Getting your church’s members to take the next step

Are you a pastor trying to get your church members to take action on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities? You’re not alone! Most every church staff I talk to is struggling these days to get people pumped up about signing up for stuff, but worry not, if you follow these tips, you will have a much better response rate to your calls to action!

Identifying Your Target Audience

First things first: you’ve gotta’ know who you’re talking to. Now, of course you are saying “duh… my congregation.” Okay, that’s usually a given, but narrow it down: are you trying to get the youth group excited about a mission trip? Or are you trying to get the seniors to sign up for a volunteer opportunity at the local nursing home? Knowing your target audience is key because you need to tailor your communication to them.

Segmenting Your Email List

Once you know who you’re talking to, you can start segmenting your email list. Don’t send the same message to everyone – frankly that’s kind of annoying. Just last week I got an invite to join the women’s ministry weekly Bible study. There’s zero reason to send that to a 43 year old dude-bro. 🤣 Usually you will filter and/or tag members based on age, gender, ministry involvement, whether or not they have kids, etc.

Creating Compelling Copy

Now that you’ve got the right people on the list, it’s time to craft the perfect copy. This is your chance to grab people’s attention. Make your copy short and clear so people know who it’s for, what it is, and why they should care. This extends to your email subject lines as well… make them want to open your email! That being said, avoid being spammy or click-baity.

Personalizing Your Message

Speaking of email, once they’ve opened your email, make sure that message is personalized. Use their name by inserting the name property into the email body, and present your compelling copy like you would if you were sitting together in a coffee shop. Keep it very short and direct. While I love AI, this is an area to speak personally from your heart.

Making Signing Up Easy

A lot of churches struggle to get signing up right. It has to be easy and consistent so include a clear call-to-action and make sure the link to sign up is clear. People should be able to register for anything at your church via their handphone at your church website. Nobody wants to go hunting for the “register here” button or to call or email to sign up for things.

Utilizing Social Media Effectively

Social media is a great tool to reach your church members, so don’t be afraid to use it! Share updates and photos to give people a sense of what they’re signing up for. Plus, social media is the ultimate word-of-mouth marketing tool – if someone sees that their friend is excited about an event, they’re more likely to want to join in too.

Incorporating Visuals and Multimedia

Don’t underestimate the power of visuals! A picture is worth a thousand words, so include some photos or videos to give people a taste of what they can expect. This is especially true when it comes to volunteer opportunities, as it can be hard to convey what the experience will be like through text alone. I would not put them into the emails, but absolutely use great images for your website, projection, and signage. Don’t forget my #1 rule for images either: always try to use pictures of people when you can.

Measuring the Success of Your Campaign

Once your campaign is over, take some time to measure its success. How many people signed up? How many actually showed up? Use that information to fine-tune your approach for next time. For 20 years I’ve been sitting my team down and asking “what worked, what didn’t, and is there anything we would have done differently to take advantage of opportunities we hadn’t thought of at the time?” This allows for an iterative process that can result in some amazing results over time.

Make People Feel Like they Missed Out

After the event, make sure that you follow up with another personalized email that either thanks people that took part or expresses how awesome things went and how much you missed the person in their absence. This way, the next time you have an action you want them to take, both groups are more excited to take that action.

So there you have it, a few tips to help you get your church members excited about signing up for

Isaac Johnson

Isaac has been in professional ministry since 2002, holds an M.Div. from Moody, and his goal is to equip churches to reach digital natives.

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