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How to Use Your Church Data for Micro Targeting

For example, consider how you can categorically communicate with your congregation about serving.

  • Option 1: Send an email to your entire church about serving, using the same language and call to action for everyone. Or,
  • Option 2: Segment your congregation using your data to be more targeted in your email campaign language and action step. HINT: This is MUCH better!

For Option 2, you may want to send a targeted email to:

  1. All parents who are not currently serving.
  2. People who are in community groups but not serving.
  3. People who give but do not serve.
  4. People who previously served.
  5. Everyone else not serving and not listed in the above segments.

* Segmentation requires you to purge each list as you go. We don’t want people getting multiple emails to serve. 

When you segment, you can customize your message. For “parents who are not serving,” you can talk specifically about the impact kid’s ministry has on the community, knowing they have experienced that in their child’s life. For “people who give but don’t serve,” you can speak to (and thank them for) their desire to invest in others through generosity before asking them to consider investing their time. For “people who previously served,” you can thank them for their contributions and announce some new, lower-commitment opportunities.

Segmenting your general population keeps you from sending general information. The more targeted your information is, the greater the inspiration will be.

If you’re thinking ahead, you’ve probably noted that this can be done for nearly every type of participation. You can segment your giving communications and group participation. The possibilities are endless if you have good data.

In my Funding Funnel that Funds Your Church Masterclasses and Course, we talk a lot about segmentation. I even provide a year-end segmentation approach with seven unique emails. If that’s helpful for you, check it out.

Let’s take it up a notch!

Not only can you segment your overall population, but with good data, you can also nurture connections and participation as new data emerges. For instance, when a person gives to your church for the first time, this data moment can trigger a thank you note or an email nurture sequence. Again, the possibilities are endless, but it begins with good data.

2. Monitor Progress

I know you have metrics or a dashboard at your church. Most churches do, and most of these dashboards tell us what happened through lag metrics.

How many people attendED, how much money was givEN, and how many people servED are all important, but they are historical, not predictive. These metrics let us know how we did but not how we are doing.

With good data, we can now begin analyzing percent change over time (Current month vs. the same month last year, This quarter vs. the same quarter last year, and Rolling 12-month averages vs. the previous year rolling 12). With good data, we can evaluate more than history; we can evaluate steps and trends.

Steps and trends are better indicators of movement. Since faith growth is about movement, these metrics are essential to our mission.

Let me show you how this can work. Let’s look at giving this time. With good data, we can now evaluate the following:

  • Percentage of our active database giving to our church.
  • Percentage of households not giving, giving regularly, or giving extravagantly. In my Funding Funnel system, we use five categories of givers. 
  • Total giving growth.
  • Average gift size.
  • First-, Second, and Fouth-time givers (for Thank You system triggers).
  • New Recurring Givers.
  • Recurring Givers dropping off.

Now, let’s not go crazy. The above might be a tad much. We only want to measure actionable data. Metrics that are interesting but not actionable are not helpful. But steps and trends are immensely valuable, especially compared to lag metrics.

How to Get Started

Just start. That’s my best recommendation. As I mentioned, cleaning your data is the first step to being a a micro targeting, data organization.

If you need help or want to consider how to best use your data, I offer coaching, masterclasses, and courses on church funding and models. I’d love to help you better understand what data is available and how you can use it to inspire discipleship. After all, that’s why your church exists.


This article on micro targeting originally appeared here, and is used by permission.