People receive around 100 emails per day, a mind-bending mix of work-related communications, solicitations from different organizations, personal bills and spam. The average person is constantly sifting through the clutter in their inbox. They are deciding whether to click on and read the email, delete it or “save it for later” (many never get to it later – we have all been there!). If you’re trying to get someone’s attention in this day and age, a key question is: who should send the email?

Many parish employees ponder how they can get their email to stand out as special in a crowded inbox. If you are wondering that too, ask yourself: if you had the choice to pick between an email from your utility company and a message from your friend, which would you choose? How about deciding on an email that shows the company name as the sender versus the name of your pastor? My money is on you picking the latter in both cases.

Studies show that people are 20% more likely to open emails if they are personal, meaning they come from a person and not an organization (or a spambot!). Many parishes fall victim to sending email blasts that are not segmented or personally addressed.

Overcome this by adding your name as the sender. You should even consider leaving out the parish’s name! Use a personal salutation, as in “Dear Tom and Jane,” instead of the generic “Dear friend” or “Dear parishioners”. Make sure recipients can reply to your email and avoid “do not reply” messages. Last, you can add a P.S. at the end of your message as a personal touch.

Taking these steps won’t solve all your communications problems, but they will set you on the right path. Who should send the email? A real person! Watch responses to your email go up – all because you took those few extra seconds for the personal touch.