Vectra Uses Pageflex Technology to Build Innovative Visitor Follow-Up Program for Breakthrough Ministries
Press release from the issuing company
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--May 1, 2006-- Pageflex, the leading provider of variable data and Web-to-print technology, and Marketing Services by Vectra, Inc. (www.msbv.com), a marketing services and full-service printing company, today announced the successful launch of an interactive marketing portal that enables ministers of the national Breakthrough Ministries to create customized marketing materials designed to grow their local parishes. Vectra developed the portal using Pageflex's award-winning technology that enables customers to easily customize marketing materials on demand.
The Breakthrough Ministries is a national Evangelical Pentecostal Ministry with 400 churches located around the country. To support their ministry, each church seeks to grow the number of people who are regular members and who contribute financially to the church. Traditionally, they have done this through their existing parishioners who invite friends and family to worship. But even though the church had many visitors, they were not seeing the growth in membership that they were looking for.
The national headquarters of the Breakthrough Ministries approached Vectra for assistance in helping their local parishes grow their membership numbers. Vectra designed an innovative and effective direct marketing program that provides the ministers with an easy way to follow-up and begin developing a caring relationship with each visitor. The program is called "Build the House," and it gives ministers the tools they need to create customized mailings to visitors of their church. These mailings enable ministers to create local church communications that reflect the philosophy and image of the central Breakthrough Ministries to help visitors feel a connection to the church that will encourage them to return for more services and ultimately become members.
The system Vectra designed for the Breakthrough Ministries utilizes Pageflex software to build an online portal that is accessible via the Internet by all the ministers of the church. Pageflex enables companies to easily define, auto-generate, and manage attractive Web-to-print sites for collateral management, document customization, and e-commerce. At the core of Pageflex software is a patented composition technology, which enables document templates to "flex," accommodating variable content within sophisticated, designer-specified guidelines.
The Breakthrough Ministries solution starts with each local church using traditional pew cards to capture the visitor's information. The card asks potential parishioners for their name and contact information. In addition, the card also asks the prospect if they have a certain area of concern for which the church can pray, i.e., their relationship, finances, or issues with their children. Each minister participating in the program collects these cards and inputs the data via the Internet into an online system developed by Vectra using Pageflex. The minister can upload his or her signature, photograph, or a photograph of the church for reuse with each mailing, and write a personal note to the visitor through the online interface. The minister does not need to know anything about marketing or publishing, and does not need to spend time writing and mailing individual cards, a task that traditionally can take ministers several hours each week.
The first mailing is sent out within a few days of when the person visited the church. This mailing is generated by Pageflex and includes a customized letter signed by the minister and any other custom content the minister provided online. The letter lets the visitor know that they are in the church's prayers. This mailing also includes a gift that is related to the area of concern they expressed on their pew card. For example, if the visitor asked for the church to pray for their marriage, they may receive a book on relationships.
The following week, the person who visited the church receives an additional card with their name printed on the front and signed by the minister that restates the church's support and prayers. This second round of mailings is generated offline by Pageflex software using the same data the local minister supplied earlier via the Internet. Vectra prints the mailings on-demand on an HP Indigo 3000.
"Breakthrough Ministries presented an interesting marketing challenge for us, says Howard Task, chief marketing officer at Vectra. "There were a lot of one-time visitors to the church and we saw that the real opportunity was in converting those visitors into regular church goers. To do that, these visitors needed to feel a connection with the church. Being able to touch them immediately with a personalized card from the minister and a gift that focused specifically on their area of concern has been immensely powerful. It established an important connection upon which the church can build."
More than 60 ministers have signed up to use the system, and about 30 percent of these use it every week. The cost for the ministers is $4.75 for a three-touch mailer. A two-touch mailer, which consists of only two postcards, is also available for $2.75. Ministers can pay for their mailings with a credit card. On average, a minister orders between 5 and 20 mailings a week.
"This is a wonderful example of a company that offers printing services also becoming a marketing partner with its customers," comments Anna Chagnon, Pageflex CEO. "Vectra listened to Breakthrough Ministries about the ongoing problem of converting visitors to members, and then strategized on how to apply marketing technologies in response. We are proud that Vectra selected our Pageflex applications to meet this challenge."
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