When I started the Save Your Church Money Ministry 15+ years ago, one of my surprises was how many solicitations I received asking me to advertise with them (for a cost of course)! These were from a variety of web-based and print-based companies! I politely turned down each as I was committed to building the SYCM ministry through word-of-mouth and keeping our operational costs as close to $0.00 as possible!
Now 15 years later, there is still pressure on SYCM for advertising dollars! For national ministries like SYCM though, that pressure comes primarily from Internet Search Engine Entities. For those unaware of how the “game” is played, I thought an explanatory article would be enlightening! And I will build on that to also share how dollars can be saved by churches avoiding companies or entities who succumb to playing that “game” by using Church Chairs to explain how the “rules” of the game normally work!
Let’s begin with the premise that your church needs church chairs. For most, the first step taken is to pull up a browser and type “church chairs” in the search field. In a second or two, many pages with hundreds of search results are displayed. Feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the church chair results, you start on the first page of ten results and work your way down and maybe get through two pages before you have had enough!
Now, what you need must not forget though, the results you just looked at are almost exclusively the result of the church chair companies paying the search engine company, in other words “Paid Results”. The term “church chairs” is a term up for regular auction by each search engine company. Let’s say the high bidder wins the auction and is paying $5.78 per “click”. You search for “church chairs”, the top result appears on top of the first page, you “click” on that, and the search engine company just made $5.78. Then you click on the second return which we’ll say was going for $5.68 and the search engine company just made more dollars. And on down the list you click, and as you do so, the search engine company just keeps making more money.
What about the church chair company in this arrangement? Well, they keep paying out money because after all, if you want to sell church chairs, you must be FOUND first by a church shopping for church chairs. And as most retailers understand, if you are not on the first or second page of search engine results, you are NOT going to be found. So, the church chair company, repetitively pays the search engine companies, and thousands of “clicks” keep taking place. And the result is, the search engine makes money and the church chair company raises their prices to churches to pay for all those CLICKS!
Now, there is much more detail we could expound on regarding the above “game”. I think it most revealing though to simply share one personal experience. A search engine salesperson called me one day. We discussed the SYCM Ministry, including our focus and goals, and he then put together a proposal for me. In a nutshell, if I were to budget $60,000.00 for the coming year, he could virtually guarantee me that in every search on their platform for the term “church chairs”, SYCM would likely appear in the #1 spot! “Wouldn’t that be great?” he asked.
Here is the essence of my answer to him: “If I have to pay you $60,000.00 a year so churches will find our ministry, then I will not be able to save those churches money, which is our purpose as a ministry.” And I turned down their proposal!
Here are a few truths to remember:
- Games are played that cost your church dollars – AVOID them!
- Results are purchased and those costs are passed on to your church – REFUSE to waste money!
- Spread the word about the Save Your Church Money Ministry – WORD-OF-MOUTH costs less!
- Take the Save Your Church Money Challenge yourself – SAVE those dollars for other uses!
Please contact us to discuss all of your church’s furnishing needs.