Easter 2018 is over and it’s time to collect all those connection cards and begin the process of following up and plugging people into the church. Your card like many churches probably has a field for name, address, phone number, email, names of spouse, kids, ages, questions about marriage, or about being single– so many fields. And let’s just be honest, all of that is a little overwhelming. It’s true this information is very important to target your guest with the right follow-up, however, did you know that the more information you ask for, the fewer chances you have of capturing this information?
This is because of some very important statistics that every church ministry needs to be aware of. Millennials, yes millennials. This is one of the most unchurched groups of our day and it is a group that the church really needs to reach, but let’s look at the information that, according to the Barna, this group is willing to give up to a church on their visit.
The only piece of information a sizable majority of Millennials is comfortable sharing with a church is their first name (82%). Only half are willing to give their last names (53%). Just one-third are comfortable sharing their email address (33%). That means two out of three young-adult visitors do not want churches to have that information.
And the numbers continue to trend downward from there. It’s not too much different in other age groups either. It is very well known that online forms are less likely to be filled out no matter what you offer in return if they are super long. And this is in any industry. But particularly in the church, I think we need to rethink our contact forms and how much we ask for from a first-time guest.
First, we need to put our Guest in the driver’s seat when it comes to determining what they want to share with us. Make some of your fields optional. Let them decide what they want to give you.
Secondly, reduce your number of fields and save it for the followup. There is a huge amount of power in the followup. Your guest is 90% more likely to revisit your church when you follow up and show them that you really care. Instead of asking for all that information up front. Get the information piece by piece in the followup. Start with an email thanking them for the visit and let them know they are welcome to come back. Tell them that you want to connect them with the church and ask them a few additional details so you can get them connected with the right people, such as the demographics.
And so your connection card really should only ask the following items on the first go around.
First Name (necessary)
Email Address (necessary)
Last Name (optional)
Phone Number (optional)
Focus on a quality design that tells your guest a lot about the church and its brand but only ask for these, put your guest in the driver’s seat and then rely on the power of the followup to build that relationship of trust between you and your future member.