This Sunday our church started a new 9 week series in the book of Nehemiah. In conjunction, we launched a massive initiative called #TrinityPrays, involving the web, email, facebook, twitter and instagram…and good old fashion paper.
As Nehemiah cried to the Lord, we are asking the congregation to pray for our church, our mission and our future. To help facilitate this, we have setup a daily email with short, practical and encouraging reminders to pray.
If you’ve ever attempted something like this before, you can appreciate all the work that has involved. Writing the daily pray reminders is just the beginning. Fortunately, we have a team of writers that is taking care of this part. Here is a gimps into the “back end” tech work that was involved to make a campaign like this happen.
- Each days pray reminder (9 weeks x 7 days = 63) is uploaded to the website. We post a week at a time. WordPress allows you set the date so you can publish in the future. I set it to publish to the web at 1:00 am.
- We created an RSS feed for all the #TrinityPrays web posts.
- We connect this RSS to our MailChimp account that sends out the daily email. At 5:00 am, I have MailChimp check to see if anything new was posted. It then sends the email to everyone that has subscribed. Each day I get an email confirming that it was sent successfully, and how many people it was sent to. MailChimp has great tracking and reporting ability. We can see sent vs opened, subscription/unsubscribe trends, etc.
- MailChimp handles all the subscribe/unsubscribe lists that can make these kinds of email campaigns so difficult. At this point, we are using a free account, but I assume we’ll have enough people participate that we’ll soon need a paid account. (Since our campaign is only 9 weeks, it should be less than $50 total)
- MailChimp automatically posts to our Twitter account. Since I use #TrinityPrays and the date as the subject of the email, that is what we tweet. Sample: #TrinityPrays – Sunday 9.29.13 – http://eepurl.com/F5No1
- The plan is to create a variety of original artwork for Instagram (one per week). While I’ve been following Instagram for 2 years, I was hesitant to have “one more” social media account for the church. With this campaign, it’s now firmly on the list.
- In addition to original art, I plan on using the Repost For Instagram app to make it easier to post related “prayer topic posts” that other people have created. Upgrade to the professional version for 99 cents. Since it eliminates the ads, it’s totally worth it.
- In addition to the posts that we do, we’re encouraging our congregation to “continue the conversation” online by using the #TrinityPrays hashtag in their various social media postings. We’ve never tried this before…I’ll be curious to see if it catches on.
- We have a variety of people that don’t engage in social media or that even have email. To encourage them to participate during this prayer focus, we have a printout of the week’s posts that we’re making available for pick-up.
- This doesn’t include the work that was involved in branding the campaign, making graphics for the web, PowerPoint, worship folder etc.
Bottom line, it’s one thing to have a “great idea” in a meeting to send out a daily prayer email… it’s another to make it happen. With all the effort that went into this, it is my sincere desire that as we pray together as a church body, we become closer, and more focused on Jesus, his Word, his church and our mission.
Click Here if you would like to sign-up and join us on this journey.