Skimable and Deep Dive.
Format the email in such a way that people can quickly skim over the topics and then pause to dive deep into those areas that impact them the most. Provide links and attachments for people who want to go even deeper with more information. The team should be able to quickly gather the “big ideas” for the weekend, but those people who want more details can access those as well.
Track the Usage.
Find a way to track if people are opening your email and clicking on the links provided. For me, I use Boomerang for Gmail to do this … it lets me “secretly” track how many opens each email gets and what people are clicking on. (Email systems like Constant Contact, Emma or Aweber do this as well.) Keep an eye on the usage patterns of your emails and adjust what you are doing so more people open and use it.
Leave Some Gifts.
Occasionally leave some development resources for your team as a “P.S.” to your email. Even if your team doesn’t download them and use them, it’s a simple way to show appreciation to your team. The keeners on your team will download those resources and will love checking your emails to see what new goodies you have every week!
Mix it Up.
There is a balance in making your emails predictable so your people know “how to use” them and also making sure they don’t get stuck in a rut. If every email was so different, it would make it harder for your people to find the information they are looking for, but it’s also fun to add some different elements every once in a while. Put in a cartoon from something that made you smile about church leadership. Shoot a “selfie video” talking about what’s coming up on that big weekend. Include a free MP3 with a song that inspired you about what your church is talking about.
Here some examples of weekly emails that I’ve sent to my team: