Saturday, June 8, 2013

7 Reasons for Regular Church Invite Cards (& 6 Tips to Make Them More Effective!)

As communications continues to shift towards more digital and online we’ve found an increasing value in producing regular invite promotional cards for our people. We used to only do this for “big days” or “special series” but we’ve shifted to do this for every series. Over this last year we’ve seen increasing momentum in our people inviting friends and these postcards are a part of that! Here are some lessons we’ve learned in using church invite cards regularly:
  • postcard_towerIt’s Tangible // In a world of digital products and tools there is a funny way that tangible goods have increased value. We spend a lot of time, effort and energy thinking through our digital strategy but the physical good makes the new series “real” in a way that slides or Facebook images don’t.
  • It “Forces” Us to Ask // Because we print up these cards for every series it means every 3-4 weeks we are going to be asking people to invite their friends to our church. We get to explain to them again about why being a part of mission of Jesus is such a privilege. ”Forcing” ourselves to talk about that could be reason enough to do this!
  • Give Us Language // Each invite has a “blurb” about the series that gives our people language about what it’s all about. Even if they don’t ever pass along the invite card to a friend this blurb gives them language to use to explain the series.
  • Takes Up Space // These cards end up in people’s cars, on their fridges and in all kinds of locations. These are miniature communication outposts reminding people about our church!
  • Forward Momentum // Our culture gets bored quickly. We don’t just want to know what is on TV we want to know what else is on TV. We talk about the next series coming up so people who might be tuning out of our current content see there is something new coming. The invite cards flag for them that something new is right around the corner!
  • It’s Cheap // The cost of printing cards like this continues to drop. You can get 1,000 4×6 full color postcards done for $50 at Overnight Prints. It’s a cost effective communications tool.
  • People Use Them // It might be stating the obvious … but people actually do use them to invite friends. It feels like we are partnering with them as they engage their friends and neighbors to come to church.
Here are some lessons we’ve learned with doing all these invite cards:
  • 4×6 // We’ve settled on this size because it’s big enough to get a good image on it but small enough to fit in your back pocket.
  • Three at a Time // We pack them up into bundles of three when we hand them out to implicitly communicate we want people to invite multiple friends.
  • Ushers Hand Them Out // We’ve found the best way to ensure that the most cards get into people’s hands is to have our Ushers hand them out as they leave. It sets it apart of the material we give them on the way in and communicates that this is their next step.
  • Week Before // I’m convinced people only invite friends to church in the days leading up to the weekend so we only handout invite cards the week before the series starts. We don’t want people to feel like we are always pushing cards so we limit them to just the one week before the series starts.
  • Campus Specific Cards // I’ve found that three locations is the most you can really list on a card like this. When churches get to four campuses they need to have campus specific cards. We’ve started doing that in prep for our fourth launch this fall.
  • Arresting Image + Compelling Text // At the core of a great invite card is an image that makes you stop and flip over the card & 2-3 punchy sentences that sets up the tension that series resolves. Show more … say less.

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