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The Importance Of Personalization In Church Marketing

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Personalized Items for Your Church Can Make a Big Difference
Personalized Content

You’ve seen them in retail store fridges, on TV, in customers’ hands: bottles of Coca-Cola embellished with names like Rachel, Laura, and Dan. As part of its “Share a Coke” campaign, the brand personalized its labels with some 250 popular names. And according to The Wall Street Journal, the effort “reversed a decade-long decline in U.S. Coke consumption.”

As brands morph into content providers, and consumers become more and more accustomed to seeing content that’s customized, the importance of personalization rises. It’s now a best practice for marketers – many of whom would call it the only way to get a customer’s attention.

Personalizing your content marketing message is critical for generating leads and conversions. Consumers are willing to share their data with you, so why not use it to your advantage?

A study conducted by Accenture found that 85% of consumer said they realized that data tracking makes it possible for retailers to present them with relevant and targeted content. For consumers, being tracked by companies is a necessary evil when it comes to receiving a personalized content experience. Be sure not to cross the line by over-personalizing your content. Consumers don't want to buy from a company that knows too much about them.

Personalized Items for Your Church Can Make a Big Difference in Your Outreach

In the digital marketing space, personalization is critical when it comes to capturing the attention of consumers. Consumers have the tools to avoid irrelevant content on the Internet and they aren’t afraid to use them. Who can blame them? Consumers are growing increasingly accustomed to personalized content, which also means that it is becoming increasingly important for churches to provide personalized content.

So, we know that a personalized experience -- by its very nature -- is in some way different from the status quo. You’re not just getting what everyone else is getting with personalization. Instead, you’re getting something tailored to you. And because of that, it makes you feel more in control. 

Truth be told, you aren’t actually making a choice when, for example, you view personalized content on a site page. But when you know you’re getting something that’s tailored to your interests, you still perceive having some level of control over what you’re engaging with.

Even if this sense of control is an illusion, it’s still powerful, and can have a positive effect on your psyche. According to Psychology Today, people who feel an internal sense of control -- i.e. they believe that they are in control of their life outcomes, as opposed believing external forces are responsible -- tend to be healthier physiologically and more successful.

So why, psychologically speaking, do we still like personalized content better in these cases? Simple: It’s more relevant. And, as human beings, we are naturally more inclined to engage with information that we find relevant and interesting.

The Sweetest Sound

"Remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”   - Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Carnegie’s point here was that remembering a person’s name — and using it whenever appropriate — is key to winning that person over to your way of thinking. He was so keen on this notion, in fact, that he came up with his own system for remembering names effectively.

Clearly, Carnegie understood that something special occurs when people hear their own name. Your name, as it turns out, is one of the easiest sounds for your brain to hone in on. While you can easily ignore that stranger in the background complaining about their job or talking about their kitchen renovations, as soon as they mention your name, your ears will inevitably perk up.

So, what exactly is going on here? According to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Brain Research, when people hear their own first name (vs. hearing other first names), there is a unique reaction in the brain. More specifically, hearing your own name -- as opposed to other names -- triggers greater brain activation.

Conclusion

So how can you use this information practically for improving your church marketing efforts?

Easy! Start personalizing your church marketing materials so that you can address recipients by name. Use your church’s logo to design personalized offering envelopes, church bulletins, or other printed materials. You could also greet new parishioners by giving them a personalized church gift – such a custom lapel pin!

Do yourself and your church a favor and embrace personalization as quickly as possible. The sooner you begin taking the necessary steps towards personalizing your content, the sooner you can begin reaping the benefits. With smart marketing, the sky's the limit!

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