By Vince Williams
March 14, 2012
We cannot let Easter go by without taking the opportunity to maximize the number of invitations we make to the non-attending members of our community. Easter is a time to both celebrate and bring into focus the entire love story of the Gospel.
While it’s too late for some types of promotion, there are still many things left to do. Try this triple dose of cost-effective, grassroots promotion:
1. Personalize it. At this point, there’s not enough time to send a bulk mailing effectively, but it is not too late for your members to mail personal invitations. Order enough postcards or greeting cards for each member to get five (we ship out custom postcards within 4-5 days). Then have each member personally address and mail the cards to friends (saving you postage). One pastor in Atlanta found that by having members personally invite friends with a mailed piece their attendance was standing-room-only for their Easter services.1
2. Go Viral in Your Neighborhood. The idea of viral campaigns generally brings out thoughts of videos with babies rapping or cats dancing. But the fundamental result of a viral campaign is that everywhere you look, you can’t help but see it. You can accomplish the same thing in your neighborhood. Create yard signs to place in member’s yards or in spaces around town (make sure to check local restrictions). Take advantage of the number of people driving by instead of spending money trying to find them. Keep the sign simple. Tie it in to the look and feel of the invitation cards and the banner (see below). A simple “You’re Invited” with the church name and time will do.
3. Tie it Together. People have received personal invitations, and they have seen these signs all over town. Now, guide them to your church with banners that match all of your marketing. If you’re off a main road, arrange for signs at the nearest major cross streets. Put a big banner up in front of your church, letting visitors know they’re at the place they want to be. With good banners, your guests won’t have to look up directions or find an excuse about being lost. They’ve seen the place. They drove right by it three times this week. With less excuses to work with, more people will attend.
There is still time to find effective ways to introduce people to your church before this Easter, but we’re nearing the eleventh hour. Try this three-step approach to getting new people through your doors and see how effective a grassroots promotion campaign can be for your church.