Today, I want to get you the perfect follow-up plan for your church.
If you read the blog I did a few weeks back entitled “Blunder #1” I talked about the #1 thing churches do that is a super blunder in their follow-up and assimilation plan. If you haven’t read it, you need to check it out.
In the meantime, I want to let you in on some of the research we did recently. We surveyed more than 2,000 churches on varieties of issues relative to church, marketing, approach and assimilation.
Guess what? 84.5% of pastors said they were were extremely unsuccessful and frustrated with not being able to get the guests at the big event to come back the next week.
Why is that?
It certainly is not a lack of “want” or “desire” to follow-up well. These pastors and church leaders are not incompetent or lazy. They love God and want to do the very best for their churches. So what’s wrong with the follow-up plans churches use?
Let me give you a snapshot of what I think you can do to have an effective follow-up plan.
Before we start, however, there’s something REALLY BIG you must have in place before you work your follow-up and assimilation plan. What is it?
You have to do your weekend services really, really well. They have to be the best you can imagine.
[NOTE: Do you have your Easter follow-up planned out? Experience a bigger impact this Easter by following the plan in this brand new, 6-part video series. Click here to access this free series.]
As you’ll remember in the “Blunder” blog post, I talked about the restaurant that had a really slick follow-up system in place. They just had a crummy restaurant and nobody wanted to come back. It didn’t matter how nice the follow-up letter, texts, emails, coupons, etc. were. The guests who had visited that restaurant had a lousy experience and did not go back.
What about your church?
Do you focus on and do Sundays at the highest possible level or do you just do Sundays like you’ve always done Sundays?
You have to get this one right first before you follow the plan.
So… Assuming you have the best possible Sunday experience in place, I recommend you do the following with every guest:
1. Day 0 (same day they visit) send a thank you text message for coming.
2. Day 1 (Monday AM) send a welcome email and guest experience survey. You always want to ask the guest about their experience. You will learn things and improve in this way.
3. Day 3 (Wednesday) deliver cookies to their home or send pre-packaged brownies to arrive by Saturday.
4. Day 6 (Saturday AM) send email invitation back to Sunday service.
5. Day 6 (Saturday PM) send text message invitation back to Sunday service.
6. Day 8 (the next Monday) send email invitation to your next “Welcome Dinner.” The “Welcome Dinner” is a dinner specifically geared toward guests. I recommend you do a dinner every six or eight weeks or so. Also, include a couple of links to the church’s most popular sermons.
7. Day 13 (Saturday AM) send invitation email to Sunday service.
8. Day 20 (Saturday) send invitation text message back to Sunday service.
9. Day 24 (Wednesday) send “Do you have any questions about the church? / How can we help you?” email.
10. Day 52 (Wednesday) send week-8 follow-up email which can include the following: Invitation to Sunday service and/or other upcoming events, links to resources of the church, and invitation to the next “Welcome Dinner” (if they did not previously attend).
Now here’s the deal…
Is this list of 10 items rocket science? Of course not! However, this is not fool-proof if you don’t stick with it.
You cannot do this for a month and expect to see overwhelming results. But when you do this consistently month after month, you’ll be amazed at the improved results you’ll begin to see over time.
Regular, systematic follow-up will help you retain more guests than you ever thought possible. Period.
But you cannot give up after a couple of attempts. You need to be diligent and use multiple methods of communication.
You can do this. Do not look at this plan as too hard or too complicated to get done. It is neither. You can do it, and I pray you will. Lives to be impacted for eternity hang in the balance.
Be diligent, work the plan and go get ‘em. Then God will bring the increase. Guaranteed!
[NOTE: With Easter around the corner, there’s no better time to refine your follow-up process. In Rethinking Easter: From Big Event to Big Impact, you get free access to an entire strategy that will help you increase the amount of Easter visitors who will return to your church in the weeks that follow.]