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Christmas is just around the corner (where did October go?!) and if you’re like most churches, you’ve already started putting your service and event plans in place. But have you thought about how you will invite visitors to come?
Recent studies show only half of Americans plan to attend church on Christmas, which means having a full house on Christmas Eve is no longer guaranteed. So what is the best way for your church to see the most visitors this year? It’s time to plan a multi-pronged strategy to ensure you are effectively reaching out. Here are three strategies that, when combined, provide you the best opportunities:
Direct mail is most effective when it’s kept simple, which is why postcards work. They are easy to read, can include eye-catching graphics and their size and shape make them the most affordable way item to mail. (Click here to see some great postcard options for this Winter.)
Perhaps most importantly, every piece of mail is at least reviewed by the participant - and no matter if someone puts your postcard on the refrigerator or in the trash - they still look at it. Printed mail has a 75% brand recall (digital ads only have a 44%) - so chances are they will remember your church name the next time they consider coming to church. Want to know more about effective direct mail? Click here.
The average person spends nearly two hours a day on social media - and there are ads everywhere. Which means that people get desensitized to anything that even LOOKS like an ad. Approaching your posts from a different, more conversational angle, will boost engagement and get your post more widely read.
For example, a recent study showed that less people today believe in the key elements of the Christmas story (virgin birth, baby laid in a manger, angels announcement, wise men guided by a star) - so what would happen if your church created its own informal survey about the beliefs of your members and friends? It would probably get people talking and sharing - which is the whole point of social media!
Combining this type of conversation starter along with seasonal videos, attractive, thoughtful or inspirational messages, and an occasional event invitation will help make your social media page more readable and shareable. Learn more about regular social sharing and using social media for your church here.
Since you can no longer count on visitors to just show up on their own, the real key to having a successful Christmas outreach is to be intentional about reaching out to your community and then make your church as welcoming and friendly as possible.