15 Steps To Add a Digital Outreach To Your Church

digital outreachUnderstandably, the first question that might come to mind is, “Why should we add a Digital Outreach to our church?”  Well, there are a host of reasons you might want to pursue new ideas for outreach, and the reasons for Digital Outreach are indicated below:

  1. You will have the ability to reach out beyond the confines of your church to a greater, broader community.
  2. If your church currently ‘serves” those in a ten mile radius, your Digital Ministry can go nationwide, or even international.
  3. It will allow you to better fill the Great Commission, per Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”
  4. Allow you a way of ministering to a vast mission field!

After wondering “why” to go Digital, the next natural concern is “what to do” to go Digital. You may want to establish a Digital Outreach Team, which will coordinate with those in charge of creating other ideas for church outreach.  Together, they can create a plan to implement all your outreach ministry ideas.  Following are fifteen suggestions to help you create a Digital Ministry.

  1. Launch Prayer Walls – An excellent way to facilitate outreach to people’s needs can be added to the website or church Facebook page.
  2. Establish an E-Mail Campaign – That people can receive for free, like “40 Days to a  Happier Marriage”.
  3. Set up a Facebook Page For your Church’
  4. Offer Free Downloads – White papers on various topics such as “Three Weeks to overcoming a Negative Thought Life” or “10 Biblical Steps to Getting your Financial House in Order.”
  5. Offer Electronic Bible Studies – “How to Establish & Improve Your Prayer Life.”
  6. Translate your Website into a Foreign Language – Preferably the predominant one in the area you serve.
  7. Turn Pastor’s Sermon Series into e-books’.
  8. “Stream” your Services on your Website and/or upload videos to You Tube’
  9. Place “Teaching Videos” on You Tube  – Pastor having a “conversational chat” on various topics via digi-cam.
  10. Develop an “Articles Archive” – Written on a variety of topics, you are basically creating an “Online Library”.
  11. Develop an “Online” Bookstore’
  12. Develop a “Bulletin Board Forum” to discuss various topics/issues.
  13. Establish an “e Learning Center” – Classes on virtually any topic:  Bible Studies.
  14. Create a “Christian Calendar” – Upcoming Events, Local & National.
  15. Have a Church Blog – Discuss current events and life today from a Biblical point of view (Movies, Political Issues).

AND HERE’S A “BONUS” STEP!!!

1. Create a Prayer Chain – “Text Message” Prayer Chain

Now that you know “why” and “what,” visit Pathmaker Marketing  to learn “how!”

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Basic HTML

basic HTMLWhile the number of changes regarding the Internet seems to come Geometrically rather than Arithmetically, email marketing experts know that there is one standard that is vitally important to successful E-Mail Campaigns: HTML. The abbreviated form of Hyper Text Markup Language, HTML is basically the “Computer Language” that is read by browsers and lets it know how to display things in your E-Mail, from Font to Colors and from where images are positioned to paragraph breaks!

The email marketing professional is aware that while there are a number of Internet Languages, not all are suitable for E-Mails. For example, a popular, and effective, language for Websites is CSS or Custom Style Sheet. However, most ISPs tend to “strip out” CSS in e-mails, thus making the E-mail that was CSS unreadable and, obviously, ineffective. While your designated recipient will receive your E-Mail, there is no idea what it will look like, so avoid CSS when designing HTML E-Mails. Another language not supported by E-Mail is Flash. Avoid that in HTML E-Mails as well.

Another Language, and a relatively simple one, is simply known as “Text.” Unfortunately, Text has some major disadvantages compared to HTML. For example, you cannot include any images in Text, nor can you “track” your E-Mails to determine who’s opening them and who isn’t. Inasmuch as both of these are vitally important in an effective E-Mail Campaign, it is most apparent why HTML is superior to Text.  Any professional email marketing service will be quick to point this out to you.

Knowing HTML and using it to code your E-Mails is just the first step. To ensure that your recipients are receiving the E-Mail the way it looked when you sent it, you need to follow up and discover how each “E-Mail Box” is rendering the E-Mail when it comes in. There are a number of “ISPs,” with the most prevalent being AOL, G-Mail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and Outlook. Prior to doing a “Mass Mailer” it is imperative that you send a sample to each “Box” and verify that it is being rendered properly. As can be imagined, a poor looking E-mail does not speak well of your company and/or organization.

Not everyone understands the subtlety of HTML and the way to “check” an E-Mail’s rendering in any of the Boxes. As a result, it may be wise to have a direct email marketing firm like Pathmaker Marketing LLCwhom employs a group of talented experts who stand ready to assist clients in the skillful art of HTML Coding. Dedicated to producing effective E-mails and making sure that they are rendered properly in every Box, these email marketing companies produce E-mail Campaigns that not only present their client’s position but also deliver results.

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