The Print Guide to Marketing for Churches
In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gave His disciples their Greatest Commission – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” He didn’t say, “go fill every pew” or “it’s all about numbers.” Rather, He called them to make true disciples – followers of Him that would then organically make even more disciples. As your church naturally seeks to grow, it is absolutely essential that all of your marketing efforts center on authentically carrying out this command.
2000 years later, many churches now struggle to balance a human desire for full sanctuaries and sufficient bank balances with a complete reliance on God for everything they need to fulfill His command to make Christ-followers of all peoples. Sadly, a recent Pew Research Center study indicates that only about a third of Americans attend church services on a weekly basis and another third say they go rarely or never. For today’s church leaders, the challenge is to find a way to effectively reach and draw in new attendees without faking it.
If you’re struggling to find ways to organically grow your community, here are five print marketing best practices that all churches should keep in mind as they seek to generate authentic growth.
Send Mailers to the Local Church Community
Direct mail is one of the easiest and most popular ways for churches to engage with their local communities. A recent study found that only 47 percent of churches use this marketing method, while 75 percent of churches are printing flyers or brochures to promote their services and worship.
Churches can capitalize on the flyers and brochures they’re already printing by using the same designs for direct mail campaigns. These mailers don’t have to be complicated. Simply include the following information to appeal to non-members:
- Church name
- Address with map
- Worship times
- Website for more information
- Mission statement or phrase that draws an emotional connection and shows why you’re different
If you need some help deciding on the best design and formatting for your church print marketing materials, take a look at our design templates for churches.
Remember: The Church Bulletin is More Important Than You Think
Your print marketing doesn’t stop once people walk in the door. You should pay extra attention to your church bulletins. Yvon Prehn explains: “The church bulletin is the one thing that people take home from church … It is the one connection to your church and Jesus they have when they leave the church.”
In addition to scripture readings and hymns from your worship service, your bulletin also gives you a chance to promote some of the upcoming events and share announcements that might keep parishioners coming back. There’s no set length of style for your bulletin—every church does it differently. Simply ask your congregation members which information is most important to them and make sure to include it in your bulletin each week.
Print Banners and Signs to Advertise Your Church
When you think of church signs, you probably imagine an old display with removable letters that change every week based on the sermon topic. These signs often miss the mark when attracting new people to church—they’re easy to ignore as potential parishioners drive by.
Instead of using this old stand-by, change it up with fresh banners that are more effective at making sure your message is seen. While you may not make a new banner for the new sermon every week, you can use them for major events and holidays—allowing you to attract people with eye-catching color and design.
Just like with your mailers, include relevant information that people can easily read as they’re driving by. At the bare minimum, your print banners should have your church names and the times of your services. Learn more about how big your images and text should be in our guide, Understanding DPI.
Create Invitation Cards for Parishioners
According to Christianity Today, more than 60 percent of Americans say a personal invite from a friend or neighbor would be effective in getting them to visit a church. Create invitation cards for your members to hand out to their friends or coworkers, empowering them to take an active role in growing the community. You can create standard invite cards, that can be used at any time of the year, and fresh invite cards for holidays or special events.
Leave an area where your members can personalize the invitation with their names and a note. That personal touch might make all the difference in driving new members to visit.
Refresh Your Church Logo (And Put it Everywhere)
You want people to recognize your church as immediately as they would the Nike swoosh. This all starts with your church logo. Whitney Yoder from Logoworks explains why clear branding is especially important for churches:
“A new logo can rebrand your church and help give it the updated feeling that will appeal not only to your current members but it can also attract others who may be seeking a place of worship.”Whitney Yoder, Logoworks
If your logo needs a refresh, consider updating it for a clean and modern look. Then don’t forget to your branding on every piece of marketing collateral you create, from church bulletins to mailers and all of your digital channels. Once people begin to notice your branding, and connect it with the values you stand for or your powerful sermons, you can build a name in the community and attract new parishioners.
Marketing for Churches: The Print Guide
Print marketing will work to help you improve your church attendance. It might take some time and effort, but the more you can deliver relevant information about to your church to members and visitors, the more successful you’ll be. Follow this guide and you’ll begin to see your church attendance raising in no time.