Collecting new visitor information is a must for every thriving church! Whether the information is filled out online or in person, there are must-do actions you need to take to ensure you are giving your visitors the best experience and impression possible. And ensuring your church is successful in attracting and retaining your new visitors!
Think about your current process for your new visitors and collecting their information. What? You don’t have one? Or perhaps you have one but come Monday morning, the new visitor cards are sitting on someone’s desk where they’ll stay most of the week.
OK, so what should you do with your new visitors’ information?
Here is a checklist for your church to implement and follow to retain more of your visitors.
- Make entering the information a priority every week.
- Make sure the spelling is correct and capture their preferred name (goes by…).
- Verify the name isn’t already in your database. If it is, be sure the information is updated.
- Be sure the information is complete and includes a preference for communicating with them.
- Check the household address. Online tools can verify the address information is correct and complete if your ChMS doesn’t verify it for you.
- Be sure your address formats are standardized and documented for anyone entering the information. Ex. Street = St., North = N., phone number format, etc.
- Collect all household members’ information.
- Track the status of the visitors. Is it their first time or third time? Are they out-of-town visitors or are they new members?
- Determine appropriate follow-up and timeframe for each type of visitor.
- Send a follow-up message thanking them for joining you. (Be sure all communications are age and gender appropriate if using a generic message.)
- Introduce next steps for them on follow-up – new member welcome event, joining a small group, baptism, or any appropriate upcoming events.
- Tracking this information in a ChMS helps with reporting and tracking the success of your visitor retention efforts.
Now that you have a framework for capturing information on your visitors, there are a few things you should avoid collecting. These include social security numbers, income information, banking details, sexual orientation, political views, and even spiritual views. Collecting this information can raise red flags and suspicions of visitors. Awhen it comes down to it, you don’t need this information.
As the Vice President of Marketing for ACS Technologies, John is responsible for Marketing’s overall corporate strategy and direction. Storyteller, promoter, and problem solver to churches of all sizes and shapes. John has traveled the world working with prominent non-profit ministries. He also serves on the board of directors for Dayspring International.