In Search of Meaning in Puyallup

Carrie WhiteEvangelism Practices

PUYALLUP, WASH. — Two days before the event, more than 600 people were pre-registered for the Voice of Prophecy’s In Search of Meaning: Archaeology & the Bible March 3 event in Puyallup. The only problem? The venue had just 300 seats available.

In an effort to accommodate the hundreds interested in attending, the Voice of Prophecy contacted each registrant and asked if they would be willing to switch to an added time slot. Most were happy to help make room for more visitors.

Then there were more.

On opening night, over 800 people came through the doors to hear archaeologist Tony Moore share his fascinating stories about how archeological history relates to the Bible today. It was a presentation that piqued interest and kept people coming back for more night after night.

The response was overwhelming. Both time slots for all five nights were completely booked.

“It was exciting to walk in the early the second night and see the continued excitement of a full atrium of guests,” said Heidi Baumgartner, Washington Conference Communication Director. “People showed up early, chatted with new friends while they waited, and had a general excitement about the ancient world lessons they were learning.”

How did The Voice of Prophecy reach out to the community?
The Voice of Prophecy asked SermonView to handle marketing for this series, which was a pre-event for Shawn Boonstra’s Revelation Speaks Peace evangelistic meetings one week later. For the archaeology event, our strategy included a viral quiz for social media paired with direct mail, road signs, and handouts for local church members.

After reviewing the data, here is what we learned:

1. Interactive content improves response rates. Social media is a powerful tool for reaching a community, but it requires intentional strategy to get maximum response. Our Facebook ad campaign reached 74,168 people within the Puyallup area, based on demographics of those we knew would be intrigued by this meeting format. We then ran a generic ad for the series and an ad focused solely on promoting an archaeology quiz we created. Our finding? The Quiz was the clear winner. It received a click-through rate that was 25% higher than the more generic ad. The quiz system also had a built-in sharing feature that multiplied the efforts of a paid ad. It allowed people to share their quiz results with their friends at no cost. But of course, promotion needs to be measured by attendance. The quiz had the lowest bounce rate on the registration page and led to a surprisingly high 2.2% conversion to registration.

2. Multiple efforts add up to big results. In addition to Facebook ads, several promotional materials were created to help spread the word about the event. First, a customized bifold brochure was mailed to those living in Puyallup and the surrounding area. The team at The Voice of Prophecy and SermonView worked closely together to create a brochure that was congruent and met all of our promotional best practices. Road signs with simple information and graphics were placed throughout the area to enhance awareness, and increase the effectiveness of the mailers and Facebook ads. Each participating church had invitation cards for members to pass out in their circles of influence.

God blessed these efforts, which helped make In Search of Meaning, a huge success. Our most important metric for marketing success is always a simple equation: Cost per Attendee. With In Search of Meaning we saw a number of less than $40 per attendee. This demonstrates that with a little bit of marketing strategy and a whole lot of prayer, God was glorified through an incredible night of fascinating archaeological presentations!

*Photos provided by Heidi Baumgartner, Washington Conference