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Churches: How to Streamline Your Visitor Follow-up

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I attend a small church in south east Indiana.  Like most churches, people visit and we may or may not see them again.  If they fill out a visitor card, the church secretary sends out a letter and may even call them just to make contact and do some followup with them.  It's important and absolutely should be done.  But could we do more?

 

Why - yes we can!

Marketing automation (yes - I know churches don't "market"... I've been in churches all my life) tools can be used by even the smallest church to reach out to a visitor!  This is one of the reasons I'm so excited about open source!  The barrier to entry here is incredibly low.

In this article, I want to outline how we do it, and encourage small and large churches alike to really think this through.

  1. Every church I've ever been in has a welcome center.  It's usually staffed by people who are on the lookout for people they don't recognize - ie. guests.  Make sure these people have a card handy that guests/visitors can fill out AND make sure it asks for an email address!  This is so important.  Even if they are visiting from out of state and you may never see them again, this is a touchpoint that shouldn't be ignored.
  2. After each Sunday, enter their information into the automation system.
  3. You're done.  They'll get all the followup emails at the pre-determined schedule.
It's so easy to reach out with a short series of informative emails... I can't believe every church isn't doing it.

Our church sends out a series of four emails over two weeks.

  1.  A generic "thank you" email.  It outlines our vision statement, talks a little about our church and let's them know we'll be sending them a few more informative emails about the church.  It contains all the service times, contact information, main website links and most importantly, a link to the subscription preference page (required by law).
    sample email
  2. A short article on how we "do" worship.  Since they've already experienced a worship service, this email is designed to help them see why we do it the way we do it and offer some thoughts on personal worship.
  3. Ministry Overview.  In this email, we share our main ministries and give some background on each.
  4. Final note from the Pastor.  This is just a summary email with a stronger invitation (call to action) to come back and visit when they can.

Each email is personalized with their name and sections of each email are customized based on the information they provided on the card (if they have children, or if they live out of state etc.)

The marketing automation system we use and implement for churches does all of that out of the box.  It's affordable and easy to use.  If your church is interested in something like this - talk to us!

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