Always ask WIFM?

When discerning the future of your church, many people would suggest asking yourself “What Would Jesus Do?”, or WWJD? When designing your webs site, you need to consider it from your user’s perspective. One question they are undoubtedly asking is WIFM?, or “What’s In It For Me?” Your website should always be communicating the value that your church and a Christ-centered life can provide them.

When you create your content strategy document, you should be able to connect each piece of content to a goal. Inevitably one of your goals will be spreading the Gospel and increasing the size of your church. Many pastors would love to have a problem of running out of seats. So when you finish a piece of content, step back and ask “so what?” If you cannot easily answer this, you need to modify your trajectory. As an example, I will use a Sunday School program description:

“This Church has a great Sunday school program! Classes are held in individual rooms in our basement during our regular Sunday service. We have great teachers that have full background checks. Check out these photos to see exactly what we are talking about!”

Sounds good right? Wrong! When you ask “so what?” you’re left with no obvious benefits. There are a few facts and a lot of fluff. Let us try changing it around just a bit:

“Check out our Sunday school program and see how we are cultivating our church’s future leaders! Your children will learn valuable Biblical lessons that they can apply to their life today. All of our staff has full background checks, so your children will learn in a fun, safe environment. Our classes are conveniently held during regular Sunday worship, so you can focus on your spiritual journey while your child starts theirs. For more information on enrolling your child, stop in our offices in the church basement.”

OK, so I know this second bit is longer, and I am obviously no marketing genius; but it addresses some key areas in a manner that more people can understand. The benefits of the Sunday school program are made more apparent and you can ask “what’s in it for me?” and derive an answer. Basically, do not leave anything up to chance. Do not imply a benefit, make it obvious.

Action Item: Review each page and section of your site and after reading the text; ask that key question of WIFM. Then sit down with your team, pray for guidance, and move forward with some updates that further describe the benefits of a life lived in relationship with Christ through your church.

Author: Stephen Morrissey

I have been making websites since 1996, and using social media since 2006. My current profession is designing user experiences for corporate software, websites, and mobile applications. I started sharing my knowledge with the world in 2011, about a year after a revival in my faith.

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