We’re starting to work again on my church’s Church Leaders Conference, which means (among lots else) thinking about advertising. And one element I always try to encourage is raising awareness among those who have already proven to be learners. In our case, those who have already shown an interest are (obviously) some of the most likely to be interested in this chance, too.

This particular type of high-“return on investment” advertising makes a lot of sense. But it’s also surprisingly easy to miss. It seems like most of us are far more likely to think about reach – how many people we can get the word out to – than we are to think about likelihood of response. Both types of advertising are important, but the latter is more efficient. So we certainly don’t want to leave that out.

Where are such people to be found in college ministry? Where is the pump already primed in such a way that students are more likely to check out your collegiate work?

As I sat down to think about some answers, I found myself gravitating toward the students who are already believers, students who come out of another ministry (like a youth group), and/or students who have already begun to pursue spiritual things on campus (like finding a church). If there are ways to identify those students, it would be highly useful – to you and to those students – to hear about what you’re doing.

But are there opportunities beyond that? Maybe it’s worth looking for students who are particularly looking to get involved (which is why organization fairs and ministry fairs are so important). You might also find interested parties in the rolls of transfer students. Otherwise, they may come in other niches you know about on your campus.

Beyond that, you might need to think deeply about your own campus, because much of this would be contextual. Your schedule might affect things, for instance – what if you purposely advertised right where a class lets out on the night of your ministry’s Large Group Meeting? Lots of clever little ideas might come to mind if you thought creatively here.