Making Money With Church Directories

by 22 comments
I have an idea and I checked if anyone had brought this up on the forums before and I did not see it. Throw your two cents in and help me smooth the edges off this.

I will contact large (500-1000 members) churches and tell them I will give them around 1,000 free church directories that have all the members numbers and addresses.

I make it clear that advertising will pay for the directories and I ask for a list of 50-75 businesses that the the church does business with already or that members are owners/employees of.

I then sell advertising to those businesses that will be placed inside the directory.

I have not hammered out the numbers but im sure that I would make a decent profit. Also, if I worked it correctly, I could get a good listing of addresses for future advertising.

These are my numbers so far, let me know if I am reaching too far for this.
I would have 25 targeted advertising spots to fill out of the 75 businesses.

I would charge 399.00 for a spot. If they all filled it would be $9,975. If I could get the thousand directories printed at $4 each I could pay for them and still make a $5,900 profit.

This is only a theory at the moment because I just started working it out recently so be gentle on the new guy, and thanks in advance.
#offline marketing #church #directories #making #money
  • Profile picture of the author ace666
    Sounds like a good idea, but in the digital age we are now moving into the first thing I would want to know is will they use this? I've unlisted myself from the yellow pages because everything I want I can access via the net.

    That would be my only concern, great idea though, you can always call a few churches to see if the idea is something they would be interested in.
  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    I wouldn't do this. Doesn't mean you can't be successful with it but I don't see the value in this? I dunno.. it could work.

    I'm kind of hesitant even marketing to churches.
  • Profile picture of the author Aussieguy
    I don't like the idea. Printing is dead cheap these days, and most churches 500+ have the budget to print their own (if they even do that these days). Plus, the idea seems more about you than them (sorry if that sounds too harsh).

    If it's about making connections, why not offer to look at their website gratis? Perhaps be upfront and ask that they would either give your business a free plug when they "show the new website" (most probably on the big screen).

    Set up a private members log in and put in an online directory there.

    SMS is actually a real possibility if they're not already doing it. My church occasionally sends out a text to remind of an upcoming event. Not often, but sometimes. I think that probably some churches wouldn't even know what's available to them cheaply. Why not go set them up (at their expense - your sacrifice is your time). One again, in return perhaps ask that they would allow your business flyer in the foyer or somesuch.
  • Profile picture of the author Pawpoint
    I hear THUNDER!!!!
  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    I work at a church part-time. One thing to remember is that a lot of photography companies have been doing this for years. They offer picture directories to church for free. They make money by then trying to sell copies of the photos to church members.

    In other words, there's no cost to the church or to the members to have a full color photo of their family placed in the directory and each member gets a directory for free. The companies only make money if a family decides to order copies of their photo. It will be hard to compete against the well established companies such as Olan Mills and Lifetouch.

  • Profile picture of the author StephanieMojica
    You'll really have to sell yourself as honorable, because some people would try to lift those addresses. Are you connected to any local church in any way? If so, start in your own congregation, build some trust, and go from there.

    Good luck!

  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Using it as fundraiser for youth or mission projects could really help you sell the idea. Target youth ministers when you address letters or make the calls or they will never see the material you mail to the church.

    Stephanie is right...if you could do this for your own church it will make it much easier to prove your reliability to other churches.

    Marketing to churches is like marketing to any other non-profit organization. We pay for services every day from carpet cleaners to webmasters. We never expect them to offer their services for free. But then I'm in the Bible belt as you are so many churches have over 1,000 plus members. It would probably be different in a small community with a church of 75.

  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy James
    Rose, what part of North Florida are you in? I am in Southeast Alabama.
  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    I'm on Amelia Island...30 miles north of Jax.

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