The following is a guest post by Tim Speweik, Director of Ministry Development at Outreach.com, a provider of church outreach products and services around the world.
Direct mail is still alive and doing well in today’s multimedia marketing world! Engagement has grown every year with the decrease of first class mail. But just like any other marketing tool, your church plant postcard design needs to be good or it can have a low response rate. Or even leave a negative impression.
Direct mail always works best when tied in with other forms of marketing, creating an awareness campaign. Here are some key points for successful church plant postcard design:
Who Are You Trying to Reach?
Knowing who you’re trying to reach helps determine the language and direction of your design. Your postcards will get delivered to the churched (and the unhappy at church), but the target has to be the unchurched. Be sure not use church lingo. Tailor language that is aimed at the unchurched – what will speak to them? This should include a personal invite to your church. Let them know you want them.
A.I.D.A. (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action)
These four elements are critical when designing your card. You must grab attention, engage, educate and have a clear call to action for the reader. The mailer is a teaser designed to take the reader from the front to the back of the card, to your website, then to the church gathering! The initial goal is to drive them to your website where they can get more information.
The postcard itself has to be designed to meet all USPS size and dimension standards. And you’ll want to use an oversized postcard, preferably a 6 x 11. You want to stick out and gain attention!
Church Plant Postcard Design Must Haves
Be sure your card includes all of these important design elements:
- Your service dates & times
- Your church website listed prominently
- Map of your location
- Bright colors
- Pictures and sharp graphics (but do not use stock photos)
- Promotion of an event, like a grand opening
- A clear invitation to come (make it clear that it’s a worship gathering)
- Expectation of a relaxed atmosphere (come as you are)
- Description of your children’s ministry as a clean, safe environment for kids
- Minimal text (bullet points are quick and easy to read)
- Power tip: extend the life of the card by listing your message series with two or three dates and titles
- Optional: a hook (giveaways, free food, bouncy houses can be effective)
Your Message Must Be Clear
Addressing a felt need on the card is very important. Divorce rates are way too high. Many people in your community live paycheck to paycheck and/or are searching for meaning. There are hurting people that need help, so address the need.
Here are three hot-button points to use that will speak to any community:
- Self worth
Your postcard should be a gift of hope to a people in need.
Also Watch Your Timing
Be sure to send your postcard out around the natural growth rhythms of the church. This would be in the fall, Christmas/New Years and the Easter seasons. Plan to have your postcards hit the mailbox in a 5 to 10 day window prior to your event. Not too early where people would forget and yet close enough where they can still plan for it. Also be aware of any conflicting events in your community.
Bringing all of these important church plant postcard design elements together will help you to have a successful direct mail marketing campaign. Cast a wide net, touch those who need a gift of hope, and grow your church!