When our team conducted a national research project focused on giving trends in Catholic parishes, we asked parishes how many registered households had an email address on file with the parish. Churches that had emails for 70% or more of their households reported average household giving that was 21% higher than churches that had emails for 30% or less of their households. The value of an email address was immediately clear:
Here are three easy ways to capture more email addresses:
- Conduct a parish survey or census using a free, online survey tool such as SurveyMonkey. Make sure that the first question you ask is “what is your email address?”
- Ask for an email address on every sign-up form being used by your parish or ministries. This will include everything from on-line sign-up forms for bible studies to parent authorization forms for vacation Bible school.
- Train your staff to ask, “do we have your email on file?” when interacting with parishioners in person or over the phone.
Having (and using) parishioner email addresses allows you to communicate more quickly, in a more efficient manner and in a way that most parishioners find preferable to postal mail. Parishioners who feel connected to their parish volunteer more often, are more generous in their financial support and are more likely to recommend your parish to others. The value of an email address is specific and measurable – make sure you’re collecting as many as possible!