One of the goals of C18 is to share the gospel with one-million souls this holiday season. This will essentially take place as worship guests join you for your Christmas Eve service.
How will you invite them to your service? Here are some options.
Your congregation can order color postcards through Echt Printing. (NOTE: A gift to Congregational Services allows us to offer a $150 grant to the first 200 congregations that order postcards.) There are multiple ways your congregation can use those postcards.
If you want to mail the postcards, Echt Printing offers three options.
Order 11”x17” press sheets from Echt Printing, which are printed on only the front side. There are four cards per sheet. You would then print the reverse side on your own. Many larger home printers can handle 11”x17” light cardstock. Or, you could take the press sheets to a local printer.
You can work with Echt Printing to print both the front and a custom reverse side. The cards are then shipped to you cut and ready to mail. Echt’s designers will work with you to create a customized reverse for your church that matches U.S. Postal Service bulk mail regulations. For those unfamiliar with postal regulations, this is a good option. If you print the back of your card in a way that does not conform to USPS regulations, they may reject your card. NOTE: Two-sided cards are available in standard size (5.5 by 8.5 ) or EDDM size (6.1875 by 8.5). Standard size is required if you would like to use Echt’s mailing service or if you have a bulk mail permit. If you want more information on the USPS’s Every-Door-Direct-Mail (EDDM) program, speak to the bulk mailing manager at your local post office.
Echt Printing can print both sides of your postcard and do all the addressing, sorting, and mailing paperwork for you. It is a complete turnkey solution. There is an additional charge of 3 cents per piece. Postage is not included but paid as a separate fee to the U.S. Postal Service. However, using Echt’s mailing service will get you the lowest possible postage cost.
Another way to use outreach postcards is as part of a canvass effort with doorhanger bags. Your congregation could place a postcard and some information about the church into doorhanger bags. Then teams distribute those bags in the weeks leading up to Christmas. When using the postcards this way, you would simply format the reverse side a little differently, as you would not need space for the mass mailing permit number or an address label. More information about planning a doorhanger canvass is available in the C18-Evangelism Resources.
You can order doorhanger bags HERE. Be certain to select a bag that will fit the largest item you want to share.
Business Card Invitations
A business card invitation is easily carried in a member’s pocket or purse, unlike a larger postcard. Whenever the opportunity arises to invite someone to Christmas Eve, you can pull out a business card to provide the pertinent information. Business cards are extremely inexpensive. Using this tactic requires the congregation to provide training and continual encouragement to members. However, it also results in a personal, face-to-face invitation to a worship service, which is the most likely invitation a potential visitor will accept.
Business card invitations can be ordered through Echt Printing.
In the advertising world, CPM is king. CPM stands for cost-per-thousand. In other words, how much does it cost for your ad to be seen by one-thousand people? Facebook is a leader in CPM, coming in at a little over seven dollars. Using Facebooks ads, you can reach 10,000 people in your community for less than seventy-five dollars.
Combine that with the following statistics:
- 60% of people prefer watching video over reading text.
- People interested in an ad are 90% more likely to share it on Facebook if it is a video instead of text.
- It takes approximately one-minute to read 900 words. Viewers will retain 95% of a message they watch in a one-minute video. They retain 10% of 900 words they read in that same time.
Facebook advertising can be a vital component of your congregational outreach. As part of C18, we will be providing ready to use Facebook video ads, as well as a how-to guide for using Facebook to reach your community.
Banners, by themselves, are not a very effective way of inviting the community to attend a special service. They are highly effective when combined with a larger outreach effort. Imagine your congregation mails out 5,000 outreach postcards. It uses Facebook ads to reach another 10,000. Your members hand out business card invites to unchurched friends and family. Having a large banner in front of your church building that has the same graphic identifies your congregation as the one which is coordinating this wider effort.
Low-cost vinyl banners can be ordered through Echt Printing.
Affordable for all
With the C18 program, any church can utilize the outreach materials. Christmas Eve outreach could cost the church nothing. The digital resources for A Light in the Darkness are all free. Members could share those with friends. If your congregation has an outreach budget, you could use a combination of the resources described above to invite tens of thousands of people in your community to join you on Christmas Eve for around $1000.
Written by Jonathan Hein
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