Need help planning and promoting your next ministry or church event? To promote a church event, start by considering these 2 things:
- The platforms your congregants and community typically get information about upcoming events. For example, website, email, social media, or print media.
- Messaging that conveys the benefits of attending your church event. When you can communicate the benefits of the event, you will boost attendance and have opportunities to see Jesus set hearts on fire for Him.
The big idea for event promotion: Think about the purpose of your event, then develop a plan to reach those you know will benefit from attending.
The Need for Strategy When Promoting a Church Event
Promoting church events doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but it does require some marketing strategies, such as…
- Making sure your website contains details about the event and a way to sign up.
- Sending emails to those on your contact list in a planned and timely way.
- Using various social media platforms with clear messaging and eye-catching graphics.
Without promotion strategies, your church event risks having little impact. Something that has the potential to fuel the hearts of many is diminished if no one is aware of your event or why they need to attend. So, if you want to promote a church event, you need to be strategic.
Don’t Forget That Prayer Is Part of the Strategy!
The most important element of event promotion is prayer! Cover your planning, promotion, and execution in prayer. Ask the Spirit to guide you each step of the way so that others come to passionately pursue Jesus, and His name is glorified through the process.
At Forge, we want to help you advance the Kingdom every day and everywhere. We want to come alongside you to empower and equip people to make spiritual decisions so that there is an extraordinary impact for God’s Kingdom.
Church events are great ways to do that by reaching those seeking Jesus and encouraging growth for your congregation.
5 Quick Tips to Promote a Church Event
Let’s dig into these 5 quick tips that will help you promote a church event!
- Get your webpage event-ready.
- Send out invitations, reminders, and nurture emails.
- Mail printed invitations.
- Use social media and paid ads.
- If you have an event speaker, find out if they have a media kit.
Get Your Website Event -Ready
Develop a webpage on your church site where people can register and get more details about the event. Even if the event is free, you can still have a page for registration so that you know how many to expect and can send out event details in advance to them. Getting contact information allows you to provide reminders as the time gets closer, as well as other relevant content. For example, suppose you want to promote a church event for families. In that case, you can email links to blogs or other resources in communications related to empowering and equipping families between the time of registration and the event.
Provide a confirmation webpage of completed registration. We recommend a thank-you webpage pop up after the registration form is filled out and an email is sent confirming registration. The webpage and the email can remind registrants of the event and inform them that they will get additional reminders as the event gets closer while also assuring them their registration has been received.
- Forge Bonus Tip: Consider including qualifier questions on your registration form to learn more about who your attendees are, what they hope to gain from the event, and why they are interested in attending. This information can help you tailor your event or gain insights to help you plan a future event. A qualifier question could be: “What do you hope to learn from the event?” Then, provide several options. Qualifier questions also allow you to send nurture emails that speak directly to the registrant's questions, concerns, and struggles (e.g., parenting troubled teens).
Don’t forget to include several benefits of attending on your webpage! This could be anything from feeling more confident and empowered to gaining practical tools.
Send Out Invitation, Reminder, and Nurture Emails
Develop 3-5 unique emails inviting people to the event. Send these emails to people in your church database approximately 5-7 days apart, beginning 3-6 weeks before the event, depending on the event. Include a link in the email to the webpage mentioned above and encourage them to register.
- Forge Bonus Tip: If your church uses a CRM (customer relationship management software) to email and has access to data on the best time to send or frequency of emails, adjust this recommendation based on this data. Our recommendations are based on best practices, which is a starting point if you don’t have data to go off of currently. In the future, as you gain data, tweak and adjust your timing and frequency accordingly.
Keep communication going after people have registered! You can do this by sending out reminders about the event. After the initial confirmation email is sent, set up an email campaign 1 to 2 weeks before the event, reminding them how and when to attend. Send another out the week of, a couple of days before, and the day of the event with the same information. All of this will depend on the unique nature of the event.
- Forge Bonus Tip: If you collected phone numbers during registration, you can also use them to send text reminders.
Develop a nurture email campaign. A nurture campaign is designed to cultivate the relationship between the future attendee and your church/ministry by providing valuable content and resources prior to the event. Secondly, the campaign keeps registrants anticipating and excited about what they will learn at the event and prepares them to get the most out of it. A nurture campaign is most often done through email and is separate from reminder emails. After someone registers for an event, email them relevant content such as a blog, podcast, or video. The content needs to relate in some way to the event and/or the qualifier question asked during the registration.
Don’t forget to include the benefits of attending the event in the emails! It’s helpful to mention a few benefits within the email copy to keep them excited about attending. You can do this in the P.S. at the bottom or in the concluding paragraph of the email.
Mail Printed Invitations
Mail postcard invitations to the local community. Mailing invitations to promote a church event is one of the most effective ways to reach the local community, bringing more awareness of your event and people to your local congregation. We suggest the invitation be an abbreviated version of your webpage. Include dates, times, locations, and what to expect.
Include a QR code or a webpage link on the card and encourage them to visit that link for more information and to register for the event. Again, this drives them to your site, giving you information about who is attending, why they want to attend (remember those qualifier questions), how many to expect, and allows you to provide relevant information in nurture emails.
- Forge Bonus Tip: Every church event is an answer to a pain point or struggle of a potential attendee. For example, church carnivals can be a way to help families reconnect and have fun. Men’s retreats can give men practical ways to lead their families. When designing the postcard, think about how your church event solves someone's struggle and consider using that as a headline. For example, “Want a Fun Way to Reconnect with Your Kids? Check out the Family Carnival…” Or, “Dads, Need Practical Ways to Lead Your Families? Check out our next Men’s Retreat.”
- Forge Bonus Tip: Make sure the postcard style, font, colors, and images are similar to the webpage's. This helps potential attendees flow from one platform to another easily and without confusion.
Don’t forget to list at least one benefit of attending the event on your postcard!
Use Social Media and Paid Ads
To promote a church event, begin posting on social media approximately 2 months to 6 weeks before the event. Even if the details aren’t finalized, you can begin with social media posts to “save the date” or “watch for more information about the upcoming event.”
- Forge Bonus Tip: Consider running a paid social media ad campaign to increase awareness of your event. Sadly, most social media platforms are “pay-to-play” these days. So, if you want to reach people beyond your existing congregants or social media followers, the only way to ensure this will happen is through a paid ad campaign.
Use various types of social media posts, such as what to expect, who the event is for, and the benefits of attending to spread the word.
Ask Your Speaker for a Media Kit
If you plan to have a speaker at your next church event, ask if they have promotional items to help get the word out. A speaker’s media kit can save you and your team time and effort promoting your event. The media kit should provide relevant and easy-to-understand information that you can quickly put into play to promote your event.
- Forge Bonus Tip: Ask your speaker if they have the following information: Videos of various lengths to include in social media and on your webpage, high-resolution photos and logos, social links, headshots, and bio.
Use this content provided by the speaker in your promotional materials.
The Big Takeaway
Don’t underestimate the potential power of your next church event. Promoting it requires more than one approach; it is about using various methods, messaging, and platforms to build awareness and reach more people. It takes a strategy to promote a church event.
- Consider where people will most likely hear or see information about your event. Meet them there.
- Think about the solution you offer to their pain point or struggle. Highlight how the event can help and the benefits of attending, not just information about the event itself.