Christmas is always an evangelistic opportunity to welcome people to Mass who aren’t normally in the pews. But with the pandemic and other hardships in the world, this year might be an opportunity to reach out to more people than ever and invite them to meet Christ Jesus at Christmas.
This is the key: Start promoting early and often!
In marketing, there is a “Rule of 7” that proposes a prospect needs to “hear” the advertiser's message at least seven times before they'll take action to buy that product or service. If we want people to take action, they probably need more than one invitation to Mass this year.
Here are eight ideas for how to promote your parish Christmas Mass times this year:
1. Update your Christmas Mass times on MassFinder.org
The AOD Communications Department will be promoting this tool throughout Advent to reach people who do not yet have a plan for attending Mass on Christmas. Make sure your parish Mass times are up to date using this form.
2. Put your Christmas Mass times in a prominent place on the homepage of your website
If someone is visiting your website for the first time, you want this information to be the first thing they see! Let’s not let website “friction” (a.k.a. hard-to-find information) be the thing that keeps someone from Mass.
3. Use “invitation language” (not just information)
“All are welcome...” or “You are invited...” lets people know that they will be welcome at Mass, no matter the last time they attended. This simple measure of encouragement can make all the difference!
4. Create a Facebook event for each Mass
Spread the word to your digital community! A Facebook event makes it easier for your followers to say they are attending Mass or invite others. Plus, Facebook will often promote the event to people in your zip code.
5. Boost a post on social media
Did you know that you can pay for your Facebook event or Instagram post to reach more people by spending as little as $50 (or even $20!)? Target people like your followers or build a custom audience of people in your neighborhood.
6. Put a flyer in local coffee shops
This might be the “sign” people are waiting for to think about attending Mass for Christmas. Wherever you can leave a flyer (coffee shop, grocery store, apartment building lobby), it’s worth printing off a few to display in your community!
7. Mail a postcard to parishioners
Even registered parishioners may need a refresher on Christmas Mass times in your Family of Parishes or due to changes during the pandemic. Mailing a postcard gets them this information directly, and makes it easier for non-social media savvy parishioners to share the information with others. (Check out this one sent out by Sacred Heart Parish in Downriver Vicariate 3!)
8. Send a note home to parents through the schools in your FOP
School families are an important audience in your FOP communications strategy — and you shouldn’t assume they are getting parish announcements! Coordinate with your principals to reach out to parents, specifically.
How else are you planning to invite people to Mass for Christmas? Share your ideas in the EGW Community!