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Church Marketing: Strategies, Best Practices & Examples [Guide 2022]

The number of church members is dropping rapidly every year. As a result, churches are struggling, and one of the reasons behind it that most didn’t adapt to this new age.

We know that marketing seems like something that belongs in the world of finances or fashion, but not all marketing has personal revenue goals behind it. 

Churches can use marketing strategies to attract and keep church members and help their community. 

Keep reading for successful church marketing ideas to help your ministry and members. 

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Why is Marketing Important for Churches?

Marketing is just as important for churches as it is for other industries.

Besides, when you think about it, marketing is nothing new in the church world. From ancient times people have promoted their communities and religion by preaching. 

The methods may have changed, but the goal is the same. Get your message out there by any means available to you. 

Marketing will help keep existing members, but the primary goal is attracting new members. 

In a world where only 36% of millennials say they’re a church member, marketing can and will help you get those numbers up. 

Now, let’s get into a more detailed church growth strategy.

5 Benefits of a Well-Defined Church Marketing Plan

Church marketing promotes understanding

When people understand the idea, they tend to be more accepting of it. When you advertise and market your church and thought about it in the right way people will become interested and you’ll attract more members. 

Church marketing increases church members

The whole point of church marketing is to attract more new members. With the right strategy, you’ll be able to spread your message to more people than you ever thought was possible. 

Church marketing brings volunteers

Part of your marketing should be introducing all the projects your church does. For example, if you need more volunteers in the homeless shelter, marketing can help you attract new or encourage the existing members to help.

Church marketing raises funds

The church relies on its members for money. Better the marketing, more prominent the congregation, and thus, more funds. The donations will be even better if the member gets the idea of where the funds are going. 

Church marketing spreads the message

Even if marketing doesn’t bring as much as new members as your thought, at least your message will get out there and better some people. Spreading love and peace is always a good thing. 

5 Benefits of a Well-Defined Church Marketing Plan

How To Create a Successful Church Marketing Plan

Building a successful church marketing plan doesn’t have to be complicated. 

Follow these 8 steps to reach your optimal goal.

Make a team

If you know nothing about marketing, starting a marketing plan seems frightful. But not with the right team. 

Your team can include anyone, from esteemed church leaders, dedicated volunteers, or other members. 

Don’t hesitate to ask the church members skilled in programming, graphic design, writing and similar jobs for help.

Establish goals

The goal is to attract new members. But, that’s too broad and undefined. Break that goal down into several small achievable parts. Try the famous “SMART” goals.

SMART stands for  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. For example, you want to attract more teenagers into a church. Your smart goal should be to make the church more approachable to them by advertising in the form of video on social media they use once a week.

Think of your audience

For marketing strategy, one of the first questions you have to ask is who are you trying to attract? After that, you can start your strategy.

So, think about what kind of people you want as new members. Young, old, liberals, conservation, etc.? Explore their habits and the best way to reach them.

Determine a budget

Church marketing doesn’t require much money as a lot of members contribute for free.

Still, it would be useful to have at least a small monthly budget you can spend on marketing. 

This would apply to ads, printing materials and such. If you have a dedicated staff member who deals exclusively with marketing, set a monthly fee for them.

Create a brand identity

Brand identity applies to the look and feel of your church. Decide upon color palette, logo, fonts, and other elements that should faithfully portray the church’s message.

Brand identity also refers to phrasing, preferred terminology, and way of communication that is right for you and your community.

Figure out your message

After the graphic design part, it’s time to consider what your church’s marketing message will be. Your current church members can help you here too.

Ask them what attracted them to this particular church and what makes them come back every week. Once you realize what great things your church offers, your marketing plan is just a few steps from realization.

Determine distribution channels

There are plenty of distribution channels to choose from. There are more traditional ones like posters and modern ones like digital ads. 

Choose the one that best suits you and the type of people you want to attract.  

Start a fundraising strategy

To keep up with all the activities in the church, start a fundraising strategy. Make it fun and interactive so people get more engaged. With a good fundraising strategy, you can also pay for all your marketing costs.

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8 Church Marketing Strategies (Promotional Ideas for Churches)

8 Church Marketing Strategies (Promotional Ideas for Churches)

Build a website

The website is a sign of serious and dedicated church community. When someone hears about your church from a friend or sees your ad, they’ll want to learn more.  

That’s why your website has to be modern, engaging, and up to date. If you don’t want to spend money on developers, there are a few services like Wix that help beginners make websites on their own.

Integrate a donation form into your website

Think of it as a modern-day donation basket. Choose a donation platform that allows various features.

For example, donating in the name of a loved one. Or, donating for a special purpose or department in the church.

Personalization creates more engagement. A donation form is also a great way to collect money for some events or to help the ones in need. 

Establish an “invite culture”

Don’t forget to encourage your church members to invite new members. To make this more fun, create a nice business card that will represent your church. The card can have all the info like the church’s constant information and parish office working hours.

Extra points go if the design is made within your branding guidelines for even more recognizability.

Make an extra effort on holidays

Holidays are the busiest time for churches. Even members that don’t come regularly join on Christmas and Easter, and on top of that, invite their friends and family to join them.

This is a great opportunity for your church to advertise a bit. Make sure your layers and posters are nicely designed and visible. Also, during the service remind the people of the upcoming events.

Take part in community events

To indirectly familiarize people with your church and message, show up at the local community events. Better yet, be the host.

For example, you can organize various workshops, barbecues or even a movie night. 

Send direct mailers

Although it may seem like an e-mail is a better idea nowadays, these kinds of e-mails usually automatically end up in spam. A thin, lovely designed postcard on the other hand, will surely intrigue people.

And unlike e-mails, U.S. Postal Service reports that 81% of recipients read or scan their mail daily.

Initiate a crowdfunding campaign

Crowdfunding can be a great way to gather your community for one, big cause. Crowdfunding can be done live, but online crowdfunding takes the pressure off and can be done from home.

All you have to do is choose the right platform (like GoFundMe), set up your goal and explain the cause of your campaign. Encourage your church members to share it on social media for a bigger impact.

Be active on social media

Social media can be a big part of your marketing strategy, especially if you’re trying to attract young people. If you don’t know how, ask some of the younger church members to set you up Facebook/Instagram/TikTok account.

Speaking to youngsters in form and media they are familiar with will surely grow your popularity.

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Church Marketing FAQ

How do you market a church?

There are many ways to market a church. Here are 8 steps you can undertake for a successful marketing campaign:

  • Build a team
  • Set goals
  • Define your audience
  • Set a budget
  • Establish a brand identity
  • Craft your message
  • Identify distribution channels
  • Document a fundraising strategy 

Do churches need marketing?

Of course, like any industry, churches are always looking for new members. Marketing can help them achieve that.  

Where do churches advertise?

Churches can advertise via newspapers, jumbo posters, ads, digital ads, and social media…it’s up to them to decide which way is optimal for their church and members. 

Additional resources: