With limited budget, staff and time, you have to plan and execute your church marketing wisely. Avoiding these five common blunders will help you take positive steps to grow your congregation.
1. Failure to use church marketing to reach the entire community.
“Preaching to the choir” is an apt church metaphor – if the only people you communicate with are current members of your congregation, you cannot hope to expand your ministry or grow your church. That’s why deliberate marketing that goes beyond random word of mouth or the accident of someone driving by your church and noticing your sign is so important
Church postcards build community relations, increasing awareness of your church and your “brand” – what you stand for spiritually and as a neighbor.
2. Failure to take advantage of the versatility of church postcards.
Year round marketing with postcards enables you to affordably keep your message in front of recipients. Repetition creates the sense of familiarity that makes prospective members comfortable enough to visit your church.
You can use a “resident” mailing list which goes to every household in the area you designate, to reach out to the broadest possible number of people on an ongoing basis. That’s crucial, because you cannot see into people’s personal lives to know who is ready to receive your message at any given time. Leaving no stone unturned in your quest for new members means you are much less likely to miss someone who needs you now.
Postcards are also ideal to promote short-term campaigns – events like your annual Christmas concert or after-services Easter egg roll for kids, registrations for summer youth camp or projects like your winter food drive. Repetition is important here, too, because people are busy and it’s easy to forget. Mailing two or three postcards a week apart creates better response for you, and the reminders are appreciated by your recipients.
3. Failure to provide enough information.
The easier you make it for people to say yes to your invitation to participate, the more likely they to accept your offer. Promoting joining you for worship? Print the schedule of services on your postcard. In fact, it’s a good idea to include a bullet list of all your programming – classes, activities, special projects – because you don’t know which one will appeal to each recipient.
This is easily the biggest, most comprehensive blunder you can make with any type of church marketing, especially postcards. Doing it yourself all too often results in poor quality – not the image you want to project.
Working with direct mail professionals ensures you’ll be business-savvy about your marketing without compromising your message or your integrity. You’ll get design that authentically reflects who you are and inspires people with your welcome message. Choose a full service direct mail company that has a reputation for excellence and personalized customer service, so you know you’ll get a skilled, caring working partner to create and deliver your postcards.
5. Failure to plan in advance.
Last-minute efforts guarantee lackluster results. You could entirely miss out on the response you hope to generate, making the work you put into your marketing a waste of time and money.
If you’re planning a Christmas-related postcard mailing, consult with your direct mail experts right now to finalize a distinctive, compelling design and get your mailing program underway. Consider increasing the quantity of postcards you mail now, too, because even those who are a bit lax about attending church services throughout the year often want to renew their relationship with religion at Christmas.
And think about this: Christmas may be top-of-mind now, but other important religious celebrations are just around the corner. Church postcards are perfect for inviting participation in your Ash Wednesday traditions, Easter sunrise services and so on. Don’t make another blunder by failing to invite your surrounding community to join you.