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I read an article called ”Are Church Mailers a Total Waste of Money?” and it got me thinking. In the article the author goes to much length to show how Facebook ads, although they appear to be more expensive than mailings, are, he believes, more cost-effective.

Now this article seems to be about a church much bigger than mine, and one that already spends a lot more money on church mailings than we’d ever dream of. Some of you may go to larger churches with bigger budgets for promotional efforts, but I imagine many of you go to a church with a smaller budget, like mine.

There are “low tech” and high tech ways to put out promotional material. You can go door to door with a simple flyer, send out a direct mailing, use billboards, a sign in front of the church, word of mouth, Facebook ads, and more. What’s the most effective method?

Our church has done “church mailers,” or direct mailings in the past. Has yours? When you send out a mailing you can purchase addresses with certain criteria -- within certain areas, different characteristics such as families with children vs. singles, and so on.

I really didn’t know what Facebook ads were all about. Reading this article gave me a little better idea. You probably know that Facebook has ads on the edges of the pages. I’d heard that Facebook used contextual clues to determine ads, as Google does. Ads related to what’s being written about show up on the pages you’re viewing.

But Facebook ads also work a little like when you purchase address for direct mailings. You can specify that your ads go to people who have listed certain kinds of interests, as well as geographical areas. I noticed recently I had an ad from “ReFrame Media” that started with the question, “Member of the Christian Reformed Church?” I have to think that when ReFrame Media placed their ad, they must have done something to find people who were likely attending or members of the CRC. It makes sense. And it certainly caught my attention.

Using high tech methods like Facebook ads is an interesting idea. It’s an example of the church using the tools that businesses or others use, for God’s work. Whether your church is big or small, most churches do hold events where we invite our neighbors, our community, to join us.

I’m curious, what methods do you use to extend your invitation? Have any of you tried Facebook ads? What technology do you use? Is one way more effective than the others? I’d love to hear from you. 

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