Browse
Here’s How to Get More Guests to Turn in the Connection Card

Here’s How to Get More Guests to Turn in the Connection Card

Posted September 11, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Just about every church has some form of a connection card. There are a lots of ways to gather information. I’ve seen physical seat-back cards, tear-off’s in the bulletin, digital “cards” on a specialized webpage, text messages, attendance books that get passed down the aisle, and I’m sure there are many other methods out there as well. Whatever your church calls it, and whatever method you use, it’s likely that your Sunday service has some way of attempting to gather information from your visitors. And for many churches, getting people to actually share their information is a struggle.

So with all these different ways to collect information, why isn’t there one sure-fire way to get people’s information?

There are a few reasons, really. First, let’s talk about the main reasons people are reluctant to give out their personal information. Then, let’s talk about how to create a system that works.
 

Why People Don’t Want to Give You Their Information

In today’s always-online, always-connected, and always-being-advertised-to culture, people are more likely to want to protect their personal information. We’re all tired of getting junk email for things we never signed up for. We’re tired of seeing ads directed at us based on recent searches or pages viewed. So it makes sense that we’re more protective of giving out our contact details.

Add to that a general mistrust of organizations, including the Church. According to Barna, only “about one-third of Americans (36%) strongly believe churches ‘have their best interest at heart.’” So when a guest visits your church for the first-time, they’re understandably hesitant to respond when right away you ask them to give away their full name, address, phone numbers, email address, birthdate, children’s names and birthdays, and how they’d like to get involved. It makes sense that they don’t want to give the church all of that information—and there’s a chance that our over-eagerness to collect their information will cause them to not want to return. So what do we do to in response to our visitors’ hesitancy? How do we show guests we have their best interest at heart?
 

How to Get People to Give You Their Information

The answer is simple: build trust. Start slow, and start simple. I used to manage our church database, so I understand that you want to get as much information as possible at the start of the relationship. Your intentions are good. It’s simply easier to care for people when you have their information. But asking for a ton of personal information upfront can be a turn off. So, be patient and remember relationships take time to be built. That goes for relationships with your guest too.

Studies show that when it comes to forms, the less information you request, the higher return rate you’ll see. So ask for information slowly, making sure that your “ask” matches the amount of trust you’ve built with your visitor to that point. At each step along the relationship-building process, you can ask for a little bit more information. In your welcome process, be purposeful about what information you request in which scenarios. For example, a connection event meant for new attenders in the church might be a better opportunity to ask for the newcomer’s address, rather than asking for the address during the first interaction they have with your church.

The last thing to think about is how to make the information requesting process as easy as possible (on the guest). You want to make sure your guests are comfortable, informed, and that they know what the next step in the process is. That may mean you rethink, not just the connection card itself, but how you ask people to return the card. Asking a person to get up and turn the card in at a table in the lobby may mean less responses than if you ask them to throw the card in the offering plate as it passes by. But, if you have a great incentive for turning the card in, people might be more likely to make the effort to make it to the table after service, too.
 

As churches begin to think about building trust with their guests first, and gathering information second, churches will begin to see deeper relationships built with guests and new members.

What does your connection card look like? You can take part in the conversation by joining our Facebook Group.

Filed under: Branding, Visitor's Perspective, Communications

About the Author

Bryan Haley

Bryan joined the ReFrame Media team in 2017 with a passion to help churches reach people with the gospel using effective church communications. As producer for Church Juice, Bryan helps congregations energize their church communications by overseeing the Church Juice blog, publishing in-depth ebook resources, and developing training on topics like marketing, branding, social media, internal communications, and website development.

Bryan brings years of communication and outreach experience gained both in full-time church ministry and the field of church website design. Bryan and his wife, Denae, enjoy Michigan summers, Detroit sports, and family time.

Don't miss a post

Join our email list

Comments (1)

  • Cheryl Brunkow
    10:19 AM
    Tue, Sep 11, 2018

    Interesting blog today - I was JUST looking at redesigning our Connect Cards! Starting a discussion about our pastors, and I’m bringing this article to get the ball rolling. Thanks, Bryan!

Leave a Comment

Share your thoughts about this blog post with us.
All fields are required.

Recent Posts

Say it Like You Mean It
Say it Like You Mean It
0

Posted July 16, 2019 by Joel Gorveatte

We can often be frustrated by a lack of engagement with what we are wanting people to know and do. What if that could change? Here are 4 questions to answer before the next time you communicate.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? A Guide to Reaching Out to Your Community
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? A Guide to Reaching Out to Your Community
1

Posted July 9, 2019 by Kristen Eleveld

You want to help your church be part of its community—but how can you make that happen? Here’s how you can reach more people in the neighborhood and on your church campus.
Communications Isn’t Sexy
Communications Isn’t Sexy
0

Posted July 2, 2019 by Owen Scott

When we think of our dream job in communications we have a pretty sexy picture in our mind. Lattes, hand-lettering, and designing to our hearts content. But communications is not sexy. Sometimes it can be downright painful. But is it worth it? I’d think so.
Step by Step Process to Keep People Engaged Through the Summer
Step by Step Process to Keep People Engaged Through the Summer
0

Posted June 27, 2019 by Tyler Rominger

Here are four simple steps to surround your ministry with a healthy level of enthusiasm and interest throughout the busy summer months.
The Case for Apps
The Case for Apps
0

Posted June 25, 2019 by Ernesto Alaniz

A well-executed app can drive engagement, increase connection, and bring true blessings to many within and outside our walls.
No, Your Church Doesn’t Need a Custom App
No, Your Church Doesn’t Need a Custom App
2

Posted June 18, 2019 by Bryan Haley

For many of us, we’re tired of our church being “behind the times.” We want our church members to have better access to the multitude of information, content, and communication available to them each day. So why not create a mobile app?
3 Ways to Reach Families with Special Needs in Your Church
3 Ways to Reach Families with Special Needs in Your Church
2

Posted June 11, 2019 by Kristen Eleveld

If you are struggling to think of ways to reach the special needs community in your church, you are not alone. Here are a few ideas to help you launch your communication campaign to include people and families of all abilities.
Fundraising in your Community
Fundraising in your Community
0

Posted June 4, 2019 by Tyler Rominger

We live in a culture that prizes actions taken on behalf of those that are in need. Invite your community to participate and invest themselves in their local church’s efforts. You’ll be surprised at how warm the reception to such a call to action can be.
Should You Be a Church Communications Specialist or Generalist?
Should You Be a Church Communications Specialist or Generalist?
1

Posted May 14, 2019 by Robert Carnes

Church communications pros often come in two different varieties: either you’re a specialist, or a generalist. That may be obvious, and you may already know which category you fall into. But it’s still interesting to consider if there are advantages to one over the other.
You’re Not the Boss of Me
You’re Not the Boss of Me
1

Posted May 8, 2019 by Owen Scott

Working in a team is essential to survival in ministry. But working in community is often easier said than done. Here are some practical tools you can put in place to lead effectively in your team environment.