Church Websites That Provide Resources And Create Leads | Jason Hamrock

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On the podcast Jason is interviewed by David Fletcher of and they talk about the plusses and minuses of a brochure website, with the goal of making your site into one that generates leads for reaching others

Podcast Transcription


websites_that_provide_resources_&_create_leads (720p).mp4
David Fletcher: [00:00:09] Good afternoon and welcome to broadcast number eight for the year, we’ll probably do about forty this year. Today we want to talk about websites that provide resources and create leads. My guest today, and I’ve been looking forward to this because this is a hot topic, is Jason Hamrock, the CEO of Missional Marketing. He leads their coaching team and has met with and consulted with hundreds of churches all across the country. He was a communications director for 11 years at Central Christian Church of Arizona, so he gets this church thing pretty well.

David Fletcher: [00:00:42] And Jason, I want to get started with my background. I just, took this picture in the Maldives when we were going to India and we celebrated our 40th on the way there. And this is what I think of a lot of websites, a very nice pretty picture, and sometimes we just kind of leave it at that. But it needs either a caption or as you’re going to tell us, it needs a call to action. So today we want to talk about websites that provide resources, but more than that, ones that generate leads. So let’s do this, from our live studio audience, send in via the Q&A or the chat menu. Are you happy with your website? Do it on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being oh gosh, really, and 10 being I’m ecstatic, this is the best thing in the world. And we can play some Jeopardy music in the background. (Hums Jeopardy theme). As you think about that question, do you find many people are happy with their websites?

Jason Hamrock: [00:01:44] No, they’re not. You know, I think they’re not…Well, first of all, it’s like saying, are you happy with your attendance at your church? Which, you should never, you could be happy, but you’re never satisfied. right? You always want to keep growing and reaching more people. We’re commissioned to do that, pretty sure that’s in the Bible. Our website’s kind of the same type of thing, I think a lot of people will say that they’re not very pleased with their website because it can always be better. They think the grass can be greener, and they’re right. But most people don’t really have the game plan or the roadmap on actually how to achieve that, they just recognize, yeah, it’s okay. Or we just redid our website, so I can take a breath for a minute, but I know I have to come back and revisit and rebuild again because that’s just the nature of a website. It’s a like a living growing thing, you’re never complete, never finished with it, and you should always strive to get better with it.

David Fletcher: [00:02:45] Well, let’s talk about that and unpack it a little. What what’s the language of most church websites?

Jason Hamrock: [00:02:52] Well, this is gonna sting a little bit, but whenever I look at most church websites, I just see a brochure about the church, with no real practical help. It’s mainly built for the 99, except for maybe the home page, which has a you’re invited type of thing. So in that sense, you are kind of helping people that might be looking for a church. But I typically explain it in this way, and I think I did this at my breakout session. I like to see your audience, and specifically, this is how your website should be built in three different rings.

David Fletcher: [00:03:02] Hold on, so that was the breakout session recently at the XP seminar you’re referring to?

Jason Hamrock: [00:03:34] Yes. Okay, three sections, three rings, there are three rings to your audience, and this is everybody, this is all people. Ring one are people who go to your church, so ring one. And, you know, we have everybody from our Christeasters, our Christmas and Easter people, they’re going to show up a little bit, too, you know, people that come faithfully every week. But that’s ring one, your people. Then there’s ring two, ring two are people who are in your area looking for a church, they may not know about you, but they’re searching for churches. They move to the area, you know, maybe they became Christians. Unfortunately, might have been a divorce situation, you know, so somebody’s got to go find a new church. But that’s ring two, and we typically build our home page and maybe a plan of visit page around ring two, and rightfully so. Well, then there’s ring three, and this is the largest ring out there, it’s people that are searching for help with a felt need issue, any kind of issue.

Jason Hamrock: [00:04:32] I just got off a call earlier with a church up in Scottsdale, and they really want to try and attack the porn issue in Scottsdale. Well, do you know how many church websites talk about porn? Zero in Scottsdale, none. And so if you think about all the different felt need issues from parenting, marriage, grief, just tons and tons of them, those people are looking in Google for help. Yet they’ll search for things, and no churches will show up. I’ll even take it a step further, people will search for like how to know if Jesus is real, or how to be a follower of Jesus, and they’ll Google that. And do you know how many churches show up? None, almost none. You have to get to a page, you know, way deep to even see a church show up.

David Fletcher: [00:05:24] And it’s like the seminary website, who has all of these faculty teaching all of these courses, and the website has no teaching content in it.

Jason Hamrock: [00:05:35] Exactly. So Google looks at that and says, well, you must not be an authority on that, but Rolling Stone magazine is because they’ve got a really good article, it’s not very accurate, of Jesus. And according to Google, they’re an authority on who Jesus is. Well, I would disagree with that. But the problem is we don’t…

David Fletcher: [00:05:54] Wait, that’s where I got ordained was from Rolling Stone magazine.

Jason Hamrock: [00:05:57] Yeah, yeah, yeah, well, sure.

David Fletcher: [00:06:01] Humor. Humor, Jason. So what you’re pointing to is that our language is really talking to insiders.

Jason Hamrock: [00:06:10] Very much so. You know, we want to think that we’re talking to outsiders, but it’s insider language and it certainly isn’t showing up in Google. You go to a children’s page, for example, and it’s a little bit about like what your kids can expect and we want to make sure your kids are safe. It’s a brochure, which there’s nothing wrong with that, but I think we’re missing the mark quite a bit when it comes to what we should be doing for our website.

David Fletcher: [00:06:37] Well, what would an engagement path look like? Kind of define that. And then, you know, if you were to say to a church, yeah, you want to go to the next level, what is an engagement path?

Jason Hamrock: [00:06:49] So it’s every single ministry because we build ministries to help people, and so we have different age groups of people we’re trying to help, and different circumstances, different felt needs. And so, for example, if I clicked on a church website, it went to like the, you know, the children’s page and specifically the nursery page, it’ll say something like, you know, we will watch your babies, or we have a safe place for your babies and a couple of pictures. Well, what about having some more engagement, maybe even a few articles around? I’m a new mom, now what? Right? Or how to establish, you know, a home that loves Jesus with my new child. This is off the top of my head. Why not have more information, and more articles for new parents on the children’s page? This makes sense, that could help somebody. It’s like being able to DIY your situation, right? So we just think you, you know, you come to church to learn everything. Well, why not go to them, and go to them with resources and articles that you could add onto every page of your website that would cause people to engage more with your website? So if I were on that page and learning about your nursery, I might see a few of those articles and go, that’s interesting, click. Now they’re reading about that article with more calls to action. And maybe they haven’t even visited your church yet, maybe they want to watch a story of a new mom who dropped off her young baby and what that experience was like. Maybe that could even be a video that you could have on that page, give somebody more comfort going, okay, I have a brand new child, I’m not sure about this church thing, I don’t even know if I want to bring my child. Well, if I saw other people that were having kind of my story in there, and find that they actually found that to be okay, that’s going to comfort me.

David Fletcher: [00:08:54] Well, let’s pause on that. Let’s think about the new mom, she’s checking out the children’s page. Why don’t churches have that kind of information that you’re talking about on the page?

Jason Hamrock: [00:09:05] I just don’t think we think about that. We don’t put ourselves in the situation of the person that we’re connecting with. And I’m not original on this at all, I actually took my cues from Home Depot. Home Depot did this exact same thing back in 2007, they recognized we don’t have any content, and we expect people to come to our big box store. And if you’re not a DIY’er you’re like, I’m not stepping foot in that place, I’ll get lost. Well, they put everything on their website about how to do things, and I’m not going to get deep into Home Depot, but I will tell you that over the course of about 6 or 7 years, their revenue shot up 700%, but only 5% of that was actually online. So what that says is, if you can help people and educate people and give them resources and build relationships while they’re on your website because that’s where they’re going to go before they ever come visit you, you have a much, much more likely chance that they’re going to feel more comfortable with actually showing up to your door. In fact, you’ll get way more traffic if you start that relationship online on your website.

David Fletcher: [00:10:17] That makes me think about if you have a children’s church. show me the content of what they do, happy kids singing who are going ecstatic. And then show me a little bit about the teacher telling a story, that would be very alluring to me as a granddad.

Jason Hamrock: [00:10:36] It breaks down those barriers. Right? Most people are de-churched or unchurched, especially this younger generation. So for them to go check out a church, yeah, they might come to watch you preach and go, is this guy normal or not? Right?

David Fletcher: [00:10:50] I’m not, so.

Jason Hamrock: [00:10:51] We know you’re not, but that’s okay.

David Fletcher: [00:10:52] I broke the rule right there.

Jason Hamrock: [00:10:53] But they’re looking at all aspects of your website. That’s why if you, you know, we do work with a lot of churches and we look at a lot of Google Analytics. And our first-time visitor traffic is always, always way higher than the returners. And so you can look to see where are these people going, these new visitors to your website, what pages are they going to? And you can look and see, well, are they actually engaging or they’re not? And that right there is the proof, I go they’re not because there’s nothing to engage on your website. You actually have to think through this. And I said this in the breakout session when I was there at the X Pastor conference. You know, pastors, you guys are amazing content creators, you do it every week. You generate so much great content, but we don’t leverage that content as much as we possibly could. And wouldn’t that be cool to be able to have a roadmap to leverage that content? I would think you would want to say yes to that.

David Fletcher: [00:11:51] Now, you mentioned Google Analytics and first-time visitors, and here’s a totally unfair question, but I ask unfair questions all the time. How long, just a rough estimate, 30 seconds, a minute, how long does the first-time visitor stay on the average, let’s say children’s page?

Jason Hamrock: [00:12:09] Oh, yeah, at the most 30 seconds, if not less. Yeah.

David Fletcher: [00:12:15] And then they bounce out of your site or go to another page.

Jason Hamrock: [00:12:18] Yeah, they might hop around, but you can see the engagement rate, and you can see time on the page, and it’s not very high. Yeah. When I see home pages average, if they average a minute and a half, that tells me that they’re actually engaging with you a little bit and they’re checking you out, maybe they even watched your video, welcome to our church, which would be awesome. But once you get to sub-pages, it tends to go down and, you know, it’s because there’s nothing there. And I always see a staff page pretty high up on the list and the top 4 or 5 pages, it’s the staff pages probably because your people are wanting to look for you.

David Fletcher: [00:12:55] If they have a staff page. You know, we go to staff pages all the time, you know, for people who are attending or to learn about people. I went to a church recently, there was no staff page. It’s just like, you know, kind of like to know who’s leading this thing.

Jason Hamrock: [00:13:10] Yeah. So I had an idea for a church not too long ago, and it just kind of came to my mind. I’m like, you know, and I should do this at Missional Marketing, so I need to practice what I’m preaching here, but nobody really cares about us. But people do care about you, so what if your staff page wasn’t just, you know, headshots? What if it was actually a video and, you know, you could be choosy on who you want on there? But I would much rather see the lead pastor and watch a video of him talking about who he is and what he’s about. And just him, and just you know, you have all these short videos, you know, one minute to minute tops, of just tell me a little bit more about you. Then I would feel more comfortable actually getting to know you, I might actually watch more of what you have to offer and maybe even attend. Right? But right now, the way it is, like you said, David, there’s either no staff page, or you might have the lead pastor, but it’s just some kind of maybe a bio of text and his picture. That doesn’t tell me who he is, and if I’m waiting to look for a pastor, I want to know more about him.

David Fletcher: [00:14:19] So for me, an XPastor, I could put a 32nd video talking about scuba diving and I’d be all duded up, you know, in my scuba diving outfit. And people couldn’t tell who it was, but they’d know if they really knew me at all, it’s like, oh, that is definitely David.

Jason Hamrock: [00:14:34] And they get to know you. Yeah, you get people to go, I kind of like this guy. Or maybe not, but I like this guy.

David Fletcher: [00:14:42] You know, I may try that this summer, I think that’d be a kick.

Jason Hamrock: [00:14:45] It would be.

David Fletcher: [00:14:46] I’ll send you a copy and you’ll say, David, that’s a great idea. I’ve heard this a thousand times from Tammy, that’s a really great idea, now trash it.

Jason Hamrock: [00:14:58] Well, give it a shot and see what happens.

David Fletcher: [00:15:00] Talk about pages, because a lot of churches have pages that explain the Gospel. What’s going on with pages like that?

Jason Hamrock: [00:15:10] Well, they might explain the Gospel. Almost every church has a What We Believe (page). And I get on to little tangents here, they’ll have their mission statement, their vision statement, you know what we believe, and all that’s pretty good if it’s deep. Never, ever put your mission statement on your home page because nobody cares except for you. Right? All I care about is who are you in terms of what you can offer me and my family. Obviously, I don’t want to join a cult, but, you know, so I get a flavor for that. But what do you have to offer me? Well, if you take that a little bit further, you know, I hardly ever, hardly ever see a page on a church website that says, get to know who Jesus is, and you click on that page and it actually explains the Gospel, you don’t find it.

Jason Hamrock: [00:16:06] And furthermore, I don’t see anything that says, would you like to give your life to Christ? You can do that right now. And then a form underneath that said, hey, did you say yes to Jesus? We’d love to celebrate with you, we have a free gift for you, and we want to send it to you. Just what’s your name, and your email, and your phone number? That kind of information, that’s called a lead gen. So somebody might have, in your local area, might have said yes to Jesus on your website. You kind of want to know who they are, right? And so sometimes I’ll see content, but it never leads to an action of now that you know this, here’s what to do next.

David Fletcher: [00:16:43] You know Jason, a friend of mine, he never had a website. And he met a woman, she was a Samaritan woman, and he met her right there at the well where she was, and he spoke her language. And he was pretty direct, too, there was nothing namby-pamby about this. And that’s kind of what you’re getting at, is, hey, where are the people in your community, and can you just talk to them?

Jason Hamrock: [00:17:10] Yeah, they’re online, and I think so often and maybe we’re a little scared about this, but we expect them to come to our church and then you’ll hear about and learn about Jesus. Well, why can’t we meet them where they are? Because where they are, I mean, that’s what God can work with, right? It’s not like get your act together, and then come to church. And I think sometimes people think that. Well, why not go to them with this content, and if you structure it in a proper way, it will actually lead to you getting people to say yes to Jesus. I mean, how cool was that?

David Fletcher: [00:17:47] Now, you mentioned Google earlier. Talk with us about Google searches for a little bit.

Jason Hamrock: [00:17:54] Oh, there are tons of them. We’ve done, a number of years ago, I think this might have been before COVID, we did a kind of a nationwide deep dive search into felt need issues. We tried to come up with every possible felt-need topic, and there were about 5000. We narrowed it down to around a thousand different kinds of keywords of what people are struggling with, that the Bible would speak into, right? You know, we’re talking about those kinds of felt needs, something that the Bible would speak into, and there are about a thousand of them. And so you can, this is so cool, you can literally go to any kind of community and build a radius around your church if you want, 50 miles or 30 miles, and Google will tell you how often people are searching for the keywords that you might be interested in, which we have that. And it’s fascinating to see the results on that. And so these people that are Googling things around faith or family or marriage or addictions, grief, you know, all that kind of stuff, that you can get in front of them. And Google doesn’t make any secret about this, and we always talk about Google because they own 92% of the market share, even though Bing is trying to push, you know, it’s still like Google is the, you know, they own it, so we always speak into what Google has to say. And so it’s kind of cool that we can actually find the relevant traffic that we’d be interested in and then build content around that, it’s a kind of a formula you can play out.

David Fletcher: [00:19:36] So do churches show up on search pages?

Jason Hamrock: [00:19:40] Churches will show up when you’re searching for a church because you are a church. And so if you Google like, churches near me, you know, you want to be showing in the Google local pack, the top three search results with a map, you know, and that’s really really important. If you scroll below that, the organic search results. You know if somebody’s looking for a church, Google’s smart enough to figure out this is what we’re going to show. Now, they’ll put in like Church Finder or some others like Yelp that’ll show up every now and then because Yelp is a huge search engine, you know, for reviews. And so that’ll show up, but usually, you see churches lined up there. But sometimes a church will call me up and say, why aren’t we on page one? I’m literally Googling that right in my office. That has a lot to do with your website, you have to optimize your website a little bit in order to prove to Google you are a church and you can show up on page one.

Jason Hamrock: [00:20:34] But I will break that down just a little bit, I don’t want to go too deep into this, but there is a difference between what we would call local SEO, Search Engine Optimization, versus on-page SEO, Local SEO…

David Fletcher: [00:20:50] What’s that, what’s that difference?

Jason Hamrock: [00:20:52] Okay, local SEO is when you are searching for something near you, theaters near me, parks near me, restaurants, and churches. And anytime you do that, you’re going to get what’s called the Google local pack. Right? So if I were to do that on my screen, I might have an ad at the very top, you can advertise in Google, but right below that, I’m going to have three search results and I’m going to have a map. If I click on one of those three search results or the map, I’m going to be taken over to Google Maps. Where then it immediately shows the business that you clicked on, it’s going to show their Google Business Profile. Every one of you who can hear my voice has a Google Business Profile. If you don’t, you need to call me because we need to figure that out for you. But you’ll have one, well, that’s Google looking at you as a brick-and-mortar location. They’re considering your physical address, and so you absolutely want to show up. And if you do this from your office at the church, you better be number one, but go a mile or two down the road and see what happens. Right, go do that, drive in your car, and then and then search like churches near me, you might get something different. That’s local SEO, and we teach a lot of that on how to actually make sure you show up because it’s important that people, you know, click on your Google Business Profile because they can look at photos, watch videos, and they can read reviews about your church. Right? That’s so good, and important to make sure you’re working on it.

Jason Hamrock: [00:22:26] On the other side of that, if I were to keep scrolling past that Google local pack, now I’m down to the organic search results, which is called on-page SEO. The reason Yelp shows up is that they have really good rank authority, because they’re a big honking website, with a ton of content on there that Google can crawl right? They didn’t pay to be there, it’s organic traffic, so you have to optimize your website. That’s why I’m always talking about adding content to your website so that Google looks at you as a little bit relevant. Like they’ll call you and say, oh, you’ve got content on how to have a great marriage, right? You have a chance to show up locally in an organic search result if you optimize your website properly, most churches don’t do this. So they just kind of expect, why don’t you come to our church, then you can learn more about it.

David Fletcher: [00:23:20] What are a couple of tips you would give a church that they have a marriage ministry and they want some sort of engagement with someone who’s looking at the page instead of the person just reading about it? What can they do?

Jason Hamrock: [00:23:35] There’s tons you can do. I mentioned earlier, I would break it up so every page has its own focus. So you don’t want to have a marriage page that also has premarital, building a stronger marriage, or we’re about to, you know, end our marriage, right? Break those up into individual pages. Premarital is like, you know, premarital marriage counseling kind of things, so you want to optimize that page for that audience only. And then you want to have a how to build a stronger marriage page. And then maybe we need to recover. And of course, then you talk about divorce, there’s a divorce, like recovering from your divorce. Those are all individual pages, never put those on one page. But on each one of those pages, you can have really good content that informs people.

Jason Hamrock: [00:24:23] And this is my favorite thing to do is, why not put a resource guide in there? We just did this for a really large church in Dallas recently, we put together, this pastor hired us to take 50 sermons and create really great blog posts from each sermon. We put those on a page, but we went a little bit deeper with it, and we actually took the majority of the content and created an eBook. And so it was great content when you read it, it was sort of a teaser with some really good nuggets. But if you wanted to go deeper, you could download the ebook for your name and an email address, a free ebook for your name and your email. So what you just did was you just created a lead. You have a lead generator, right? You want to offer this as free, but in exchange for a name and an email and people will give that to you if that is their felt need and they are struggling and they’re at the bottom and they need help, they’ll do just about anything, right? They’ll download that and say, here’s my name and email. Now you have somebody you can follow up with.

David Fletcher: [00:25:26] So let’s talk about you get this lead. Let’s say we have 100 leads off of the marriage book, wonderful series, people were engaging with the message. And you know, they even rated it like, man, this was a five, I’ve never been to your church great stuff. Should that lead go into your church database, or would you keep that separate over here among people who are interested but not yet attenders?

Jason Hamrock: [00:25:51] Correct, I would not put it in your church, well, don’t put it in your church’s weekly newsletter, do not start sending them that.

David Fletcher: [00:26:00] Because?

Jason Hamrock: [00:26:02] Well, they didn’t ask for that, and they don’t go to your church. They are like why are you sending this. They’re going to unsubscribe, I probably would. But if I did get some emails from you that was really relevant to, hey, thanks for downloading this book, we have more resources for you, or we’d love to pray for you. You know, you can have a, what we call in the industry, a drip email campaign. That’s just one of those things where you do it for, you know, maybe 8 to 10 weeks after they downloaded something. You can automate this, by the way, MailChimp, it is easy to automate it, it’s easy to build it and automate it. And then afterwards, maybe you don’t email them until you have some kind of a big, like, we’re going to have a huge family picnic, right? Or something like, we want to invite you to our harvest festival, things that you can invite people to. I mean just doing that, you build relationships with people. It goes back to Home Depot, Home Depot was thinking they were going to drive their online revenue through the roof, but they didn’t, 95% of their revenue growth came from people coming into the store. So why not play that one?

David Fletcher: [00:27:08] You know, Jason, I’m always surprised how people who are not of faith enjoy being prayed for. You know, I can be intimidating when I’m, you know, talking with a vendor. I remember many of these, you know, I’m tall, I’m well educated, I got this exalted title of Executive Pastor. They have no clue what it means, but, you know, they know it’s the corner office or whatever, all the accouterments that go with it. And I typically would end a conversation with an insurance guy or gal and say, can I pray for you? And I always expected, this is like me at the worst, right, I always expected them to say, well, okay, but bye. Or no thanks, but…And it’s, to my amazement, almost [inaudible] person, they were deeply and honestly grateful. Many of them had never prayed with a Christian or with a pastor before. And. I remember one guy, and he was in tears, I didn’t pray anything special. I was just asking God to bless him and his work, you know, the integrity of working with his hands and just the good work that he had done for us.

Jason Hamrock: [00:28:25] It’s especially, when you say, is there anything I can pray for? You know, and they’re like, yeah, we’re actually like… You never know what’s going on in their life, that you just connected with them. So these leads that come in and you’re like, can we pray for you? I mean, that builds pretty good relationships.

David Fletcher: [00:28:44] You know the unbeliever in me says, oh, no one’s going to ever click on that. But I know from experience people are going to click on it with real needs.

Jason Hamrock: [00:28:54] It’s really cool because we do this for a lot of churches, but we’ll help churches generate these leads. And we’ll get people that say, here’s my full name, here’s my email, and you know, it’s not fake, right, it’s a Gmail account. Here’s my cell phone, and I just took a marriage assessment, I kind of want some help. I am going, hello, this is somebody in your local area who is wanting some help. Call them, right, you can do ministry now. And even if you leave a message, you just leave them, hey, this is Pastor David. Thanks for filling this out, we just want to let you know we’re praying for you, and if you ever have any questions, we’re here for you. Have a great day.

David Fletcher: [00:29:34] Well, I was just online earlier today with Chris Nelson from Glue. And, you know, he always reminds me Barna has these great assessments for free, and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel of trying to come up with the perfect marriage or financial assessment or life assessment. Just, hey, take this and we’ll talk with you.

Jason Hamrock: [00:29:55] Isn’t that cool? And people are doing it, we’ve been doing this and we get, I don’t even know the count, it’s tons and tons of, on behalf of churches, forms filled out. It happens all the time. So we know this works, you’ve just gotta do it, you’ve got to add it to your website and think through that. And it should never turn off, you should always be adding more and more content. That sounds like, oh, great, Jason, one more thing. Yeah, but this is different, and this is different because we are now going to go take ground, we’re going to go after people. We’re not just going to, you know, have them have to come to us first. To me, that’s a huge difference.

David Fletcher: [00:30:39] Well, let me pause. If anyone has any questions for Jason on this, drop it in the Q&A tab, I’d be happy to ask him. So in your estimation, kind of the pushback is this is going to require work out of us to set up is that it?

Jason Hamrock: [00:30:58] That’s a little bit of pushback that we get. And, you know, like you said, Barna’s got resources, we offer a ton of different resources. There are resources out there for you to utilize, and a lot of companies will let you plagiarize, right? So they’ll say, yeah, go ahead and grab our content and feel free to put it on your website. Just, you know, just add them as a source, and away you go. You don’t have to overthink this.

David Fletcher: [00:31:25] What kind of resources do you offer, I’m not aware of?

Jason Hamrock: [00:31:28] So. a couple of years ago, I knew we needed to do this and I just was so, in a very calm way, frustrated with churches for a lack of content. So had my team we built, we’ve got close to 175 different landing pages on different content that we offer. Everything from, really the five ones that I really look at, marriage, parenting, some type of addiction, finances, and of course, faith. You know, faith is a big one. Like who is God? Is Jesus real, you know, did he perform all these miracles? All these different felt need content landing pages that we offer to churches. And nobody knows who Missonal Marketing is, nobody cares about us, we put those in a subdomain for a church and put their logo and their colors, and their call to actions so that they instantly have content ready and almost all of them have some kind of a lead generator. And so you launch this, you’ve got leads coming in, and we can do this or you can do this. We’ve got a form, we call our form and follow up, so when somebody fills out this form, they’re instantly going to get a handful of emails over about ten days from you just telling them, thanks for downloading this, we’re praying for you. Here are some more resources. Yeah, it’s really cool.

David Fletcher: [00:32:54] So if we do a call to action on a page, what’s the percentage of response out of 100 people who are going to go and visit that page? Is there a given amount? Is it, you know, like in sales, it’s like if you get 1 or 2 sales out of 100 calls, you’re doing pretty well. Well, we’re not talking about sales here, we’re talking about people looking at a page, are there any norms out there?

Jason Hamrock: [00:33:16] Yes, there are. In fact, if you look at most Google trends on, you know, outside of the church world, if you got like a 2%, 3% like conversion rate, that’s really, really good. Out of that, though, we end up getting anywhere from like 10 to 15% engagement and conversions. And so we’ll get people that will click on an ad, and we’ll use the Google Ad Grant, it’s a great tool, why not use Google’s free money? And we’ll drive people to a landing page, and that’s really, really cool. But then the amount of people that will actually take a step deeper tends to be pretty high, it can be anywhere from like 5% up to 10 to 15%. So, you know, you’re talking out of 100 people, if you got 5 to 10 to 15 people to actually give you information, they took some kind of a quiz or an assessment or they downloaded something, that’s pretty good.

David Fletcher: [00:34:10] So if these folks are getting autogenerated emails over ten days or a month, do you recommend that they get a personal email later as well, or what?

Jason Hamrock: [00:34:21] Yeah, that’s kind of up to the church. Because those keep growing, and the list just keeps growing and growing, what we recommend is that you let the Drip email campaign play out, and then you get them into a maybe 3 to 4 times a year you might send them an email. Certainly around Easter and Christmas, that’s the obvious ones, right, we’re going to invite you to to both of those. But often churches have some kind of a big church-wide thing going on, a harvest festival or VBS. Oh, this is one of my favorite things to do is, I instruct churches, and I’m like, go ahead and email everybody who filled one of these things out. Go ahead and send them an email saying, if you do not have a church home, then this is free for you, whatever that might be. Financial Peace University, you know, you can do the Ramsey Solutions thing. Or it could be a VBS, if you have kids, it’s free for you. If you don’t have a church home, we’d love to invite you here, it’s on us kind of a thing. And so you could do those kinds of emails every now and then, the goal isn’t to send them an email every week, the goal is just to keep that relationship going and let the Holy Spirit step in and do what He does best.

David Fletcher: [00:35:30] What’s been your experience when a church does offer a free financial piece or a free VBS? Are many people taking the church up on that offer, or are they wary and holding back?

Jason Hamrock: [00:35:42] No, I know of one church that did it and they had 2 or 3 families that took them up on that offer. And I think the email went out to maybe 150 people, something like that. So, you know, it kind of depends. I’m also just a big fan of advertising for Financial Peace University, right? So if you offer a ten-week class on that at your church, and we’ll even watch your kids for free on Sunday at 9:00, you know? So you’re getting their kids checked into Sunday school, and now, parents are going through this class for ten weeks. I mean, come on, that’s fantastic, that’s a huge, awesome opportunity to grow your church and reach new people.

David Fletcher: [00:36:21] You know, one way to validate that would be to talk to people in your church who’ve been there a year or two and say, how did you come here? Well, I mean, I can just rehearse the stories in my head. Well, we started coming because you had a divorce recovery workshop, and I met my future spouse there. We hung around this place for a couple of years. Along the way, we got married, we became members, and now I’ve been serving here for, like, ten years.

Jason Hamrock: [00:36:53] Yeah. Those things are so, so powerful. And I think sometimes we put on these different ministry events thinking we’re just hitting the 99, I want to encourage you to think about the one out there because there is somebody dealing with what your congregation is going through. And if we thought of them first, we reached them first, we would absolutely blow up our church. I mean, just everything from divorce care, like you said, or celebrate recovery, or Ramsey, whatever kind of ministry you have going on, make sure it’s on your website and people can see the benefit of why they should sign up and come to this thing. But it’s such a huge outreach.

David Fletcher: [00:37:36] One of the things I probably wouldn’t have thought about for a church website would be putting each of those ministries, like, instead of having just one page for marriage, have them all subdivided, linked, and cross-linked. But that’s a brilliant idea, and that would increase their search engine optimization as well.

Jason Hamrock: [00:37:55] Absolutely. Oh yeah, SEO is huge for that, because you’re not confusing Google. You know, like most websites call it the care page. Okay, have a care page where you have all those on one page for your people. But if I click on that, I should go to an individual page that talks about pre-marital counseling and why get premarital counseling, what the Bible says about premarital counseling and how to have a great marriage after the wedding, and all that kind of stuff. It should just be on its own page. If you tried to lump all that on one big long, people are going to bounce, and you’re confusing Google. Because you only really want to have one topic for each page, you don’t want to combine them.

David Fletcher: [00:38:43] Let me run an idea by you, and this probably be the last thing we can talk about. Is I recommend to folks that they have a list in Excel or Numbers, of the pages that they should be updating probably weekly, and then have another sheet for monthly. Here’s kind of my thinking of it, Tammy and I looked at a restaurant’s web page, and we just wanted to find out is are they still open on Sunday or not. And what we learned is they’re closed for Christmas, 2022, closed for Christmas. It told me even though it’s great food, it told me no one is minding the store.

Jason Hamrock: [00:39:21] Nope.

David Fletcher: [00:39:22] How often should churches be updating their pages?

Jason Hamrock: [00:39:26] Well, let me ask you this. What would you have wanted to see on that restaurant’s website?

David Fletcher: [00:39:34] On the front page, at the top, will you please just give me your hours and an address that I can click on? And a link to the menu, and photos would be nice, but just that’s what I want. I remember you were closed during COVID, and I can’t remember, oh, you’re closed now, Sunday and Monday, but I don’t remember that very well.

Jason Hamrock: [00:39:58] Yeah, yeah, that information is really, really important. When I think about updating the website, yeah, events are important, but here’s where I think I would challenge churches. You got to think about the user who’s out there in the community, and for whatever reason, they stumbled upon your website. What you’d want to communicate to them, first of all, is that obviously they’re invited, God loves them. But I would go a little bit deeper, I use this example all the time. I live in Phoenix and I love to take my wife on different date nights, you know, and so a few times a year, I like to surprise her. And I do what you did, David, I will Google restaurants. And what am I looking for? First of all, I want to see pictures of the food, okay, I mean, does it even look good or not?

David Fletcher: [00:40:53] Give me your best shot, and if that doesn’t look very good, then, brother, we’re in trouble.

Jason Hamrock: [00:40:57] We’re out, I’m out. So I’m looking for food, I’m looking for reviews, right? Then I’m looking for, like, where are you located? I’ll check out the menu. Is the price going to be about right? That kind of stuff, right? The church is no different. And what is the church? People. So I’m amazed at how many churches do a great job of sharing a cool life story video on the weekends of a changed life, right, and rightfully so because God’s doing amazing things. But what do we do with that video? Nothing. Why not categorize that by going, oh, they talked about this over here in that 37 seconds, and over here they talked about this. You could put those snippets on those different landing pages of content so that as I’m reading about your marriage page, I see that you have people in your church that actually were about to get a divorce, but as God intervened, he restored that marriage, it happened right here. That’s hope for me, so why not do that?

David Fletcher: [00:41:56] Jason, we’re about out of time, so land the airplane. What’s kind of the, what’s the final word that you would like someone to take away from our time today?

Jason Hamrock: [00:42:05] Content is king, it’s not the King, we know who he is. But content is so important to your website, and not just content, and short-form video is so important to your website, and if you can create a lead generator, you can actually start using your content to actually get people to say yes and download your stuff. Now you got a name and an email, even a cell phone, and you can follow up with them to help grow your church. It’s how you can use your website to grow.

David Fletcher: [00:42:30] Nice. Jason, thank you so much for being my guest today. Great information, super practical.

Jason Hamrock: [00:42:36] My pleasure, thanks for having me.

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