What's in an Email Address?

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First impressions are important. And while it may seem quite innocuous and innocent, an email address can play a major role in casting a first impression of your congregation.

Members and regular guests may know the personal email addresses for the pastor, office administrator, or other ministry leaders. But for those who visit your website or social media pages looking for a means of contact, what first impression are you sending?

Many businesses choose the commonly used email address info @domain.com. And for many churches it is office @churchname.

However, on a recent overseas trip, I noticed a refreshing change to this standard (as seen on church signs outside and in bulletin covers). These churches used far more inviting email addresses such as welcome @churchname and hello @churchname. My first impression was that these were churches that valued hospitality and personal relationships!

What message is your church conveying through its standard email address(es)? Is there a better way to convey friendliness, hospitality, or other values that are important to your congregation?

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Admin

Thank you for this excellent reminder! Setting up our church contact emails to start with 'hello' or 'welcome' may be more impactful than we realize. I've appreciated when companies create this "Yes, please contact us" impression as well. 

Community Builder

You raise a good point, Ken. The most important element in any church website is the Contact Us section. Unfortunately, many churches get it wrong. They simply provide a form that needs to be filled in and then "submitted" to some unknown office person at the other end.

So much for being a seeker-friendly church. Where possible, the pastor's profile and email address should be included on the website. And if it's a larger church with multiple staff, the key point persons should also be profiled along with their email address.

From a privacy perspective, or to prevent email harvesting, it may be advisable to use something like bob[at]firstchurch.

Back to the main point, each church website needs to have a Contact Us page that is very user-friendly and that includes the church's physical address, phone number and time of worship, in addition to that personal contact info.

 

Community Builder

Hey Ken! Great post! As a communicator and former church administrator, this is something I'm pretty passionate about. When I came on staff in my former church, I assume the church had wanted to seem approachable and friendly when they first set-up our emails, so they used our first names in our email addresses: [email protected]. On the surface that seems great... but from a visitor's or non-member's point of view, they likely thought, "Who is this Erin? What does she do? What do I contact her for?" While [email protected] might seem cold and distant and impersonal, it's super practical and you don't need to change it with every staffing change! When it comes to emails, keep it simple and clear for the win!