Advertising Your Church (Pt. 7)

Okay, last issue with church advertising: What venues will you use?

First, there are some great books by Jay Conrad Levinson on “Guerrilla Marketing” that you should read if you want to learn more about all this. His suggestion would be that if you’re not Coke or Honda and don’t have a million dollars to plunk down on a Super Bowl ad, your strategy should be to hit people as often as possible, in as many different ways as possible. So rather than selecting one of these options, consider choosing several. So here are some options:

(1) Direct Mailing: Their effectiveness seems to be decreasing, but there are some advantages to direct mail. Mailings don’t interrupt people’s lives (like phone calls do). If someone does look at your mailing, it will probably get their undivided attention for that moment. Also, people will often keep mailings.

(2) Door Hangers: A lot cheaper than a mailing, but a lot more work.

(3) Phone Calls: Very time consuming, and very intrusive. Also, people can’t “keep it” and so there’s not that lasting value. I’d nix this one.

(4) Radio: You can make a radio commercial as good or better than others on the air. If you do a (great) church ad on your local secular station, you may be the only church. I did a series on this back in January if you want to check it out.

(5) T.V.: The problem I have with advertising on TV is that I’ve never seen a church commercial that looks as good as the commercials around it (unless it’s a local car dealership ad). Some churches seem to like TV ads, but it’s never appealed to me.

(6) Newspaper: We’ve never done a newspaper ad. But if you have a local paper and a wider area bigger paper, I would go with a big ad in the local paper over a small ad in the bigger paper. Question: Are the people you’re trying to reach reading the newspaper?

(7) Phone Book: If you have a decent ad in the phone book it will probably bring in some people and you’ll get the money you invested in it back. My question is: Will it reach truly unchurched people? Are unchurched people looking for a church? And if, for some reason, they were, would they look in a phone book?

(8) Billboards: We had someone give us a few billboards once, but we didn’t seem much return. I have heard stories of churches making a major impact with them. The gurus say that billboards are reminder advertising; they will only remind people of what else they’ve already seen and heard.

(9) Theater Screen Ad: Like billboards, this is also probably more in the “reminder advertising” category. It’s also somewhat expensive. Personally, I would definitely do theater screen ads if I was meeting in that theater, but probably wouldn’t if not.

Okay, so there you have it. Just about everything I know about advertising a church in seven posts. Do you know something I don’t know? You probably do, so leave it in a comment. I’d like to learn from you! So we’re done with advertising (except a quick addendum tomorrow) and then it will be something else altogether. Until then, don’t get your knickers in a bunch.

– featured on