The direct mail and marketing companies, Lob and Comperemedia just sent out some highlights from their 2022 State of Direct Mail: Consumer Insights report. I think it's fair to say that where they list "direct mail" we can substitute the word, "postcard."
Here are their findings:
- 72% of respondents read direct mail immediately after or on the same day they bring it inside their residence
- Of the 62% of consumers that have taken action on a direct mail piece, 64% were inspired to take action because of an offer or promotion
- 45% of consumers say receiving direct mail from a brand feels more important than receiving an email from a brand
Though these companies of course want to sell you their direct mailing services, as church communicators we can learn a lot from them.
Based on these statistics, one of the most successful communications churches can create for outreach is a postcard
As I have reminded church communicators for many years, when a person gets a postcard out of the mail, for the brief seconds that they check it out, you have their complete attention. They cannot help but read the message you have on it.
It is one-on-one communication.
Not only that, but it is in an easy-to-manage form so that if people want to remember whatever it says, the postcard immediately goes on to the refrigerator as a continuing mini-billboard of whatever topic the postcard is about.
But isn't it complex and doesn't it cost a lot to run direct mail campaigns?
It depends on how you do it. There are many mailing service companies that can be used to send out large mailings to your community. If your church has the money and wants to do that—great.
There is another, much less costly and more discipleship-building option
You can either print the postcards yourself (4 or 2 up on a page) and then cut them apart or you can have a local printer or online company such as VistaPrint or Canva print them for you. I have used both services and gotten excellent results. (REMEMBER Effective Church Communications does not take ANY advertising, nor do we participate in any affiliate marketing. I recommend only what I truly use and like.
Even though in smaller quantities it cost a little more, the ease of creating a postcard in Canva and then with a few clicks sending it off to be printed was great.
You can also print them yourself. That is rather pricy if you do them with a small inkjet (check out the online services).
If you are by any chance fortunate enough to have a digital duplicator they are an extremely cost-effective way to print postcards.
SIDENOTE: That older RISO you may have in the backroom in the church office is now the IN machine to create artwork communications. There is an an explosion of artists who are using the RISOGRAPH to create truly amazing images. Check it out online using the search term, "RISO ARTWORK." There are also books about it such as: Risomania: The New Spirit of Printing.
There are Etsy shops that specialize in RISOGRAPH prints and even a set of Photoshop textures to copy the look of them. For those of us who LOVED the technology, this is a fascinating trend.
But I digress.
However you create your postcards, here is what to do next
After you have the postcards, give out 5 postcards to each person who comes into the church on Sunday.
Make a big deal out of your next outreach event--perhaps a video or PowerPoint about it and then have the pastor or outreach director get up and say something like this:
I hope you are all excited about our next fantastic church outreach event! You got 5 postcards about it when you came into the church and here is what we want you to do.
Pray about people you'd like to invite.
Either address and send with a personal note or give them to the people you've been praying for.
Follow up with reminding them about the event, bring them if necessary and pray they connect with the church and Jesus.
This process not only saves the church office time and money but is also a way to grow your members in discipleship as it is a very natural method of evangelism. People may be hesitant to "witness" to a neighbor but it is easy to invite someone to a party or fun outreach time at your church.
For additional resources on how to make the most out of seasonal postcards
For free templates of postcards for major holidays and special events, CLICK HERE.
For a video of a comprehensive strategy of how to make the most of special events and church outreach, CLICK HERE. You can watch the video for free on the Effective Church Communications YouTube channel, but the previous link is for the Effective Church Communications Library where for one extremely low annual price ($36 a year) your entire church team has access to all the eBooks and training videos in the library. You can download and share them however you wish.
For an eBook of the comprehensive strategy to help grow your church in numbers and your people, CLICK HERE.