This is the third of five chapters in a 25 part blog series titled: The Five Elements of a Fully Implemented Connections Strategy, published over a five week period. Everything I have posted here is the result of my own personal experiences, from serving on church staffs, volunteering as a lay leader, and being brought in as a paid consultant. It is my hope that these posts will help you and your church get better at connecting with guests, not simply to increase your attendance and membership, but ultimately to grow the body of Christ. Implementing a Connections strategy (or “Assimilation” strategy) is a long term process, and one that relies on a culture of continual improvement. This chapter has five entries, which will all be linked below the post as they are published.
3.3 How To Follow Up: “We don’t know how to do this.” I’ve heard this from a lot of pastors lately related to guest follow-up. I have good news: this is the easy part. Once you’ve found out who your guests are, and distributed their contact info to the right department, contacting the guest is easy.
Use The Phone. The first, best way to greet a guest is with a personal phone call. Not a sales pitch, a phone call a real person who was glad they were there. That’s it. A personal call from your church the day after they visited will not only show you valued their presence, but it will be a bit of a surprise. Careful about having a “script” for follow up; we’ll talk about this in the next post. We all hate pre-recorded phone calls from a private 800 number for
limited time offers scams and surveys.
Email, But After The Phone. Your guests are just like you; they get meaningless spam email every day. You also want to avoid being confused for those form letters you get when you sign up for a rapid rewards program or make a purchase on Amazon. Email is a great follow up to a phone call. Use it as a supplement to email, not an easy cut and paste.
Social Media? Probably Not. Nobody wants random people sending them direct messages to their Facebook account. Social media is a great space to engage, but unless you’re being up front and asking for social media accounts on your guest forms, skip it. There are other ways to utilize Social Media.
Snail Mail? Usually Not. Avoid “snail mail” unless you do not have a phone number or email address. The postage costs are unnecessary in this day and age and an impersonal form letter from your church just doesn’t connect on a personal level. We just don’t need to communicate primarily with printed and mailed letters anymore.
Next post is the big one…
Next: 3.4 What Should We Say?
Main Series Page: The Five Elements of a Fully Implemented Connections Strategy
Element Two: Guest Services