Automated Email Newsletters For Your Youth Ministry

0
272
Rating

Have you ever noticed that our weekly email newsletters happen to arrive at your inbox weekly on the same day and at the same time?  I bet most of you think that we sit around until 10:00am (CST) waiting to push that send button so that you get it right at the exact moment we want you to get it at.

To be brutally honest, we do not even send the email.  In fact, we designed the latest template a few months ago and have sent over 20,000 email without touching a thing.  Want to know how?

We use a magical monkey known as the MailChimp.  This is an email newsletter program that is free for a limited numbers of subscribers or emails sent per month and then you can pay for it after that.  Every time we post something new on one of our sites, MailChimp records it and sends out an email with the latest posts each week at the day and time we ask them too.  Pretty cool huh?

Here’s how you do it.

Set up a blog that has an RSS feed.

We use WordPress and our feed address is located at www.catholicyouthministryresources.com/feed.   Feeds are a universal language used to “feed” the information from our blog to people in pretty much any format that they want it.

Sign up for a MailChimp Account

It’s free to start and you do not need a Credit Card to use it.

Create an RSS Driven Campaign

You can set it to send out daily, weekly, or monthly at current times.

Create the Newsletter

Going through the steps is very easy.  If you need help on using certain codes and such for the feed so it shows up how you want it to, I would check out their cheatsheet.

Start The Campaign

Once it’s started, it will automatically send an email newsletter on the day and time you requested and it will include any new posts from your blog since the last one was sent.

I not only use it for these sites, but I use it in my regular ministry as well.

Parish Leader Updates – We sent out weekly updates from the Diocese with regular updates.  We set up a blog on Blogger and the different staff are able to post new things and even schedule the posts (for example, we like to include the Pope’s prayer intentions).  We can schedule out the posts for the whole year so we do not have to worry about them in the future.

Youth Ministry Update – I send out a weekly Newsletter for the Youth Events in our Diocese.  As long as I remember to post a simple update before the 5th of each month, everyone in our Diocese gets the latest news on events and such.

So what are you waiting for?  Sign up for a MailChimp account here and start making life a little bit easier.

What other email Newsletter tricks do you know of?  Please include them in the comments below!