Helping Pastors Get Their Mojo Going

Mojo Tips

February 7, 2012

14.5 Direct Mail Mojo Tips (Part 1)

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Written by: Tony McCollum
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For our first five years, we met in a movie theater inside a huge mall. We were not allowed to put out any signage whatsoever. We also launched using the SWAT team method which meant that we didn’t know many folks in the community.

All this boiled down to the fact that we knew we were going to have to do some major marking if we were going to make it.  As I look back, I think it’s safe to say that God used direct mail in a major way to establish our church.

In other words, we mailed a lot of postcards and learned a lot along the way.

With that in mind, I’d like to share some things that we learned as well as some things that we’re thinking and learning now. As always, you’re mileage may vary.

14.5 Direct Mail Tips


1. Faces are Magnetic

This is a theory that I have but it’s held true for us.  I once saw an article that discussed the fact that humans view faces differently than just about anything else they look at.  It’s hard wired in us.  They’ve done tests with babies that show that from birth we tend to triangulate between the eyes and the mouth when we look at any face.  So, I like putting big expressive faces on the front of any direct mail piece we do if at all possible.

The truth is that when we’ve deviated from that rule of thumb our response rate has dropped.  Obviously, not every card lends itself to face but a face will catch peoples attention better than just about anything else.

2  Humor and a Healthy Fear of Cheese

Cheese is to be avoided at all costs 

We’ve used a lot of humor with our cards.  It’s always a bit scary to try to use humor because there’s a fine line between humor and cheese.  Cheese is to be avoided at all costs but don’t let cheese fear keep you from using humor.

Humor done right builds a connection between you and card holder.  Our most effective card ever had a big lady wearing bunny ears and a tutu.  The caption said something like “Betty never knew exactly what to wear to church on Easter.”  People went crazy over that card because I think a lot of unchurched people really don’t know what they should be wearing to church these days.  Anyway, the humor worked.

    • WARNING:  Never make the card holder the butt of the joke.  This doesn’t build a relationship it actually pushes people away.

If you do go with some humor, run it by a few folks.  Something that’s funny to you and your wife or you and your staff might not be funny to anyone else.  Don’t put it up for a vote with a big group of people, however.  Humor is an odd thing and when you start picking it apart nothing is funny.

3. The Goal of the Front of the Card

The goal of the front of the card is to get people to stop long enough to look at the back of the card.  Don’t put too much information on the front.  Don’t try to sell your church there.  Just try to get them to turn the card over.

I see way too many cards from churches that are too busy on the front.  You want one sentence on the front at most.  Keep it quick, clean and catchy.  Remember the front of the card has one goal, get them to read the back of the card.

4. The Goal of the Back of the Card

The goal of the back of the card is really to get people to your website.  Now, some people may see the back of card and decide to come to your church directly but our experience has been that the vast majority of folks check our web site out first.

    • If you don’t have a compelling web site, stop work on direct mail immediately and focus your efforts on a web site.  Seriously, a direct mail card without a web site to reference is a complete and utter waste of money in today’s world.  Build your site first.

Make sure the back of the card has the following on it….

    • The URL of your web site.  Don’t make it tiny.  Make it big and clear.  It’s more important that your phone number these days.
    • Service times and directions/map.  (Mention free doughnuts before the service here)
    • Plug your series (Series logo, blurbage)
    • Sermon titles and dates (Titles can actually be more compelling that the series title itself.)
    • Space permitting, plug your kids area on one of the corners.

(To be continued…)

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About the Author

Tony McCollum
I'm the senior pastor of Fusion Church. I've been in the ministry for over 20 years. I'm also the founder of many sites such as, and Most importantly, I like ice cream.



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