People care WAY less about the details than we think...
Do you feel like your church or ministry is constantly giving people all the info they could ever ask for, yet no one is listening? It's like no matter how many posts, announcements, emails and banners you put out to your church, the same 20 people show up to everything, and the same 20 people come to you asking why they didn't know about the event in the first place.
Here's another scenario. You've spent hours and hours crafting theologically rich and compelling content for your website, and you get tons of visitors, but it's rare for one of them to show up on a Sunday morning.
The reason? People care WAY less than we think they do.
I'm not saying they don't care about finding a theologically sound church, or attending events outside of Sunday. People don't care about every little detail, and in an attempt to shove all of those details down their throats on a daily basis, we're actually causing them to tune us out altogether.
The Burden of Knowledge
This is what one of my favorite authors-turned-marketers, Donald Miller, refers to as the "burden of knowledge". (Side note: I find it interesting that someone who had the ability to draw others in with the realness of his life story has built a marketing empire based around simply telling your brand's story)
So what is this "burden of knowledge"? It's akin to spending hours watching the behind the scenes of Lord of the Rings, then trying not to tell everyone all the juicy details when you're actually sitting and watching the movie. Are the details interesting? Heck yeah! Can they add to the overall movie watching experience if you know about them? Absolutely! But if you're watching the movie for the first time and someone's constantly interrupting to tell you Viggo Mortensen actually yelled because he broke his toe when he kicked the helmet... You get the picture.
Details, Details, Details
Details can be helpful in the right context at the right time. But when you're trying to draw people in, they truly could care less about the details. People will decide to go to something based on whether it's compelling, connects with them, or even elicits an emotional response (yep, I mentioned emotions in an article about church attendance).
When deciding what to include in things like event announcements, social posts and the pages of our websites, we need to look at a few key questions:
Do people NEED to know this in order to show up?
Does this piece of information or statement draw people in?
Am I including this because others care or just because I care?
A great example would be specific session times for a conference. Is that information people need? Yes. But do they need it in order to decide to sign up and attend? No. So, instead of including it in your promotional pieces, just include the dates. You can give people session times in a registration email, or even in the event details on the registration page if it's necessary to know before actually registering.
Bottom line? When we feel overwhelmed, we tend to shut down or tune things out. The simpler the information and steps forward, the more likely we are to engage and take action. If your communications have been met with apathy or inaction, try simplifying and making a bigger impact with the things you do choose to communicate!
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