Spread The Word And Fill The Pews

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Christmas and Easter remind many people to spend a Sunday morning in worship.

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The holidays also present opportunities for reaching out. It’s a fact that many churchgoers pass by more than a half-dozen churches while on their way to worship in their own sanctuary. However, those who haven’t yet found a church home may be open and waiting for a welcoming invitation from a nearby church.

It’s all about the list

Churches don’t often have large advertising budgets but there are creative ways to attract people to your congregation. The most affordable direct marketing program utilizes a resident list. The first step is to select the neighborhoods most likely to respond to an invitation. Your mailing list provider will then compile a list that will saturate the area. Every Door Direct Mail, or EDDM, is an option that also targets specific neighborhoods or zip codes. EDDM works just like it sounds like it would; the mail carrier has a stack of your mail piece and includes it in every mailbox on their route. The piece will be addressed “Resident” rather than including the actual recipient’s name. For most all of your promotions using “Resident” instead of the actual name should make no difference what so ever in response.

Hit your target

Another option for targeted mailing is to identify families living within the zip codes or neighborhoods you have chosen. Purchasing a list based on family size will contain the resident’s name. While a bit more expensive, this method is more effective, particularly when you’re inviting the entire family or sharing specific news about youth groups, children’s choir, VBS and other worship programs. Community members may also be attracted by book and reading groups, guest speakers, Bible studies, alpha programs and other functions aside from regular Sunday morning service. There are many demographic lists available to suit these special needs.

Keep it clean

Don’t forget to include the names of visitors to your church, from the guest registry or attendance pads. Once you have your list compiled, don’t forget to keep it up-to-date. Good list hygiene is just as important as the right mailing list.


Bill Nichols

November 20, 2014

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