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Posted by on in communications | 16 comments

7 Reasons for Regular Church Invite Cards (& 6 Tips to Make Them More Effective!)

7 Reasons for Regular Church Invite Cards (& 6 Tips to Make Them More Effective!)

As communications continues to shift towards more digital and online we’ve found an increasing value in producing regular invite promotional cards for our people. We used to only do this for “big days” or “special series” but we’ve shifted to do this for every series. Over this last year we’ve seen increasing momentum in our people inviting friends and these postcards are a part of that! Here are some lessons we’ve learned in using church invite cards regularly:

  • postcard_towerIt’s Tangible // In a world of digital products and tools there is a funny way that tangible goods have increased value. We spend a lot of time, effort and energy thinking through our digital strategy but the physical good makes the new series “real” in a way that slides or Facebook images don’t.
  • It “Forces” Us to Ask // Because we print up these cards for every series it means every 3-4 weeks we are going to be asking people to invite their friends to our church. We get to explain to them again about why being a part of mission of Jesus is such a privilege. “Forcing” ourselves to talk about that could be reason enough to do this!
  • Give Us Language // Each invite has a “blurb” about the series that gives our people language about what it’s all about. Even if they don’t ever pass along the invite card to a friend this blurb gives them language to use to explain the series.
  • Takes Up Space // These cards end up in people’s cars, on their fridges and in all kinds of locations. These are miniature communication outposts reminding people about our church!
  • Forward Momentum // Our culture gets bored quickly. We don’t just want to know what is on TV we want to know what else is on TV. We talk about the next series coming up so people who might be tuning out of our current content see there is something new coming. The invite cards flag for them that something new is right around the corner!
  • It’s Cheap // The cost of printing cards like this continues to drop. You can get 1,000 4×6 full color postcards done for $50 at Overnight Prints. It’s a cost effective communications tool.
  • People Use Them // It might be stating the obvious … but people actually do use them to invite friends. It feels like we are partnering with them as they engage their friends and neighbors to come to church.

Here are some lessons we’ve learned with doing all these invite cards:

  • 4×6 // We’ve settled on this size because it’s big enough to get a good image on it but small enough to fit in your back pocket.
  • Three at a Time // We pack them up into bundles of three when we hand them out to implicitly communicate we want people to invite multiple friends.
  • Ushers Hand Them Out // We’ve found the best way to ensure that the most cards get into people’s hands is to have our Ushers hand them out as they leave. It sets it apart of the material we give them on the way in and communicates that this is their next step.
  • Week Before // I’m convinced people only invite friends to church in the days leading up to the weekend so we only handout invite cards the week before the series starts. We don’t want people to feel like we are always pushing cards so we limit them to just the one week before the series starts.
  • Campus Specific Cards // I’ve found that three locations is the most you can really list on a card like this. When churches get to four campuses they need to have campus specific cards. We’ve started doing that in prep for our fourth launch this fall.
  • Arresting Image + Compelling Text // At the core of a great invite card is an image that makes you stop and flip over the card & 2-3 punchy sentences that sets up the tension that series resolves. Show more … say less.

16 Comments

  1. The power of invite is amazing…it is often said that many people are just an invitation away from coming to church. I enjoyed this posted and a strong case is made for frequent invite cards.

    In addition to a nice high gloss postcard, I found a great website called http://www.churchinviter.com. it is a company that adds a widget of customizeable church evite invites to your churches website. The best part is it is free up to a 12 evite widget to be added to your churchs website. We are currently in a prelaunch state of Momentum Church but we have created a whole page just for evites http://www.2mites.us/momentum then go to the Invite a Friend tab. We also added an video to clear up any of the what ifs of inviting someone.

    Hope this helps I believe the evite is a great supplement to a tangible postcard invite.

    God bless!

    • Thanks for the heads up.

      I love church planters … thanks for showing up what you’re up to. Thanks for the links and example how you are using online invites.

      – rich

    • Hi Daniel and Rich,

      My name is Tim Badolato and I am the founder/developer of ChurchInviter.com, thanks for sharing it here 🙂

      Just wanted pop in and to let you know and anyone else reading this that I am available anytime to answer questions and help people use the site.

      Also feedback and ideas are very important to me so feel free to let me know if you think something should be changed or added!

      Thanks again and Lord bless, Tim

      • Great! Thanks for popping in to say hi! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you!

        Rich

  2. If you have a simple message, a business card size works well and there are usually online deals for business cards at good prices.

    We have put them in the seats in the past, but I love the idea of having ushers hand them out as people leave.

  3. Hello! Found out about you through pastor Tom Kang, my husband and I are good friends of his. My husband is a pastor and we just started at a small church in Kaneohe HI (on oahu). Its mostly seniors in a rural neighborhood and we are definitely looking for tips to spice up our ministry and getting the word out to the community. Thank you for your advice and I look forward to learning more from you!

    • I love Tom! He is such an amazing guy. He’s a gift to our church for sure! Thanks for checking in.

      Have a great weekend… but isn’t every weekend in Hawaii an amazing weekend? 😉

      Rich

    • Thanks so much for sharing.

      – Rich

  4. Hi Rich, Just curious, how do you bundle into 3-packs?

    Chris

    • We have a team of volunteers that pack them up with elastic bands. It’s pretty low tech. 🙂

      Rich

  5. I love the idea of handing invite cards out for only the week before the new series begins. But we’ve been operating on the idea that people only attend a few weeks out of each month, so on any given Sunday, we may be down a few hundred people (we’ve averaged 2235 in attendance in 2014). Thus, our approach has been to place cards on chairs over the course of 2 or 3 weeks prior to the beginning of the new series. Has anyone else dealt with this and come up with a good solution? I’m inclined to not cater to those who aren’t there, but put the effort into those who do attend on that one week. Open to thoughts. Thanks!

    • Jared!

      Thanks so much for dropping in and commenting.

      3-4 times a year we mail out invite cards to our people as well … we send them a few with a cover letter from our lead pastor asking them to invite their friends for the series.

      – Rich

  6. What do some of your cards look like? What information do you include on the back?

    • There are some examples in the graphics on the post.

      On the back we try to provide all the data that people would need to come to the church:
      – a blurb about what we’re talking about.
      – address of our location
      – dates and times
      – web address

      – Rich

  7. I’ve come to really appreciate the value of these little cards.

    It makes invitations easy for church members.

    It gets church members thinking about their friends who are not yet church goers. In some cases, it might reveal that they have no non-Christian friends and need to fix that.

    The cards appeals or not to the self interest of the person who receives – they can decide that they series isn’t for them and pass, but one series will undoubtedly connect.

    I find it hard to invite my friends when I don’t know what the sermon will be about – not knowing leaves me in ambiguity and doesn’t help me give additional reasons to my friend to try it out this week. An invite card on a series allows me to have extra ability to discuss the issue and the series with my friend.

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