Direct mail is one of the most versatile marketing tools for any local business, and that includes churches. Your ministry or church serves a different purpose than a for-profit business, but you still need marketing to build awareness and grow your congregation.
These days, email is an important communications tool. Building an up-to-date email list enables you to nurture leads you generate – prospective new members – by keeping them up-to-date with church happenings. That reinforces the regularly monthly mailings of your church marketing postcards.
You can integrate these two vital marketing and communication tools by using your church direct mail to grow your email list.
Solicit email addresses directly.
Promote joining your email list on your postcards, focusing on what’s in it for prospects when they do sign up. For example, they won’t miss out on an upcoming event that interests them.
Print a QR code on your postcard that recipients can click to instantly sign up for your e-newsletter or your church blog.
Collect email addresses by offering a downloadable gift such as a special audio presentation on giving thanks in a “faithful” way.
Use your church marketing to invite people to a special event, and collect email addresses there.
You can also solicit email addresses indirectly using direct mail.
The more you build awareness and interest among potential new members, the more likely you are to attract response. That’s why you mail to people every month in addition to creating special short-term campaigns.
Always include your website URL or the URL for a landing page that carries your email sign-up form on everything you print, including your direct mail materials.
When people call your office with questions after receiving your church marketing in the mail, ask if you can add them to your email list.
When people respond to your direct mail invitation to join your congregation for worship, be sure to let them know during the service that there’s a guestbook in your vestibule where they can sign in (and add their email address). This helps remind regular attendees they should sign up, too, if your office doesn’t already have their email address.
Those reminders to current members can be more important than you might think. Studies show email lists “churn” about 30% each year. And while those studies pertain to traditional businesses, you can be sure your church’s email list needs frequent updating as well. You can’t communicate effectively if you have out-of-date addresses.
Church marketing can establish your “brand” with grace and impact.
In today’s society, direct mail can be far more effective than old-fashioned door-to-door canvassing when it comes to delivering your church’s message throughout the community. In the same way, email surpasses old-fashioned phone trees and other time- and labor-intensive community outreach efforts. Using direct mail can help grow your church’s email list even among those not yet ready to commit to joining your congregation.
Because you can reach everyone in your designated service area or target recipients with special interests, you can use church direct mail for a wide variety of purposes. Invite people to attend a worship service. Invite them to participate in special programs for youth or seniors.
Welcome new residents to your community. Invite people to volunteer or donate to community service projects such as your soup kitchen or food bank, new home construction, senior citizen outreach or “clothes closet” for low income families.
Once you make that initial connection with prospects via your church marketing, and you’ve acquired their email address, you can stay in touch in a more personal way. As you share church information, reminders of upcoming events and activities, religious stories and good news about congregation members, you’re establishing a relationship that builds trust and instills confidence in your prospect. So by using direct mail to grow your email list, you’re able to grow your membership.