People seem to be slowly coming back to church now that the pandemic looks to be less severe as in the past. That’s good news; however, it’s still not as easy to attract new visitors to your church as it used to be. Barna reported in the year 2009, 48% of American adults were attending church weekly. Fast forward to 2020 (pre-pandemic), and that number has dropped to just 29%. This is a major decline in a short period of time.
Thanks to Barna, we actually have detailed information on how new visitors to churches part with their personal info. Barna asked Millennials what personal information they were willing to give to a church upon a first-time visit. Here are the results:
- First Name – 82%
- Last Name – 53%
- Email Address – 33%
- Physical Address – 19%
- Phone Number – 12%
- Social Media – 6%
- I Don’t Want To Share Anything – 15%
If you review the stats, it suggests you capture as little information as you need during your first interaction. Initiating a relationship with a new visitor to your church isn’t too different from any other relationship. Relationships take time; you don’t want to rush them. Everything doesn’t just happen all at once.
Keep in mind that once you have basic information from a new visitor, you can always follow up with them later to get more info. If during your first interaction, all you manage to capture is a new visitor’s name and email – that’s great! Because you can always follow-up later to get their physical address, age, marital status, etc. at a later time.
Designing a Good Connection Card
The front of your connection card should be either a nice photo of happy people or at least a colorful logo of your church. Bottom line: It should look attractive. Your website link should be on both front and back of this attractive card. I would suggest making the card in the form of a postcard.
On the back-side of the card, is the new visitor form. Keep this form as lean as possible with just four simple fields. Ask for a visitor’s name, email, and phone, and then give them a freestyle form field where they can submit any questions, comments, or prayer requests they may have.
But here’s a bonus idea below!
QR Code Idea on Your Connection Card
Invented by a Japanese engineer in 1994 to keep track of car parts more easily, quick response codes entered the mainstream years later as smartphones with cameras took over. But it wasn’t until the ongoing pandemic forced businesses to double down on sanitizing that they became a ubiquitous sight inside U.S. bars and restaurants, replacing physical menus. A QR code also gives restaurants more information on their customers; well…the same can be true for those who want more information about your church! Consider getting a QR code and placing it on the back of your connection card.
Remember: You should always make sure your connection cards are easy to get into the hands of your visitors. Perhaps easily seen on the back of the seats inside the place of worship or handed out by greeters along with bulletins. At my church we always asked everyone to fill out a connection card even if they were regular attenders. (Regular attenders could put in a prayer request or take-away comment from the service experience.) Make it easy for people to drop their card off after the service, perhaps in the offering or if you pass the plate or boxes around the church.
Connection Cards can be excellent tools to follow up on those visiting your church. Put some time and effort in your design and don’t overwhelm people by asking for too much information. Your return rate on the connection cards will be higher if you ask for less information.
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