There was something wrong with our process for connecting First Time Visitors.
I just didn’t know what it was.
So I began telling my team about my concerns.
“We are attracting over 2,000 first time visitors a year. That’s awesome, but we are only connecting about 50 – that’s not good.”
We were horrible at connecting visitors. We started brainstorming.
Some team members shared their experiences at other churches. Others gave examples of their favorite restaurants.
It’s About The Guest
We found a common theme amongst our most memorable experiences.
Those experiences we were most fond of us was always about us. Restaurants, churches – tailored the experience to meet our needs. They thought about the guest first.
That’s what we were doing wrong – every gift we gave, every announcement we made it wasn’t about our first time visitors. We did a great job communicating how wonderful the Church was, not what the visitors needed.
5 Secrets To Connecting Guests
So we decided to make some changes – here are the 5 secrets we discovered:
Secret #1: Give gifts that matter to the guests.
We changed the kind of gifts we gave to first time visitors. We were giving devotionals, Sermons CD’s to people who were not even saved.
They were not going to read those devotions. They were not going to listen to a 45-minute sermon.
Instead, we started giving out mugs. Yep, nonspiritual mugs.
But the gift was attractive. It communicated value to our guest.
It said “this is for you”.
So we gave out coffee mugs during the cold weather and mason jars during the warm weather. And people loved the mugs.
Secret #2: Make it easy for Guests to get their gifts.
The next thing we did was change how we gave out the gifts.
We used to make our guests walk to a guest service area after the service. Our hallways were congested and most guests had children in our children’s areas.
Instead, we started giving the gifts out during our announcements. We made it convenient for guests.
All of sudden, the amount of connection cards we were receiving went up by like 20% – why? Well guests who were hesitant, saw the great gift and said I want it.
They would stand up and indicate that they were a guest. Bingo!!! Even some of our members were trying to get these gifts.
Secret #3: We added more Membership Opportunities.
Next we made our membership class available monthly. You did not have to wait 4 months to join our church. You could do it immediately.
Just by making it available monthly – more people began signing up. Membership was now a fabric of our church culture.
It used to be that a person would visit our church for about two to three years before becoming a member. Know they were joining within the first three months. Incredible!!!
Secret #4: Make Membership Convenient.
Then we decided to move our membership class to Sundays. Convenience is king.
- Parent’s did not need baby sitting because we provided childcare.
- We don’t have a parking lot – so people appreciated not having to move their car.
- People live busy lives – so you did not have to come out again during the week.
My favorite moment was when a mom who had a child with special needs tell me that she had been wanting to become a member of our church for about three years. But she could not get a sitter during the week.
Finally, she could become a member.
Secret #5: A strong Follow Up Plan.
Lastly, we implemented a 21-day follow up plan. Exclusively.
If you are a new guest these are the first set of emails you’ll receive. No other competing emails.
It’s amazing to see what some small adjustments can do.
By the way, if you’re really serious about attracting, connecting and growing more visitors, then join us on Wed. December 9th at 2pm EST (11am PST) or 9pm EST (6pm PST) for “How to get Visitors To Call Your Church Home”.
At this live Webinar Training I’ll be sharing with you the 6 Steps to Attracting, Connecting and Growing visitors.
- You’ll learn the 3 steps to becoming an attractive church.
- You’ll learn how to preach sermons that connect with the un-churched.
- You’ll learn the secret to an effective follow up sequence – you can implement in less than 30 days even if you don’t have any paid staff.
- And you’ll learn the 4 areas every visitor needs to develop in order to become a mature believer.
It’s going to be extremely actionable.
Praying you THRIVE.
Thrive Church Coaching