church marketing advertise congregation

Church Marketing FAQ: Do I Really Need To Advertise My Congregation?

The word “advertising” has a negative connotation among some people, who think of it as negative, misleading or simply a means of promoting overindulgence. Your church isn’t a bag of chips or a new lawnmower. But you do need people in order to survive as a ministry and grow as a congregation. That’s where church marketing comes in.

You’re already engaged in church marketing, even if you haven’t thought about it in that way. You have a sign out front, you send out a print or email newsletter, you offer a special welcome packet to visitors, you participate in socially beneficial community projects. Your members talk to their neighbors and colleagues about your church, and invite them to visit.

Why should you engage in more deliberate church marketing?

In most religions, it is the church’s responsibility to spread the word – not only among the already-faithful but to those who are searching. Searchers may be looking for a new spiritual connection in their life, or perhaps they simply want to change churches or find one because they’re new in town.

Reaching out with church postcards enables you to:

  • Bring new members into your fold.
  • Strengthen your connection with the community and be a good neighbor, through greater understanding of local problems, issues and opportunities your church can help address. You gain respect and admiration – becoming (and being seen) as a “force” in the community.
  • Energize existing congregation members to renew their faith or become more involved in church programs and activities.

Church postcards enable you to tell your story to a broad, diverse audience. You can mail them to every household in your service area, if you choose. By repeating your mailings monthly, you build familiarity and trust. Over time, your authentic, heartfelt messaging and welcoming tone break down barriers that may make people hesitant, instilling confidence to take the next step and join you for worship or a special event. You’ve connected with a potential new member, and now you can follow up personally.

You have to know yourself well before you can tell others who you are. Developing a marketing strategy sharpens your insight about your own congregation’s spiritual needs, helping identify relevant programs and services. And planning assures you’ll make the most efficient use of resources, by identifying who you want to attract to refine your targeting.

Religious leaders are not marketing experts.

Your pastor has to be a savvy business manager, even though that wasn’t the focus of their training. The financial condition of your church is of paramount importance in order to grow and thrive. Solvency enables you to keep up your physical facilities to maintain an appealing presence, and it supports your outreach efforts.

Thankfully, church marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. That’s why postcards are so popular – they’re very affordable and highly effective. Church postcards enable you to communicate directly with people you don’t know and extend an invitation to join you.

Professionalism makes church marketing more successful.

Authentic, heartfelt messages won’t resonate with prospective members if they’re delivered in a poor quality package. Mistakes, a cluttered look or a bad print job put people off, wasting your efforts and your budget. You need professional assistance from a full-service direct mail company, to ensure your church postcards are beautifully designed, perfectly produced and delivered to the right list of recipients at the most affordable postage rates available.

Most importantly, custom design means your postcards will accurately reflect the personality of your church and the tone of your specific marketing message. Well-done church marketing demonstrates integrity and caring – traits prospective members will expect in their new church.

If the thought of “advertising” your church seems wrong, think instead about how you can expand upon the church marketing you’re already engaged in, to spread the word, make new friends and grow your congregation.

photo credit: kthread via photopin cc

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