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Easter Planning Series – Marketing & Services

We are less than five weeks away from the most attended Sunday of the year for most churches. Easter Sunday. The one Sunday a year that even the people who don’t take this Christianity thing too seriously are likely to show up. So, let’s do our best to get as many people to church as possible on that day, and let’s give them an experience that they are going to want to come back to.

Now, I know that word experience can make some people uncomfortable, so let me just share a definition with you. A quick Google search gives me several, but the one I prefer is, “an event or occurrence that leaves an impression on someone.”

When people show up to church, they should experience something they can’t get anywhere else. I believe they should experience the presence of God, and the love of God through His people.

If they experience those two things, I believe they’ll come back.

Now last week we began this series of blog posts dedicated to helping pastors get better prepared for Easter. If you haven’t read that post yet, make sure to go back and read it because each post has a bit of homework with it. If you did last week’s homework you should have a team of people praying for your Easter service, and you should also have an Easter graphic that you’re going to use for marketing.

This week we need to finalize our Easter graphic, because we’re going to need it to order some marketing materials.

For most churches these fall into three categories.

Invite Cards – My personal favorite. These are normally the size of business cards, and they’ll include info like your service times and website. I really like them for two main reasons. First, they don’t cost much. You can get 1,000 of them for less than $100. Second, they’re a great evangelism tool. You provide them to members of the church, and they can then use them to invite their friends, neighbors, and coworkers.  

Mailers – These are usually postcard size or larger that get mailed directly to homes in your neighborhood. The larger size means you can have more information on them, and since they get mailed, everyone sees them. We’ve used these before with good success, but it’s an expensive option. And with the growth of online marketing, mailers aren’t as effective as they once were in my opinion.

Door Hangers – My least favorite by far. These are invites that can be placed on people’s door knobs at their homes. It requires you to go from home to home placing things on someone’s door that they may not be interested in. I wouldn’t want people that I don’t know coming to my door and placing something on it, so I don’t like this idea. But, it obviously works for some churches because they keep doing it.

These are your major print options. For things you’re going to need printed, we need to order them this week. Especially if you’re going to do a mailer, because those take more time than others. By the way, we’ll talk about online stuff later. It’s not as time-sensitive.

I’d recommend you at least do invite cards, and if you want to try the others that’s fine too. The company I primarily use for my print materials is Vistaprint, although we have used local print companies in the past and that works fine also. 

Now, when you go to order these companies are either going to want a finished design with exactly what you want it to look like, or most of them will create it for you for an additional fee.

If you use the Church Marketing University materials I recommended in my previous post, they’ve done all the design work for you. Otherwise, I’d just ask the print company if they can help you with it.

For invite cards, you don’t want a ton of information on them because they’re small and it gets cluttered quickly. So, what I’d recommend is the front of the card should just be your Easter graphic. Then the back of the card should include the date of Easter, service times, and your website. That’s it. 

Don’t try to add an address. Don’t try to add a phone number. Don’t even add your church name, unless it’s not obvious by the website name. It’s just the date of Easter, because some people don’t know it, your service times, and your website. Your website will be the place people will go to find out more information if they’re interested.

One last thing for this week, and you’ll need to decide this before doing any print material. 

Consider adding another service on Easter.

Your average churchgoer shows up about every other week. There are some people who are there every week, and some who only show up once a month, but on average it works out to every other week.

Which means if you’re average weekly attendance is 50 people, there’s really around 100 different people that attend each month. They just don’t attend every week. But all 100 of them are likely to show up on Easter.

Now, if your sanctuary seats 200 people, then you’re fine having one service. However, if your sanctuary seats 120 people, then I’d consider adding a service. 

It used to be that anytime you had a service consistently being 80 percent full, then you should add another service. Since the pandemic, that number has dropped to 70 percent.

So, if you’re unsure on what to do, take the seating capacity of your sanctuary and multiply it by 70 percent. If you think there’s a good chance more than that number is going to show up on Easter, then consider adding another service just for Easter Sunday.

Yes, adding an extra service is additional work, and you may have to adjust some things to make it work, but I believe in most cases the momentum and excitement created by adding another service far outweighs the cost.

If you need any help thinking through it, reach out to me and I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.

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