Tips for Designing Effective Church Invitations
Living in North Texas has placed us here at Truth Advertising in a unique position of being surrounded on all sides with churches of all sizes & denominations. In fact, they have coined this area as the “Buckle of The Bible Belt”. Due to our close proximity I get the opportunity to see many postcards filter through my mailbox. While it is wonderful to see churches making an effort, I have become increasingly concerned with the amount of churches that are neglecting sound marketing principles in an effort to “brand” their church. As “hip“ or “cool” in an effort to reach a younger audience or a more “seeker-oriented” crowd.
I am seeing more and more designs for churches that leave a lot to be desired in what would be considered an “effective” marketing strategy.
In the same way that your sermons have a structure and a flow, so should the postcards you are sending out follow that same clearly designed pattern.
In the rare occasion that your church “made it”, wherein you have reached your maximum attendance and you are mailing cards for branding purpose only, you can get away with “fluff” type of marketing. This Brand Awareness Strategy is one in which your cards capture attention – either with a pretty or clever design – but lacks the basic pattern that is needed to drive attendance. These postcards have fallen away from the most basic & proven formula of marketing. These flashy cards do not educate the reader about your church, invite them to attend or even show them what they can gain by attending this coming Sunday.
You may spark some attention with your “fluff” invitation and instigate a call-to-action from a few readers to follow your links to your clever new website. However, there are so many choices when it comes to attending a church, wouldn’t it make more sense to show people how their lives can be improved with an upcoming sermon series instead of appealing to their emotions to “connect” and “belong” to your church.
Yes, “connect” and “belong” are strong emotions that ought to be included in every design, but strive not to miss out on a key stimulant that will get a non-believer off the couch next Sunday to visit your church. How does your church, the gospel, and faith in Jesus Christ, make their lives better? That is the question you must answer when crafting your postcards.
Without a doubt, the most important five letters in your marketing writing, your Web site, maybe even in the success of your church are – WIIFM, What’s In It For Me. Always tell people what’s in it for them when and if they decide to visit your church. The more our marketing can tell a person WIIFM, the more chances you have of getting that person to take action.
Before you consider taking on the task of designing your own postcard mailing, or having your media guys design your postcard mailing, consider the following and observe if your designs are channeled in such a way as to achieve their full potential.
Let’s begin with a few design basics you should be aware of prior to approving a design for your church.
Do you understand what white space is and how to use it effectively?
Do you understand font and how many different fonts you should use in your design?
Do you understand the relationship with alignment and spacing of your elements?
Do you understand how to use colors correctly?
Do you understand how to use symbols such as hyphens, dashes and quotation marks?
Do you know what a focal point is?
Do you understand the difference between CMYK and RGB?
Do you know how to format an ad to printer specifications?
The above are just a few elements which designers learn through formal education or experience. Look at it this way; Would you let a person preach your sermons with no experience in public speaking or Bible training? Of course not.
So why would you put something, so critical as the design of your postcard, in the hands of someone with no training or experience in design?
In addition to the technical aspects of design, you must also include “Key Success Elements” in every card you send out. Graphic design is not a beauty contest. You can design the most creative postcard on the planet that captures peoples interest, but without some “Key Success Elements” included within, the response will be minimal. Graphic design is equal part art and science: equally applicable to churches as to any other product, service, or business. You do not have to make it a guessing-game. Implementing these well-thought-out success elements correctly, will help you achieve the results you desire.
Below are the “Key Success Elements” that should be in every postcard your church sends out.
#1 – CAPTURE ATTENTION
Before you can begin to invite people to church you must first gain their attention. If you skip the first step, the entire process fails. A strong title and an intriguing graphic design creates an attention-grabbing front page of your card. Both elements combine to show that there is something valuable within the postcard that will benefit the reader. Readers get attracted to the message from the first glance and decide to continue perusing the postcard or not.
#2 – ENGAGE YOUR READER
To stimulate an engaging effect within the reader, your postcard should have strong, well-written text and a sermon series designed with the intention of offering benefits for attendance – WIIFM. It should intrigue them, and inspire them to seek to know more about your church.
#3 – EDUCATE YOUR READER
Now that you have captured the readers attention and engaged them efficiently, it is the time to educate them about your church. List out the ministries that you offer. Remember, it’s not about your church and what you accomplished, it’s about them – WIIFM. Let them know the times of meetings, the type of service you offer, the mode of dressing etc. A picture of the pastor helps to add a personal touch as well.
#4 – INVITATION OF CALL TO ACTION
Don’t miss the opportunity to call your audience to action! You might invite them to take the action-step of making a phone call to your office, visiting your church website, visiting the church, or attending an event or message series. Make sure you don’t leave them stranded without an action-step! If they’ve paid attention to your efforts thus far, they want to act. Show them how!
#5 – CONTACT AND INFORMATION
Give your audience numerous ways to reach you as most people will search online for your church prior to their first visit. Include your website, phone, all your social media accounts, a Google map and sermon times.
For the past 30 years Truth Advertising has never charged for design on our church direct mail postcards. We want to equip you with the best design possible. We have a team of talented graphic designers that can create a high-quality professional direct mailer exclusively for your church needs. For sermon series, event, or holiday-themed campaign, nobody produces a more attention-grabbing, and result-generating postcard for churches than Truth Advertising. DON’T FORGET – ALL DESIGN ARE INCLUDED WITH OUR DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGNS.
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