Why is your church not reading the emails you send to them... it’s probably you, sorry.

I’m trying to think of the last email that I got from my mom that I deleted without reading. Thankfully it seems like the era of inane email forwards about the newest virus that will infect my computer or the most incredible photo from the 1960s that I’ve never seen.. is over. So when I get an email from my mom, it’s a personal e-mail where she is asking me something or sharing something with me.

So when an email pops into my inbox with my Mom’s name in the From address – I’ll open it.

If I get an email from you that looks like this, I’ll probably read it:

If you send me an email that looks like this… it’s not as likely:

Since many of you are preachers – let me break this down in a way you can understand – a three point outline:

The “3 Ps” of a good email.

1) From a Person.

You are a person and your email should say it’s from you. Try to strip out any fancy formatting and blocking that makes it look like it came out of your CMS (even if it did). Make it from YOUR email address. Sign it with your name as if you were writing an email to a friend or staff member. And when talking to your congregation – talk about the emails as if you were asking a buddy if they got the email you sent them. This will help bridge the relationship from the digital world to the real world.

2) To a Person

It can take a little bit of work to word an email in a way that can go to many people – and still feel as if it were written to the person individually – is worth it. People read emails that are sent to them. Not emails that they received because they are on the mailing list. That is a distinction worth considering when writing emails. If can help to write the email it to a specific person first – then go back and generalize it without losing the “voice”.

3) Periodically

Don’t send too many emails. Maybe weekly with the exception of special circumstances. Too many emails will get you ignored.