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Help Your Church Invite Guests with 3 Easy Resources | Easter QuickWin #9

Help Your Church Invite Guests with 3 Easy Resources | Easter QuickWin #9

Jesus is the hope of the world and the local church is the vehicle of expressing that hope to the world. – Andy Stanley

Each week your congregation has the opportunity to bring hope to their neighborhood, workplace and more.

For many, expressing this hope seldom extends beyond a friendly “hello” or a polite response. Gripped by fear, and afraid of awkward silence, they struggle to start spiritual conversations.

With minimal effort, you can reduce their anxiety.

Empowering them to be your churches advocate in the community.

Here are:

3 Resources to Help your Church Invite Guests This Easter

Your church is having conversations weekly with people you will never meet

Fear often keeps them from inviting a friend to church

Give them resources to diffuse the fear and uncertainty

Printed Invite Cards

  • Easter branding on side 1
  • Service date, time, location on side 2

Social Media Graphics

  • Page on your website for them to download
  • Link FB, Twitter and Instagram graphics

Social Media Posts

  • Same page on your website
  • Don’t leave them guessing, Include suggestions for what to say

Best Practices for Church Postcard Mailings

Best Practices for Church Postcard Mailings

In recent years, postcards and other church direct mail campaigns have declined in popularity.

There is still a place for them, when approached strategically…

When you think about a postcard or any church direct mail campaign, you have to start with strategy first, then delivery.

Strategy for a Mailer

1) Determine your goals / purpose

  • what are we trying to say
  • what action do we want them to take
  • what is the point of this print piece

2) Determine your audience

  • who are you trying to reach with this
  • what type of printed items do they respond to

3) Design a Card that speaks to your audience and meets your goals

  • does it look like something they would expect to see
  • does it answer the questions they might have
  • does it give a clear “next step” you want them to take
  • is there a phone number, email or web address to use for questions

4) Pick a Delivery Method

  • In-House Mailing – more than 200 units qualify for bulk mail, can send at reduced cost
  • Every Door Direct Mailing (EDDM) – every door direct mailing through postal service, target homes within a designated delivery area
  • Mail House – submit your postcard and they help you set the mailing up for delivery, if you have a mailing list they can address the cards or you can rent a list from them to target your delivery area and send directly to your community

Don’t dismiss the use of a Mail House. We found with a larger mailing that often the amount saved in postage between EDDM and Mail House covered the majority of the Mail House costs

Delivering Your Mailer

1) Print the Postcard

Before you send your mailer out, make sure you meet the requirements of your delivery method (paper type, paper weight, type of gloss on the paper, etc)

2) Mail the Card

USPS doesn’t let you invoice mailing. Make sure you have money in your Postal service account to cover an in-house mailing, or have a check ready to pay for the EDDM or Mail House.

3) Track your results

A strategy is repeatable and trackable. Make sure you count the following in connection to your mailing:

  • phone calls
  • emails
  • website visits

Make note of any questions you receive so you know what you can adjust for your next mailing

 

Case Study

Since my initial posting of this I found a great case study about the concept of church direct mail campaigns.

Kenny Jahng from butler.church interviewed Peter Gowesky, pastor of Hope City Church in Sarasota, Florida about this very topic.

Print vs Digital Bulletins What’s the Big Deal

Print vs Digital Bulletins What’s the Big Deal

Printed church bulletins are an interesting topic. And every communicator has an opinion about them.

The reality is that print bulletins have stuck around as long as they have for largely one reason…

They are one of the few consistent communications channels churches use.

Your church knows they can expect it. So while other communications have gone away, but the bulletin has remained.

The question that needs to be addressed though is…

Do print bulletins still matter? Should we continue to put resources toward them?

There is a push currently to move toward digital versions of the bulletin. With churches trying

  • Apps
  • Online Newsletters
  • Emails

Any way they can deliver information quicker, with less cost and lower environmental impact.

Unfortunately, if your church has a history of a print bulletin, you are going to have difficulty getting away from it

There is a group in your church who sees the bulletin as their main communication connection to what you offer.

When they have a question, it’s where they look. It’s how they expect to get information about your church.

While younger church attenders would rather receive text messages or online notifications, it is not how the older generation communicates.

They want ink on paper. Something they can refer to when they need information.

The churches I’ve seen try to move completely away from a print bulletin have run into challenges.

  • Details fell through the cracks
  • Information was not fully conveyed
  • People felt disconnected from what was going on

If you are looking to move away from a printed bulletin I would caution you.

You are best to treat it as a transitional piece that is slowly phased out. Rather than an item to just stop printing one Sunday.

Consider delivering information that would be in the bulletin through different digital channels. Simultaneously provide print copies for those who want one.

If print costs are your concern, this would help you greatly reduce the number of copies necessary each week. Since much of the bulletin remains consistent, you might consider printing only twice twice a month. This would allow you to reduce your costs even more.

Every church is different. But a resource as simple as a print bulletin can speak volumes to an entire generation about how much you value them in your church.

Transition from a printed church bulletin only when needed, and remember to keep your church informed if you do.

5 Part Promotion Plan to Increase Christmas Attendance

5 Part Promotion Plan to Increase Christmas Attendance

Only 5 Sundays ’til Christmas. Is your church ready?

If you’re like most of the churches I’ve worked with, by this point, you’re well on the way to planning your event.

You know what you want to do. You’ve just got to get it done.

Assuming you’re well on the way to planning. What are you doing to make sure your community attends? Do you have a Christmas promotion plan?

While the question may seem ridiculous.

It is Christmas after all, and families go to church around  the holidays. Right?

It’s one you need to consider.

There are some simple things you can do to increase attendance and connect your community…. but it takes planning.

Since time is in short supply, I’ve created a Christmas promotion plan for you.

It’s based on my 12 years in church communications and will get your message…

  • Heard multiple times
  • Seen in various forms
  • Delivered in time for people to plan to attend

Here is your 5 part Christmas promotion plan

1) Verbal – Start 5 weeks before

Statistically, people need to hear about something 3-7 times before they respond. With the typical church goer only attending 2-3 times a month we need to maximize the number of times we announce opportunities.

Don’t just share the when, where, how of your event. Take time to let people know how participating will affect their lives. If they come, how will they be impacted?

Your goal here is to not only inform them, but to inspire them. If they see the importance, they become an advocate for you and will be more likely to invite someone else.

2) Print – Start 4 weeks before

There is a fine line with print. Too early and people forget about it. Too late and they’ve already made plans.

Start talking about Christmas in your bulletin 4-5 weeks before your event. Letting people know details and filling in information.

Make it easy for your church to invite friends by providing flyers or invite cards 3-4 weeks before your event. This gives them time to make connections and saves them the embarrassment of forgetting details.

At the same time, send a postcard to your church family. Reiterate the details and let them know about the invitations for their friends. This reminds those who’ve been at church and informs those who’ve missed recently.

Your goal is to deliver information but also to hint at what to expect. Set the tone for them so they know what they’re getting in to. If it’s a serious event than speak more seriously, if a lighthearted opportunity than be fun.

3) Web – Start 4 weeks before

Your website is the digital front door of your church. Most visitors will visit you online before they ever walk in your building.

Make the most of it by sharing about your event and what they can expect when they arrive. Use the space as an opportunity to break down mental barriers that people might have about attending a church event.

4) Email – Start 2-3 weeks before

Depending on the day of your event, plan to send several emails over the course of 2-3 weeks. This is a great place to repurpose what you’ve used in print already so you don’t have to start from scratch.

The key is to remember that people live busy lives. You want to deliver the important details, set a tone for what to expect and let them know why attending is important. Encourage them to bring a friend and leave them wanting more. Better to deliver several emails, people want to read, then a long winded one just because you had the room.

5) Social Media – Start 2-3 weeks before

Use your social media as a way to spread the excitement of what is coming. Minimize posts about the when, where, how of your event. Instead, build excitment with posts about last minute planning, rehearsals, volunteers and what to expect. This is your opportunity to make your Christmas event personal and relational. Link to event details for those who want to know more and encourage followers to share your content.

Following this promotion plan will help ensure event success.

For some, I know this list is enough. I also know, some people would rather have a check list to follow or an actual calendar. So, I’ve created an automated one for you. It takes all these items into account and even includes suggested delivery dates for your planning.

You can download the Excel sheet here…

Christmas Promo AutoScheduler

Watch this 37 second video to see how easy it is to use.

I’d love to know how this resource has helped. Let me know in the comments below.