Sending out a weekly email to your team is an effective way to make sure that your people are focused on the same thing going into the weekend. A good weekly email is part logistics reminder part talking points and part motivational propaganda. If you don’t currently send out weekly emails to your teams it would be a great practice to start getting into! Here are some critical factors to consider when sending out weekly team emails to people at your church:
- Predictable Time. // Pick a time during the week and try to stick to sending it then. For me, I think sending these emails out on Thursday mornings fit well into the rhythm of our work flow. Everything is (generally) settled for this coming weekend and it gives people time to digest it before the weekend.
- Lead With Vision. // Make sure a piece of the email points back to why we are doing this work. Remind people about the reason for the church’s existence. Share a quick “win” from the weekend before. The more you can draw direct lines to what is happening this weekend to the “big picture” the better.
- Use Pictures. // We live in a post literate world … communicate with pictures. 😉
- High Information Density. // People are going to be receiving this email every week and so you need to make it worth their while to open it up. Avoid lots of fluff but rather attempt to pack it full with as much helpful information as possible. Write it and then edit it to find ways to say the same thing but with less words.
- No Surprises! // Make sure to focus on things that might be different or out of the ordinary for the team so they aren’t caught off guard. Look for “variance” in your weekend experiences and take extra time explaining those details to your team.
- Skimable & Deep Dive. // Format the email in such a way that people can quickly skim over the topics and then pause to dive deep into those areas that impact them the most. Provide links and attachments for people who want to go even deeper with more information. The team should be able to quickly gather the “big ideas” for the weekend but those people who want more details can access those as well.
- Track the Usage. // Find a way to track if people are opening your email and clicking on the links provided. For me I use Boomerang for Gmail to do this … it let’s me “secretly” track how many opens each email gets and what people are clicking on. (Email systems like Constant Contact, Emma or Aweber do this as well.) Keep an eye on the usage patterns of your emails and adjust what you are doing so more people open and use it.
- Leave Some Gifts. // Occasionally leave some development resources for your team as a “P.S.” to your email. Even if your team doesn’t download them and use them it’s a simple way to show appreciation to your team. The keeners on your team will download those resources and will love checking your emails to see what new goodies you have every week!
- Mix it Up. // There is a balance making your emails predictable so your people know “how to use” them and also making sure they don’t get stuck in a rut. If every email was so different it would make it harder for your people to find the information they are looking for but it’s also fun to add some different elements every once and a while. Put in a cartoon from something that made you smile about church leadership. Shoot a “selfie video” talking about what’s coming up on that big weekend. Include a free MP3 with a song that inspired you about what your church is talking about.
Here some examples of weekly emails that I’ve sent to my team: [This one was from last weekend.] [Here is the one I sent the week after Easter … always a tough weekend to keep people motivated!]