Church Growth Archives - Truthadvertising

8 Ways to Attract and Keep Your Share of Easter Visitors

How to Attract and Keep “Chreasters” This Year!

8 Ways to Attract and Keep Your Share of Easter Visitors.
What’s a Chreaster, you ask? 
The Dictionary of Christianese defines it this way:
Folks who show up to the church only about twice a year… on Christmas and Easter. Christmas + Easter = Chreaster!


The word may be strange, but there’s a good reason to pay attention to these folks. According to LifeWay Research, Americans are more open to matters of faith during the Easter and Christmas season. In a 2008 survey, 47 percent of those polled confirmed that they were more open to faith during the holidays.


Compare that to other important moments: After a national crisis such as 9/11, only 38 percent indicated more open to spiritual things; after a natural disaster, 34 percent; and the birth of a child made only 28 percent more open to matters of faith?


The lesson? There’s no better time than the holidays to reach people with the gospel!


So, considering that nearly half the people in your community are unusually more receptive at Christmas and Easter, it should be easy to fill the church—right?


The odds are in your favor, but you’ve got to craft a message that will speak to their hearts—and pray that the Holy Spirit does the rest of the work.


The M Word, Of course, you probably have other churches in your area competing for the same people. And make no mistake, those other local churches will be “marketing” their Easter services! You may be tempted to stop reading since I mentioned the word marketing, but don’t tune me out yet! The truth is that if you want to attract your share of the local unchurched population, you’ll need to do several specific things:
1. Capture their attention
2. Engage them on their level
3. Educate them about your church
4. Tell them what you want them to do (call to action) 


You may notice that all the above actions are quite biblical. They also happen to be the basic components of effective marketing. (For more information on that, read my e-magazine, Marketing like God.)


What Is the Most Effective Easter Marketing? You don’t need elaborate stage shows and multimedia presentations. Such shows may provide a temporary attraction for Chreasters, but won’t give them much reason to return the following Sunday. And your goal isn’t just to bring them in for one Sunday service—it’s to keep them, and begin nurturing them in the faith. That may be easier than you think.
Here are eight effective ways to attract and keep those unchurched folks who may be tempted to sit at home this Easter Sunday.


1. Make them aware of your Church. Contrary to what you may think, not everyone knows you exist. This is where you must use the first component of effective marketing: capturing their attention. You must cut through the clutter and endless marketing “noise”. Thankfully, you have a lot of options: social media, radio, TV, billboards, and good old-fashioned direct mail. Let’s examine each.
Social Media is great, and we recommend it, but the initial marketing is usually limited to about 120 words, with a very small graphic, if any. We recommend a daily presence to keep it fresh as the ad turnover is usually measured in seconds.
Radio, TV, and billboards are very broad and far too expensive for most churches.
Direct mail, on the other hand, allows you to target exactly the people you want, take advantage of special nonprofit postage rates, and put all the effective components of marketing in one package. You can combine an attention-grabbing graphic, an engaging message series, some information about your church, and a personal invitation from the pastor.
People do respond to mail sent, especially to them. Consider your typical reaction to the other forms of marketing we’ve mentioned; then watch the way you respond to the pieces in your mailbox today.
Recent surveys prove consumers trust the advertisers using the U.S. Mail more than any other form of marketing. However, there are some key fundamentals you need to follow to ensure maximum effecivness for your Easter direct mail marketing campaigns.


2. Make It Convenient. This is simple, yet many churches miss it. Don’t schedule services when people are bound to be busy. Offer some alternative times. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! At worst, you’ll have some empty chairs. But that risk is small compared with the potential for reaching new people. Think about offering an Easter Egg hunt. Most families with children will be looking for a church that offers one.


3. Start early. My children rarely respond to what I ask them to do the first time. It may take four, five, or even more messages before they get it. Think about these Chreasters the same way. Giving one sermon a year in which you invite them to open their hearts to God may not be realistic. Instead, start a message series four or five weeks out before the big day. Design a life-applicable series that will speak to their hearts and draw them back week after week. Make sure it offers enough tangible benefit to compel them to come—again and again. (By the way, we have some great Easter message series designed to do just that. Check them out here: Marketing early with a message series also gets your advertisement in front of people first—which could be advantageous if there are many other churches in your area.


4. Invite them to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. “Ask for the close!” That’s what I used to tell my secular sales staff over and over. Why? Because studies show that 95 percent of salespeople never get around to doing it! Instead, they wait and wait, ignoring clear signs that the client is ready to purchase. Often, they end up talking themselves out of the sale.


We know that the offer of salvation is not like selling a product, but the analogy is useful. Remember, there will almost certainly be people in your congregation at Easter who are ready to commit their lives to Christ. The Holy Spirit will have been speaking to them throughout the service, and it’s simply up to you to invite them. If you don’t, they may go home as empty as they came.


5. Get their personal information:. Do you have visitor cards ready to hand out? If not—get some by next week! Every church should have simple connection cards that allow guests to provide their contact information, along with space to list their prayer needs. You can also mention groups they may be interested in, and ask how they found out about you, But make sure you have a card to get their basics—and a section for prayer.


6. Give them a gift. Don’t ask your first-time guests for anything. Instead, give them something. Your ushers can pass these welcome gifts to visitors as they collect the visitor cards. This not only gives you an accurate count of your guests, but shows them that you care about welcoming them. When we come to Christ, He doesn’t ask for anything more than our hearts. Make sure your guests know that you’re interested in them because you love them—not for what you can get out of them. When someone receives a gift, it’s human nature to reciprocate. Your guests may choose to give back—by returning next Sunday. There are numerous Christian mini-books that you can purchase relatively inexpensively, and offer as gifts to your first-time guests.


7. Follow Up. My very first sales job was selling aluminum siding in Florida many, many years ago. My boss told me something that stuck with me for 30 years: “If you just return people’s phone calls, you’ll be more successful than the next guy.” He knew something that other salespeople miss: Most people never follow up. That’s as true in the church as in the world of sales. Design a system where everyone who fills out a new visitor card gets a phone call, an email, and an invitation to attend the following Sunday, or a coffee cup on their porch. Whatever you settle on, implement it and stick with it. People will appreciate it.


8. Give them a reason to come back. There is an old saying in show business: “Always leave them wanting more.” Give your Chreasters and other first-time guests a reason to come back. A great way to do this is through a message or sermon series. Before dismissing your congregation, always announce what you’ll be speaking on the following Sunday. Make sure it carries clear benefits for them—and state those benefits clearly.


Start Planning NOW and plan meticulously, and execute your plan with excellence. Do this by knowing your guests, getting creative, and advertising your event. Through even the simplest actions, like greeting and giving them gifts, show them that you’re offering what they are searching for. You have a captive audience. Seize the opportunity to do something great in the life of your community. If you choose to advertise your Easter service, do it with excellence.


Don’t trust your advertising for this special day to just anyone. Call one of our church consultants today at 1-844 TRUTHAD. We will build a postcard mailing program for you that is as unique as your church. You will work with an experienced church marketing consultant every step of the way. We will design a custom program, especially for your church, managing every detail to ensure maximum effectiveness. We have hundreds of Easter sample postcard marketing ideas online, AND MORE BEING POSTED EVERYDAY.


Have your own design team? A lot of our clients do. Truth Advertising can still handle the print and mail house work for your church saving you time, money, and headaches.

Use the Power of New Year to Increase Attendance

Use the Power of New Year to Increase Attendance

People always ask us: “When is the best time to market the church?” – You may think it is Easter, or Christmas. Sure, those holidays fill the seats, but sadly, those 1st time attendees usually fade away after a week or two.

The best time to attract new visitors with the highest potential to stick with your church is the New Year’s season. People are seeking change more than ever during the New Year. They are more receptive to life changing sermon series.

For hundreds of years, our society has encouraged people to make resolutions and goals for the New Year, and we have just got in the habit of doing it.

If we want to attract new visitors at this crucial time of the year we MUST use marketing methods that tap into those life improvement goals. While campaigns centered on a new church launch or a “visit us this Sunday” message are great, this is the time of year to tap into people’s basic needs to improve their lives.

You can seize on this desire for change, and bring them what they truly yearn for—the life-transforming power of the gospel.

But first, it’s important to understand what’s going on at this crucial time.

This year 45-57% of adults will make one or more New Year’s resolutions.

Here are the top ten New Year’s resolutions, according to the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology:
2. Get organized
3. Spend less, save more
4. Enjoy life more
5. Stay fit and healthy
6. Learn something exciting
7. Quit smoking
8. Help others
9. Fall in love
10. Spend more time with family

Family Counselor Robert Berlin says, “We make resolutions out of a sense of obligation … For hundreds of years, our society has encouraged people to make resolutions and goals for the New Year, and we have just got in the habit of doing it.”

January is when people are most disposed to change their lives for the better, create new goals, and complete things they’ve previously neglected.

Smart commercial marketers know this and capitalize on it. They make billions of dollars by approaching consumers when they’re most receptive. We all know “Black Friday” as the biggest sales day for the retail industry. In a similar way, New Year’s is the big profit generator for industries that promote fitness and other forms of self-improvement.

But the church offers the most valuable self-improvement program there is! Shouldn’t we be just as smart in using this once-a-year opportunity?

Here’s another interesting fact:

Half of all Americans who normally don’t attend church do attend at Christmastime.

So, in January that experience is fresh in their memories. You can see that there really is no better time of year to invite them to their local church.

Use the right strategies to attract seekers this New Year.

Jesus, Himself reached out to people at their most vulnerable moments. God has a habit of showing up when people are broken and need Him the most. We should do the same thing.

Transforming people is God’s job. Reaching out to them is ours. That means providing an environment where they can hear the message, and attracting them to that environment.

God has a habit of showing up when people are broken and need Him the most. We as a church should do the same thing.

What’s the point of preaching a great message to an empty room?
Step 1 is to get them into the seats by using proven marketing strategies.
Step 2 is to rely on the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts.

Smart secular companies use human psychology to sell their products every day. They know the things that motivate people to act.

Here’s a secret: Those same impulses motivate seekers as they’re making decisions on Sunday morning.

As smart marketers, we must use strategies that will bring the greatest return on our investment.

And here’s a basic marketing principle: People buy benefits. People will come to your church based on what it will do for them. So in your New Year’s marketing, make sure you describe, in detail, what advantages and benefits they’ll gain from attending YOUR CHURCH on a given Sunday.

Describe how your church can fulfill a need in their lives. Tell them how they can discover their purpose, improve their relationships, live healthier lives. This is all part of the power of the gospel. So, why not tell people about it?

Study your community, and get acquainted with its needs. Then craft a marketing message to address them. Mark 8:1-9 illustrates how Jesus fed the masses with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. He found a need and filled it. We should do the same in our communities.

How to make sure your New Year’s marketing has maximum impact.

Designing the best marketing to get people to come to church is not a guessing game. There is a formula, and if you follow it correctly you’ll harvest a bountiful crop of new visitors, ripe for the Holy Spirit’s work.
There are four basic points that will influence people to come to your church. Follow them in all your marketing endeavors, and you’ll achieve maximum effectiveness every time:

1. People must have a need to come to your church.
Complacent people don’t feel a need to attend church. But most people aren’t really satisfied with their lives. Develop a sermon series that addresses their anxieties, and they’ll come. Remember the top ten resolutions people make for the New Year? Pick one of them and develop a message around it. That’s a great way to ensure you’re meeting a need.

2. People must believe that your church will meet their needs.
Craft your sermon titles with words that mention the most common felt needs. Publish them, with action steps that can lead to results.

3. People must decide that your church Is the right church for them.
List the benefits your church offers in every marketing endeavor. Remember: PEOPLE DO NOT BUY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. PEOPLE BUY BENEFITS.

4. People must decide the time to come to your church is now.
Create urgency with timely sermon series that people won’t want to miss. This should be a no -brainer for the first of the year.IT”S THE NEW YEAR—THE TIME FOR CHANGE IS NOW!

There’s no mystery to getting people to attend your church. And it shouldn‘t be a back-burner issue that sits unresolved. People are hungry for change now. And now is the time to act.

Here’s the best thing about reaching out to people at New Year’s: Most of the groundwork has already been done for you. People are turning over new leaves, making commitments to better their lives. The time is right; people are ripe for the harvest. Don’t miss this once-a-year opportunity to reap what has already been sown.

Truth advertising can help you develop and design a postcard mailer that will get people’s attention and bring them to your church.

I founded Truth Advertising on the belief that all churches should have access to the same marketing expertise as secular companies, without having to pay extra for it. Our team can help your church grow. Give us a call and see if our ideas are a good fit for you. 1-844-TRUTHAD.

Back to School Means Back to Church

Back to School Means Back to Church
How to use the power of “Back to School” to grow your church this Fall.


Truth Advertising has built our church marketing platform on the following principle: “The reason people do not attend church today is because they see no benefit in attending.”

Look at it this way, Why would you go to a restaurant that has food you don’t like, or see a movie you don’t find interesting? Outside of your partner, friend, or relative who invited you, you probably would not care to go.

If non-believer families cannot see a benefit in attending church on Sunday morning, why would they go? Sure, there are churches all over the world that have their seats full of people who don’t want to be there. However, why would you even want these people to come? Yes, I do believe The Holy Spirit works in people’s lives, and the Church reaches people where they are.

What I am speaking specifically about here is attracting the non-believer, (which is about 92% of your local community) to visit the local church on Sundays. My vision for the local church is to make it a place that is so relevant to everyday life that local families would look forward to Sunday mornings and Saturday nights. The church is a place where marriages are healed and restored, where people learn how to manage their finances, where teenagers can find meaning and relevance in a fallen world. I am sure most of you pastors share the same passion, and most churches offer these types of programs. However, the vast majority of non-believers in your communities have no idea the local church offers such life changing programs.

Churches love to market the church for special holidays, when people are feeling warm and fuzzy about Jesus, or when people feel guilty about missing church.

The Back to School season offers churches a chance to do something special. It offers churches a chance to reach out in new ways and launch life-applicable sermon series. Back to School is a time when people are “ripe.” Look at the four reasons below to discover just how important and productive it can be to introduce a fall marketing campaign to your marketing arsenal.

Four reasons why Fall is such a great time to market your church?

1. People move more in the summer months.
Awareness – With such a large number of people moving in the summer, there will be a number of families who don’t even know your church exists. The end of summer is a great opportunity to invite new residents to your church and create awareness!

Socialization – More people move during the summer months than any other time of year. After a move, people are looking for places to shop, eat, go to the doctor, and attend church. New residents have a desire to get to know people in their community. The church can provide a great way to meet new neighbors and assimilate into a new community.


2. People who come to church in the fall are more likely to become members.
Every year pastors are frustrated by the masses of people who show up for Easter and Christmas only to continue their previous habit of non-attendance. People have been conditioned to go to church during these times. During the Back to School season people are prompted to attend church as a lifestyle choice more than as a one-time event. Since people are not focused on a one-time event, they are more likely to return than those who only attend during Christmas or Easter!


3. Fall has become the 2nd New Year’s.
Summer months are filled with different activities, vacations, and changes in family schedules. When fall comes around, people return to a more consistent program. Many people take this time to refocus their lives, and often times that include finding a church home.


4. People often re-evaluate their church commitments.
While you no doubt want to be a church who cultivates new members from the unchurched crowd, there’s an opportunity to attract new visitors. After being away from the church all summer, people may have become less interested in their previous church. People will be in the market to try out a new church when the fall season rolls around. Many of these people will be seasoned church goers who may not have been completely plugged into their previous church and have just decided it’s time for a church change.

Introducing a relevant, timely fall sermon series to your community and properly marketing it can and should be part of your yearly marketing budget. If you advertise wisely, fall may just be the most fruitful season of the year for new growth in your church.

Don’t trust your churches advertising to just anyone. Call one of our church consultants today at 1-844 TRUTHAD. We will build a postcard mailing program for you that is as unique as your church. You will work with an experienced church marketing consultant every step of the way. We will design a custom program, especially for your church, managing every detail to ensure maximum effectiveness. We have hundreds of sample postcard marketing ideas online, AND MORE BEING POSTED EVERYDAY.