When St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago wanted to create a cleaner, clearer newsletter for their congregants, they sought out Sarah Best Strategy’s email newsletter design services. Working within church branding guidelines, SBS designed a visually appealing, straightforward template that allows St. George staff to organize and present church-related information in an easy-to-read way. SBS also offered St. George a personalized MailChimp video tutorial illustrating how to further customize the new template using code blocks.
St. George Greek Orthodox Church, located in a tight-knit community in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, is one of the oldest Greek Orthodox parishes in the Chicagoland area. In addition to regular church services for their congregation of approximately 1,000 local Chicagoans, they offer outreach ministry, youth programming, and Hellenic Orthodox education for grades K-12.
St. George reached out to Sarah Best Strategy for a redesign of their monthly newsletter template. With a robust open rate of about 70%, St. George’s newsletter is the primary method of communication with their congregants and contains a great deal of vital information about church events, services, programming, and other offerings.
They sought an easy-to-use template that presented content in a clearer, more engaging way—while still adhering to the church’s brand guidelines—in order to raise awareness around events and programming, drive readers to their social media accounts for further interaction, and sustain strong ties with their loyal and supportive congregation.
Primary goals for our work together included:
Creating a consistent, well-organized, and aesthetically pleasing newsletter template that adheres to church branding
Expanding congregants’ channels for receiving church information by embedding social media account links in newsletter template
Ensuring that staff feels confident using MailChimp for future newsletters
Our first recommendation was that St. George migrate their newsletter to MailChimp, as the platform easily accommodates the use of Greek symbols.
From there, we created several newsletter template choices in MailChimp that offered a sleeker, more organized look while following Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America branding guidelines. We then further optimized their chosen template by utilizing custom code to improve the look and spacing of specific text blocks and images.
We also ensured that the new template contained direct links to St. George’s very active social media accounts to drive congregants to additional platforms for church information.
As we built and edited the newsletter template, we also provided St. George staff with MailChimp setup and usage support by creating a personalized Loom video tutorial, which included information on using code blocks to customize specific newsletter modules.
After working with Sarah Best Strategy, the parishioners who create St. George’s newsletter feel comfortable and confident with the new template and are able to customize content blocks to suit their needs. The updated template allows them to organize important church-related information every month and present it in a way that is clear, straightforward, and visually attractive to readers.