Currently there are less and less people interested in religion, that is why if religious institutions want to recover believers they must use effective methodologies, such as growth hacking.
Although religious institutions are a traditional sector, they will be highly benefited if they apply this methodology of active experimentation. The task of a growth hacker is to find the most profitable ways to grow the business. To do this, he conducts small experiments that allow him to filter which actions bring growth to the business and which should be discarded.
First, we start with the metrics capable of measuring the growth of our institution. The key metrics should always be those that best indicate the state of your church such as number of mass attendees, baptisms, communions, confirmations and weddings per year, number of new priests and nuns....
Once we know which metrics to focus on, it´s time to set goals. Objectives should be SMART, i.e., specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. Increase the number of baptisms by 10% in one year or increase the average number of people attending each Mass by 15% in three months.
Once we know what the SMART objectives are, i.e. what we want to achieve, it is time to discover how we are going to achieve them, our growth drivers. Growth drivers are actions that will hypothetically help us achieve our objectives. We will test if they work through small campaigns, called experiments.
Possible growth drivers for the religious sector could be Newsletters, digitalization and internet orientation, personal treatment or event creation. Which one suits us best? Which one should we focus on? This is what we are going to test through the growth hacking methodology.
First of all, the Newsletter. The pastor must keep in mind that communication with the parishioners is the key. Therefore, if he does not have enough time to keep in touch with everyone on Sunday morning, one of the alternatives would be to create a weekly newsletter to inform the faithful of the parish of what is happening. This way we can keep our contacts informed of everything that is going on. We have to test how to get the bulletin to people, what are our options and which is the most effective.
Emailing consists of sending mass mailings. Although it has great potential for meetings, seminars and other special events, it is one of the least explored digital marketing channels. Therefore, its exploitation can be very beneficial if done properly. Another way to use this channel is to provide help to people who write about their own problems and opinions.
One of the best and cheapest ways to market your activity is through social media. Trying social media is a great tool to attract all ages. Share information about your church with groups, which are prevalent on social media. We can engage your followers and post tips, products or other news that will interest your audience.
We can encourage families to share their positive experiences on social media and study the effect it has on us. In fact, we can try creating a hashtag that people can associate with their image to encourage others to share their experiences.
- How do we do this?
- What value proposition are we going to have?
- How do we benefit from taking action?
- What is the most beneficial strategy to achieve the objectives they are seeking?
If we are to find a suitable marketing strategy we must answer these and more questions. To do this we will use small tests to progressively understand how our church works. As we obtain these learnings, we will proceed to document them. In this way we will be able to keep a record of which strategies work and which do not.
Want to learn more about how to apply growth hacking to your religious business? Sign up for Hypertry and request a one-on-one session.