In an effort to reach out to members in the way they want to be reached, we sent out a survey to over 3,000 members on a variety of digital platforms asking for their feedback. Boy did you guys deliver.
Full transparency, the comments we got were just what we needed. They were honest, bold, thoughtful, honest, creative, and did we mention honest? It was just what we needed to make our newsletter something that you get excited to read.
So, let's go over these results.
52% say they read the newsletter weekly (this is very good news because we send it out weekly!!!) We plan to continue this weekly email with a few exceptions.
Holidays - you're on vacation, we're on vacation, and nobody wants to check their email when they are on vacation.
Vacation - we're on vacation, and nobody wants to send emails while they're on vacation.
No New News- it'd be pointless to send you to repeat information, so if we are hitting a "dry spell" where local churches aren't sending in new content and we don't have enough updates, then we will just resume the following week.
Not surprisingly, the Events section is the most loved section. Let's be honest, it's our favorite section too. We even got this comment which we thought was pretty accurate:
"Participation in a conference event is 1000x the blessing of reading a news article or a devotional."
There's just something about being AT an event surrounded by friends new and old. The events are where memories are made! With this info in mind, we will be keeping the events section up to date with upcoming events complete with dates, and links to Registration Pages on each newsletter.
Sections Rated Based on EXCITEMENT!
Events, Local Church News, Adventist News, and Inspiring Articles/Stories had the highest excitement rating. Adventist Gossip had the lowest rating.
In an effort to keep our newsletters short (as over 1/2 the participants noted the importance of this) we plan on incorporating many of the above topics throughout the year.
As we were reading through ALL the responses, a few stuck out to us. We decided to bullet the rest so you can see what we are seeing.
Local Church News
Love the intuitive layout
Make it more applicable to real life
Love the links to events
Favorite Ideas that we want to incorporate in future newsletters:
"Take time to congratulate the converts (by name) and share their story of how they met Jesus." - WE LOVE THIS IDEA. Consider it done. If we can figure out how to get those names.
"I wish there was a page to find out everything other churches are doing so we can work together in unity much more." - THERE IS! JOIN THE OKLAHOMA ADVENTIST EVENTS FACEBOOK GROUP TO FIND OUT ABOUT LOCAL EVENTS.
"Make it more applicable to real life." In the coming editions, we will have a section called "Tip Talk" - get excited!!
"Give it more energy, make it engaging, needs to be encouraging, needs to make the members excited to be part of OK Conf, make the average member feel ownership in the OK Conf and Adventist Denomination!" Awesome. Energy, like in the words we use, the emojis/gifs/images - we will be including more images - at a big risk because emails with lots of images get flagged as spam, but this was a huge request so we will try it! We'll also be including polls so we can hear from you all!
"Maybe a kids section, and/OR teen section. Highlight a pathfinder club or just a pathfinder." We hear you - though kids and teens aren't our main readership, we love the idea of incorporating a section or maybe a full newsletter each quarter that focuses on the kiddos.
And our favorite comment of all that truly captures what we want the newsletter to be:
"I think you are on the right track but it seems like we are just 70+ churches all doing our own thing until the camp meeting when we come to together. I know it's near impossible, but maybe if the newsletter contained the feeling of camp meeting (creating connection, camaraderie, fellowship) I would definitely look forward to it, however, I know that idea may be impossible to capture. So until then keep up the work and let us know the OK happenings."
Serious Y'all. Thank you for your feedback. We're excited to more forward and make our Newsletter inspiring - something you get excited to read!
by :: Wes and Ashley (Communication Team)