10 Ways to Improve Marketing without Spending Any Money

We've been consciously striving at Cobblestone to reduce expenses in these tough economic times while increasing ministry. One of the ways we're doing that is in our communications ministry. Last year we stopped producing weekly bulletins and inserts, and went to monthly programs, available every week but containing the month's events in one fell swoop. We obtained a grant to install large video screens to give us the capacity to put out more information with no additional paper or printing costs. We utilize other electronic and social media (Twitter, Facebook, listserves, email, etc.) as much as possible.

So the following blog post from Tony Morgan's blog was right up my alley:

The other day I started thinking about the constraints that we have as churches given today’s current economic conditions. With that in mind, I began to brainstorm ways we can continue to improve how we communicate with the people we are trying to reach without spending any money. These are solutions that any church of any shape and size should be able to engage. Here are…

10 Ways to Improve Marketing without Spending Any Money

  1. Improve guest services on Sunday mornings. Stress that Sunday mornings are a time for your hospitality team to be focused on visitors. The number one reason people will come back to your church is if they find the church to be friendly.
  2. Follow through with your promises. If someone volunteers to take a next step in a group, serving or an event, make sure the process is in place to follow up in a timely and personal fashion.
  3. Make it easy for people ask questions. Create a one-stop location, physical or online, where visitors can receive more information about your church.
  4. Create ministry environments that compel people to invite their friends. Excellent preaching and worship music is not enough. Every environment in the church needs to create an opportunity for life change. When that happens, you won’t be able to stop folks from inviting their friends.
  5. Embrace social media. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are an easy way to engage people in conversation and develop relationships. As relationships are developed, you’ll earn the credibility to encourage people to take next steps.
  6. Be different. Begin an unexpected series, have a unique worship experience or do something (good) that gets people talking.
  7. Make your church an active part of the community. Open your campus to the community, but also get engaged outside the walls of the church where you can directly impact people’s lives.
  8. Eliminate the noise. Prioritize what needs to be communicated. Eliminate competing messages. Stop the spam. The fewer the messages we deliver, the more likely the important messages will be heard.
  9. Encourage word-of-mouth marketing. The number one reason people will show up to your church for the very first time is because someone invites them. If you have stopped growing, your very first question should be this: Why have people stopped inviting their friends and what would have to happen for that to change?
  10. Lead by example. Although leading a church can become all-encompassing, find a way to cultivate personal relationships with nonbelievers. I know of a student who refused to walk through the doors of the church until her youth pastor, who got to know her at an outreach event, wrote her a two-line note thanking her for being a part of the youth group.

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