How to craft the perfect church email newsletter

Sunday mornings are the pinnacle of the week for churches—the whole congregation gathered together in worship and unity. But, when services are over, how do church leaders continue that sense of oneness throughout the week? One great way is with a church email newsletter!

This virtual communication acts as a digital bulletin board, keeping members informed and spiritually nourished via their computers and mobile devices. Send out sermon recaps, announcements for upcoming events, or the latest news in your church community with a monthly or weekly newsletter.

In this how-to guide, we’ll share tips and strategies to help you craft effective church newsletters that engage and inspire your congregation.

Benefits of a church email newsletter

Churches have relied on printed one-page newsletters and tri-fold church bulletins for years. There’s nothing wrong with these tried and true physical resources, but there’s so much more you can accomplish digitally. An email newsletter can help your church:

  • Save time & resources. Instead of spending the church budget on ink cartridges and reams of paper, create an email template that can be customized and sent again and again. Going digital is a cost-effective choice!
  • Communicate instantly. With the push of a button, the entire congregation can have your newsletter at their fingertips. Email offers a direct connection with your church and an opportunity for them to respond as soon as they want. 
  • Reach a wider audience. It’s not guaranteed that everyone will grab a printed newsletter on their way out the door, but they are likely to read your email. In the U.S. alone, 92% of people who use the internet are using email as a form of communication.
  • Promote sustainability. If you’re printing a weekly or even monthly newsletter, that can add up to a lot of paper each year. Reduce your paper usage by using virtual communication instead.

6 essential elements of a church email newsletter

Whatever you choose to cover in your newsletter will be unique to your church, of course. But there are some fundamental components every email should have that will keep you on track to create engaging, relevant, and helpful content. 

As you consider what to write about, be sure your email includes the following essential elements.

1. Compelling subject lines

It’s easy for your newsletter to get lost in what may be dozens of emails sent to your church members' inboxes each week. As they scan a long list of messages, get their attention with an interesting subject line. What could you say to pique their interest and encourage them to open your email?

2. Engaging content

If a church member trusts you with their email address, that means they want to hear from you! Make your newsletter worth the read with a message that informs, inspires, connects, or educates. This is a great place to share news on upcoming events, regular devotionals, testimonials, church community updates, or spiritual insights.

Free church graphics you can use today!

3. Visual elements

Sometimes you can say more with stock photos, videos, and digital art than you can with writing. These visual media features help keep the attention of your readers and break up large paragraphs of text. For example, if the weekly devotional was too large to include in the body of your email, you could embed a video leading viewers through that week’s prompts and Bible reading.

4. Practical next-steps

People want to know what they can do to grow, get involved, or help others. So, encourage your readers with a call-to-action (CTA) in your newsletter. Invite them to do things like register for upcoming events, donate to a fundraiser, become a volunteer, or participate in small groups. This can be as easy as a hyperlinked sentence at the end of your email.

5. Ways to connect

Include church contact information and links to social media profiles in your newsletter. This increases engagement across all platforms and gives readers an opportunity to get connected online. Also, be sure the email you send your newsletter from can receive replies. People should be able to directly respond to the message and reach out to the church.

6. Unsubscribe option

Adding an unsubscribe option to your church email newsletter is a fundamental aspect of responsible and effective email marketing. Also, it’s not only essential for legal compliance but also provides many other benefits, such as:

  • Demonstrating respect for your recipients' preferences
  • Ensuring that your email contact list is updated regularly
  • Maintaining a positive church brand image
  • Delivering your emails effectively

Craft engaging church email subject lines

You’ve spent time creating an inspiring and practical newsletter for your church, and you know the congregation will get so much out of your content.

So how do you get people to open your emails without sounding over-the-top or cheesy? Create a click-worthy subject line using these tips:

Be concise. Less is more here. Anywhere from 6-10 words is best. Give a hint as to what the email is about without giving the content away completely. The goal is to compel recipients to open your email and learn more about whatever you mentioned in the subject line.


  • A quick question for you
  • New blog post: Discipleship Tips
  • Don’t miss out!

Add a personal touch. Most email platforms allow for personalization not only in the body of an email but in the subject line. If you can count on accurate names in your church database, this is a great way to increase the chances of people opening your email.


  • [First Name], welcome to the [Church Name] community!
  • A gift for you, [First Name]: Unwrap your Daily Devotion
  • Hey [First Name], looking for inspiration? Listen to this powerful testimony

Use action verbs. Create a sense of urgency without the ‘salesy’ lingo by using active language. For instance, words like “Discover,” “Inspire,” and “Find” evoke action and emotion. They also help you clearly communicate and cut down on filler words. 


  • Radiate Hope: Share your testimony and inspire others
  • Ready to lead? Discover your role at [Church Name]
  • Be still and know: Find peace in today’s devotion

Test your text. One simple way you can see what works for your church is through A/B testing. Create two similar subject lines for the same newsletter. Send version A to half of your email list and then version B to the other half. Check your metrics to see which email was opened more.


  • Version A - Did you make it to [Event Name]? Relive the moments!
  • Version B - You don’t want to miss this: [Event Name] Recap

How to track & improve your church email newsletter

When you take the effort to put together a monthly or weekly newsletter, it’s helpful to know if people are actually reading it. You can learn how well your emails are performing by tracking their metrics.

These numbers help you as a church leader make data-informed decisions about your communication efforts, allowing you to make adjustments and see the effects in real time. 

Let’s take a look at three key metrics that will help you understand your email performance.

1. Open rate

An open rate tells you how many unique recipients clicked on the subject line of your email and opened your message. Email providers that specialize in sending bulk emails, such as Subsplash Mailouts, will create reports for you showing how many people opened your emails and clicked on them. 

According to experts, the average open rate is around 39%. If your open rate is higher than average, your subject lines are likely enticing enough for people to at least click on your email. On the other hand, a lower open rate often indicates weak subject lines or a history of lackluster email content. 

Here’s how you can improve your email open rate:

  • Experiment: Continue creating and testing different subject lines to learn what works.
  • Safelist: Request that readers add the church’s email address to their contact list.
  • Verify: Have users verify their subscription to minimize recipients who aren’t interested.
  • Optimize: Ensure your content is optimized for mobile devices.
  • Time: Send emails during peak days and times when they’re more likely to be opened.

2. Click-through rate (CTR)

Your click-through rate shows you how many people are clicking the links you’ve created within your newsletter. As with the open rate mentioned earlier, most email providers automatically provide this information for you. The CTR percentage is calculated by dividing the total number of unique clicks by the number of emails that were delivered, and multiplying by 100.

Fluctuations in your CTR can help you determine which links and media items are resonating with readers and which aren’t. This metric allows you to narrow down what your congregation is interested in with each email you send. 

To improve your CTR, try the following:

  • Embed videos: Include event announcements, testimonies, and messages from leaders.
  • Test your layout: Adjust the way you organize your email and present information.
  • Keep it relevant: Discuss topics that matter to your church and match the subject line.
  • Link your CTAs: Guide people into a click by inserting a link within the text of your CTA.
  • Segment your list: Create subgroups and send relevant content based on their interests.

3. Conversion rate

A conversion rate measures how many readers took action within your newsletter. You can figure out your own conversion rate percentage by dividing the number of users who responded to your CTA by the number of emails sent and multiply by 100. 

Do you get more volunteers when you mention it in your newsletter? Have more people signed up for an event because you announced it and created links to register via email? Understand what types of CTAs get the best response from your church by studying this metric.

If you want to increase your conversion rate you must:

  • Improve: Work on your open rate and CTR first to increase the likelihood of conversions.
  • Adapt: Come up with fresh church newsletter ideas to cater to your readers.
  • Strengthen: Spend time improving your CTAs and work to personalize the text.
  • Intrigue: Use visuals like buttons to make following a link more enticing.

Make church communication effortless

Emailing your newsletter is one of the ways you can instantly inform and inspire the whole congregation on a regular basis. We encourage you to implement these tips and strategies to create impactful church newsletters that people can’t wait to read.

Subsplash makes creating, automating, and analyzing church communication simple. Over 17,000 churches are streamlining communications through integrated email, push notifications, group chat, and text messaging. Plus, with our Mailouts email builder, you can track metrics to craft the perfect newsletter and send it to everyone or just those in select groups.

If you’re ready to make communication an effortless task, [.blog-contact-cta] reach out to our team and schedule a free demo today![.blog-contact-cta]


Ashley Powell, Guest author

Ashley is a writer and lover of all things handmade, living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three children. Through research and collaboration with marketing teams, she creates informative and educational content such as reader-focused blogs, guides, and product reviews.

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