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The word “marketing” makes some in the church world cringe. They think it takes the Holy Spirit out of it. I want as many people as possible to show up and hear about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection! My philosophy is to never spiritualize management decisions and never manage spiritual decisions.
Never spiritualize management decisions and never manage spiritual decisions. (click here to tweet this)
As a warning, this post is much more technical than my usual ones, but I’ve made it this way in order to make it as plain as possible to see what we’re doing in order to, hopefully, help you to market your church’s Easter services, too.
My staff team and I are implementing our 2016 Easter marketing strategy, and I thought I’d share most of the plan with you.
- Church-wide Motivation
- Letter to be mailed February 22nd and emailed to the church February 24th. Click here to read side 1 of the letter. Click here to read side 2.
- Heavy promotion of Easter in the bulletin and video announcements beginning February 21st.
- Two “Pump Up” emails sent to the church on Friday, March 18th & Good Friday, March 26th. Click here to read the 18th email and click here to read the 26th email. They’re already pre-scheduled to post on the respective dates!
- Monday and Tuesday, March 14th and 15th, every church member will be called individually. A script and call assignments will be distributed the week prior to the pastoral staff. Click here to see the script.
- Thursday, March 24th, every church member will be texted. The text is already pre-scheduled to send, and it will say: “Easter is just a few days away! Text someone now & invite them! Sat. @ 6pm; Sun @ 9:15 or 10:45. www.HighlandsEaster.com”
- Saturday, March 26th, a mass phone call will be sent to the church. Click here to listen to the phone call. It’s already been recorded and is pre-scheduled to call the entire church on March 26th. FYI: We use call-em-all.com for mass texting and mass calling. We’re very pleased with them.
- Attractional Opportunities
Helicopter Easter Egg Drop
March 19th, 3:00–6:00, we’re holding our annual helicopter egg drop, with inflatables, etc. I probably need to write a separate article about helicopter egg drops. We’ve found them to be extremely successful in drawing people to our church. You can learn more about the egg drop at HighlandsEaster.com.
Easter Bunny Flash Dance
I know. Your immediate thoughts are “What? Huh?” We’re going to have a team of people dressed in Easter bunny costumes to pull up at a highly trafficked area (like a mall parking lot or Walmart), jump out of our church’s “psychedelic van,” play some music loudly, and the bunnies will dance. While they’re dancing, we’ll have folks walking around and handing out invite cards to our Easter services. I’m totally ripping off this idea from my buddy, Dr. Brandon, Thomas, of Keystone Church, who does this at Easter with bunnies, and at Christmas with dancing Santas. Watch video of one of his times doing this:
- Serving Others
Church members will be encouraged to take cookies to their neighbors, and leave an invite card with the cookies. Mow their neighbor’s lawn, and leave an invite card on their porch. Pay for the person’s food behind you in the driveway and tell the cashier to give them the invite card. Serve people!
- Direct Mail
- Radio Ads
We’re still not sure if we’re going to do this, but if we do, it’ll be on a secular station. Why would I advertise our church on a Christian radio station? Our goal is not to steal sheep, but reach the un-churched and de-churched . . . people who don’t listen to Christian radio.
- Invite Cards and Word of Mouth
We have ordered extra postcards for Easter promotion that are the same as what is being sent via direct mail. In the two Sundays leading up to the egg drop (March 6, 13), we will have these postcards in every chair before worship services begin. Every member will be encouraged to pass out at least ten of these cards.
We’ll also have business-card-sized invite cards. The cards are still being designed.
- The church’s main sign will begin promoting Easter on Monday, February 15th.
- Banners printed to promote the helicopter egg drop need to be installed the week of February 22nd, then the signs promoting Easter services need to be installed the week of March 20th.
- Church of the Highlands coroplast signs need to be put up all over north/east Hamilton County March 23rd.
- Social Media
- Facebook ads will roll out March 1st, leading through the morning of Easter (March 27th). These ads will target the zip codes encompassing Ooltewah, Harrison, Birchwood, and north/eastern Chattanooga. The two videos below will be a couple of the ads we use.
- The Easter page on TheHighlands.cc will go live February 15th.
- We will use the hashtag #EasterCOH and encourage the whole church to do so.
- We will ask the entire church to use a special avatar that promotes Easter at The Highlands.
- On Sunday, March 20th, we will have a special “selfie time” in the services. The entire church will be asked to take pictures with a piece of paper that says “Come to Church of the Highlands with me for Easter This Weekend | HighlandsEaster.com” Click here to see the PDF of the selfie time.
- Web Promotion
We bought the domain name, HighlandsEaster.com, that just points to the Easter page on our website. We will encourage people over and over to point people to our Highlands Easter page. This page on our site has all details for Easter.
- Contacting Your Prospect Database
- Every first-time guest from August to the present will receive a handwritten note to be mailed Monday, March 14th. The Wednesday night Bible study groups will be given stacks of notecards and a script on March 2nd and 9th.
- I will personally call all first-time guests the week of March 21st. This will take a long time, so I already have several hours a day on my calendar designated to call people the week of Easter.
I hope this marketing plan will help you to come up with ideas to reach more people this Easter season! Have any additional ideas or thoughts? Let me know in the comment section below.
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