Case Study Results: How does direct mail hold up against digital advertising?

Lori BallCase-studies, Evangelism Practices, Fall Evangelism, From the Field, Marketing Tools

Digital advertising including video advertising has a proven record of being more effective than just written word ads. Last year, online video made up 82% of all consumer traffic, a 15-fold increase in just 5 years.

At SermonView, when we see stats like the one above, it gets our wheels spinning.  We wondered, how video ads would do for evangelistic meetings and how would it all compare to direct mail.

We decided to put it to the test.

We worked with a church to test direct mail vs. digital advertising using Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for the same evangelistic event. We needed to know which method was going to be more effective at not just getting attention, but generating actual event pre-registrations.

The results speak for themselves. 

Before we could do a full comparison, we needed to define which types of video ads were more effective. On one hand, there are ads that look professional and show highly-edited, “movie-trailer style” videos, and there are ads that feel more natural, “selfie-style” videos with the pastor talking into their phone, sharing a personal invitation. We honestly had no idea which one would do better, but we were shocked that the answer was so clear.

Here’s what we found from the first test:

YouTube split testing ran 10-0 in favor of Selfie-Style videos.

We had a clear “winner” as far as the type of video that did best, but how would it compare to printed mailers? Now we were ready to run multiple forms of advertising. There was a 15,000-piece bi-fold mailing, and the rest of the budget was split between Facebook/Instagram and YouTube.

The results were as follows:


While mailings received the highest price-per-lead, there will always be a place for them in event marketing. (Multi-touch marketing is recommended for all campaigns.) This test showed that by utilizing a combination of digital marketing efforts across Facebook and YouTube, you’ll get a better cost-per-lead for your event marketing budget.

By adding YouTube ads to your marketing campaign you can now incorporate visuals, sounds, and even storytelling elements. This immersive experience not only leaves a lasting impression on your viewers, but also helps them establish trust and builds an emotional connection with your church.

Next-generation digital advertising to reach this generation.

At SermonView, we have helped churches with over 6,000 outreach events. We’ve sent over 30 million mailers into communities and reached over 8 million social media users. So we know how to help you plan an effective campaign.

Benefit from a proven multi-touch marketing approach with your event marketing plan that utilizes multiple forms of print, mail, and digital marketing resources to promote your next campaign.
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