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3 Simple Ways to Engage With And Keep Visitors Coming Back

By Ashley White

Two out of three Protestant churches in the United States have congregations of less than 100 people, including 31% who have fewer than 50. 

In a post-pandemic world, church attendance remains a concern for 83% of congregations, with only 17% having experienced growth since that time. In our last blog, we discussed ways to encourage new visitors to your church, and today, we will talk about how to keep them coming back. 

From connecting on social media to sending a personal video via email, we will cover three ways you can use technology to engage with your new visitors after Sunday services. 

New visitors form opinions about a church pretty quickly and usually know within the first ten minutes whether or not they will return. But, unfortunately, that means that before they’ve heard a word from the pastor or gotten through an entire worship set, they have likely already made up their minds. So if you do pass that test in those first few moments, how can you ensure that when they walk out the door, they still want to come back?

FACT: 62% of churches use social networking to connect with individuals outside of their congregation

With over half of the population active on social media, this is one of the easiest and most effective tools for connecting with new visitors before and after their Sunday experience. 

To do this well, ensure that you have regular content that includes recent sermons, upcoming events, and links to small group and volunteer sign-ups. While new visitors may not make the time to stop and talk to a volunteer at a table or to check out the volunteer kiosk, they are much more likely to learn about those resources in their free time while on Facebook without the pressure of in-person interaction. 

Another essential way to help a new visitor connect with you on social media is to make sure that someone is regularly monitoring and responding to comments and DM’s. Much to our point above, many new people are hesitant to stop and talk to someone in person but are more willing to send a message through Facebook or Instagram with a question or comment. 

FACT: Text Messages are 7xs more likely to be responded to than any other form of communication

When was the last time your phone rang with an unknown number, and you actually answered? If you are like most people, the answer to that is never. But when your phone buzzes with a new text message, 98% of people open them almost immediately and read through it. So while many churches call new visitors and thank them for their visit, leveraging a text message can be a much more effective way to connect. Using your ChMS, you can automate this process, but even if you cannot, having a volunteer send these messages and be available to answer if someone responds is a perfect way to open up dialogue. 

FACT: 54% of Christian millennials watch online videos about faith or spirituality

The average person gets somewhere around 121 emails per day, with at least some of those being from their local church. The average click-through rate for a church email with at least one social media link is 115% higher than the ones without. So combining social media and the video content of your services with your email follow-up is an excellent way to help a new visitor feel connected and engaged. For example, you could send a personalized welcome video, a recap of the service, or even an announcement for upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. The more information you can give them, the more likely they will find a place to connect. 

Attracting new visitors to your church is only half the battle in growing your congregation. These methods, combined with prayer and a genuine desire to love and serve your community, will help your vision of leading the lost to the Lord. As always, for more tools to help you continue to start, grow and lead your church well, click the button below to subscribe to our blog! 

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