7 Church Marketing Mistakes That Can Cost You Thousands in Donations
How you market your church, donor programs, and events can play a role in success. Unfortunately, many churches don’t pay that much attention to marketing efforts or engage in them at all. That might be costing you thousands in donations that could help grow your programs, serve the community, and support missions.
Discover seven church marketing mistakes you might be making below and how to fix them.
Church marketing begins at your front door. Get some tips for welcome speeches that let people know who you are and that you’re glad they’ve joined you.
1. Not Having an Email List
Email marketing is notoriously effective. Businesses get an average return of $36 for every $1 spent on this channel. And while you might not measure the success of church marketing in the same manner, not having an email list leaves you at a disadvantage.
Your church doesn’t own it’s social media or video platforms. The companies that control those platforms could shut them down tomorrow or boot your church from them. If you’re relying solely on social media to connect with members or develop donors, you’d be cut off from everyone.
You do own your email list. You can take it with you to any email provider, ensuring you remain connected to your audience. And when you have a donor need or want to launch a new campaign, you can let everyone know with an email.
Start building your list by including a button for sign-ups on your websites, asking members to sign up in church and promoting the list on social media.
2. Ignoring Your Church Website
Church website marketing isn’t set-and-forget. Regular, relevant, high-quality content helps your site perform well in the SERPs. If it’s important to your goals that people can find you via Google, consider adding a blog to your church website and updating it with posts once a week.
Otherwise, make sure your site is updated with pertinent information for your membership and donors. Events, updates on programs and information about missions and fundraising efforts should always be up to date.
3. Messaging and Giving Options That Aren’t Mobile Friendly
More than half of the traffic on the internet comes from mobile devices. If your church marketing and giving options aren’t mobile friendly, you’re potentially not connecting with half or more of your audience. That’s going to show in your donor numbers.
4. Having a Generic Church Marketing Message
The most powerful marketing involves a unique value proposition. It should make it clear who you are, what makes you different from other churches and what you offer to members and donors.
A watered-down message might sound appealing because it won’t alienate people. But the opposite is actually true because a lackluster, generic message doesn’t get anyone excited. You need people to get so excited about your mission that they want to join you. That’s how you develop consistent donors.
A more specific message helps you engage people across all your platforms and events. Get some tips for creating more engagement in virtual church events.
5. Not Understanding Your Target Audience
Close to 75% of people feel frustrated when websites aren’t personalized. Obviously, your church website isn’t going to operate like Amazon. George, who sits in the back row every Sunday and only likes sermons on the Gospel of John, isn’t going to navigate to your church website to find a suggestions bar full of content from John.
But the concept of personalization holds true in this: You must know who your audience is and customize church marketing accordingly. If your membership is 80% older, retired adults, your messaging should look different than a church that has a membership mostly comprised of young families.
Ask yourself who your audience is, what they need and how you can answer that need with your marketing.
6. Failing to Engage People on Social Media
People like to work alongside other people, and that’s as true in ministry matters as anywhere else. Social media lets your church and its leadership humanize the message and efforts. By sharing information, appropriate memes and other content on social — and engaging with others who are doing the same — you can ensure people feel comfortable getting involved with your efforts.
Choose your platforms wisely, though. Facebook is a good option for many churches because the user base is so diverse. Instagram may also work, but more niche apps like Snapchat might not offer enough return on any time invested in them.
7. Poor or Non-Existing Calls to Action
Finally, ensure your marketing messages contain strong calls to action. The CTA is where you tell people what they need to do next. Don’t worry; it won’t come across as bossy. In fact, people expect you to give them instructions, and without some obvious direction, they may move on without doing anything.
Some examples of CTAs include:
- An obvious giving button on your fundraising pages
- A link to your site and instructions to click to find out more in emails
- Links and invitations to visit your blog posts in social media statuses
DonorWerx’s consulting and online coaching solutions help churches grow leadership and develop donors.
Check out more of our online resources on engaging your audience and supporting online giving, or Get started with our consulting or donor software options today.