Archives For Church Marketing
It feels like we just celebrated the New Year, and Easter is here already. Of course it is actually a bit early this year on March 31. But that only means we have to be on our toes to be strategic for Easter to be a way to welcome newcomers, casual attendees and friends / family that might be visiting from our of town.
One of the easiest tactics almost any church can utilize to spread the word about Easter Sunday services is Facebook advertising.
Not only is it affordable since you actually set the bid and budget caps for your campaign — so your expenses won’t go wild and out of control.
But Facebook advertising is extremely effective in reaching friends of those that are attending your church already. This is where leveraging social networks for church outreach messaging is perfect.
FACEBOOK ADVERTISING ALLOWS YOU TO TARGET VERY SPECIFIC DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS
Here is an example of an ad I set-up today for Liquid Church’s Easter Services. You’ll see that I’ve been able to set-up 3 demographic factors — People who live in the US, live in NJ in particular and who are 18 years or older.
The interesting part is that you have even more control of who sees your ad — I added two additional parameters to this Facebook ad campaign:
- People who are NOT already connected to Liquid Church’s Facebook page. I am setting up separate messaging (ad graphics, headline, ad copy and click through URL landing page) for people who are already fans of our Facebook page. This ad is for people who have not LIKEd our Facebook page already.
- Only people who have friends that are connected to Liquid Church’s Facebook page. So, here I’m not just targeting anyone in NJ over 18 that’s not part of our FB page community. This parameter adds the social element. Our ad will show up ONLY if they have a friend that has already LIKEd our church Facebook page.
By adding these two filters, I can leverage the fact that anyone seeing this ad has a chance of already hearing about Liquid Church from their friend (or their friend’s FB timeline feed) or at least has someone they know that knows about Liquid Church (because they’ve already liked our page).
In a way, this ad is helping to seed the “invite a friend” behavior we hope our own community members are going to carry out over the next week or so.
FACEBOOK ADS ALLOW YOU TO TALK DIFFERENTLY TO YOUR OWN COMMUNITY MEMBERS
If you’re following along, you’ll now understand that your ads for your current attendees (we can assume these are basically the people who “LIKE” your Facebook page) can be a bit different.
In fact, here is an ad set-up that is intended for people who already know about Liquid Church and is a part of our Facebook community today:
Instead of a generic “come to Easter services” type messaging, we have the ability to help equip our own people to invite their friends and family. This can be done by sending click throughs to a page on your website that has downloadable content to share with their friends. What would you put there? Things like:
- Video invitation from pastor with social sharing or forward to a friend email link
- Facebook cover image people can use for the week
- 1-step tweet links like this one: http://bit.ly/clicktotweetabouteaster2013 (TRY IT!)
- Social sharing friendly videos about Easter like this one called social media Easter
Are you using Facebook Advertising for Easter promotion? What questions do you have about using Facebook Ads for church?
Today’s post is from Nils Smith, who is the WebPastor at Community Bible Church in San Antonio, TX. As WebPastor he oversees the entire web presence of CBC including CommunityBible.com, mobile app, Online Church, and all future developments online. Nils is also the author of The Social Media Guide for Ministry. Connect with him here: Blog | Twitter | Book // I’ve asked him to boil down what he does on Facebook for CBC Online to some key tips that any church on Facebook could really benefit from.
5 Tips for Churches on Facebook
So many times the core offering is great, but it falls on dead ears. Why?
Have you ever considered it was because the user experience was lacking?
What if you reinvented the *experience* you are delivering along with your core offering? Most likely, you haven’t paid as much attention to the “post-sale” experience as you do to the crafting of the core offering to your audience targets.
Check out these fast food reinventions of the user experience:
When seeing these new environments, i was impressed. They woke up and realized they needed to consider the people they depend upon — their customers.
If McDonald’s and KFC can pay attention to the experience they offer and really consider how the customer engages with their brand, can’t you too?
What can you do to really ramp up the experience interacting with your organization?
Today, I asked Steven Records, a fellow church communications practioner, and founder of ChurchGrowth.info about email messaging. He says you don’t need to pay for any snazzy services. You can get started with good ‘ol Microsoft Office if you want. Let’s take a look.
Why Marketers love email lists
A recent survey by Econsultancy showed that 72% of marketing companies rate email as a good or excellent form of advertising. The reason for this is because it has such a great Return On Investment. In other words, the amount of time, infrastructure and resource it takes to do email marketing is well worth the return received through emailing.
When I was overseeing the communications for one of Hillsong’s national events, I had a conversion on my email marketing of 7-10%. That is a great return,especially for something that took only a few hours to write, format, and pull data from an existing email list.
Churches can leverage bulk emailing to promote events, blog content, changes in normal church schedules, gather surveys, request public reviews, perform follow ups, announce major news, and stay connected with a wide audience of people. Building an email list can be time consuming on the front end, but it is a lasting point of contact that requires little to no financial investment. In fact, when I first started doing email marketing, I only used Microsoft Office.
Here is how:
Building An Email List Using Microsoft Outlook
You will also hear people call email lists a “database,” but I think for people starting off, saying “email list” sounds less threatening. Open Microsoft Excel and fill out whatever fields you want to log across row one like this.
Normally I do First Name, Last Name, Email, List, Gender, Age, Engagement, Country, State, and City. The “List” field is what channel you received their details from. “Engagement” is what information they would like to receive. You can add other demographics or remove irrelevant ones; it really depends on what events and content you have as an organization. Consider adding a column for area of interest and church involvement.
Adding Data and Getting Emails Addresses
Start adding any contacts you may have and manually filling out the demographics you know about the person within the correct columns. It is okay to have blank fields. Really all you need is an email address to send and email,
everything else personalizes your emails to a relevant audience, that, and consent, is what separates you from spammers.
You can gather contact information by simply asking people you know for it, creating a subscription form on your website, pulling contacts from Facebook using Yahoo’s export Facebook contacts function, mass texts asking for email addresses, and having a printed forum at church for people to fill out. The truth is data entry takes time, but it is worth the small investment.
Turn your data into a table You can organize your email list by turning it into a table. Select all of your entered data at once and then click on “Insert/Table”. This will turn your raw information into a table that you can organize and filter by clicking on the down pointing arrows at the top of each column. Now you have a workable email list that is ready for sending.
Set Default Email In Outlook
Now open Microsoft Outlook. You need to set the email account you want to send your emails through as the default account. Microsoft Word automatically sends through your default email address on Outlook, so don’t forget to do this. Just go to “Preferences/Accounts” and then set the account you want as your
Writing and Formatting
Write your email in Microsoft Word then format with a web safe font type. Your styling will be applied to your email. To add links, highlight your text to become a link and go to “Insert/Hyperlink” to add the URL.
Sending the Email
The next thing to do is what we call a Mail Merge. This is the process of sending out mass emails. Go to “Tools/Mail Merge Manager.” You will want to set “Document Type” to “Form Letters” by clicking “Create New”.
For “Recipients List,” under “Get List” click “Open Data Source” and select the Excel email list you created.
For “Insert Placeholders” you can drag a field name into your document to personalize your emails. For example, addressing the recipients by the “First
Name” in the email. Here is what an email could look like:
For “Preview Results,” you can just make sure everything is displaying properly before you send the emails.
Finally send your email by clicking on the envelope icon under “Complete Merge”. Then set “To:” as “Email,” fill out the subject line, then set “Send As” to HTML and send it.
Test Before Mass Sending
I recommend testing each email campaign before sending by using a list with only your personal email accounts before sending to everyone. This allows you to see exactly how the email will look on different accounts.
Hopefully this has been a helpful walk through. This method has personally helped me better manage relationships and grow events for churches. If you would like to follow more of my thoughts on church communications check
out Steven’s Church Marketing Website.
About Steven Records: Founder of ChurchGrowth.Info. Over the years Steven Records has had the privilege to do communications for some of the largest and most influential Christian events and organizations in the world. To connect with Steven follow him on Twitter and Google Plus.
This week I got this interesting email from the Croc’s email list I’ve been on.
Check it out below and tell me what stands out to you in the messaging?
What stands out for you that you don’t get with your usual mailing list messages?
I bet you it was the celebration of the 1-year of loyalty for staying on the email list. At least that is what it was for me.
I felt appreciated. And giving me a 20% off code to anything in their store was a nice incentive for me to click through and see if I could find anything that might be worth it to use it.
The great part of this is that you don’t have to offer all of your subscribers the same discount. This is all done through an autoresponder. In your email list marketing service (Aweber, Mail Chimp, etc), you can easily set-up the feature where a specific email is triggered based on the number of days from the day of sign-up.
Imagine if you reward your email list subscribers in incremental fashion? Give them something at 90 days, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, and more! For a retail operation, discounts or bonus goods are obvious.
But what could a nonprofit or church organization do to reward the subscriber? How about some of the following to get your brainstorming started:
- “Certificate” for a free coffee or meal with a staff member or leader
- Create some downloadable eBooks or recordings that are of value to your subscribers
- Arrange for discounts to events or attractions.
- iTunes or Amazon mp3 gift card for a song download? Redbox code for a rental?
- Branded merchandise that your audience will actually use or wear (don’t be cheap!)
What else could a nonprofit or church organization give away as a reward that is affordable yet of high perceived value to the subscriber? Please leave an idea or two in the comments.