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Looking for Cost-Effective Advertising for Your Church - Think BIG!
By: Steve Kroening
Did you know that our tough economic times offer your church a huge opportunity? Statistics show that churches experience significant growth during tough economic times. People are looking for hope. So your church has an opportunity to really extend its reach and grow in a significant way right now.
Unfortunately, many church budgets have taken a blow in the down economy. In response, some churches are cutting their advertising budgets. That makes reaching your community much harder. So how can you reach those seeking hope and bring them into your church without blowing your budget?
* For most churches, radio and TV advertising is out of the question. With a cost somewhere between $5.47 and $17.78 to reach 1,000 people, radio and TV advertising is just too expensive. Besides that, the audience is too broad. Many of the people you're paying to reach live too far from your church to attend.
* Some churches will turn to newspaper or magazine ads. But these are actually more expensive - and less effective - than radio and TV ads. Newspapers and magazines can cost between $7.39 and $22.95 to reach 1,000 people.
* For most churches, that leaves direct mail advertising, which is one of the more cost-effective means to reach people. But it will still cost you several dollars to reach 1,000 people.
What's worse, when you advertise using these methods, your audience hears your message only once. And most advertising experts agree that it takes at least three touches, possibly seven or more, to get your message across. So you have to spend seven times that amount to get a response using these ads.
So what can you do? The answer might surprise you - you have to think big. Really BIG.
That's because one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your community is an advertisement that's many times bigger than any of these other methods. No, it's not billboards. While billboards are cheaper than most advertising mediums, they will still cost you over $2 to reach 1,000 people. And many cities and towns don't allow billboards anymore.
Wouldn't it be great to have an advertising method that reaches those same 1,000 people for pennies? And, even better, continue to reach those people without adding to your costs?
Well, such a method really does exist - and it's right in your church's front yard. That's right! Your church sign is by far the most effective - even cost-effective - way to reach your community.
In fact, your church sign can reach 1,000 people for about 15 cents. Now that's a cost savings! As you can see, your sign is the absolute best dollar-for-dollar form of advertising you can use.
Unfortunately, few churches really maximize their sign for advertising purposes. Many churches simply use their sign as a way to say, "We're here." Others have message boards on their sign, but these require someone to go out and change the sign on a regular basis. And worse, sometimes the letters fall off and the sign doesn't make sense.
What many churches - both large and small - are finding is that there's a way to communicate even more effectively with their community. And they can still reach people for pennies compared to other advertising methods. They're simply changing their signs into moving message signs.
You may have seen these LED signs on businesses around town. Perhaps other churches have them. They look very impressive - and expensive. But when you look at how effective they are at reaching the community, they're the most cost-effective advertising tool on the market.
What most people don't realize is that an LED sign is actually much, much cheaper to use than a traditional sign that's lit with incandescent bulbs. And the longer you use the LED sign, the more you save. Here's how:
* Longer life span - LED signs can last up to 5 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. The average life-span of LED light bulbs is about 100,000 hours (nearly 11.5 years), while an incandescent bulb may last only 12,000 hours (just over 1 year).
* Lower utility costs - LED light bulbs use far less energy than traditional bulbs. So you'll experience tremendous cost savings on your electric bill each month. This factor alone could pay for the sign. LEDs consume 80-97% LESS ENERGY compared to incandescent bulbs. LEDs use 1/10th the power of a typical 5-watt low voltage incandescent (LVI).
But that's not all these signs can do to save you money. Unlike incandescent signs, many LED signs have an environmentally friendly Brightness Scheduler, which allows you to adjust the brightness of your LED sign if desired, saving energy and costs!
That means that the sign expends less energy from, say, midnight to 6:00 a.m. - when fewer people see it. That will save a tremendous amount of money on electricity bills.
Pastor Fred Garmon of Harvest Temple Church of God purchased an LED sign for his church. He was "paying between $250-$400 per month in newspaper ads. With our sign, we do not even use the newspaper anymore ... which saves us money..." The sign was so effective, Harvest Temple experienced a significant increase in the number of visitors coming through its doors as soon as the sign went up. And, best of all, the sign is still bringing in new visitors several years later.
Your church can experience this same response from your community. LED signs often become a landmark in the community. And they help your church communicate better with everyone who drives by. In fact, virtually no one will drive by your church again without getting your message. Moving messages capture people's attention.
And consider this: With an LED sign, you own the media and you control the content. With traditional advertising, you have to pay each time you run an ad. If you have a change or a new product to promote, you have to wait for the next issue to come out. With an LED display, you're in control. You can change the message as often as you like. You don't have to wait to change your messages - and there are no costs involved to make the change.
But the benefits get even better. Right now, you can put an LED sign in front of your church without spending a lot of money up front. Many LED suppliers offer easy lease options. With these lease options, you can experience the immediate benefits of an LED sign without buying a sign. And the sign actually begins paying for the lease payments as soon as you put it up.
If you're looking for the best way to cost-effectively increase the number of people visiting your church, you have to think BIG. Look no further than an LED street sign. You easily could see a 15% (or more) jump in visitors as soon as you put it up.
Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and is a marketing and advertising consultant for Signs Plus, a national sign company. For more information on how your church (regardless of its size) can think big, visit http://www.signsplusleds.com for a free DVD.
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