Personalizing Your Guest Experience on Sunday and Monday

Personalizing Your Guest Experience on Sunday and Monday

With Netflix suggestions, saving your favorite food orders in apps, above and beyond customer service at Chick-fil-a, baristas writing your name on cups at Starbucks, and individual park scheduling and mapping for Disney World, we have come into an age where personalization is increasingly becoming an expectation rather than a rarity.

It’s also becoming easier and easier to scale personalization to larger groups of people.

Specifically, in the Kids and Family ministry, an easy and strategic starting place to implement personalization is with guest families.

Here are four things we’ve started doing which we’ve found to be very scalable and not extremely time-consuming.

1. Personalized Guest Gifts

My guess is that your church gives some kind of guest gift.

What if you could personalize a gift to each new child, spend less money than you currently are, and use it to encourage a return visit?

I know that sounds a little infomercial-y, but it is possible.

I go more into this idea in this post, but the gist is that we ask new kids what their favorite candy, snack or drink is.

We write down their answer.

And we tell the kids that whatever they chose will be waiting at check-in the next week for them.

Normally the thing they choose is less than $1, but it is more meaningful than any more expensive generic gift we could have given them because they chose it.

2. Personalized Text

On top of personalizing the experience for first-time kids, we also want to personalize it for parents.

So every Monday (or Tuesday if Monday is your off day) we individually text all the guest parents from Sunday.

To make it easier and quicker we developed a template, which you can save to whatever note-taking app you use on your phone and simply copy and paste it.

Here’s what the text says: Hey PARENT, this is Pastor Brandon from Centerpointe Church. I wanted to let you know that we loved having CHILD with us on Sunday! I also wanted to ask if you have any questions about the Kid’s Ministry, the church in general, or prayer requests? Praying for y’all and hope to see you soon.

Of course, we replace PARENT with the parents’ actual names and CHILD with the children’s actual names.

We’ve found this really blesses new parents and get a really great response rate compared to phone calls or emails.

3. Personalized Email

On Monday (or Tuesday) we also forward a copy of our weekly parent email to new parents with a “personal” note; I have personal in quotations because again we have a template that we simply plug names into so it feels personalized.

Here’s the template we use:

Subject: Thanks for visiting with CHILD


I just wanted to personally reach out and let you know that we loved having CHILD with us on Sunday! I also wanted to check if you have any questions about our Kid’s Ministry, the church in general, or prayer requests?
Below, I’ve included a copy of this week’s parenting email. It has a digital copy of our weekly Family Devotional, as well as a helpful parenting article. My hope is that it adds value to you. You have such a vital role as a parent, and we want to be a big support to you in that!
We replace CHILD with the children’s names and PARENT with the parents’ names.
After we forward a copy of the weekly email, we also add them to our email list.
We get less of a response to this than text, but we do track opens and have found a high percentage of new parents at least open the email.

4. Personalized Text

No this isn’t deja vu; it’s a second follow-up text.
If a family doesn’t return the next Sunday after their first visit, we send them a follow-up text the following Friday at 4:30 p.m. (12 days after their initial visit).
Calling this personalized might be cheating a little because it’s only personalized if the family has shared a prayer request with us.
If they have shared a prayer request, here’s the template:
Just wanted to let you know we’ve been praying for you about PRAYER. Hope everything is well!
If they haven’t shared a prayer request, here’s the template:
Just wanted to let you know we’ve been praying for you. Hope everything is well!
We thought about following-up with a text to invite families back to the church but felt that doing something more value-adding regardless of whether they returned was the best approach.
Through implementing these four strategies, we’ve found that our guest retention has really gone up.
How do you personalize the guest experience at your church?
If you’ve found something to be really effective with guest families, leave a comment (if for no one else, at least leave it for me to learn from you)!
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This article originally appeared here.
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