What’s the best way for a pastor of a hometown church to stay in touch with the congregation? For Pastor Tim Benjamin at Wayne Street United Methodist Church, it was email. Each Monday, he’d send out a newsletter with information on upcoming events, articles of interest and a link to recorded audio of the previous day’s sermon. Because the emails were sent using Gmail, there was no way to track who was seeing them. And there was so much information to share, the emails ended up being text-heavy - a big deterrent to anyone reading them all the way through.
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Wayne Street United Methodist Church is dedicated to serving its congregation and community in St. Marys, OH. The church lives out its mission of “Love God. Love people. Change the world.” through service activities, faith-sharing and community outreach.
The Challenge
Pastor Tim had to find a way to simplify his emails while still getting his congregation the messaging they needed. And he also needed to find a tool to help him manage the subscribers and create a more visually appealing design. With a limited amount of time to devote to marketing and digital tactics and being unsure of the tools available, Pastor Tim was looking for a helping hand, not a full-blown digital makeover.
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Our Strategy

At Marketing Essentials, each client is treated as an individual, not as a number. So when we evaluated what Pastor Tim and the church needed, we came up with a simple strategy that could help him send the messages he wanted and get the most impact.

First, we set up a MailChimp account and built email templates that could be used over and over again with a minimum of effort, branded to the Wayne Street website.

Next, we worked with Pastor Tim in a series of training sessions, covering everything from adding new content to the email templates to managing the subscriber list to checking analytics. Finally, Pastor Tim could keep track of who was opening the emails and see what content they were most interested in.

Lastly, to help reduce the amount of text in the emails and provide more dynamic content for viewers, Marketing Essentials trained Pastor Tim in using Soapbox, a simple video recording program. This allowed him to easily create short videos and insert them into the emails for viewers to watch.

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Our Results

Pastor Tim’s emails have enjoyed great success since their revamp; a total of 934 have been delivered to subscribers since September. And their open and click rates are at 66 and 22 percent, respectively – at or above industry averages.

“Patty Cisco’s team first taught me how to use MailChimp to do my emails. It has given the emails a professional look, and they are much easier to create than regular emails crammed full of endless words that are hard to navigate.  

From there, I have met with the Marketing Essentials team to learn the potential and possibilities of our online presence. They have opened my eyes to a potential I didn’t know was possible for a church website. They are currently working to change our web page into an online experience where people can come to get a small taste of our church rather than a bunch of information.

I appreciate Marketing Essentials for helping me see what could be for our online presence!”

– Pastor Tim Benjamin, Wayne Street United Methodist Church


A smart digital strategy doesn’t have to be big to achieve meaningful results. When Pastor Tim moved beyond Gmail to a more sophisticated email tool, he could gather insights he couldn’t before and was able to share visually attractive content to an engaged audience.

At Marketing Essentials, we can partner with you through strategy and coaching and grow with you as you grow your business – just like we did with Pastor Tim and Wayne Street United Methodist Church.