10 Point Easter Marketing Checkup
Easter time is here, and this period, more than any other, represents your church’s opportunity to capture the attention of potential visitors in various ways. Churches have become increasingly creative with their Easter promotions, and, to be honest, it can be challenging to cut through the Easter noise to get your church noticed. While ads, postcards, banners, and the like are effective ways to spread the word, a genuine invitation from a neighbor can be very effective as well. Either way, this time of year also represents an opportunity to do a checkup on your church marketing to ensure it is all it should be. So, we’ve put together this easy-to-follow 10-point guide to help you along the way.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Define Your Easter Message
Messaging needs to be the first step in the marketing process. Working to determine the words that you want to say and that you feel would be effective should be your first stop. Brainstorm with other people on the leadership team about a theme that you feel would resonate well with your primary audience. As you’re writing things down, highlight the words that keep coming up over and over again. As you’re writing things down, highlight the words that keep coming up. Combine these words to form a tagline—a short statement designed to communicate to your internal and external audiences. Think 3 to 5 words max. Next, share this tagline with your senior leadership to see if it resonates with them and aligns with the Easter sermon in the works. Tweak the tagline if necessary to align your messaging and sermon, which helps everything come across as professional.
Step 2: Create Your Graphics
The next thing you will need is coordinating graphics to communicate your message. Don’t be afraid of bold colors, Easter is really the time you can get away with this. These bold colors grab attention and convey the importance of what you’re saying. Consider paying a professional designer to create these for you. Remember, good Easter marketing requires a myriad of different graphics. You need square and rectangular graphics for the many variations of banners, invite cards, and social media graphics that need to be created. Consider creating a custom invite card that your congregation can use for personal invites, which research has shown is the most effective kind of invite.
Step 3: Update Your Website
Look at your website, your homepage specifically, and find a good place to display your Easter graphics, and service information. We recommend above or just below the fold as a good place to display your You want the first things that the people that go to your website to be your Easter information. While you are there, review the other content on the homepage. Refresh the images and copy to make sure things feel fresh and new. Easter is a great time to change out the main header image on your website. Plan a photoshoot during this time to capture a welcoming image to use here. Do not use a photo of your building here. People want to see other people welcoming them into a loving atmosphere. Work to capture candid photography that conveys these feelings. Also make sure if you have any upcoming post-easter events that you have those displayed so people can connect with you after they visit on Easter. If you don’t have one, create a FAQ section on your website to answer any first time visitor questions you think a visitor might have. It’s easier to answer a question before it is asked than after the information is needed. You could even consider creating a special Easter landing page with a special invite from your pastor. A landing page is a page that is designed for people to go directly to it vs. navigating through a menu to find it. For example, they might click through a social media ad, to get to it. We’ll talk more about the ad in the next step.
Step 4: Leverage Social Media
To let people know about what your church is doing this Easter, you need to go where they are. Social media should be your first step here. Create an event for your Easter service and have your congregation share it. This is a great way to make another personal invitation. Use those beautiful graphics that you created a few steps ago on social media. You could create a countdown to Easter or pull from your FAQs and post answers to questions in graphics. Also consider budgeting some funds to create an ad to reach people who don’t follow your church’s page. Tar the 3 mile area around your church with the ad so people in your immediate area know your Easter info. Direct people to your website in the ad so they can get all the information they need.
Step 5: Create Printed Materials
Thinking digital first is great but don’t forget about print. Despite what you may have heard, print is not dead. Banners, yard signs, and invite cards are still effective if used strategically. Having all of these coordinated with your graphics can create a truly cohesive branded look for your Easter services. Get your congregation in on the promotion and empower them with materials that make it easy for them to share about Easter with their friends, family, and neighbors. All these promotional materials should point people to your website so make sure it shines and all the information they are looking for is easy to find.
Step 6: Community Engagement
Think through the community groups in your area. How can you get in front of them to talk about what your church is doing on Easter? Think about this digitally too. Are there some mom groups or hobby groups that would let you share about your church’s Easter activities? If so, then go after them. This word-of-mouth marketing works great when you are talking about the things that the groups are interested in. It might be worth thinking through the points of interest that you think would resonate well with these groups. If it’s a parent group, be sure to talk about the Easter Egg Hunt, if your church is doing that. If it’s a hobby group, be sure to tie in messaging that ties in with their hobby. If these groups are online, be sure to be ready to engage in the comments section. You may have to handle some negative comments or questions, but it is a great way to show love even to those who don’t like you and make some personal digital connections that can translate into in-person visits. One final idea is to go to local area businesses, parks, and apartment complexes and ask if you can post something on their community info board about your Easter services.
Step 7: Email, Email, Email
Your church needs an email list. Every visitor, member, and UFO (Uncommitted freeloading onlooker) should be on your email list. Don’t just send out one email about your upcoming Easter services. Create a campaign of emails, we suggest 5 to 6, that talk to the “Why” behind Easter. Link to resources that people can use to invite their neighbors. Include one with a personal invite from the pastor, create an email that has fun Easter ideas for the kids, or dig deep into why Christians from around the world gather on this one Sunday of all Sundays. Putting the “Why” before the “What” helps people to understand that what you are talking about is important and helps them to connect to the reason behind it all. It’s also important to segment your email list and send targeted email to different groups of people within your church. Why? Because people care about different things. For example, moms will want to know about what the kids activities will be, where college and singles are probably looking for information about community and connection. If you have the bandwidth, create email campaigns for each demographic in your email list.
Step 8: Update Your Signage
You will have people visiting your church campus that have never been there before. Make sure they know they are in the right place by having a branded banner out front that matches all the other information they’ve seen. Also be sure they can navigate around the campus to the kids areas, bathrooms, and sanctuary with good directional signage. We know where we are going, but they probably won’t, so do a walkthrough and make sure people can know where to go. Even better have a friend who doesn’t go to your church do a walk through and help point out where you need signage. It makes people feel insecure when they don’t know where they are going or aren’t sure where their kids are. Good signage helps them feel comfortable. The best signage isn’t’ a replacement for good greeters though. We’ll talk about that next.
Step 9: Train Your Volunteers
If you’ve ever visited another church, you know that a good greater is crucial to a good first impression. Your greeters need to be trained on how to spot a visitor, how to engage with them in a way that is friendly and welcoming, be able to answer any questions they may have, and help them navigate the church facility. None of these things comes without training. Even if you’ve trained them in the past, Easter is the best time to do a refresher. You may even need to recruit extra volunteers for that day and they will need to be trained. We recommend doing a mock visit so people can see what a good visitor greeting experience looks like. Have your greeters role play in the same way. The training doesn’t just need to be for greeters, all your volunteers need refresher on the things they already know they should be doing. The time leading up to Easter is the best time to get your volunteer game in check. So plan a volunteer training day.
Step 10: Prayer and Reflection
While we list this as step 9, it needs to be a part of every step. Before, during and after Easter, prayer should cover the whole process. Encourage your whole church body to be praying for your church’s Easter services. This is a great focus for those who may not be able to volunteer in other areas. They can be praying for not just the visitors, members, or pastoral staff, but also the season of spiritual preparation and that God would move in mighty ways and draw others to himself. As a church leader, be praying that God would show you any gaps or other opportunities to share about the Easter activities at your church. While God encourages and expects us to make plans and work hard, He is the one who directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9). So ask him to direct your steps and He will open doors you didn’t even consider.
Bonus Step: Track, Review, and Revise
Our final step is to remind you that Easter isn’t over when the services are over. There is one important final step that should happen with your leadership team after the weekend is over. It is crucial for future planning that there is a review period to talk through all the ups and downs of the weekend. This is an important step for all marketing. You need to note what worked well and what didn’t, so that next year you can double your efforts in some areas that give a greater reward. All marketing plans need these review and revision cycles to get better results the following year. This is also a great time to track your KPI, or key performance indicators, on all your efforts so you can compare year over year. This is what makes the difference between thinking strategically and random marketing. Be open to feedback and changing circumstances. When you identify a problem, reframe it in a positive way as a “How Might We..” and brainstorm a solution. Your church’s Easter marking plan should be an iterative process of tracking, reviewing, and revising. This is the approach that will keep you leveling up your Easter game year over year.
We hope this checklist gives you some insight into our process for Easter promotion. Starting early and developing a strategic plan is the key to success to engaging with regular attendees and newcomers. While we know this requires more effort than just doing the “normal” promotion that most churches do year over year, we know that some additional efforts in any one of these areas will take your Easter to the next level. So take that next step and do more and we know that God will bless your efforts. If we can be of any help, reach out to us.