We hear from a lot of churches who struggle to find church outreach ideas that are proven and worthwhile. This feeling doesn’t come from poor results from campaigns or bad metrics, instead it's mostly because the majority of marketing programs churches are using don’t provide any trackable statistics at all.
This feeling of being “behind” comes mostly from the amount they’re spending each year on marketing. It goes something like this, “if we’re not spending $10,000 or $20,000 on reaching new people, then we’re not doing enough.”
The trouble with this type of thinking is it’s not based on results. If you’ve always spent $20,000 per year in an attempt to reach new people but haven’t actually added any new people, it may be time to re-think your strategy. The effectiveness of your marketing/outreach strategy shouldn’t be based on the amount spent, it should be based on, well, results.
So how do you get meaningful results?
1. Stop promoting yourself - This may seem counterintuitive, but the reality is that most campaigns fail to achieve meaningful results because they’re coming from you. The problem with this is the people you’re targeting don’t know you. And they certainly don’t trust you. In the day and age we live in, people just aren’t as likely to respond to something if it comes directly from the church or organization. They’re much more likely to take the next step if they hear about you from a friend (someone they trust).
2. Stop sending mailers - The harsh reality here is that mailers just don’t work anymore. It may feel like as though you’ve satisfied your outreach efforts this year by forking out thousands on direct mail, but what results have you seen? As one of our partner pastors put it best, “People aren’t standing at their mailboxes anymore”.
3. Leverage friends telling friends on social media - The best way for any church to grow is by friends telling friends. People who are recommended your church by a friend are much more likely to take the next step because they know they have at least one friend there. The problem with leveraging these recommendations is it’s tough to scale. If someone really loves you, they may tell 5 of their friends - which is a tough strategy to rely on by itself. So how do you scale friends telling friends? Take it to social media.
Every time someone checks-in on Facebook at your church, 200-400 friends hear about your church from someone they trust. Talk about scaling. The key here is getting your congregation excited about checking in - there needs to be an incentive for them to share your location with their friends.
We’ve helped hundreds of churches scale friend to friends recommendations on social media by providing an incredible incentive - helping people in need with every check-in. Our church partners are able to use Missions dollars for Outreach, track their results in real time, and achieve meaningful results - because instead of spending more money on promoting themselves, they’re empowering their congregation to tell their friends.