If you have first-time guests, you want to know about it. Getting their information is key to beginning and maintaining a connection with them. Not only does it allow you to keep visitors informed about what you’re doing, but it can also help put them on a discipleship pathway.
However, people today are increasingly wary about handing over personal information. With privacy concerns, guests may be hesitant to give a stranger their name, address and phone number.
So how do you get this information while also showing utmost integrity? Here are a few creative ways to incentivize your first-time guests to provide you with their personal information. Consider using some of these, or let the ideas spur your own imagination.
People often view personal contact information as a form of currency. Why else would stores ask for your phone number? Some people may be willing to hand over their info if there’s something in it for them, from a cup of coffee or a free lunch to something more substantial.
Consider handing out a gift, such as a book (preferably one that coincides with your current sermon series) to first-time guests when they return a completed contact card.
With privacy concerns, guests may be hesitant to give a stranger personal information.
Donation in Their Name
Most churches collect contact cards at the same time as the offering. There may be a way to connect the two.
While you’re receiving the week’s offering, let your first-time guests know the church will make a donation to a local charity in their honor for each card received. When visitors connect it to a good cause, they’re more willing to provide personal information.
Enter a Drawing
On special occasions, you may want to give away a prize. To enter for a chance, visitors can simply fill out a contact card.
Free Family Photos
This one is a bit more involved, but is a great way to serve your community. Set up a photo booth in your church, or, better yet, hire a professional photographer for the day. As guests arrive, snap a family photo. They’ll need to give you their contact information to receive a copy by mail or a digital format by email.
Combine the benefits of feedback with your guests’ contact information. Hand out surveys that ask about different aspects of your church or worship service. Then, have visitors provide an email address, phone number or mailing address so you can follow up later.
It’s important to know whom you’re ministering to, so get creative with it. But make sure you’re up front as well. On all contact cards, make sure it’s clear that you intend to contact them, and provide a way to opt out of email lists if they want to do so.
No one likes a bait and switch. But many people enjoy being involved. So make sure guests understand the benefits of staying connected with your church.