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Vibrant Agency, CEO & Founder
Let’s be real, Easter is the day that most church staff members have a love-hate relationship with. There is a TON of work that goes into planning Easter- being such a sacred day all of the attention is going to be in the details. We have way more people coming than we usually do, and for many guests this will be their first time attending church, in a very long time. Or possibly ever. So we throw in a couple extra services, change up the usual service times, and add in some fun new elements to the service. And…bam! Best day ever.
Then we take a really, really long Sunday afternoon nap.
If your church really wants to use Easter Sunday to reach people for the first time, here are some suggestions that I have found work really well as a planning and marketing schedule leading up to the big day.
This is usually a 2 week period when you come up with the imaging, branding, and special promo videos for your unique Easter event. We recommend having “Easter Sunday” be an actual Event on your website and on Facebook so that people treat it more like a special event, than an average Sunday.
Your design team should start with the main graphic and title, which you can expect to last 2-3 days. Next you have the deliverables, such as invite cards, social media teasers, fun signs, and outdoor banners. Once the main graphics are done, you should have 2 versions of a promo video created. The main video should probably be around 1 min in length, and a shortened 15 second version will work perfectly for an Instagram story.
Around six weeks out you should have your print order placed for the Easter invite / handout cards. These can be business card sized, square sized, or heck…shape it like an Easter egg if you want! These orders can take 4-8 business days to complete. If you are doing a special vinyl banner, these should be ordered at this time as well.
For the churches we work with, we recommend using the USPS service Every Door Direct Mail, or EDDM for short. With this service, you don’t have to put actual mailing addresses on the cards, the post office will deliver your postcards directly to every home in the postal routes you select. It also allows you to use more of the postcard space for your message, instead of leaving room for a return address. You place the order on eddm.usps.org and then drop off the postcards at your local USPS location.
We recommend saving the bulk of your online promotion until around 3 weeks before Easter Sunday. This is about the time when people really start to feel like Spring is in the air, and they start thinking about the upcoming Easter. This will also be around the same time that people start to receive the mailer.
For the online launch, we highly recommend making a special landing page on your website specifically for Easter Sunday, and embedding a Plan Your Visit form onto that page. You should run all of your Instagram ads directly to that landing page. Make sure your Easter branding and promo video all load quickly and easily on a mobile phone.
We recommend making Easter Sunday a “Facebook Event” on your church’s Facebook page. Directing traffic to your Facebook Event should be a higher priority than directing them to your website landing page, because you can greatly benefit from the additional social reach of a Facebook Event. For example, when a user selects that they are “interested” in a Facebook event, their friends get notified as well. Additionally, if an interested person checks out your Facebook event, they will see any of their friends who are already going to the event, helping them know that it is going to be an event with familiar faces.
Social media ads are the best use of your Easter marketing dollars. One of the mistakes I see people make is that they only promote the event, and they do not take full advantage of Facebook’s retargeting capabilities.
I suggest having the Lead Pastor of the church shoot a video specifically made for the retargeting ads at your church. Record a personal video letting people know about all the fun things that are happening this Easter, and give them a personal invitation to visit. This doesn’t have to be an overly produced or polished video, just one that feels a bit more personal and native to Instagram and Facebook would be ideal. You show this video only to people who have engaged with your Facebook Event, or visited your website in the past 4 weeks. Studies show that it can take up to 7 times for an interested party to finally decide to take action on an online advertisement. So hitting them with consistent retargeting ads really helps to bring people in the door.
Easter Sunday is great, but a mistake I see many churches make is to focus all of their attention, and spend all of their marketing dollars on the lead up to Easter. What would really be amazing is if we got people to come back the next Sunday as well.
I strongly suggest having a sermon series kick off the week after Easter. Make it a series that you feel really great about, and one that would cause people to be excited to come back for. Use Easter Sunday to tease your upcoming sermon series, and show a short promo video about it during your Easter service..
After Easter weekend is over, make sure to take full advantage of your connect cards and send reminders and invitations to first time guests about the upcoming series.
If you really want to go all in, I would save a few hundred dollars of your Easter marketing budget and show an invite about the upcoming series to those people who engaged with your Easter event. You can do this on Facebook using the retargeting features for that event only.
I hope this helps! It is a lot of work and effort to do a really great job on an Easter campaign, but telling new people about Jesus is worth it every time.
As always, if you need any help…hit me up directly! firstname.lastname@example.org