What to Expect from Your First Month Running Church Ads
March 14, 2024

There’s nothing more exciting (and scary) than running ads for the first time for your church. A new world of possibilities has opened up. Now that you’re paying for impressions, you can target exactly who you want, and you know they’ll see it.

But even paying for impressions has many unknowns. What if my ad gets no clicks? What if it gets clicks, but church attendance doesn’t increase? What if we get nasty comments on a social ad?

Don’t panic! Vers Creative has run hundreds of ads and has encountered nearly every scenario one can imagine. This guide will help you understand analytics, reporting, and results so you can explain to your bosses or elders how the church’s money is being used online.

Analytics: Understanding Clicks, CTR, CPC, Frequency, and Conversions

Once you hit “publish ad” and Google or Facebook approves your content, you’ll see a ton of different statistics flood in on the platform’s dashboards. Luckily, you can ignore most of these. The most important stats you’ll want to pay attention to each month are clicks, click-through rate, cost per click, frequency, and conversions.

Clicks: the number of times your ad has been clicked and a user has been redirected to your ad’s landing page. This number will vary depending on how much money you’re spending, how large your audience is, and how long you’ve been running the ad.

Click-through rate (CTR): the percentage of users who saw your ad and clicked it. It’s common to see this value hover around 2-4% for church ads. If there’s not a lot of competition for church ads in your area, you may see this number reach 10% or higher— especially on Google.

Cost per click (CPC): the amount of money you’re paying for one click on your ad. This is calculated by dividing the money you’ve spent by the number of clicks. While we want our CTR to be high, the CPC should ideally be low, under $3. If this number is over $3, you may want to stop running the ad to reconsider the content or target audience. However, sometimes the CPC is high because of competition for ad space, causing more expensive bids on ad space. This is not typically the case for churches (yet).

Frequency: the average amount of times a user has seen your ad. This number will tell you when it’s time to switch out your ad content. Healthy Church Growth renews ad content monthly to optimize results, so we rarely see frequencies over 5. If you’ve been running the same ad for months on end, you may see a high frequency, and your CTR and CPC may drop as people tune out the repeated content.

Conversions: the number of people who have come to your church from an ad. You won’t find this stat on a spreadsheet— you’ll see it in the auditorium! No matter how you track attendance each week, keep track of your numbers and compare week-over-week, month-over-month. No matter how good your ads are performing, if your attendance isn’t going up, there may be a deeper problem to address.

It can be time-consuming, but record all of these stats in a spreadsheet regularly (weekly, monthly). As you get to know your audience and get better at making ads, you should see the numbers improve or remain consistent. Above all, you should see your church attendance steadily increase!

Brookstone Church’s First Quarter Running Ads

Brookstone Church has been a staple of the Asheville community for years. They approached Vers last year while rebuilding attendance lost due to the pandemic.

Their first quarter running ads was a huge success:

Brookestone garnered a high CTR paired with an incredibly low CPC— only nine cents in one month. We were thrilled to see that their ads were double the industry average CTR on Google.Most importantly— results. They initially wanted to focus on their livestream numbers, but while they were increasing their online viewers, their in-person attendance was growing week over week.

Over the quarter, attendance increased modestly, as expected. Most churches don’t have swarms of new guests bursting down the doors right away, and that’s okay!

The goal of these ads isn’t to flood the church with newcomers that will bounce out after their first week. Instead, we hope to support healthy, steady growth that creates changed lives and dedicated volunteers. We work closely with each church team to ensure that new guests are seamlessly transitioned into the first-time guest ecosystem and plugged into their new community. So when you look at your own results, look for steady growth over time instead of a massive, singular boost.

A Better Way to Grow Your Church

Advertising has proven to be a cost-effective way to grow your church in 2021. By understanding the metrics, tracking your stats, and reviewing your strategy, you can run ads that will draw your neighbors into your church service.

But running ads can be a demanding process, and many have devoted entire careers to creating and optimizing ads. That’s where Vers Creative comes in.

If you don’t have the time or bandwidth to dive into the ads process, Vers offers an ads solution that provides end-to-end service, from Google My Business setup through ad strategy, creation, and review. Set up a meeting today to see how Vers Creative can get more butts in the seats of your church.

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