Nuts & Bolts - Case Study: Retaining the Flock
Challenge: Retain churchgoers.
Solution: Mobile marketing, sending daily text messages.
Results: Of the 125 church members and attendees who participated, 100 percent have remained worshippers.
Taking a leap of faith, Relevant Church of Tampa, Fla. invested last year in database management software from Fellowship Technologies of Irving, Texas. In one of its first challenges for the software, Relevant created a mobile marketing retention drive.
"We had a series that we called TEXT," Administrative Pastor James Adair says. "It was a study of the Bible, a play on the word, obviously. What we wanted to do was to help our people get to interact more with scripture on a daily basis. So we tried to find an apparatus to communicate with them that was relevant, already ingrained in their daily life. So we said, ‘Well, what if we text message them Bible verses for the day?' You could always e-mail, but sometimes you get that later, when you're already at work."
The church posed the challenge to its attendees one Sunday, and 125 opted in to read scripture every morning for 30 days. After pulling worshippers' cell phone numbers from the Fellowship One database-the Fellowship Tech software Relevant Church purchased to keep track of its growing flock-Relevant sent out the text messages. New congregants who weren't yet in the database filled out contact cards, which the church then added.
"Just because you have somebody come to your church for years, [sometimes] they don't actually grow in their faith, or they don't go anywhere with it; it's just like somebody coming into your restaurant and not buying any food," Adair says. "You want them to start growing. So by getting them into Fellowship One, we can track their progress. We can tell if they go to a small group. We can tell if they attended church. We can tell if they give money. We can tell if they've taken any ‘action steps.' So, during the TEXT series, if they signed up to receive text messages, that's permanently in their record[s]."