An autoresponder is a good way to keep putting your message before the memberHow do you get your candidates more involved in your congregation? Or how do you find such new people in the first place?

You offer a free newsletter course.

We recently got 28 signups in eight days for a spirituality course for one of our religious communities. We used both paid advertising and organic posts on a Facebook page to publicize it.

Now, this religious community has 28 more curious people on their newsletter list. And they have their email addresses and names for followup.

The offer was a free seven-day course. It was made up from previous newsletters, which was easy to do. The course was set up on Constant Contact with what is called an autoresponder. MailChimp has the feature, too, as do most newsletter programs.

When the person signs up for the course, they get a welcome email right away, and then one email each day for seven days.

Another client of ours got nearly 600 signups in two months after our course, “Free Benedictine Course in Spirituality,” went viral.

The free course has a different appeal than that of a normal newsletter. You don’t get the often-heard response, “Ugh – not another newsletter.”

The person thinks, “Hey, I’d like to learn about how poor people in Africa are being helped, how to help inner city kids, or how to grow in my prayer life,” for example. Furthermore, they think, “I’m getting a free course, and I won’t get flooded with emails afterwards.”

Marketing expert Perry Marshall says that his research shows that you can double your sales with an autoresponder, as compared to a simple sales page driven by a Google ad. He calls it the “drip, drip, drip” method, since you keep your message before the person day after day.

Look for your best newsletters, and prepare your autoresponder to get new members and donors!