Tag Archives: Direct Mail

Large Church Attendance vs Small Church Attendance

Based on a recent Faith Communities Today survey, small to mid-sized churches are finding that half of the country’s congregations have 65 or fewer people in attendance on any given weekend. That’s a drop from a median attendance level of 137 people in 2000.

Produced by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, the FACT survey consists of self-reported questionnaires sent out to congregational leaders every five years since 2000.

Congregations with 1,500+ people in attendance were able to avoid decline; 71% of those large churches grew over the past five years. Larger churches tend to have full-time clergy, greater financial and physical resources and a diversity of ages and races among members.

However, smaller churches tend to have higher levels of member commitment, parishioners give more money per person, and are more likely to volunteer. These churches spend less on staffing and give the highest percentage of their budget toward missions and charity.

Churches with more than 250 attendees account for 10% of all U.S. congregations, yet host close to 60% of all weekly churchgoers.

With a larger number of parishioners comes a decline in per capita giving, willingness to volunteer, and a lower overall level of participation within the congregation.

As large gatherings continue to raise safety issues, determining how to draw existing and new members to churches remain a priority for leaders. Engagement with participants and the community surrounding the church are essential in attracting individuals to worship.

Direct mail is a great way to connect with your congregation and community. Invite your neighbors to join your smaller group gatherings such as bible studies, or support groups.

Using direct mail to notify your parishioners about upcoming events, or sending a saturation mailing to every household within a certain radius is an excellent way to increase participation. Direct Mail Works!




Digital Ads – Amazon, Facebook & Google What’s Happening?

Amazon has gone into the digital advertising business and now represents one of their fastest-growing and most profitable sectors.

Initially, the mighty merchant frowned on this type of advertising fearing it may clutter their site and alienate shoppers. However, they own 10.7% of the $191 billion US digital ad market today.

More and more people are bypassing Google and using Amazon as a search engine to find products. Today Google owns 28.8% of the market, down from 73.1% in 2019.

Amazon is taking ad business from Facebook too. In June, Apple introduced privacy changes on iPhones that have rendered Facebook & Instagram ads significantly less effective. The Apple feature known as App Tracking Transparency (ATT) forces developers to ask for consent before their apps can track users. Facebook launched an aggressive campaign against Apple claiming ATT will hurt the open internet and small businesses. Facebook is warning that customers who opt out of tracking will be excluded from specific targetable audiences, which will result in a decrease in audience sizes.

Many companies are reluctant to market on Amazon because they can lose the direct connection with their consumers. However, marketers are reporting significant declines in the performance of their Facebook ads which is sending big brands on the hunt for alternative options. As Amazon has an estimated 153 million Prime subscribers, it’s a platform that may be worth the risk.

Big brands are redirecting their digital ad budgets to other means of marketing that include incorporating social-media influencers and returning to more traditional channels like direct mail.

Direct mail has its own woes right now as postage and shipping rates are increasing at record levels, and paper shortages are causing the cost to implement direct mail campaigns to rise.

Lifting the Mask. It is Time to Engage Again

As our personal and business lives slowly begin to ease up on the unprecedented restrictions we have been living with for over a year now, it is time to “lift the mask” and engage again.  Your existing customers need to hear from you, and it is time to start the search for new clients too.

We are all in uncharted territory, trying to find footing on something that, at least resembles, solid ground. The best way to do that is to reach out and reconnect with your clients.

Marketing your business is essential, and it is not expensive. There are so many channels in which to converse with existing and potential clients today, make sure your business is using them and reaping the rewards.

We are BEB (Business Extension Bureau). Take a tour of website and see the many marketing services we offer. We hope that you will consider using us to “lift the mask and engage” through marketing in the coming year.





The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the financial, operational, and service performances of the USPS. Here’s how:

Employee Availability
The cumulative number of employees quarantined reached 19.1%, while  non-career employee turnover rate hit 40%.

Lack of airplane and truck capacity, and industry competition for both, disrupted the supply chain and transportation resources particularly during the holiday season

Shift in Mail/Package Composition
A dramatic decline in First Class Mail combined with an unprecedented package volume increase of 40%

The postal service continued to deliver to its 160 million address client base throughout 2020. However, constraints in processing and transportation networks prevented timely and consistent arrival of product.

Package delivery is expected to continue to rise in the coming decade.  While this dynamic will create strong opportunities for the Postal Service and may leverage it to be even
more relevant, it also requires significant changes to its operating model. In the coming months we are anxious to learn what USPMG Louis DeJoy’s 10-year vision for the postal will be.

Pillory of the Postmaster

Earlier this year, newly appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified in front of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He was brought to the pillory to answer for changes made to the USPS that included cutting overtime and limiting post office hours, which caused politicians and postal workers across the country to hit a panic button. These very reasonable directives are necessary as DeJoy will attempt to turn-around the, often-misunderstood, health of the US Postal Service.

The USPS is an independent agency of the executive branch of the federal government and is not funded by appropriations. However, it is not independent of rule from the government. Back in 2006, Congress passed a law that guaranteed the entity would continually face a financial battle by passing the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. The PAEA requires the Postal Service to pre-fund its post-retirement health care costs, 75 years into the future. This extraordinary financial burden applies to no other federal agency or private corporation.

If the costs of the retiree health care mandate were removed from the USPS financial statements, the Post Office would have reported operating profits in each of the last six years. Many people may be surprised to learn that in the third quarter of fiscal 2020, the Postal Service reported an increase in total revenue of 3.2% compared to the same period last year. Credit goes to the increase of shipping and package delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we anticipate the trend to continue given the surge in e-commerce. The PAEA retirement mandate created a financial “crisis” that has been used to skew public perception of the postal service and allows politicians to “throw rocks” at those who do understand the real challenges facing the USPS today.

Moving the mail is all about logistics. Making the entity that delivers the mail more efficient and streamlined will decrease delivery time, keep product pricing down, and just might allow the largest transportation fleet in the world to grow into an amazing success story.

For over 30-years USPS leaders have been searching for ways to sort and process mail using more automation and increase the amount of time carriers spend delivering mail. It is simply ludicrous when politicians claim that the closure of a rural post office will delay delivery of prescriptions or imply that five-day delivery is somehow denying citizens their right to receive mail. As with any organization that needs to become current and profitable, we must all keep an open mind on ways the USPS can successfully operate throughout the 2020’s.

After sitting on the Washington DC hot seat, DeJoy suspended many of his controversial changes and promised not to make any more until after the November elections. Rest assured that mail is being delivered and marketing via direct mail remains a viable and money-making way to market. We will keep you abreast of the latest happenings as they unfold.

Direct Mail During Covid-19-Fund Raising

Eric Streiff wrote an amazing blog for Philanthropy Daily about fundraising during a crisis.  Check it out below:

Regardless of the crisis around us, nonprofits must continue to communicate with their constituents and also fundraise. Based on decades of experience and evidence, direct mail remains one of the most effective ways to stay in touch, communicate, and fundraise—even in a time of great uncertainty.

It is a proven marketing fact that organizations that chose to forge ahead during a crisis were typically more successful in the long run when compared to organizations that paused, stopped, or significantly altered communication, particularly fundraising appeals.

Direct mail is an incredibly effective way to stay in touch with your donors­ and help keep your organization top-of-mind. Read this blog in its entirety here.

Best Practices for DM During a Crisis

Polly Wong, managing partner at Belardi Wong wrote a blog on direct mail during a crisi for digital commerce 360.  Check it out below:

While digital marketing might seem poised for a surge, now could be the right moment to take a fresh look at direct mail as a channel to reach consumers with intimate, physical experiences in their homes.

The COVID-19 crisis continues to disrupt many of the relationships and operational structures that have sustained the retail industry for more than 20 years. Media consumption has skyrocketed with captive consumers stuck at home, yet demand for many nonessential products has evaporated as uncertainty gives way to a “new normal.” Retailers—especially those in industries like apparel and home goods—need to leverage all of the assets at their disposal if they’re going to weather the storm.

While digital marketing might seem poised for a surge in this media-saturated environment, now could be the right moment to take a fresh look at direct mail as a channel to reach consumers with intimate, physical experiences in their homes. For those considering direct mail as a new channel for customer outreach, here are some best practices for getting started:

2020 Census – How it Works

You will receive an invitation in the mail on or between March 12 – 20, 2020. Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone.

Depending on how likely your area is to respond online, you’ll receive either an invitation encouraging you to respond online or an invitation with a paper questionnaire.

Letter Invitation

  • Most areas of the country are likely to respond online, so most households will receive a letter asking you to go online to complete the census questionnaire (or to respond by phone).
  • The US Census will work with the USPS to stagger the delivery of the invitations over several days so they can spread out the number of users responding online or over the phone.

Letter Invitation and Paper Questionnaire

  • Areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with their invitation. The invitation will also include information about how to respond online or by phone.









Every household that hasn’t responded by the request dates will receive reminders and will eventually receive a paper questionnaire. It doesn’t matter which initial invitation you get or how you get it – the Census will follow up in person with all households that don’t respond.

For more information click here.

Changing Landscape for Churches

Increasing attendance is a constant challenge for every church no matter its size, denomination or location. Statistics show that over the last decade, the share of Americans who say they attend religious services at least once or twice a month have dropped by 7 percentage points.
There are changes underway within the American religious landscape. Based on a Pew Institute study published in October of 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christian-that’s down approximately 12% over the past decade. However, those who describe their religious identity as agnostic or nondenominational (known as “nones”) have grown by 5% and crosses multiple demographic groups: white people, black people and Hispanics; men and women; in all regions of the country; and among college graduates and those with lower levels of educational attainment. Religious “nones” are growing faster among Democrats than Republicans, though their ranks are swelling in both partisan coalitions. And although the religiously unaffiliated are on the rise among younger people and most groups of older adults, their growth is most pronounced among young adults.
So what does all of that mean? It means that there is a plethora of people searching for a religious home, which means you have a large pool of people who have the potential to become new church members.
One of the most effective ways to attract new faces into your church is to have them brought by someone they know. A friend, neighbor, or co-worker can provide a level of comfort and help to ease the sense of isolation that often comes when entering an unfamiliar space for the first time. Not only should you regularly encourage your members to bring new faces who could benefit from your ministry, but you should also make it easy for them to do so. A great way of accomplishing this is by combining your Easter Service with a Friends and Family Day.
It provides a unique opportunity for you to showcase your ministry to potential new members. Many people who aren’t sure if joining a church is right for them will feel at-ease knowing they are not the only unchurched people there.
In the weeks leading up to it, build momentum for the service and event. Encourage your community to reach out to the people they know. Equip them with invitation cards and flyers so that they have physical materials to share with others. Create a Facebook Event for both the Easter service and for the Friends and Family Day after. Ask your congregation to share it within their social media communities.

Send an invitation postcard to your neighbors.

Purchase a saturation mailing list of residences surrounding your church and mail invitations to your neighbors including your existing parishioners. Use the day to encourage these people to come back the following week. You might consider beginning a sermon series that day so that people know what to expect the following week.
Be sure and collect a means to contact the newcomers via email or a physical address. In the days that follow your Friends and Family Day, reach out to the individuals who came and show them that they are important to you by sending a hand written thank you note or a personal email. They’ll soon see how they can fit into your community.
Though getting people in the door is important, having a passionate and engaged church body is essential to the vitality and growth of any church. Challenge your community to get involved in the issues that are most meaningful to them. Passionate people want their work to be successful, so they’re likely to invite others to join them and see the fruits of their labor. This is an excellent tactic for organic growth.
We hope this information is helpful to you when planning your upcoming Easter marketing strategy and as always, we are here to help in any way we can.


A World Without Facebook

I read such an interesting article by The Economist the other day.  It was called; “What would happen if Facebook was turned off? Imagine a world without the social network”

30% of the world’s population (2.3billion people) engage with Facebook every month. Economists estimate that it yields trillions of dollars’ worth of value for its users. Facebook is also blamed for all sorts of social horrors: from addiction and bullying to the erosion of fact-based political discourse. This article outlined some new research that suggests that it may be time to consider what life without Facebook would be like.

Hunt Allcott, of New York University, and Luca Braghieri, Sarah Eichmeyer and Matthew Gentzkow, of Stanford University, published results of an experiment where they recruited several thousand Facebook users and sorted them into control and treatment groups. Members of the treatment group were asked to deactivate their Facebook profiles for four weeks in late 2018. The researchers studied what happened.

On average, those that disengaged enjoyed an additional hour of free time. They tended not to use those additional 60 minutes to flock to other websites or social networks.  Instead they spent time with friends and family or watched television. They also consumed less news, and as a result became less aware of events.  In turn they also became less polarised in their views about events than those still on the network. Leaving the social network boosted self-reported happiness and reduced feelings of depression and anxiety.

Read the article in its entirety here.