It’s almost here! Many Easter guests will be attending church services in your building. Do you have a plan to turn those Easter guests into regular attenders?
If you don’t have a plan, then stop what you are doing and let’s put some things in place so that you can turn those guests into regular attenders. Below you will find some effective strategies for increasing the odds that all those people will decide to come back the weekend following Easter.
How to Turn Easter Guests Into Regular Attenders
Step 1 – Greeters Who Are Warm and Welcoming
You may want to make a few calls and get some extra people greeting on Easter weekend. If you can have one or two people in the parking lot to help people find places to park AND to be a first point of contact for people, that would be great.
Tell your greeter team to be extra attentive to new faces. It’s so easy for a greeter to get lost in a conversation with a friend and miss an opportunity to connect with a guest.
If you want those Easter guests to come back, this is VITAL! And, depending on the size of your church, to ensure this happens may just mean a few phone calls, or if you have a leader over this area, it should just mean one call.
Step 2 – Information Card + Incentive = Win
You probably have an information card already that you never talk about, right? It may be stuck in the little pockets on the back of pews. Or you may be doing a great job in promoting it and you are just struggling with getting guests to fill it out.
No matter where you fall into here, make this change: Ask people to fill out the info card with their current information (at least name and email), and tell them to turn it into a specific table or location. In exchange, they will receive a gift bag.
Now, you may be thinking, I don’t have time to create a bunch of gift bags!
I understand, but hear me out. Your gift bag doesn’t have to contain a ton of things. Here are some simple things to include in your gift bag:
- Info about the church – you may already have something you can use.
- Gift card to a local coffee shop or something similar – $5 is plenty.
- Custom Coffee mug with your church’s logo (if you already have these made).
- Or a custom t-shirt with your church’s logo (if you already have these made).
- Pastor’s business card or an invite card.
Step 3 – Follow Up Within 48 Hours
You have some options here depending on what information you received on the info card.
Email is a great first start. On Monday or Tuesday, take some time to write each guest an email. If you are going to use a regular email client, do not just send a generic email and bcc everyone on your guest list. If you are not using Mailchimp or another email service for mass email, take the time to send personalized emails. You can keep the body the same, but personalize the beginning and ending.
As far as what to say – keep it short and concise. Tell them that you are so glad they came, tell them a little about you, a little about the church, and then end the email with a question. Try this one: How well did we do at helping make your Easter experience meaningful and personal?
Postcard is a great tool if you received their address. We rarely receive hand-written notes in the mail, so go the extra mile and create a postcard on Monday, print them out, write a personal note, and send them out (don’t forget to stamp them!). You’ll want some card stock and a template to work from. Check out Canva for some great templates to get started (click more at the top right and scroll down to events – postcard). Keep the design simple!
Phone Call is a another great thing to do. If you received only their phone number, give them a call. But when you do, know what you are going to say before you dial their number. Tell them how much you appreciated them coming. Ask them how they heard about the church. Ask them what their experience has been in church. Ask them if they have any questions you can help answer. Keep it simple and let the Spirit work in that conversation. Silence is okay after a question you ask. Don’t ruin it by doing all the talking.
Pray Throughout This Process and Do the Work
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to do what you can do to make people feel welcome and follow up with them. But remember, God is the One who will cause the seed to grow that they received as they heard the Gospel preached, sang about, and prayed about.
Ask God to guide you in this process and to do what you can do with this little amount of time between now and Easter Sunday.
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