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How to Use Your Church Data for Micro Targeting

All of this is possible IF we have good, clean data.

Micro Targeting Data Helps Churches:

  1. Make better decisions.
  2. Inspire better next steps.
  3. Offer programs or classes to support felt needs.
  4. Grow engagement.
  5. Communicate more clearly.

How To Become a Data-Driven Church

I assume you already have some data. You have data from children and student check-ins. You have data from group participation, volunteer teams, and giving. And you may have data from other sources.

The first step is to clean up the data. Most churches have a dirty database. It’s full of names, numbers, and emails since you planted the church! Regularly scrubbing your data is vital to using data well. Your first cleaning session is going to be taxing. Think of it like cleaning a teenager’s bedroom for the first time in a year (or a decade!). But once it’s cleaned, maintenance is much easier.

How to Clean Your Church Data

The simplest solution is to pick a date (I’d suggest one year) and move anyone who has not pinged your database since that time to “inactive.” You don’t necessarily have to delete them, but you need to remove them from showing as active. If they have yet to engage with you in any way in a year, they are not active!

Once you’ve cleaned your data for that first time, you now have a clear picture of your actual congregation. Now, you need to systematically commit to scrubbing your newly cleaned database, either monthly or quarterly, depending on how often you want to run reports or send segmented communications.

How to Use Your Church Data for Micro Targeting

Now that you have a clean database, we can do two specific and critical things to help us move people forward on their faith journey.

1. Inspiring Discipleship

When you know where people are, you can better inspire them to take their best next step. Just like a company knows what you like and uniquely feeds you recommendations, as a church, we can segment our communication and inspiration into categories of people. I say “categories” intentionally, as most churches don’t have the resources to fund a multi-member data analytics team! If you can track, encourage, and equip people at an individual level, go for it. If that’s daunting, use categories instead.