Saturday Service Mailer

August 19, 2005 by

This week’s peer review is more of a case study, since it already went out and we know the results, but it’s still valuable to review the strategy and design and see what works and what doesn’t.

Samples: Direct mail postcard to launch a Saturday evening service.



Westside Family Church
Shawnee, Kan.
Created by Anne Jackson
Westside Family Church averages 3,800 people per weekend and added a Saturday evening service in February, bringing their total worship service offerings to eight services in three styles at two locations. They average 3,800 people per weekend.

The postcard targeted young, working families in upper middle class/upper class suburbia who like to sleep in and spend time on the weekends with their families. The mailer went to 3,000 addresses in the church database and 25,000 in strategically picked zip codes in the community.

After the postcard went out attendance went up by 250 per weekend, which works out roughly to a 1% response rate, which they were encouraged by, considering the church mailer saturation in their area.


  • What do you like about how they publicized their new Saturday service?
  • What works with the design?
  • Is the text engaging and effective?
  • What could be improved or done differently?
  • Is there anything you can learn for your church?
Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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12 Responses to “Saturday Service Mailer”

  • Peter Davidson
    August 19, 2005

    What would be interesting is comparing the results to a similar post card mailing promoting the Sunday services.
    The key question is who are they hoping to attract to this new service? If it’s an outreach I don’t think enough people(even in Kansas) would decided to check out the church based on a postcard to make it worth the effort. People come on the arm of their friends.
    I suspect they are seeing realignment. People from other area churches that wish their church offered a Saturday night option are checking out Westside.
    A far better strategy I think is to run promos for your existing congregation to switch to Saturday night to free up seats for visitors on Sunday. The danger is that people will switch to Saturday night and leave the outreach to those still attending on Sundays.
    That being said.
    I’ve attended on Saturday night more than 10 years. From my perspective the concept of sleeping in on Sundays is an effective pitch. I also have been able to effectively invite newcomers to try Saturday night services. In fact our Saturday night service is more popular than one of our two Sunday services.
    The design itself is too generic. It could as easily be a promotion for a Sunday newspaper as it is for a church. I’m not saying it needs to be churchy. Not at all. I just think their needs to be an additional visual that speaks more to the environment or vibe of the Saturday Night service.

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  • Faith Creative
    August 19, 2005

    Postcard Idea

    Wow life has been busy… once the new church starts up (launch date – September 11, 2005) I’ll probably be posting here more often because I’ll have a lot of the resources that we will be creating for our church, etc.
    Anyways, there&…

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  • Betsy
    August 19, 2005

    I disagree with Peter that the design is too generic. I love it. The graphic and tag line make me HAVE to turn it over to see what’s up. Maybe that’s because I’m a sleepyhead and wish my church had Saturday night services.
    I’ll agree that the results are ambiguous, for the same reasons that Peter mentioned. But this is a great postcard, and the clear, concise, uncluttered and happy feel of the whole project are really, really appealing.

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  • Anne Jackson
    August 19, 2005

    Thanks for your comments. We actually wanted it to be as unchurchy as possible. Where people would turn it over and think, “what the heck is this promoting?” for the month prior to the postcards, we ran an internal campaign called “Make the Switch” which included various pieces around the church, a church wide mailing and special bulletin about switching to offer more seats. We also printed an extra thousand or so cards for attenders to use to invite their friends to Saturdy night. The service itself isn’t any different from our Sunday service (except a different band) but the same sound. ;) Thanks!

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  • Michael
    August 19, 2005

    love it.
    It could be for many things…and I for one am a sleepyhead, I hate mornings, and would flip the card over not just out of curiousity but out of hope…okay, maybe hope is too strong, but seriously anything to let me sleep in!
    Saturday night service isn’t just for morning haters…it is also for the person who works on Sunday, or even works Saturday and Sunday…sure, you probably picked up a few from a neighboring church…but that’s not neccessarily bad.
    Keep up the good work…seeing this work I for one would jump to be on staff!

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  • Anne Jackson
    August 19, 2005

    thanks, michael. we realized in our community how young families love spending time together, so we wanted to give them another option. and since we realize saturdays may not be for everyone, that’s why we also included the other service times and our website so they could do some exploring on their own. i, like yourself, would be considered a sleepyhead, although i have to be at both saturday eve and sunday morning services….
    Oh yes, and I will say lots of promo for the switch coming from the platform for our folks…we don’t do that very often, so when it happens, they know it’s a big deal. :)

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  • Jesse J. Anderson
    August 19, 2005

    I think this design is great… it’s simple in a way that makes it great.
    It’s generic enough on the front that most people are going to turn it over and check it out… and there are plenty of people that aren’t on the “in” with churches that don’t even know that a lot of them have saturday night services.
    If I had gotten this in the mail I would have gone to check it out.

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  • ksc
    August 20, 2005

    We just started Saturday services from January 2005 and we had a lot of conversations about marketing for it. The postcard mentions easy parking and comfortable seating. Does this highlight that there is a problem of parking and seating on Sundays? We were so tempted to mention these things in our marketing because it was an attraction and yet at the same time thought that it would be saying something to the 90% of people who come on Sundays. We also found out that as always, crowds attract crowds. And if you don’t have a critical mass of “switchers” it is very hard to market.
    This was one of our ads for Saturday services:

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  • Anne Jackson
    August 20, 2005

    Our parking is actually a city-wide joke practically. We are in a very prominent and easy spot in Westren Shawnee, and we are infamous for how bad the parking lot is designed. Mainly, this was a hook for our people, but because we knew there were going to be a lot of people in the ZIP codes that have tried a WFC service, one of the things we can’t control right that they might have not returned because, is the parking. So this was going to be a perk to those people too, as well as those who just drive by on a Sunday and see the mess themselves.
    I can’t wait until we have our new building…they actually put thought into the parking lot this time! :)

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  • Cesar
    October 6, 2005

    Creating a mailer has it’s challenges, but you always have to think ahead, and on target when doing a marketing piece like this.
    I think it made it’s point. I’m a twenty-something guy, and I would be intrigued to find out what the other side contains.
    It brings a positive viewpoint that meets the cultural trend and at the same time being cool about it too.
    Good work guys and gals.
    Makes me wish we had Saturday night services!

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  • Script
    December 29, 2005

    Saturday Services are popular because Saturday is the Sabbath not Sunday. As Jesus is a Jew.

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  • Aaron Collins
    January 11, 2006

    Just to make a correction: Mailing to 3,000 and 25,000 addresses, respectively, would reach about 85,000 people, assuming an average of 3 persons per address, possibly more if they were specifically targeting families. So a rise in attendance of 250 individuals would actually be about a .3%response rate, or 1 additional attendee for every 300 people sent a post card.

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Peer Review