Overview: A significant marketing arm of Inspiration Cruises & Tours is geared toward pastors and ministry leaders. These are the personalities who ultimately will be leading the Christian cruises and tours that comprise the bulk of Inspiration’s business. Many pastors become repeat customers. Inspiration wanted a unique and memorable way to get in front of ministry leaders with whom they didn’t already have a relationship.
“Once the recipient opened the box, unwrapped the cube, and began fiddling with it, they encountered its secret message: A discounted trip for each pastor…”
Challenge: First impressions are vital in the world of marketing and advertising. This promotion was targeted toward pastors who most likely had never heard of Inspiration. Our goal was to introduce them to our company and show them that travel was an ideal way to deepen relationships within a church congregation.
How do you make a solid, positive first impression with someone who has never heard of your business and who has likely never considered the benefits of group Christian travel? A lack of familiarity is a substantial hurdle. That meant our first line of communication had to accomplish several things. It had to grab these pastors’ attention in a crowded marketplace of ideas and voices. It had to succinctly explain Inspiration’s work—who we are and what we do—for pastors who are already very protective of their time. And almost immediately, it had to create an environment of trust and comfort that would compel them to take the next step.
Solution: To begin with, we created something tangible for recipients to hold: a moveable photo cube featuring beautiful destinations Inspiration groups had successfully visited. The cube itself was interesting—people who hold it will typically begin playing with its configurations—but we needed to make sure it actually got into pastors’ hands. We didn’t want them to write it off as a useless tchotchke before giving it a chance.
So we packaged it as a special gift. We wrapped the cube in high-quality silver and blue paper then attached it to a matching silver envelope, which invited the reader to dream of getting away. We shipped the gift cube inside FedEx boxes, knowing these kinds of parcels have high open rates. Once the recipient opened the box, unwrapped the cube, and began fiddling with it, they encountered its secret message: A discounted trip for each pastor and a guest to experience for themselves exactly what Inspiration provides.
We created a special website to walk pastors through the process of contacting us, as well as to see the results similar leaders had experienced with their own travel groups.
Result: The resulting number of calls and web visits gave us a clear picture of the interest in the piece. These contacts led to relationships, and since this promotion, Inspiration has scheduled several events with brand-new pastors and ministry leaders. Not only did it lead to travel experiences, but also changed lives and renewed churches. Growing closer through travel events isn’t just an empty platitude, and we were thrilled to see this truth bear itself out in response.