The one thing that every church needs to do is build a marketing funnel.
What is a marketing funnel?
It’s a process that takes your visitors and turns them into leads and eventually customers.
A funnel is like a group of steps that move people through your church’s website, social media platforms, events, and more until they become engaged with your church or ministry in some way.
So, what exactly is a marketing funnel?
The marketing funnel is the most important thing you can do for your church's online presence.
It's not just a metaphor. A marketing funnel is a real thing. It's an actual diagram that shows how people move through a process. And every church needs one.
Why should I care about this?
A marketing funnel is the best way for your church to organize its efforts to reach new people, because it allows you to focus on one task at a time and then move on to the next step. A marketing funnel also allows your team to track where people are in the process so they know when they need more information or help. Not to mention, using a marketing funnel helps you avoid wasting time and money on people who aren’t interested in joining your church.
Let me explain: The purpose of your church website (or any other digital asset) is to attract visitors and convert them into long-term members or regular attendees. It doesn't matter if you're trying to increase attendance, membership donations or volunteer hours — the same general principles apply across the board.
And it starts with a marketing funnel.
How to build a marketing funnel for your church.
Building an effective marketing funnel takes time and persistence — but it doesn’t have to be hard! Just follow these steps:
Choose ONE area of your church that you want to focus on first (e.g., website traffic).
With that area chosen, focus on applying that area to the 4 steps of the funnel:
Where are they finding you? At this point the potential attender is feeling a pain point. You have to go and meet them there. How are you doing this? Is it facebook ads, emails, your building, etc? Identify a way that people can find your church that is trackable. Then optimize this so that it’s more appealing to the target audience of your church.
Identify places/locations that potential churchgoers will use to evaluate your church. These are pillars that people will use to judge your church. Their decisions will, as a result, determine if they continue down the funnel to commitment. Some of the most popular include social media, websites, the environment of your lobby/sanctuary.
At this point, the potential attender is almost sold. They are digging deeper on who you are. What are your beliefs? Do you have kids programming? What do you value? Your job is to make this as easy to find as possible. The last thing you want to do at this stage is make information hard to find and hard to understand.
They’ve reached the end of the funnel and are now plugged in! Congrats!
For each step, make sure you test different versions of each step so that you know what works best for getting people interested in your church! Be sure to track how many people move through each step and what they do at each stage so that you can improve over time.
Repeat this process in other areas of the church.
Takeaway: A good marketing funnel will help you grow your church this year.