5. A Reason to Return
Savvy retailers understand the power behind offering customers a promotional product, such as a free item for bringing a card or coupon back to their store. Giving kids and families a reason to return offers visitors another opportunity to check out your ministry or programs and for you to minister to them with excellence.
Making a visible difference in the community is a great church visitor follow up strategy for involving people. So says Sheila Halasz, preschool director at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Crystal Lake, Illinois. After VBS each summer, they invite everyone to return for a day of “High C’s Adventure” or High Compassion. The church teams up with community agencies to compile a list of ways everyone can serve in the community for one afternoon. Afterward, everyone returns to the church for a celebration with music and food.
Coming Together as Family
After a large outreach program, Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula, Georgia, distributes tickets to return for prize drawings at a family worship service. Melissa Guillebeau, children’s ministries director, says they create a service that’s very family-friendly and serve snacks afterward. They invite families who don’t have a church home for a brief meet-and-greet with a pastor. Then they pair church families with prospective families. Visiting families receive a CD of a church choir performance as a gift, plus information about the church and ministry programs.
Emily Snider, children’s pastor at Christ Community Church in Roseville, Michigan, sends customized cards to visitors. It includes a photo of the child or family at the outreach event. Snider includes the name of the event and the date on the front and the back includes worship service times.
Say (Chuck-E) Cheese
Steve Young, children’s ministry director at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, capitalized on this mouse’s brand. Using the names collected for a prize drawing from an outreach event at their church, leaders sent coupons for a $10 Chuck-E-Cheese gift card redeemable at their next family service.
Just for You
After kids visit or attend an event for the first time at his church, Hudson sends a letter thanking them for visiting. It includes a coupon to turn in for a free gift next time. Because families regularly return with the coupons, this is one of their most effective follow-up tools.