This week I’m writing about the one thing I’ve done in my first six months at Gateway that has paid of BIG TIME! It’s all about communication. No one should be left in the dark.
Once I realized that I needed to start communicating consistently, I moved pretty quickly. I ran a report that gave me the email addresses of all moms, dads and household of any kid who attended Gateway in the last four months. We sorted the list, eliminated the duplicates and simply cut and pasted them into my Outlook email. I crafted an email (it was a little longer than I wanted it to be, but it was divided into heading for differnt age groups or events). that I would send out every Wednesday afternoon.
TIP: If you ever have to email a lot of your parents from your personal email, I’d HIGHLY suggest you BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) everyone rather than put them all in the “To” box. You’ll quickly irritate your parents by not hiding their email from the dozens (or hundreds) who might add them to email chains.
I was pretty straightforward at the beginning of the email explaining that we had many changes on the horizon with many special events with information parents would want to know. I explained that we would be launching a new tool for communication within a few weeks that would help inform parents. I also told them that they would be getting emails from me every week through the end of the summer. So, everyone knew what to expect.
TIP: Oh, and being new I knew that I needed to make sure my email didn’t get ignored. I knew that many parents wouldn’t have any idea who I was and they were likely to delete the email before reading it. To be honest, even after being at a church for a very long time, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to things we’re a well known as we might think we are. So, my emails always have the subject line of “Gateway Church:” in the front. I know that “Gateway Church” carries more weight than Kids Quest or something else. So, be sure to be very clear in the subject so your paretns know exactly what the email is and will want to open it.
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