Tag Archive for: guest follow-up

As a church leader, you know how important it is to follow-up with new guests. Without these touchpoints, someone could easily slip through the cracks before truly getting to know if your church is the right place for them.

To borrow insight from the business world, it is widely accepted that closing a sale takes a minimum of about 6-8 interactions. And a study by The University of Kansas quantified how many hours it takes to move from a mere acquaintance to a casual friend. The result was an astounding 50 hours spent together. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that when it comes to creating effective guest follow-up systems, you need to have several interactions planned to connect with people in a thoughtful way. We can’t expect deep connection to form if we aren’t prioritizing multiple interactions with guests.

But what should that look like?

To help you get started, we are providing examples of what a good guest follow-up workflow looks like using One Church Software. After guest information is collected by your physical or digital visitor card, we encourage you to use these examples and templates to set up your own guest follow-up in your church management system or by trying our free trial!

Welcome Email

The first thing you will want to do is input the data (if you have collected the information on a physical form) and check to be sure everything has been formatted correctly. This means double-checking to be sure their name is capitalized and you have a complete email or physical address. You don’t want to miss out on a potential relationship because there was a typo in their email of “gmail.co” instead of “gmail.com”.

Your first interaction should often be in the form of a welcome or thank you email. A good welcome email thanks visitors for attending and provides helpful links as well as ways to get connected further.

(Pro tip: You can also let guests determine how they’d like to be contacted through options in your first-time guest form. For example, if someone were to select “texting” as their preference, you could have an automated workflow that sends a welcome text instead.)

Here’s an example of what your welcome email might look like:

Hello [FIRST NAME],

Thank you for visiting one of our services! We hope you enjoyed your time worshiping with us and that it nourished your soul.

We know finding a church to call home can be a difficult task, so we’ve provided some helpful links to help you get connected easier and to help you know more about us:

  • LINK TO EVENTS PAGE
  • CONNECT WITH A PASTOR
  • HOW TO JOIN A SMALL GROUP

As you go through your week, we hope it is encouraging to know that I and the rest of our staff are praying for you! If there are any questions we can help answer or ways we can serve you, please let us know.

YOUR NAME
000-000-0000

Feel free to use this template as you create your own guest follow-up workflow, but don’t forget to add any relevant links and make it sound like your own.

Schedule Pauses Between Communication

No one likes to get blasted with one communication after another. That’s why we’ve made it possible in One Church Software to plan pauses in communication so your workflow will have a more natural cadence to it.

We recommend you add at least 2-3 days between most communication. This allows for appropriately paced follow-up that doesn’t feel overbearing.

Send a Text

For some people, email is harder to respond to or might seem more formal. That is why it can be valuable to use several different methods of communication in your workflow. Texts are typically a bit more on the personal and informal side so it might sound something like this: 

Hey NAME! This is YOURNAME from CHURCH. I wanted to personally reach out to see what you thought about your visit last Sunday. Here if you have any questions or feedback!

You might even add a call-to-action or a link to a form they can fill out to sign-up for a group or a class, somewhere they can find more information, etc. Just like this:

You may recall hearing about some of the new groups starting-up soon. You can learn more about those here: [LINK]

Assign Additional Follow-Up to a Key Leader

If you have a Guest Experience Coordinator, Discipleship Pastor, or if you know some of the guest’s interests or stage of life, it can be a good idea to have an associated leader reach out personally after some time has passed.

Let’s say that you know this guest has young children because they were in your children’s ministry. You could take this opportunity to assign a task to your Children’s Coordinator to reach out to them and tell them about the different children’s events going on.

(Pro tip: Task assignments like this can be automated in One Church Software as well!)

By having a key leader reach out to a guest, you are helping them make genuine connections with additional people within your church.

A Few More Guest Follow-Up Tips to Keep in Mind

  1. Be ready to respond! The goal of automating an effective guest follow-up system is to sustainably engage new visitors in a meaningful and consistent way. There will be people who don’t engage with the follow-up, but be prepared for people to respond! We want to be quick to return emails or texts as people engage back with us.
  2. Don’t go overboard. A great guest follow-up system is clear and is intentionally crafted to not be overwhelming. Too many messages will start to get annoying, which is why it’s crucial to have clarity about what you’re trying to accomplish and respect when people are choosing not to engage further.
  3. Know what next steps you want people to take. What next step are you trying to lead new people towards? Signing-up for a group? Taking a class? Grabbing coffee with a staff member? Keep that purpose and goal top-of-mind as you’re crafting follow-up material so it’s clear to the people being contacted as well.

And there you go! Just incorporating some of the suggestions here will give you 3-4 interactions with a guest that you can already have planned out in addition to their experience in-person. While we can’t automate a full 50 hours of interactions to help form deep relationships, automating the first few steps will allow follow-up with guests to happen in a timely manner, save you the time of having to repeat regular tasks, and help lead towards that genuine connection between new people and your church.


If you don’t have a church management system or are considering switching, you can try One Church Software FREE for 14 days to see all the ways it can help you care for your members, empower your volunteers, and serve your community.

Did you know that more people search for “church” online around Easter followed quickly by Christmas? As we know, these are the two most popular Christian holidays for non-regular churchgoers to step through your church’s doors.

For many churches, this is one of the biggest opportunities of the year that we have to not only invite people into your church, but to minister to their hearts.

That puts a lot of pressure on church leaders as they plan for Easter! Whether this is your first time planning an Easter service or your twenty-fifth time, we’ve got 6 common Easter planning mistakes to avoid:

1. Starting late.

At the time of this article, we are just under a month away from Easter. While every church is different in terms of staff, creative teams, in-house graphics, and marketing, if you haven’t started planning your Easter service yet, you should get started!

We think a good rule of thumb is to give yourself approximately eight weeks to plan, set up, and implement every part of your Easter service. But we would also recommend having a vision meeting in the first two months of the year. This will allow your team to have the time and space necessary for great ideas to be developed.

But if you haven’t done any planning yet, don’t be discouraged! It is possible to pull off a well-put-together Easter service in four weeks. We would encourage you to make sure to pull in extra staff and volunteers to help make sure you have the best plan possible. And remember to watch out for the other mistakes to avoid on this list.

2. Leading from duty rather than conviction.

Easter is the “Super Bowl” of church holidays and because of that, it can feel like we have an obligation to plan something big and spectacular. Let us not forget the real reason Easter Sunday is such a big deal. It isn’t because we have an opportunity to grow our church attendance numbers and it isn’t about fulfilling a line on your job description.

Easter Sunday is about helping people encounter the life-changing love of Jesus!

In order to do this, you need to consider how you can give yourself space for God to bring you a fresh conviction of the truth we celebrate at Easter. This week and the weeks leading up to Easter, set aside time for the Spirit to remind you of this truth.

3. Assuming your team is bought in from the start.

Your team is going to put in a ton of time and energy to make your Easter Service possible. It is crucial that they understand and have “caught” the vision of what will take place the day of. You can’t just assume they are bought into the purpose and vision that needs to inform the work they will have to do to make it all possible.

Take some time upfront to cast a vision for what you are hoping to achieve on Easter and how that reaches other people with the Good News. Be sure to share the why and help them see how their specific task connects to the overall purpose of the service. By doing this, you will energize them in the part they are playing to make it all possible!

4. You don’t give a reason for guests to fill out a card (physical or digital).

Easter Sunday is often one of the highest-attended services of the year. If you don’t have a way to collect people’s information, you aren’t likely to see them again until next year. Most churches have a church visitor card, whether that be a digital or a physical card. But what we often forget is to give people a reason to fill it out and turn it in.

People are much more likely to share their information if they are receiving something in return. A great idea that we’ve often heard is to offer a $5 donation to a charity that guests can choose from on the card. This is a great, community-centered way to incentivize guests to fill out a connection card and make follow-up possible!

5. Forgetting to clarify your follow-up process.

Once the service is over, we tend to let out a sigh of relief, maybe sleep in a little on Monday, and then bring in donuts for our staff to celebrate. But what happens next is truly one of the most important parts of your church’s connection with new people!

What are the next steps you want people to take as a result of your Easter service? How are you going to engage them after they leave the building? Don’t wait until after your Easter service to develop the plan here!

Take some time to consider what next steps you are leading people towards, especially those who are new. Then consider how you will prompt them to take that step. One Church Software can help you automate some of this process (even some of the follow-up)!

Read more: 6 Processes You Should Automate in Your Church

6. Prioritizing production over purpose.

Our desire to have a powerful Easter service can easily lead us into thinking that production is the most important part; how we perform and if we created a great experience for guests. But we need to remember that the purpose of Easter is not the production of it all. It’s okay to have a flashy production and special effects so long as we don’t get fooled into thinking those are the most important elements of your service.

The entire service could “fail” with microphones cutting out and musicians off-key and church leaders stumbling over our words, and Christ can still be glorified through it. The purpose of Easter is simply this: to celebrate Christ and to share clearly with others why we do so. 

We are praying for you, and we can’t wait to hear the stories of how God shows up in your planning, in your service, and in your follow-up this year!

If you don’t have a church management system or are considering switching, you can try One Church Software FREE for 14 days to see all the ways it can help you care for your members, empower your volunteers, and serve your community.