Affiliate marketing for churches – how to monetize partnerships

Church Marketing Sucks, the place to go to check into what’s happening [and not happening] in church marketing, comments on messaging to the pews in a post called, “Your church sponsored by Crest White Strips.”

Presenting statistics that support selective strategic partnerships, it’s an overall look into how businesses, political parties and ad agencies are promoting from or on the church platform. The post references an article by Knowledge @ Wharton called Product Placement in the Pews? Microtargeting Meets Megachurches.

Megachurches are onto something – raising money by promoting products. While it’s difficult for me to imagine my church setting up a Chrysler expo in our adjacent parking lot, I can see the benefits selective affiliate marketing brings churches.

As one top affiliate marketing expert once explained to me, “Affiliate marketing is not selling, it’s recommending products or services you believe in.” Often, I lead people to resources they wouldn’t have found without me. They’re free to delete my affiliate link [and commission] at the end of the URL and buy direct from the vendor, if they prefer.

We recommend that our business clients find a match with a non-profit whose mission matches theirs. Then we build communication tools for the business to share with the non-profit to help them co-promote an event or a campaign to maximize visability and fundraising potential.

As a marketer, I love the idea of connecting funds to missions. As a church member, I’m conscious of the competition for messages: mission, prayer, ministry, meeting, outreach giving, stewardship, service, youth, suppers, festivals, etc.

Here’s an affiliate marketing idea to test out . . .

Church members who own businesses can start their own version of affiliate marketing by rewarding referrals with a donation to their church and then expand the offer to other churches within the community.

And one more that takes only a click . . .

GoodSearch pays organizations for every search from their members. At a penny per search with 500 members searching 5 times per day, that’s $750 extra per month – certainly worth testing out. Who says donations can only come in through pledges and the offering plate?

Share your ideas on how churches can set up affiliate income streams . . .

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Contact Barbara about advertising, a creative project or a speaking opportunity.

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