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When someone visits your church, whether online or in-person, you want to see them. You want to know their name. You want them to know that you’re glad they showed up.

And you don't want their first visit (or first view) to be their last. What's the key to getting guests to come back? Follow up. Guest retention rate is highest when you follow up with people quickly and strategical. An effective follow-up process is one of the most crucial processes you can have in your church.

Why does a follow-up process matter for a church? Several reasons:

  • It makes people who visit your church feel cared for.
  • It increases the likelihood that a first-time guest will come back again.
  • It shows how well your congregation is doing at inviting people to church.
  • It puts a system in place to help make sure no one falls through the cracks.

Here are 7 steps to having an effective follow up:

  1. Create a friendly Welcome Center. Your church should have a clear and visible area for new people to get information. Whether you give guests a brochure or a gift at the welcome center, make sure that they filled out their contact information so the church can follow up with them.

  2. Kids Check-In – When parents check their kids in for the first time, this is a great place to get relevant information. Ask someone on the administrative team to “flag” the names of people who checked in their kids for the first time and plan to follow up with them.

  3. Capture the person’s details right then and there. Encouraging people to fill out a connection card (perhaps with an incentive like a gift card). You can do this digitally for online streaming as well.

  4. Assigning that person to a trusted leader or volunteer for follow up. This involves getting a small team of people you can trust and know they understand the vision of your church. Some training should be involved with this. Timeliness in following up with guests is critical. Research has shown that your guest retention rate is highest when you follow up within 48 hours.

  5. Getting feedback on the contact they have had. This involves follow up with your follow up team. Communication is the key with your follow up team. How was did the things go with the follow up? Did they have a good experience? If not, what happened?

  6. Adding them to your database. You should have a strong data base that allows for lots of details for each new person and easy access for your follow up team.

  7. Tracking what happened to that person after they were followed up. Again, a good data base will be a real asset to your church. It should have the capability of giving you a weekly or monthly report, but your follow up team needs to be detailed oriented to make sure all the needed info is inputted. Having a report that gives you accurate information and shows trends for your church.

Making sure your follow-up process is effective one of the most important things that you can do to help your church thrive. Plan your church visitor follow-up strategy well.

At StreamingChurch.tv we will be having an online follow up webinar in March, for those that do streaming video. Stay tuned for more details and if we can help your church with anything, reach out to us today by emailing [email protected] or using the live chat on the bottom right of your screen.