In Part One of this article, we talked about why applying basic church marketing best practices to your outreach efforts is necessary in today’s post-Christian society. Then, we offered three basic principles for helping you reach out.
In Part Two, we bring you four more church marketing best practices, including what the best method is for marketing your church.
- Word of mouth is the ideal advertising method. Your members are your best ambassadors to the community. And while many Christians are reluctant to share the Gospel, you can build a church where inviting is a core value. To do this, you need to talk about the importance of inviting regularly. Encourage and empower your members with easy-to-use tools and methods. Make sure your church atmosphere is one that your members are proud of and feel comfortable inviting their friends, family and people in the community to attend.
- Create an integrated look and messaging. What do you think of when you see a red and white bullseye, a yellow smiley face, or a tennis shoe with a swoosh (was “swoosh” even a word before Nike?). No one expects your church logo to be so distinctive that everyone will recognize it. However, a consistent, integrated look and messaging is important to your church. People like stability, cohesion and coordination, even in the little things. Imagine how professional and welcoming your church would be if your website, social media, banners, bulletins and decor all had the same theme and design.
- Try, try again. Many times, a church will send a postcard out and not see results right away. They then give up and say: “Oh, direct mail doesn’t work”. However, you need to be persistent. There is a lot of “noise” out there—emails, websites, TV ads and more. Sometimes your invitation gets lost. Other times, it gets tacked up on the family’s cork board and sits there for a couple months. Then, one day, it becomes relevant to that family and they decide to come to church. At Outreach, we have heard stories of people who “saved” a postcard in a drawer, on their refrigerator or on a bulletin board, and then, months later, a life change or crisis sends them to church looking for answers. Think of direct mail as seeds sown into your community, just waiting to flourish.
- There is no magic marketing bullet. Finally, there is no one best method (sorry)! Every community and church is different. What works for a megachurch in California may not work for the small Baptist church in Iowa. What we do know is that it takes more than one “impression” to reach the typical person. Multi-impression marketing is a tried and proven method. Not only do you need to send a postcard, you also need to post a banner outside your church, promote your events on social media, send your members out with invitations like door hangers, and put up flyers at the coffee shop. Studies show it can take up to seven impressions before a person remembers an ad. You want people to say to themselves “Oh a postcard from First Baptist—aren’t they the church that has that big banner outside and the flyer at Joe’s Coffee Shop? Maybe I should check them out.”
Conclusion: Putting Church Marketing Best Practices to Work
As a church, finances are always tight—and you always want to be a good steward of the resources you have. Don’t waste your efforts and funds on ineffective tools. Put these church marketing best practices to work for you. And, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Outreach has a team of people who are experts on helping churches grow. The phone call is free and so is the advice and prayer!