All too often, our communication falls flat.
The average email open rate is usually around 25%. We’ve all had times where half our team is frantically texting us with questions… that we answered very clearly in last week’s email.
Personally, instead of just trying to change WHAT I communicate, I’ve started focusing on HOW I communicate. Here are some tips and tools that might help us be heard by the people we serve.
1. STOP OVER-COMMUNICATING
Do you sleep with white noise? The constant drone helps block out unwanted noise that might wake you up throughout the night, but it also doesn’t discriminate. It just blocks out everything. I hate to say it… but email is already white noise to people. So much junk mail clouds our inboxes, and people’s default action is to SKIP whatever they know won’t be relevant, helpful, or important. And sometimes, they just skip it all to save the time!
I try never to communicate via email with my team unless it’s information that they absolutely need. And in every email, I trim the niceties and fillers so that they get the information almost immediately upon opening or reading. The message I want to send is simple: I respect your time, and I’m here to support you – not drain you.
If your team can trust that when you send an email, it’s vital information, think about how effective your communication can become! You’ll have confidence that what you’re saying is heard much more than 25% of the time.
2. WE HAVE TO GO TO THEM
The most important thing about communication is that it’s received. It can never be understood or utilized if it’s not first received. The reality is, many people don’t live in email world. People steer clear because it’s full of mass marketing, emails are usually too long to read and digest quickly, and it often feels more professional and detached.
So where do they live? Texting! Here are some eye-opening statistics…
:: 95% of texts are read within 3 minutes of being sent
:: Texts have a 45% average response rate
:: The average adult spends 23 hours a week texting
If we want to be heard, we have to put ourselves where people are listening. Texts are immediate, personal, and short. So not only do you get to someone quickly, but you get your whole message across at once. No fluff, no filler. Just encouragement. Just helpful information. Whatever it is you’re sending, make sure it’s loud and clear!
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Here are some helpful tools that make texting scalable on a big level:
FIND A HOME BASE FOR “MORE INFORMATION”
There is a middle ground “sweet spot” – we want to go to where the people are, so we choose texting. But we have more than 160 characters of important information… date, place, time, information… so what do you do??
As an example, here’s a sample text that combines the best of both worlds:
“Hey team! Can’t wait to see you at the Groups Rally THIS Saturday! It’s going to be a blast! Get all the info at bit.ly/2uGyEpN.”
By combining a text with a web-based “home base” for the nuts and bolts of the information, you can…
– Get the most important info right in front of people’s eyes
– Make it easy for them to respond immediately if they have questions
– House all the info in a place that you can easily send people later, or that they can refer to easily
Here are some ideas for what that “home base” can be:
– Hidden pages on your church’s website
– Posts or events on a team-only facebook page (this is a double whammy, you can communicate through facebook as well!)
– A group or page inside of your church management software (if everyone is used to using it already)
All in all, there are tons of different ways to communicate with your team or the people in your church. But if you stay away from needless over-communication, go to them where they are, and find an easy-to-remember static home base for more information, you will be well on your way to being heard when you communicate!