contacts from Outlook as well. Click here for more information.
- Once you have done this then you choose a pre-made template or create your own. Type out your letter (images and links).
- Test and Send
Doug has been on staff for 17 years and serves as a media producer and digital strategist for The JESUS Film Project. He is Chick-fil-a and Sweet tea fanatic. He has been married for 13 years to Karen and they both enjoy traveling the world with the ministry. You can find Doug online on Facebook and Twitter and at his blog Outside The Box Ministry.