Temple Marketing Advice

In my “real” life, I provide marketing and strategic planning for
technology companies.  Here are some ideas and suggestions, based on my
professional experience, that I believe may also improve our ability to
market our temples.
You have to sell what the customer wants to buy

Many families thinking about joining a congregation are not focused on
lifelong Jewish education or finding a comfortable spiritual home.  They
are focused on car pools, how often they must schlep their children to
religious school, and the near term costs of joining a synagogue.  Stage 1
of your marketing efforts has to be: Get them to know you exist.  During
this stage, you need to sell to people on their ground, and not ask them to
move to your home turf.  After you get them in the door can you start to
sell the other values that you bring.  But your initial focus has to appeal
to people based on what they are looking to buy – not based on what you are
trying to sell.
Don’t sell to yourself (e.g. you are not the buyer)

This suggestion is almost identical to the first one.  Be careful about
advertising and publicizing your congregation based on what appeals to
you.  You are already a member.  If you are volunteering to help with
marketing, you are probably already a happy, engaged member.  You have
found the value of joining a jewish community, and you have probably
re-awakened certain charitable or spiritual feelings you may have forgotten
that you had.  But your potential buyers are probably not at the same
place.  Assuming most new members were previously unaffiliated, they
haven’t yet discovered the joys that comes from being part of your temple
family.  So if an advertisement touches your heart strings, it may very
well not mean much to the potential member.  You are not the target
Life is moving to the web – get on-board

These days, anyone searching to join a temple is almost certainly going to
their favorite search engine and typing something like “[your town] jewish
temple” or “[your county] synagogue judaism”.  You need to focus on
creating a web page that draws in these prospects, and results in a high
number of people taking the next step (which is usually requesting
membership information or asking to be called about membership).  I
strongly recommend the web site www.hubspot.com (and their great, free tool
www.websitegrader.com) to help you optimize the web experience that these
prospects encounter when they find you.  And if you haven’t done so
already, you should set up your page to use Google
a free service available from Google to help you analyze your web traffic.

If you have an advertising budget, you should spend your money on website
optimization, making sure that you have the best possible home page with a
clear call-to-action for prospective members.  Pretend your just moved in
to the area and found your web site via a Google search.  How many clicks
would it take to learn about the temple and obtain information about
applying for membership?  Is your current web site optimized for existing
members (e.g. multiple photos of the children leading services; lists of
upcoming committee meetings) or prospective new members?