Your Easter Sunday services took hours of planning, organizing, and preparation, and now that they’re over, it’s time for—more planning, more organizing, and more preparation! Now is the time to seize that Easter momentum. Lock in your summer communications plans for big events like Vacation Bible School (VBS) and summer sports and camps.
As warm weather draws near, we’ll share five steps to strengthen and streamline your communications plans for the busy summer season. (Plus, there’s an extra bonus tip that ties everything together—so make sure you read all the way to the end!).
#1 Plan, plan—then plan some more.
The better you map out your communications plans for the busy summer months, the more effective you’ll be at getting the right messages to the right audiences.
Think about what events are coming up—VBS, summer camps, sports, back-to-school festivities. How can you best connect these ministries to your families? Which of your messages can be automated? (Think registration confirmations and event reminders). When will your communications have the most impact? For example, Saturday afternoon emails are often overlooked. So timing is everything!
Give these questions careful thought, and your messages will truly resonate with church families. Planning communications will help families engage with your ministries like never before.
#2 Make the most out of your church data.
When you can analyze and understand your church data—including member interests, attendance, giving, and other factors—you can better target key messages to specific audiences. This will give your members information that they find relevant, useful, and inspiring.
Your Easter attendees likely included many first-time guests. Any visitor cards they filled out, or any conversations you had with returning members, should be documented and followed-up, because these guests may be interested in your summer programs.
With a strong Church Management Software program such as FellowshipOne, you can create targeted audiences, groups, email and postal mailing lists, and additional segmentations. This will help make your communications more targeted, precise, and insightful this summer and all year long.
#3 Work on your website.
Many of your Easter service attendees probably searched your church website for times, locations, and childcare info. This is where many first-time Easter guests checked to learn more about your ministries, your staff, and your spiritual perspective. As we head into summer, your website will stay busy with families finding out what kind of summer programs you’re offering and how your youth programs look. So, make sure it’s welcoming and filled with information!
At FellowshipOne, we like to say that a church’s website is its front door to the world. You want to make sure you are greeting visitors with the most up-to-date information possible. You don’t want folks to visit in May and see details about your Easter service schedule, because it will look like you don’t care as much as you should. After Easter, make upcoming events and summer programs like VBS front and center!
It’s also important for your site to be mobile-friendly, since so many people browse the web from their phones. And make your website—yours! Your church is one-of-a-kind, and your website should reflect that uniqueness. FellowshipOne lets churches choose from an array of templates that can reflect your ministry’s identity. Furthermore, we help you customize your sites. This is the level of commitment you should expect from any ChMS provider.
#4 Put your church app to work.
You’ve probably noticed how your church families are incorporating mobile apps for their day-to-day lives. People are ordering dinner and shopping for groceries to making appointments and paying bills. Similarly, and especially for the busy summer months, your app can help members stay connected and involved with your church and help them better engage with your ministries.
After the excitement of Easter, your app can help with communications plans. Through the app, you can offer live streaming and sermon archives, event registration for VBS and other beloved summer offerings, volunteer opportunities, and online giving and payment features. This is all in one centralized platform they can access with a few taps on their phone.
(Don’t have an app? FellowshipOne can help get you started!)
#5 Talk about summer giving.
The more involved your church families become (thanks to your awesome communications strategies), the more inclined they’ll feel to give and support the ministries you offer. Let them know about the giving options that are available! Talk about online giving, your mobile app, text-to-give, and kiosk giving. If you haven’t yet established these channels, FellowshipOne can help you get started.
Now is also a good time to talk to your congregation about recurring giving. It can be a lifeline for churches during the summer months when families are out of town for vacations, family reunions, youth sports and other events. Communicate to your church families that setting up recurring giving now can help sustain your ministries during the busy summer months.
BONUS TIP: Apply these strategies throughout the year.
These communications strategies can make a huge difference for your summer programs. But they also apply to every Sunday, weekday, and event or program your church has planned throughout the entire year. Each month, make sure to look at your data and engagement, seek out feedback from church members and staff, and determine how these communications plans are making a difference. Think about where they can be implemented and expanded for upcoming events. Every program your church offers is a chance to bring your current members and new guests closer to the gospel and into a deeper relationship with Christ—so you always want to get the word out.
Strategic, targeted communications—during the busy summer season and all year long—are critical for passionate engagement with your church members and the impact of your church ministries. Let FellowshipOne help you develop the best strategies for your church. Start a free trial today!