By Steve Rudd
The only rule of evangelism: “Anything you do will bring results, with proper follow-up.” In the past I have tried everything from putting flyers on windshields of cars in malls, to telecomputer auto telephone dialers that play pre-recorded scripts at supper hour. Everything works! Some better than others! Follow up is the key to success! This article will give you details of something we have done at least ten times, that is highly successful! We have used the coupon on page 16 for windshields at malls, as a handout at summer fairs and distributed it via direct mail.
The double sided flyer pictured on page 16 is the actual size and colors of what we use. It was distributed by the postal service within a “coupon envelope” which contained between 20-40 different flyers varying from Elvis collector plates to pizza coupons. (Similar to Val-Pak.)
What Will It Cost You?
I got a price quote for two major U.S. cities from Val-Pak in January 2001. Prices vary. The best way to find the cheapest mail distributor in your local area is to merely collect the many coupon packs that come to your house and phone each of them for a quote! Our total cost to distribute this flyer, as pictured, was $1400 for 100,000, so shop around!
Economy: (1 sided, 1 color, colored bond paper)
Premium: (2 sided, full color side 1, 2 color side two, glossy white paper.)
Costs include ad design, printing, and distribution. This may sound expensive, but the U.S. post office charges $9000 to deliver 100,000 bulk flyers and you must pay for printing!
Bigger is better. As you can see, double sided is only 10% most costly than single sided and you will need both sides to get the information in. Always offer them a way to enroll by phone! Use a member’s number who is always home. Since 75% of your responses are by phone and only 25% mail the coupon in, results start coming the morning they hit the mailbox. This means you get to talk to the enrollee right away. Subscribing to call display is essential for too many reasons to list! I have done it every possible way and this one phrase, “Learn the Bible Blueprint” always brings in the most responses. Make sure you ask the enrollee two critical things right on the coupon: their phone number and age. Ask for their phone number for easy follow up. Ask their age for the sole purpose of identifying children. 90% will gladly give both if you merely ask!
It is also best to avoid exotic colored backgrounds on the flyer. Simple black text with red highlights (put in red) on white paper stands out better than a rainbow smear of cluttering color. Black on yellow paper is nice or full color with black and red text with a single full color photo of a Bible is nice. Keep it simple. Finally, make sure the key words BIBLE and GOD are very large and bold. As people go through the coupons, it is these large words that will catch their attention.
What To Mail Them When They Enroll
I always send them Lesson One of my three-lesson correspondence course. (Send me $5 for a sample set you may reproduce as needed on your photocopier.) As well, they get an invitation to the church with full details of location and service times. I also include an exact reproduction of the flyer they got in the mail to remind them where we got their name!
Involve the Congregation
After all the enrollments come in and the materials have been mailed out, a large number will not return lesson one. Divide these up and give them to willing members for follow-up! This way, even if no one is baptized, there is a net benefit to the congregation by being involved in evangelism!
Follow Up is the Key!
Since 75% enroll by phone, you have a tremendous opportunity to set up an immediate personal Bible study. I always ask them two questions: “Do you attend church every week?” and “Which church do you attend?” Start by offering them a personal Bible study. Tell them you have a study series with outlines they can keep or you can tell them about the “overview of the Bible” video tapes or film strips. Invite them to church and when all that fails, send them the second lesson of the Bible correspondence course. Always date the enrollments and phone them up one month later when they fail to return lesson one.
Over time, put them on a mailing list or have each member write a personal handwritten letter inviting them to your next gospel meeting! Then phone them the day before and invite them by phone!
From three separate mail drops last year totaling 228,000 flyers, we got 173 responses. So far there were four baptisms, and there certainly may be more baptisms since the last drop of 100,000 was only one month ago. Although we will get few new responses, fruit generally takes about two to six months.
33 Highcliffe Ave., Hamilton, Ontario Canada L9A 3L3 email@example.com