web design

Just Because You Built It, It Doesn’t Mean Squat (part 3)

Written by Mark Steinbrueck

Usually our Tuesday post is about church website design, but lately we have been talking about ways to spread the word about your organization and website.

Last week we continued talking about how building a website is only the first step in accomplishing your website goals… you need to promote and market your website or nobody will know it is there.

I listed 5 ways that people will learn about your website:

  1. Word of mouth and relationship marketing
  2. Email marketing
  3. Links from other websites (including social media websites)
  4. Online advertising
  5. Search engines

If you are like many churches, you have a modest budget for marketing and you try to do as much as you can with that budget.

That usually means doing most things in-house or through volunteers.

Below are the items that you can do with staff or volunteers at minimum cost.

1) Word of mouth and relationship marketing

Over the last few years, our company has gotten more involved in local networking and charitable organizations.  We have found this is a great way to meet people within the community, learn about their business or organization, and discuss ways that we can help each other.  Helping others and taking a genuine interest in their causes is very important in local networking.

  • If you are a church, this is a great opportunity to partner with other ministries and businesses in your area.  In fact, in doing so, you it can lead to helping you with #3.
  • Always have plenty of business cards with your website address to pass out to those you meet.

Remember…

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. – Theodore Roosevelt

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2) Email Marketing

This can easily be a freebie!  You can send emails from a specified email address you have for your church or can send out eNewsletters through your website.  Neither one will cost you anything.  However, I will warn you that if you have a big list of recipients (many hundreds or more), emailing them all at once can lead to the email or your domain name being flagged as spam.  If you have a list this large, you may want to consider a email service like Constant Contact or Zoho.  Whatever you use, always include a link back to your website.

3) Links from other websites (including social media websites)

Getting links from other websites is not easy.  However, there are ways that churches and local businesses can get links from local organizations.  It is all a matter of getting to know those in your community.  Once you get to know local business owners or those who run local ministries, find ways to help them.  If you are a church, talk with local ministries about putting a team together from your church to help clean, do landscaping, or anything else they need.  The same can be done for local businesses.   It is all a matter of serving in the community.  Afterwards, simply ask if they would be willing to put a link on their website back to your church website.

Also, as you post to your social media accounts, include links back to your website.  This will help bring traffic to your website.

What things have you done at your local church, ministry, or business to connect with your community?  Please post your comments below.

If you want to talk about how we can help you put together a website to help your organization, please contact me here.

Next week, I’ll talk about the last two items:  Online advertising and search engines.

About the author

Mark Steinbrueck

Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold. Find on Google+.

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