The words “church” and “customers” aren’t often used together.
But the ChurchPush mission is to take proven, digital direct response marketing best practices and strategies and apply them to church marketing and communications.
And one of the most important questions marketers need to answer is, “Who is our perfect customer?”
It’s the question that needs to be answered when developing an offer, creating a marketing and advertising plan, and it even influences the creative… such as what channels will be used, content-type, copy, and graphic design.
Not having at least some understanding of who your ideal customer is typically results in marketing that misses the mark, wasted time, and worse yet, wasted money.
And realize it or not, your church needs to answer the same question… “Who is our perfect customer?”
Create Your Perfect Church Avatar 👨👩
Effective church marketing requires laser-guided messaging that targets your desired audience.
Discover your perfect church “customer” with this easy church avatar worksheet and start reaching your desired audience every time!
Get yours free now!
“Churches Don’t Have ‘Customers!'”
The intention of this conversation isn’t to cheapen the awesomeness of God, the gospel, your church, or what you do as a church communication leader, by lowering it to the same level as the corner Starbucks store… Ew! No! 😖
But if you are to create digital strategies to reach people with your message it may help to switch up the way you view things.
You do have a “product” to sell: Your church.
Your “product” has features: Your beliefs, your pastor, your people, the worship band, your ministries, the small-groups, etc.
Your “product” has benefits: Connecting with God, living with gratitude, finding lessons in our trials, fellowship, inner peace, and everlasting life.
Your “product” even has a brand: How your church is perceived by those who experience it. What feeling it evokes.
Therefore, you do have customers. We just don’t typically use that particular word where church is concerned.
And like any organization with a product to sell, your church needs to battle for attention. To have a prayer 🤣 at winning the battle for attention, you need to get hyper focused on who you’re trying to reach, how you’re going to reach them, and what you’re “pitching.”
Your church has an audience it needs to connect with.
Your target market.
Your perfect customer.
Generating New “Leads” For Your Church
At some point soon we will get into targeting your “warm” leads (people who already have some level of involvement with your church) with specific offers.
For now, let’s start at the “top of your funnel”… essentially getting new people into your church for the first time.
Look at this as generating new leads for your church.
Yes, that may be weird. But that’s essentially what we’re talking about doing here.
In digital marketing we use the term “cold leads” to refer to people who have no idea you exist… yet. And this is the person we’re talking about now.
OK, now… who is this person?
Let’s figure it out.
Get a Church Avatar Worksheet
To uncover your perfect church customer, we need to create personas… also referred to as avatars.
To help us create your perfect church customer avatar, we have a free Church Avatar Worksheet for you.
If you’d like to follow along, get yours free now by clicking the button below. 👇
We’ll send your sheet to you right away. Be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see it.
Let’s Create A Church Avatar
Grab your Church Avatar Worksheet and let’s get started.
First we’ll focus on the sections of your worksheet highlighted here in white.
The first thing we need to do is name our avatar.
To do this we want to think about just a single segment of our market and give it a name (you can name your avatars anything you want).
Let’s pretend we want to reach families who are new to the area and are looking for a church. And we will zero in on the man in a husband/wife team for this one.
The goal here is to make your church avatar feel as human as possible by giving them a name.
So we will name him “New Neighborhood Neil” and put that in the “Avatar/Persona” box of our worksheet.
Now let’s bring our avatar to life by filling in some demographic details.
Number/age of children
Level of education
Where do they get their information/influenced by
None of this is meant to be a definitive description. It’s simply a way to bring your church avatar to life. Then, when you target your marketing to your church avatar, it will appeal to people in this group.
Think of people you already know who are perfect examples of this church avatar. Use things you already know about that person. (Remember, you want your avatar to represent all the people in this segment of your target audience.)
So let’s fill in some details:
Age – 35
Gender – Male
Marital status – Married
Number/age of children – 2 (6, 4)
Location – Yourtown
Occupation/job title – Shop Foreman
Annual income – $35,000
Level of education – Trade School Graduate
Values/Beliefs – Believes in God. Work hard. Take care of your family.
Where do they get their information/influenced by – Facebook, cable news, people at work, wife.
So let’s plug that information into our Avatar Worksheet.
Decision drivers are the things that will influence Neil’s decision to visit your church (or not 😟).
These are his requirements and “nice-to-haves” for a new church.
Things such as the church’s beliefs. Does the church offer Sunday school for the kids? How about the adults? Does he prefer a large or small church? Does the church have a worship band or a piano player and hymnals? Is the church very traditional, more progressive, or a good mix of both? Are there special programs for adults and couples?
All of these things will influence Neil’s decision to test drive a new church.
So let’s list some things that would be important to Neil and plug them into our worksheet.
The pastor teaches directly from the Bible.
The pastor is closer to his own age.
The church vibe is younger, more “progressive.”
Likes medium sized churches, not mega-churches.
Multiple Sunday service times to choose from.
Likes bible study classes to enhance his growth.
Sunday school for kids.
Playspace for kids during church service.
Now our Avatar Worksheet looks like this:
Frustrations & Fears
In this section, focus on the negative. What things does your church avatar want to movie away from. Things that frustrate or scare them. Things they want to escape from.
Only list things that are relevant to your avatar who is new to the area and is looking for a new church.
As a man with a wife and small children, Neil has plenty to worry about. Let’s list some out as they pertain to church.
Children seem to be influenced less by the gospel and more by pop culture.
Too many negative outside influences for children.
Children stop going to church when they get older.
Not being a strong enough spiritual leader for his family.
Worried, as a couple, their bond could be stronger.
These seem like legitimate worries for a guy like Neil, so let’s plug them into our avatar worksheet.
Wants & Aspirations
Now it’s time to switch gears and think about the positive: what good things does your church avatar want? What things are they striving to add to their life?
In this space, name several things your church avatar wants that they don’t have yet.
Here are some possibilities:
Wants his kids to know God.
Wants to continue the journey with God as a couple and family.
Wants his family to feel at peace in a chaotic world.
Wants his kids to know there’s more to life than social media and pop culture.
Instill good values in his family.
Wants his family to know people outside of work/school.
Wants to be the spiritual leader in his family.
Let’s plug ’em in and check out our worksheet…
At this point we’re really starting to have a great mental image of this fella, New Neighborhood Neil.
So now it’s time to take Neil from his “before” state to his “after” state.
The “Before” & “After” States
The final step in completing your Church Avatar Worksheet is to define your avatar’s “before” and “after” states.
What is your avatar experiencing before attending your church (we already touched on these a bit)? And what are they experiencing after attending your church (hopefully more than once)?
How will coming to your church, or going to church generally, change their lives for the better?
As you’re going through this process, keep this marketing tenet in mind:
People “buy” transformations.
The Before State
We’ve already touched on our church avatar’s before state a little in the “Frustrations & Fears” section, so we can look there for some clues.
What does Neil “Have” right now that he doesn’t want?
How does this make Neil “Feel?”
Confused, guilty, afraid.
How does this generally affect Neil on an “Average Day?”
Spends free time and sleepless nights worrying about this. Feels guilty and like he’s failing his family because he doesn’t take action.
What does Neil perceive his “Status” to be?
Poor leader within his family.
Lastly, think about Neil’s “before” state from a moral standpoint. Is there some greater “Evil” in the world that you can use to tie into his “before” state?
Distracted by things that aren’t related to his own and his family’s relationship with God.
The After State
Now it’s time to get into all the ways that your church, and church in general, will make Neil a happier, fulfilled person:
What will Neil “Have” after he starts fulfilling things from his “Wants & Aspirations?”
How does this make Neil “Feel?”
At peace, purposeful, guided.
How does this generally affect Neil on an “Average Day?”
More relaxed throughout his day knowing his family’s life-path has improved. Looks forward to Sundays.
What does Neil perceive his “Status” to be now?
Viewed as a caring father and family leader.
Lastly, think about Neil’s “after” state from a moral standpoint. Is there some greater “Good” we can use to tie into this “after” state?
Providing his family with a much-needed spiritual leader influenced by the gospel.
There you have it… your first Church Avatar! 👏
If you haven’t yet, you can get your own free Church Avatar Worksheet. Just request one using the button below. 👇
You can fill in the worksheet as is, or print it out and write directly on it.
Now that you’ve done a Church Avatar, you’ll want to create more of them.
Wives, parents with kids, parents no kids, single men and women, older adults… the list is long.
But remember, not every message is going to reach every avatar, so match your message to your avatar (target audience).