New Song Fellowship Gift Tags

September 14, 2005 by

Check out the design for a gift tag that comes with a ‘welcome to the neighborhood’ gift from New Song Fellowship church and share your thoughts in this week’s peer review.

Front and back:

New Song Fellowship
Columbia, S.C.
Created by David Zimmerman
New Song Fellowship targets young and newly-married professional couples from 25-35, possibly with one or two small children in the northeast area of Columbia, S.C. They give small gifts to people who’ve recently moved to the area (like a bag of microwave popcorn) and include the attached gift card to tell the new neighbors about their church. The front of the card ties in with actual signs they have throughout their community.


  • What do you like about the design/text?
  • Is it too wordy? What’s the minimum amount of info they could get away with?
  • What works? What needs improvement?
  • Is it too strong of a sale? They’ve become known as the “church with the signs”—is that good, bad, weird?
  • If you were new to the neighborhood what would you think about receiving a gift with this tag? What would you think of the church? Would you consider attending?
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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15 Responses to “New Song Fellowship Gift Tags”

  • Avery
    September 14, 2005

    Although I would appreciate the welcome gift, this wouldn’t entice me to come to the church. Especially if I went to the website on the tag and saw it had been suspended (which as of right now it is)
    I’m new to town, don’t know anything about anybody, I’m going to the yellow pages to see what denominations are out there (let’s be honest this isn’t going to be the hook for the lost, this is for new Christians in the area) and find one I’m comfortable with. Although the tag is a nice touch, I have no idea what kind of church you are other than the fact that you have enough money to purchase welcome gifts for new commers.

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  • Kim Wells
    September 14, 2005

    Avery makes a very good point about not knowing what type of church they are. And to the type of people they are trying to attract (young, educated couples) it might be an important thing to make clear. Then again, most people in that demographic will visit the website before they visit the church anyway – won’t they? I like the simplicity of the card – and think that the idea in general is a great one.

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  • Anthony D. Coppedge
    September 14, 2005

    The popcorn is OK, but there will always be the question of “was it tampered with”. Any kind of perishable container is not quickly accepted due to the potential vulnerability.
    Instead, I say give without expecting to hear from them – and say so on the card. So instead of popcorn, how about a free gift card to the local cinema with $20 on it. This could pay for two tickets and some real popcorn & drinks or a family four pack to a Saturday matinee.
    If they’re known already as the “church with the signs”, then that says two things: 1) it’s working and 2) it’s time to get creative with a new way to reach their new neighbors.
    And since this has been so successful, why limit it to new residents? What about a ‘care package’ delivered to a first time visitor’s doorstep while they’re still in church (just get guest registry card early in service)?
    The “free gift” model works – period.

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  • Anthony
    September 14, 2005

    As of 3:39pm EST, the site is still down. I like the idea of the gift card to a movie instead of the popcorn — in these days and times food tampering is a very real issue (please don’t anyone get sick or even claim to get sick from popcorn that a church gives to them!!!) Also, I agree that people will usually go to a church based on what they know about it such as age range, ethnic group, beliefs — so some info on this would be helpful.

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  • Mark Howell
    September 14, 2005

    If the site’s cool…and running…and they’re targeting that particular group, even a simple gift like a starbucks card with $10 on it could be good.
    But the site does have to be up…

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  • Doug
    September 14, 2005

    It would intrigue me about their church.
    But they have got to get the website fixed. That is a deal breaker to advertise a site the isn’t availible.
    Also, it would be better to include a five dollar gift card to blockbuster or local video store with the popcorn…still cheap but more practical that just popcorn.

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  • Michael
    September 14, 2005

    So everyone’s covered the fact that your website is suspended…it happens, but that should be top priority tomorrow. ESPECIALLY with a name like NSFonline (non sufficient funds online?)
    That said, I like the concept, but visually this isn’t working. Come up with 1 give away and tie the packaging and message to the gift. IE. Popcorn….We’d love it if you POPPED in for a visit. You get the idea…and then visually sell it. Right now there is a lot of copy and very little that is visually interesting. I’m assuming you don’t have one, but I’d also work on an identity. Right now your ‘logo’ doesn’t say anything…
    Sorry, I’m being all negative. I like the idea of reaching out to your neighbors….

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  • Michael Rew
    September 14, 2005

    “A complimentary bag of popcorn? I just had to pop in!” Ba, boom, ching! :-) If you could justify the time and expense, offer a bag of hard candies or some other treats bought from local stores, preferably mom-and-pop, perhaps with a list in the bag explaining where you got each. I think that would be neater than popcorn.

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  • kevin
    September 15, 2005

    Sheesh, did you all choke on popcorn as children or something? What’s wrong with popcorn?
    I think individuallay wrapped packages of popcorn are perfectly tamper-proof and a fine welcome to the neighborhood gift. Sure, if you’ve got $20 to spend on each family that’s great, but that adds up awfully fast.
    I like the design and I like that it ties in with your street signs. But I would add more about your church. You don’t really say anything about what your church is like or what you offer. You offer to do anything for them, though I can’t imagine many people would feel comfortable enough to take you up on that offer. It’d be awesome if you had something like a movie night you could invite people to (ties in with the popcorn) to check out your church. It might make the offer more appealing to families that don’t usually look for a church right away or at all.

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  • Steve
    September 15, 2005

    One beef I had with it… it never mentions it’s a church. That may be intentional, but to those whom church is foreign, how will they understand “New Song Fellowship”? What does it offer, and why should I go there?
    I liked the note about not hesitating to call, but I’d like it better if the phone number was near that phrase.
    I like the idea about doing stuff for the neighborhood. I’m not sure about popcorn. I like the gift card idea, although that’s more expensive I’m sure.

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  • Steve Strunk
    September 15, 2005

    My first post…what a great blog.
    What about the actual wording? It’s stiff & sterile. How about making it more conversational (we’re vs. we are; you’re vs. you are; there’s vs. there is).
    And popcorn is going to make me “feel right at home”? I love popcorn, but it doesn’t make me feel right at home. Change the wording if popcorn’s the gift, but nothing as cheesy as “Popped in for a visit” (sorry Doug). The gift should be something that reflects the local community…like a gift certificate to the best family-oriented, non-chain, local restaurant in town. The church could probably get them for free, too.
    Lastly, I’ve always hated the phrase, “Don’t hesitate to call.” Does anyone ever hover over the phone, hesitating to call? How about just, “Give us a call.”?

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  • Lewis
    September 18, 2005

    A little more clarity on the tag identifying that:
    a) this is a church (rather than using Christian-speak’ fellowship’)
    b) reducing the wordiness – something along the lines of “Welcome to the neighborhood! Compliments of…”
    The curious can pursue further info.

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  • Larry
    September 20, 2005

    The web site address of may have a second meaning. In banking, nsf stands for an account with “non sufficient funds”!

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  • Josh
    September 20, 2005

    I came to visit a church one time and in my hotel room they had prepared a gift basket with some popcorn, snacks, water, and some soda. I loved it! It made me feel instantly comfortable.
    I think your idea is good… it just hasn’t quite reached “great” yet. I understand that cost is an issue, it always is. Try to put some more stuff in with your package… make them really appreciate what your church did for them.
    As far as the design goes… If it were me, I would just go with a postcard size “Welcome Home” piece. But since we’re talking about THIS piece… Put the phone number in a different location, it sorta gets lost over there. The fact that you need to have your website up and running has been beaten into the ground, so I won’t go there. I don’t really think that the “non sufficient funds” thing is anything to worry about. Everything seems real cramped… it may need some breathing room.

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  • cathy
    November 29, 2005

    although tags may be a clever way of advertising your Church, it should be the love of the people there that bring the people in and the presence of God and the love of Christ that keeps people in church. Personally, I dont believe in or like using “gimmicks” to “entice” people to attend any church.

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Peer Review