Last year we went through Don Miller’s Building a StoryBrand book asking how it applied to Churches. Don is back with a new book and a Co-writer, Dr. J. J. Peterson, and I thought I’d look at Marketing Made Simple for Churches and whether it needs adapting.
The Central Message of Marketing Made Simple
Don lays out his case based on his own experience and the mistakes he made. Well, of course he does. He IS Mr StoryBrand and so he has to raise the stakes with an example at the beginning.
With that laid out, he is ready to share his key message
You need a sales funnel to get your message out there and keep your business profitable.Don Miller & Dr. J. J. Peterson
The other key element Don lays out is execution. Actually delivering a plan and idea completely and not just halfheartedly is the big difference between those who succeed with the StoryBrand framework and those who done.
What the Funnel looks like
I’m a member of a few marketing groups and occasionally I see these spider web marketing funnels that people share. They’re extremely impressive but trying to implement a funnel like that from scratch is a tall order. Instead you need a simpler funnel, made of three elements:
- A website that converts
- A lead generator
- A nurturing email sequence.
Let’s breakdown each part a bit and how it might apply to your church.
Even with the growth of social networks, a website is often the first thing a potential church visitor will see about your Church. Even if they see your social media profile first, or hear about you from a friend, there’s a good chance that they will come to your church website at some point.
In Marketing Made Simple, there is a sample website layout with useful sections to consider. This type of website is designed to convince and so is not a guide for a resource hub for your church to equip members.
As such, while this does provide a great structure for your homepage, you should consider a Church Hub.
Church Lead Generator
A lead generator is something that gets visitors on your site to join your email list. It is useful for a soft invitation to learn more when they aren’t ready to make a big commitment. In the business world, this might be information about your products, or it could be a valuable, attractive resource that people want even if they’ve never heard about you.
I haven’t seen many churches take this approach. They might offer some information for potential visitors who are thinking about coming to their church.
Perhaps they could offer a free guide to some aspect of the faith, or even a resource for people who have just moved to the town. The danger here is to think of lead generators just for people who are already Christians and leave out non-Christians.
Church Nurturing Email Campaign
A nurturing campaign is a series of messages that are designed to help build trust and knowledge in a product so a potential customer comes to a purchasing decision or multiple buying decisions. While we may not want to use the word “sell” to talk about what churches do, we can certainly talk about “decisions” and “commitments” we want people to take. They might include. For example:
- attending a church service
- becoming a christian
- committing to a ministry
- deciding to become a member
In any of these situations, a church could use a nurturing sequence to help a person come to that decision.
Is Marketing Made Simple for Churches?
Marketing Made Simple is based on great principles and a clear overview of the essential of Marketing. These ideas certainly can be adapted for churches but it’s not always a clear how to apply these ideas. I’d love to see the StoryBrand people come out with Marketing Made Simple for churches.
In the mean time, you may want to check this book out and reflect on how you can apply it to your church.