How Snail Mail Propelled Our Attendance to a Record High

Is snail mail dead?

I thought so.

In Church Growth Flywheel, author Rich Birch makes a proclamation that sounds blasphemous in our modern-day digital landscape: one secret to your church’s growth may be… snail mail. Old-fashioned paper products in an envelope, delivered to a physical mailbox by real, live human hands.

As a millennial, I was appalled. Give me my digital communication or give me death.

Specifically, Birch recommends that you send a mass mailing to every local address in your database. In the envelope, include two components:

  1. A few invite cards to an upcoming event.
  2. A letter from the Lead Pastor urging the recipient to use these cards to invite their friends to the upcoming event.

My team knew from previous experience that Rich Birch was a genius. But this idea sounded crazy. Was this going to be his downfall?

We decided we had to try. YOLO.

In our case, we promoted more than just one event. We were promoting an annual Halloween event near the end of October, plus two guest speaker weekends in November. Each envelope contained a few invite cards for the Halloween event, and a few cards promoting the guest speaker weekends. This is the letter our Lead Pastor wrote.

In mid-October, we sent the mailing to the approximately 1500 local mailing addresses in our database.

Then we waited.

At our Halloween event a couple weeks later, the turnout was more than FOUR TIMES the previous year. (Last year, around 150 people were there. This year, that number skyrocketed to over 900.)

On the first guest speaker weekend, for which we ran zero paid digital ads, we set the record for our largest-ever non-holiday attendance. (Our church is 8 years old. The attendance on that weekend was larger than any Easter or Christmas in our first four years!)

Is snail mail dead?

I don’t think so.