A common challenge for many churches today is that they may have 2,000 to 3,000 people listed on the church rolls, but only a fraction of them show up each week.
Though there are many reasons for this, one key reason for is that many churches do little to no internal marketing. If a business never followed up with customers, but simply greeted them warmly when they came in the door, but never contacted them again, never sent a sale flyer or had any other contact with them, the customer would probably not return. A church is not very different.
Most churches put the majority of their church marketing and communication efforts on getting people outside the church to come to the church. Though this is important, we shouldn't stop there and just like the customer above, if a church doesn't work on communicating with current members, they may not see them often.
We also have more reasons to do internal marketing than the local business. Remember, Jesus commanded us to make disciples, not simply worship and special event attendees. We need to learn to use every tool of technology available to get people involved in the activities and ministries of our churches that will take them to the next step of Christian maturity. To do this we need to plan out our internal marketing and it works best if you have a coordinated approach using both social media and print.
Internal marketing defined
Internal marketing includes all the communications you create for people already attending your church to get them involved in the activities of your church or ministry that will help them grow to maturity in their Christian life. Not only is this important when people come to your church after a special event, but it is important on a continuing basis.
Far too often this aspect of marketing and communications does not take place in the church and if it does, it is done in an often haphazard and spotty way. This lack of attention to this aspect of marketing is seldom intentional. It happens because:
- The church staff does not see the importance of need to do this kind of marketing because of the unspoken assumption that people will automatically attend small groups, training times and other activities of the church.
- Because it is important to the staff, they think it is important to the congregation, but this is seldom true.
- Church staff is too stressed out and overworked to do one more thing in communications and marketing than they are already doing.
- There is no intentional plan for internal marketing and no way to measure the effectiveness of the program.
- Internal marketing is only done through one channel—if that's social media primarily (as much is today) this doesn't have a an impact on people who prefer print or don't have access to digital channels.
Following are suggestions on how to begin to remedy this situation: [Read more...]