I was standing a the gas pump recently reading the signage around the station, when a sign I've probably read a hundred times before caught my eye: "Visit us online at bellstores.com". That may not be the exact wording, but it's pretty close.

I kinda like BellStores. Their stations are usually clean, brightly lit, well-stocked and competitively priced. But, at that moment I'm thinking, why on earth would I visit your website? What would be the point? You sell gas, snacks, and other miscellaneous. This is not really exciting, gotta-look-this-up-online type stuff. What could your website possibly offer that would make it worth visiting at a later time when I'm still lamenting the 45 bucks I just spent on gas?

This is not limited to gas stations, the same is true for the church. It's not enough to plaster your web address on every slide, letterhead or bulletin in your church, it needs to be attached to something useful, to have a context.

Invitations to visit your site should be accompanied by one of the many reasons (and there'd better be many reasons if you're taking the time to do all this marketing) someone would want make the effort. Why do I want to spend time on your site after I just spent an hour of my weekend in your pews?

The Bell Stores poster could have been more effective had it noted said "Work Here - bellstores.com" or "$ave Ca$h on Gas! - bellstores.com" ....both of these are actual items from their site. Likewise, promoting your church site might include, "Marriage Retreat, more details at holypotluck.org" or "Videocasts of this series online at holypotluck.org" and so forth.

People really do have better things to do than to go fishing on your website on the outside chance that there's some useful information. Do them a favor and and let them know why it's worth their time.