When someone visits your church, you need a church visitor’s card available to be filled out. But be aware though, many church guests will not want to complete it on their first visit. Here’s why: we live in a skeptical culture where a visitor doesn’t want to be identified until they feel ready. That can take several visits!
When they do feel ready to be considered a guest (seeking more information), a church visitor’s card is the perfect way to do it. Gone are the days when a Pastor asks for visitors to raise their hands or stand up. That’s cringe-worthy now! People want anonymity until they need something or want to take a “next step”.
Then have it readily available: have a printed card in the pew or chair area, at a guest center, or a digital form on your website.
Here are 5 ways to improve your church visitor’s card:
- Keep it short. The longer your visitor card is, the less likely it’ll be filled out. So, consider the minimal information you need now. You can always add to their information later as you build their church management database entry. Some digital forms let you do that automatically.
- Make it digital as well as printed. Don’t assume someone will want to fill out a form with a pen. Most, on their digital devices, will have an automatic field response that allows the ease of completing it quickly (so you can ask a bit more perhaps). Digital forms also eliminate transcription errors. For those reasons, you should promote a digital church visitor’s card. However, allow a printed card to act as a visual reminder, as well as, having a QR code printed to lead to a digital form (on your “about” or “new?” webpage) but also to have areas for those wanting to manually complete it. Be sure to have a pencil or pen nearby!
- Have a call to action. When you request information, consider it’s costing a guest a lot to fill it out (even if it’s just the cost of giving you information). Therefore, lead them to something that’s of value for submitting the card (or turning it in). Reward them in some way: with information a visitor may need, a useable gift, or a way to step into a discipleship journey toward salvation, baptism, or membership.
- Explain how information will be used. Always disclose why you’re collecting information and what you’ll do with it. Be brief and honest. Every person wants to protect their privacy. Assure them that you’ll protect it.
- Use the information. Don’t ask for personal information unless you plan on using it. And when you do collect the church visitor card data, be sure you do! Perhaps for analytics, follow-up, or valuable guest demographics. If you really don’t need the information to improve your first impressions response or help your guest feel honored, then don’t ask for it.