Email addresses… they are old school… I think I’ve had one since at least 1998! Email hasn’t changed too much since then, and it’s still one of the most reliable ways to communicate with your congregation, but the tools you need to deliver email from your various ministry systems has changed quite a bit from where it was even 10 years ago. Today I’m going to cover the three email platforms you should have available for your church so you can effectively communicate with your congregation.
Main email service provider
Your main email service provider is the one you log into every day to send and receive emails. It can be on Microsoft 365, Google Workspace for Business, or via web hosting providers (yuck, please don’t! 🤮). Microsoft 365 donations are the way to go for 99% of churches. Why?
- Free user donations that have religious belief exemptions in the terms.
- Security via Exchange Online Protection and Defender for O365.
- Integration with Teams and OneDrive.
- The reliability is unmatched.
TIP: if you are communicating with others inside your church, do it inside Teams instead of sending an email. 😎
Email marketing platform
You have a church full of people that you need to communicate with. You absolutely should not send bulk email like newsletters or announcements on your main email service provider, so what do you use? You use an email marketing platform! The most popular one among churches has been Mailchimp as it has traditionally been one of the easiest to integrate with Church Management Systems (ChMS) like Planning Center and offers a free use plan.
Here’s a few of my favorite email marketing platforms with free usage plans that would cover most churches:
Transactional email provider
Finally, you need a transactional email provider. This is handy for things like your multi-function printer where you want to scan documents and email them back. Your main email service provider needs to be exceedingly secure with 2-factor authentication which prevents most printers from working with Microsoft 365 or Google Workplace without compromising security and compliance. 👮 Here are some common devices/software you can expect to connect to need a transactional email provider for:
- Multi-function printers (MFP)
- Church Management Systems (ChMS)
- Network Attacked Storage (NAS)
- Some email marketing platforms
My favorite providers for transactional email services are:
- AWS SES
Getting emails delivered
Make sure you approve all your email platforms in your SFP and DKIM records via your domain name server (DNS) so they don’t get mistaken for spam or phishing! I made a video a few months back on setting records for deliverability that you can access here: Make sure that your church members receive and open your emails (geekout.biz)