Archives for April 2012

Top Ten Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet: eFundraising

Sending monthly email fundraising is our 11th of Ten (BONUS IDEA) Top Ideas for Church Outreach on the Internet.

A friend of mine once received a genuinely well-written email about a Christian orphanage in need of money so that they can send a few kids to school. My friend, so touched by the story, sent some money and was extremely happy to know that she has helped her fellow Christians in need.

There is a multitude of possibilities to reach possible donors, supporters and beneficiaries through the World Wide Web. With the advent of online paying systems, it is very easy to give and receive financial help.

Your church should grab this opportunity because there are many people out there who are willing to support various Christian causes through online giving. As long as you have a strategic e-fundraising campaign, your resources will continuously grow. Thus, it will contribute to the fulfillment your mission to share God´s glory and enlarge His territory.

Pathmaker Marketing has solid experience in assisting non-profits and churches raise funds via the Internet. One recent email campaign in June 2009 yielded over $30,000 in gifts from 375 donors. a 13-month campaign for another not for profit organization raised $192,000 in gifts through the email fundraising channel. We have a proven track record of increasing our clients´ funds multiple times over in proportion to what it costs our clients.   For more details on this subject, visit this Pathmaker webpage.

Schedule a meeting with the Pathmaker Marketing Team to discuss and learn more about how you can make your church outreach on the internet grow even larger. This small chat may unearth many ideas that you can use to save more lost souls like mine was.

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Top 10 Outreach Ideas for the Internet-Autoresponders

10. Creating an Auto-responder Spiritual Campaign is Our 10th of Ten Top Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet.

One successful example of this church outreach strategy is the Gregory Dickow´s From the Inside Out program. Through his ministry´s website, he was able to ask thousands of people to “fast from wrong thinking” with him for forty days. Between his pulpit, TV show, and the 40 subsequent inspirational emails that people received once each day, over 100,000 people were participating and committed to setting aside negative thoughts and putting on Biblical, right thinking in regard to their everyday lives.

Since then, he has used the email auto-responder process to launch two more successful fast from wrong thinking campaigns, and thousands more people have taken part.  As far as church outreach ideas go, the autoresponder campaign is one of the best. It has high ministerial impact, runs automatically year round, and can be a subtantial effective internet marketing tool for your church.

For a free demo on how to install a Spiritual Campaign or church outreach with Autoresponders, contact Pathmaker at 623-322-3334.

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Top 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet-Pay-per-click

9. Begin Local Pay-per-click Advertising to Get More Sunday Visitors is our 9th of Ten Top Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet.

One good way to increase your internet presence is by launching a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising plan for your church. Having such a plan is a sure way of reaching out to people who have performed any online activity related to finding a spiritual home.

To illustrate this, imagine that you are searching online about “family dinner ideas phoenix”.  To the right of the search results, you will see catchy advertisements related to the search subject. The advertisements might be about dinner recipes, local restaurants or dinner etiquette.  Once you click on an ad, you will be led to the advertiser´s website where you will get more information.

This is how pay-per-click advertising can work for your church outreach. If someone searches for: “churches in Phoenix”, your local PPC ad can display in the results and potentially get them to click on your ad which will bring the searcher to your church website where they can see service times, and get more information.

Pay-per-click advertising is a good use of resources because you only pay for the times that your church advertisement is clicked on. Click costs can vary but are often under 25 cents. Plus, when someone clicks on your ad, it generally means that he/she had genuine interest in what you are offering.

If you are able to capitalize on the pay-per-click advertising by having a reasonable budget and experts who can make sure that your ads have the right keywords, it is likely that searching souls would find their way to your church.

Several big search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have this online advertising option. However, it takes know-how to craft good ads that appear in related searches frequently. Plus, you need landing pages that can convert your traffic into qualified leads, if you want to track results. Consider consulting with experts like the Pathmaker Marketing Team to learn more about this fruitful local advertising opportunity.

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Top 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet-the eNewsletter

8. Communicate About Your Ministry with Regular E-newsletters is our 8th of Ten Top Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet.

Sending regular and updated e-newsletters is more than just giving relevant information to your subscribers. It is also a signal that you have an active church outreach that exerts effort to communicate with its members.

Oftentimes, churches fall short in reaching out to their members by overlooking simple and efficient solutions like sending out monthly, easy-to-read, interesting email updates or reports.  You would be surprised at how many members (even the most active ones) would be thankful of being reminded of events that they have forgotten to pen down before or how they love reading about how your mercy ministry is doing.

E-newsletters are relatively easy to launch. You need to have a nicely designed template coded into HTML using no CSS. Then you need a email blasting system of which there are many. A simple one to start with which we use at Pathmaker is called iContact. Once your design is done, coded and installed, your church secretary could probably swap out copy and pictures each month.

For examples, check Hungry Souls e-newsletters for are good samples. Or call us for more help at 623-322-3334 and we’ll be happy to install a system that your church secretary can supervise and maintain.

Church eNewsletters are also a fundamental church marketing 101 component.

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Pathmaker Exists to Help Your Company Grow Online

Randall MainsIt’s my distinct pleasure to have the opportunity to serve multiple clients as their internet marketing expert, non profit consultant or ephilanthropy guru.  My hope is that the content you find in this blog will give you the online marketing tools you need to succeed. If we can help you further don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling us in Phoenix, Arizona at 623-322-3334. We are always willing to provide internet marketing ideas, and hopefully we can win your trust to hire us as your marketing or efundraising professionals.  Our email fundraising expertise, premier blogging services, keyword marketing strategies, search engine optimization services, and creative church outreach ideas place us uniquely in the forefront of what the internet can do to help your ministry grow online.  Whether you need help in church marketing 101 or advanced internet business marketing promotion online, we’re here to assist you.  We use the very same small business marketing strategies we recommend to our clients.  Plus, we just surpassed $1 million dollars raised for our 501c3 accounts via email fundraising. You can also see our high end website development and translation capacities by visiting the Corrie ten Boom Museum online, which is now being distributed in high tech 3-D technology in 20 different languages. For more details on me or Pathmaker Marketing, visit my Google Profile or Company Places page.

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The Bottom Line to Successful Email Fundraising & Marketing

The bottom line to successful email fundraising & email marketing consists of the following four simple steps to help you stay on track:

4 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL EMAIL FUNDRAISING OR EMAIL MARKETING

Successful Email FundraisingAn excellent way to communicate, email has become so efficient that it has the U.S. Postal Service trembling in its boots!  But seriously, if you’re still doing direct mail only, you need to add email marketing to your mix of online fund raising tools. And to get the most out of your email fundraising or email marketing program you need to implement the following four strategic steps to success:

1)    Build Your Email House File – The most successful professional fundraisers are using email marketing programs to solicit their house files.  I know this may be a long process to develop these lists, but once you have a robust house file acquisition process in place, your email lists will grow and your efundraising or emarketing communications to those lists will deliver for you maximum results, way above any external list file rentals.

Typically, your house file consists of various sub lists like your customer file (first or two time buyers); your best customer file (regular, large or monthly donors, for example); and your prospecting file of requestors who have asked for call backs, downloaded white papers,  signed up for your newsletters, etc. 

In as much as your email success will mostly be measured in dollars raised, or as a conversion rate percent of the overall send, it stands to reason that a larger size internal file will deliver you a greater number of positive replies, once you’ve found ways to convert the list into sales or gifts.  In other words, make a commitment to building your house file, and then ensure that’s an on-going part of your marketing efforts.

2)    Test, Test, Test – There are several ways to proceed in this realm.  First, you will want to conduct a basic Email Split Test.  This is where you send out two or three different versions of the same email to determine which one(s) give you the best results.  You can test different subject lines, different email creative or different landing pages. By determining which ones perform best, you can fix the under performing ones and/or concentrate instead on the ones that were productive and successful.

A basic protocol we use as a basis for testing fundraising for non-profits is the following:

  1. Short cause-centric email to longer cause-based landing page
  2. Long cause-centric email to shorter cause-based landing page
  3. Premium-centric version email to basic premium (i.e. product Offer) landing page

3)    Evaluate Your “Core Metrics” – Your “Core Metrics” are your central pieces of data that help you make primary decisions regarding your email sending.  There are three major ones, and numerous secondary ones. The majors we use are the following:

a.    Opens (How Many Emails Delivered Were Opened)—this metric is not completely accurate but as a guide it’s good to help you determine the effectiveness of your Email Subject Lines. When your open rates are low concentrate on improving your subject lines.

b.    Clicks (How Many Opened Emails Clicked Through to Landing Pages) —this metric reflects the effectiveness of the email creative itself. If your click through rates is low concentrate on improving your email content (i.e. creative). Usually a good ESP will also provide data on which elements of your creative were clicked on, giving you insights into those things that drive click through for you.

c.    Conversions (How Many Clicks Became Sales or Gifts) —this metric reflects the effectiveness of your landing pages at converting the visitor into a buyer. If your conversion rates are low concentrate on improving your landing pages.

A sub-item to consider regarding conversions is the average amount of each sale or gift, which, will also affect your overall results and thus can help you determine the over-all value of your various Split Test groups and online fundraising efforts.

…And a Bonus Step to a Successful Email Fundraising program:

4)   Fuss Around to Optimize – I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to continue tweaking your programs, looking for pockets of opportunity in the data, and searching for ways to optimize your efforts and their results.  Figure out what people are clicking on and accentuate the positives, then eliminate the negatives! Keep a document of lessons learned as well, so you can refer back to things you have gained over the years that you can build on in the future.

Email marketing is a proven and effective way to enhance your ephilanthropy, so use these four principles to accelerate your email marketing efforts, and call Pathmaker Marketing in Phoenix at 623-322-3334 if we can be of any assistance to you. Or read further about this topic on our blog about email fundraising.

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