The Future Church - A Church Communications Podcast
Church Media + Communications
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E033 - The Power Of Invite Cards

Joanna: Easter is just around the corner and it's a time of huge invitation for a lot of our churches. It's a place and time that people are interested in coming to church more than a lot of other times of the year. And so today we're gonna talk about invite cards, printed cards that could be used and how they might be used to invite people to Easter or to another big event at church.

James: So invite cards Jo are something that when you show up on a Sunday morning it's a printed piece of material that ideally someone can kind of bring home with them and either give to friends and family or neighbors. It's just a way to kind of almost in a social media way like organically spread the word out into the community without having to do any other kind of mailing system. This is a way to get your people to spread the word and gives them an easy kind of conversation starter. So let's talk a little bit about what that looks like from a design standpoint, an implementation standpoint, and like a cost standpoint.

Joanna: Yeah. So invite cards like like a postcard or something like it a little square or circle card people can hold in their hand. We know that the number one way that people are going to come to church is probably through a personal invitation. It's the number one way people do almost anything in life as they were personally recommended to try or do something. And so when you give people a print card an invite card it just gives them another tool to make that invitation seem less awkward or maybe even legitimizes the thing that they're being invited to in some way in a face to face kind of interactive. You know moms hanging out on the playground while their kids are coming out of the schoolyard or whatever.

James: It goes beyond the conversation too right. Ideally someone says Oh thanks for letting you know thanks for giving this to me and maybe it's a little awkward but you invite them out to church but what you hope is it comes home with them and it ends up on the kitchen counter and a couple hours later the next day they walk by they see it again and it's now top of mind again it's another opportunity to reinforce the idea that hey I've been invited and this might be something that I'm seeking.

Joanna: Also beyond just sort of giving it some legitimacy I think what a print card can do for our own church community. I say even if they like we put them at every seat these print cards if it's like what we're saying the Easter invitation cards which has a beautifully designed thing to do like like branding to do with our series with some information about times, locations, kids programs that people can pass out to people they know. But I always feel like even at our church even if someone touches it before they leave it behind. I think that's a win. There's something about that tactile sense the sensory thing that happens with physical that they've at least had to move it so they could sit on the seat or they've had to move it out of the way they've engaged with it in some way. There's still something really nice about that where we're sometimes with digital content you're not really sure if your own church people have always interacted with you they even know when Easter services are happening if they've changed from your normal service times. So in that sort of vein with print cards they do cost some money. I don't know the culture of every church, in our church there is you know an invite culture we want we want to really from the front talk about encouraging people. We use this as a tool. But interesting that the cards themselves actually point people to digital content. So the cards, our Easter cards for example would say for more info for videos or to check out content to plan your visit all that kind of stuff. Whatever you want to say you can point them to a website. So we make a custom website for big events like Easter or Christmas or things like that. And we then put basic information on the card itself not to overwhelm people with way too much text. We want it to be visually capturing and then have a simple amount of information that if they want more it pushes them to the digital content where all kinds of information can be found.

James: Absolutely. You want to keep it simple don't overwhelm them. And this goes back to our previous episode where we said your website is like your resumé. This is the invite to come check out and find out more information and that's why your website should have interesting landing pages or information about service times and especially Easter service times. That's where you want to put the details because someone's making that extra step to go and type it into their phone or go on their computer to do it, it means they're already interested. They've already committed a little bit. And that's where you want to give them the details. So these invite cards are doing some of that work for you and like you said like I think a lot of these invites always come from personal recommendations right. Like they always say the best jobs come from you know someone referring your to a job. They're not found online the best jobs are referred to you and you have a leg up. And that's the same with inviting people if you can invite a neighbor. You can invite a friend or family who hasn't been going or is maybe curious. That is your greatest chance of success and this just gives you one extra little tool to help remind them and give them sometimes the little helping nudge to say yes you are welcome, come!

Joanna: Yeah. That's right. And even if they touch it they hold it in their hand before they throw it out. They've interacted with the information in some small way. And I think that's a win.