Communication Your Community Will Actually Read
Bulletins, announcements, emails, social media accounts, and other avenues of communication are an incredibly important element for the day-to-day operations of churches of every size. From routine updates to emergency notifications, you need to be able to contact your church community quickly and efficiently.
But considering the low engagement of email and social media and the difficulty of using a call list, sometimes it can be challenging to communicate in a way that is efficient and engaging. That’s one of the reasons why churches have been turning to in-app push notifications which get read by 50-80 percent of app users.
When used effectively, push notifications can be the cornerstone of your church communication and engagement with your community, wherever they are. We’ve outlined some key steps to producing, managing, and deploying push notifications so that they can be a successful communication tool for your ministry.
How It Works
When users download your church’s app, they’re given the opportunity to opt into notifications, like they do with any app. Whenever you send a notification, their phone will buzz, and they’ll see the message you wrote. This could include content like…
- Weather-related announcements
- Small group updates
- Event reminders
How to Get Started
We’ve developed the unique set of tools your church needs to effectively leverage push notifications to engage with your community. Here are four strategies to keep communication fresh and relevant—to ensure the most effective outcome from your messages!
1. Create a schedule
The biggest reason users opt-out of receiving push notifications is because they feel like they receive too many. Take some time at the beginning of the month to plan out a few push notifications. Use your church’s events calendar, sermon topics, and groups to decide on content. Determine dates and times for each notification. We’ve found it’s best to send between 4-10 push notifications a month. Start on the lower end and see how your users respond.
2. Send relevant messages
The second biggest reason users opt-out of push notifications is because they receive messages that are irrelevant. When you are creating your content, make sure to think about the audience you are trying to reach, then tailor your message accordingly. We’ve found it’s best to title the message of the notification to individuals. Send messages that can be applicable to everyone and use the second person (i.e., “you” and “your”) instead of the third person (i.e., “they,” “their,” “it,” etc.). Just remember not to send too many messages!
3. Send “actionable” messages
Push notifications are more than just a way to transmit information. They give you the opportunity to interact and engage with your community. This is important to remember when determining what your message should say. Ask yourself if the message would cause someone to take an action. If people don’t know what you want them to do, it’s not very likely that they’re going to read your mind. If you want people to join small groups, make that clear in the message!
4. Keep It Simple and Clear
While push notifications aren’t the magical communications solution that will fix every issue in your church, they are an important part of staying connected with your community outside of a weekend service. But in order to leverage push notifications effectively, you need to remember to:
- Limit the number of push notifications to 4-10 a month
- Keep push notifications relevant to the people you’re sending them too
- Always have an action step you would like people to take
Whether your church is new to mobile technology and push notifications or tired of using an antiquated mobile app platform without the features you need to engage your community, the Pushpay app is the answer you (and your community) have been waiting for. Click here to talk to a Pushpay expert about getting your own church app and start using push notifications to better engage with your community!