The campaign: The one-month, diocesan-wide campaign launched on August 22, 2022. It was a three-pronged approach with a simple message focused on bringing awareness of and pushing audiences to Episcopal churches in the diocese — letting people know who we are, and that they are invited. The campaign was designed to reach a broad audience across the state of Delaware in time for the Fall program year. Hopefully, a time when seekers and potential church attenders were hungry to begin a new season and our parishes would be excited to plan for a new, energetic program year after a two-hear hiatus.
All media components (billboards, print, and digital) were displayed from August 22 through September 22.
About the image: The same compelling image of a diverse group of people from parishes across the diocese, to include the bishop, appeared on all campaign media. The goal was to portray a casual look and a feeling that everyone was welcome and could be comfortable at this Church.
About the message: It was intentionally simple and invitational, with no branding: You’re Invited! (to www.delaware.church). All messaging pushed readers to the diocesan home page delaware.church (and they came!). From there, readers could navigate with one click on the hero image (same image they saw on the advertising), to a webpage that included all diocesan parishes listed by county and alphabetically, with links, addresses, and images of each church. For the 80% of parishes who participated in the customized mailers and/or door hangers and used for those who used the customized social media graphics, their audiences were pushed to the parish website.
- displays the media used for the campaign,
- describes how the campaign worked,
- shares how we prepared,
- and reveals the results (metrics).
Click on all images below to see enlarged photograph.
Six billboards were placed around the state from North to South and East to West.
Each parish had the option to request customized mailers and/or door hangers, provided by the diocese at no cost. All mailers were set-up as Every Day Direct Mail (EDDM) mailers.
Each parish was provided customized Facebook and Instagram graphics. The diocese also placed paid ads for Facebook and Instagram posts and video using the diocesan website URL (www.delaware.church).
A 45-second fun, promotional video was created for social media and websites.
How the campaign worked:
Diocesan campaign media directed readers to the diocesan home page, where they would see the
- same image (indicating they have arrived at the right place),
- same message
- with obvious one-click navigation to a webpage that clearly showed all parish churches listed by county and alpha, including website link and an image of each parish.
Parish campaign media, such as mailers / door hangers and social media, directed readers directly to the parish website and included the physical address and (large letter) parish phone number. Parishes were also provided with images customized for their website.
How we prepared:
The above packet was sent to all rectors, senior wardens, junior wardens, and administrative assistants.
Offered to all churches to provide information and help needed to update websites and other forms of communication prior to campaign launch.
Individual sessions were also offered upon request. Many hours were spent updating websites or creating new ones, as well as facelifts for the physical plant itself.
Bishop Brown delivered a video announcement to the diocese introducing the campaign and encouraged parishes to prepare.
Metrics and results:
- Homepage (month): +41% in August over July
- ‘Churches in Delaware’ webpage (day):
- +616.67% on 8/23;
- +2275% on 8/25;
- +315.79% on 9/6
- #1 age viewing group:
- 25-34 years old;
- then 18-24
- Gender breakdown:
- male 54%;
- female 45%
- New traffic:
- 85.8% of visitors were new to website in the month of the launch;
- 72% the following month
- Device breakdown:
- 8/25, mobile 58%/desktop 37%;
- 10/24, mobile 33%/desktop 63%
Church websites (from reporting churches):
- Small church
- +67% jump in August over July immediately after billboards went up.
- +150% of previous highs on 8/24
- +200% of previous highs on 8/25
- Large church
- +25% in August and September
Diocesan Facebook page (Delaware audience):
Graphic ad (30 days)
- Reaches — 15,828; link clicks 494
- Post engagement — 615
- Gender breakdown — 64.8% female; 35.2% male
- Age breakdown — 65+, then 55-64
Video ad (15 days)
- Reaches — 5,770; link clicks 153
- Post engagement — 2563
- Gender breakdown — 62.5% female; 37.5% male
- Age breakdown — 65+, then 55-64
Church responses (three months after campaign)
Results were seen from
- all counties
- all size of churches — very small, small, middle-sized, and large
- city, suburbs, and rural
Results reported from which media?:
- new visitors
- several churches reported increase in visitors after the campaign had started
- a small church saw 10 new visitors after campaign began — 8 now receive newsletter and follow social media. UPDATE: as of 12/1/22, this parish is reporting that they are continuing to see new members almost every week.
- new members
- a large church has seen four new members (two couples) that were new to the area and looking for a church (billboard). Both couples attend church regularly and participated in a newcomers event.
- a medium size church gained a new couple and this couple has since been baptized (billboard)
- phone calls
- a small, rural church received a phone call from an individual that wanted to visit but needed a ride (mailer).
- very small parish received phone call from mailer
A summary of what we learned
- campaign ignited new energy to some parishes
- churches began working together for campaign purposes
- many parishes enhanced their websites and some built new websites
- improvements were made to physical plants
- the campaign sparked new ideas, new parish campaigns
- billboards brought a significant number of new visitors to websites
- new visitors and members were seen in churches in all counties after the campaign started
- results were realized by rural, city, suburban churches of all sizes, across the diocese
- EDDM mailings worked well: no labeling, no individual postage, lower cost at .20/piece