Most Churches Aren’t Finishing Their Website Conversion Process
Your church website should be a living organism that drives online conversions (for the sake of this conversation, not the spiritual kind) through a rock solid landing page.
Would you like to sign up more teens for summer camp? Could online giving open up more missions and growth opportunities for your church? Do you simply need to create a database to notify your congregation of service cancellations in case Snowpocalypse happens again?
Your Users Just Aren’t Into Your Signup Page
Here are some of the top reasons why your church website isn’t converting like you hoped it would:
- “Your signup page isn’t converting because your descriptions are too long. Keep it simple. Give out the important info like dates, cost, location, etc., but condense the description down to one big idea and one supporting sub title. The rest isn’t necessary.” – Justin Dean, That Church Conference
- “A great landing page answers 3 questions quickly: 1) What is it? 2) Why is it important? 3) How do I get involved? Don’t turn the page into a treasure hunt for information. Be clear, concise, and action-oriented.” – Wes Gay, WesGay.com
- “Pages are that fail to convert are…
Visitors should want to stay on the page and must be incentivized to do so. Something as simple as a video, sought after information or the promise of an e-book can turn a page visit into a conversion.” Jeff Mannel, mGive
- easy to leave
- easy to forget
- “Churches need to stop thinking and talking only about what the church wants, and start thinking about the felt needs of the community members it is trying to reach. Offering realistic high-value resources on your landing pages will help increase conversions.” – Kenny Jahng, KennyJahng.com
How to Build a Database Through Your Church Website
An important part of a successful church marketing campaign is building your user base, and one of the most effective ways to do this is through a signup page on your website. More specifically, you want some sort of conversion (eCommerce checkout, email, download PDF, etc).
Start by Setting a Goal for Your Website Conversion
Most churches will want to start by gathering emails. Why would you want to collect emails in a social media driven world? The cost to send an email is virtually nothing, people check their inbox nearly everyday, and the data behind campaigns is priceless.
Your email list can become a massive source of fundraising, local mission initiatives, attracting new visitors, and spreading the Gospel. And you can use it over and over again for additional campaigns as it continues to grow. It is marketing gold.
Assess and Improve Your Landing Page (Where People Convert to Members of Your List)
Creating a high converting landing page on your church website is easier than you think. The problem is that most people overthink it, or don’t think about it at all. As most of the experts above mentioned, you need to keep it simple and to the point.
Start designing your landing page from top to bottom following these tips to increase website conversions:
- Create a page title that is direct. You should be able to give your page title to a random person and they would know what the page is about simply by reading the headline. It should be that straightforward.
- Write a subtitle that hooks the website visitor in and makes them read more. If the website visitor reads the title, the subtitle should answer, “Cool! What does that mean?”
- Write 1-5 sentences about why what you’re presenting is amazing. This is your 30 second elevator pitch.
- Add bullet points that outline the benefits. Note: Many churches use bullet points here to list out dates, pricing, or any other details that do not sell what you’re attempting to drive buzz about. Stick to the benefits of signing up here, list the details towards the bottom.
- Add a form or a conversion/submit button after the bullet points. “Submit” is boring. Close your eyes, and imagine that your ideal user says, “Now what should I do?”. Your submit button should answer that question, not say “submit”.
- Share… But we’ll get to that later!
Improve Your Signup Visibility
Now that you have a killer landing page and a list ready to be populated by someone other the the pity opt-ins from your family, it’s time to drive traffic to your website. Here are a few ways that you can drive relevant traffic to your church website to increase online conversions:
- SEO (search engine optimization): Hopefully your website is ranking well in search engines. If it is, then you can capture organic website traffic from search engines to increase newsletter sign ups, camp registrations, or even online giving. SEO can drive a tremendous amount of visitors to your website when done well.
- Social Media: Driving traffic through social media takes effort, but you can growth hack your way to high exposure by creating a relevant following. Increase your followers based on interests, demographics, behaviors, and authentic engagement.
- Paid traffic: Churches can drive online signups through paid website traffic. Commonly used examples include Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Ads. Learning the in’s and out’s of paid traffic can help you maximize the results of your church’s marketing campaign to drive online website conversions.
- Use popups, calls-to-action, and clever design: Ensure that your signups are visible by drawing extra attention to them on your website. Online tools like Sumo make it easy to show popups to readers that show a certain level of interest in your website content. Adding a call to action in your website footer or a sidebar could help increase your newsletter signups over night!
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