Flip on your TV and you get bombarded. Go to your favorite internet site and you get barraged. Pick up the newspaper and you get the same. Everyone is trying to get your attention: political ads leading up to an election where very few will actually vote, holiday ads attempting to drive traffic to large national chains while local businesses running poorly designed ads that no one pays attention to. It’s a busy time of year. Everyone is trying to get a response.
And your church has events in this chaotic world. PLEASE NOTE: your budgets are far less than the marketers you see everywhere on all mediums. So, what’s a church to do?
We hear the question often: “We promote church events but no one seems to listen and respond.”
Here’s 3 suggestions to get a response when you don’t have huge budgets:
- Direct your message specifically to your audience. This requires two things. You must know your individual audiences (personas) and you must know which events are targeting them. If you can’t quickly match your events to personas (groups that have similar perceived needs), it’s almost impossible to direct your message to get a response. How to start? Pinpoint your audience needs that your specific event will solve. Then get their attention by emphasizing the need or the solutions you offer. Direct messaging is the most effective way to get your audience’s attention. Sweeping generalized messages from the stage aren’t the most effective use of your effort.
- Say it as simply and as concise as possible. We don’t have time. People are scanning all the messages pushed at them and tuning out complex messaging. They’re looking for simple “what’s in it for me” messaging. Do the work for them; convert the long message into a simple message of pure benefits. If there truly is a solution to a need they have, you’ll get a response. Just make sure it’s clear how they should move forward.
- Drive to your website and a call to action. Since you have their attention (they don’t have a lot of time), give them the easiest path to more information. Most know that “real time” information is available when we need it on a good website. Once people go there (from a link or URL) ensure that there’s a strong call to action with the information. A “now that you’ve read this, we expect that you will…” link. Have the ability for someone to subscribe, signup, post, or add to a calendar. You’ll get a response.
The church needs to communicate better in order to reach the world for Christ. Still having problems connecting? Go into the highways and byways and compel those who need your message to come in (Luke 14:23). Start with a foundational look at your church programs. Ensure that they’re what people in your community want (need); and if they are and you’re communicating it properly; you’ll get a response.
This post originally appeared for the digital Worship Facilities Magazine. Mark MacDonald is a regular writer for this and other national publications.