I recently got an invitation to attend a lunch with other like-minded leaders in Nashville. I was invited by the organizer of the event, because apparently “this is an event you’ll like.”

And I said, “I’ll be there.”

Was the exact same DM (that’s twitter shorthand for a message sent directly to you) sent to (probably) hundreds of other guys?  Yep.

Was it really just a way of getting a bunch of leaders in the same room to promote what they wanted to talk about?  Yeah. (I know, I know…you told us it wasn’t…but be honest)

If I’d gotten the exact same DM from the sponsoring company, would I have gone? Not a chance. *(this is an important marketing tip for churches and businesses.  If I receive an invitation from your corporate account, 99 times out of 100 I’ll ignore it.  Send it from  your personal account and it’ll get at least a second look)

But do you know why I went?

Because I got a personal invite from a real person.

I felt needed. I felt valued.  I felt that this event would be worth my time and effort to attend.

If the parent company had sent the DM, it would’ve felt pushy.  But coming from the person, it felt…personal.

The takeaway

Instead of sending out fliers for your next church event, encourage people to personally ask their friends.

Instead of buying a spot on a billboard to promote your event, encourage word-of-mouth.

Instead of blasting a mass email, encourage people to invite a few of their closest friends on Facebook.

“Personal” is a stronger, more meaningful “ask” than the mass appeal.

Question: Would you be more likely to attend an event if personally invited by someone you trust?