Following Up with Easter Visitors: How Churches Can Connect with New LeadsLast Updated: February 19th, 2024

As Easter approaches, churches are preparing for one of the busiest days on the Christian calendar. Easter is an excellent opportunity to invite new visitors and welcome new faces, but what happens next? Adopt an intentional strategy to engage with new visitors beyond Easter Sunday. Otherwise, you’ll miss a meaningful opportunity to connect with those who visit your church. Capturing new leads is only the beginning—it’s what comes next that makes all the difference.

How Churches Can Collect New Leads

The first step in any lead generation process is collecting the leads. Though you may have several visitors at church and even more website visitors, that doesn’t mean their contact information is automatically provided. Do you have a system in place to collect their email or phone number for follow-up? If not, here are some practical ways to make sure you do.

Have a Form on Your Church Website

Your church website is likely the first place new visitors will interact with you. In their search for a new church, they may visit several websites and forget to follow up with yours. Take advantage of this opportunity by creating a form so they can request more information or submit a prayer request with their contact information. To interact with more people, offer a lead magnet or digital download that’s valuable to users. This could be a mini devotional, a prayer guide, a resource list, a topics ebook, or Bible verses pertaining to certain topics.

Real-Life Landing Pages

Apart from your standard website home page or contact form, there are hundreds of creative ways to engage with people online. One of these is providing answers to the most commonly searched questions online. For example, people often search for how to deal with doubt. What if your church had a page answering that question? 

At Missional Marketing, our communications professionals have created easy-to-use landing pages with answers to the internet’s most frequently asked questions. Our marketing pros can install the Real-Life Landing Pages on your own website with a simple link connecting them to your resources and next steps. 

Missional Marketing’s Get Connected Landing Pages 

If you don’t have time to create engaging lead magnets, use our interactive content instead. Our team has compiled a vast array of pages to gather leads for you. These pages offer helpful downloadable content and quizzes, which visitors can take by providing their info. 

From 15 Unique Date Ideas to a Spiritual Gifts assessment, our lead magnets let visitors tell you exactly what they need and how to contact them. The more touchpoints like this you have, the more likely you’ll meet them face-to-face. The benefit is they’ll feel like they already know you.

Utilize a Connect Card 

Collect leads in your church services by offering a connect card. Some churches have a physical card; others provide it digitally through a QR code or link. First, ask visitors for their contact info and any ministries they want to know more about. Then, add their info to your database. It would be a shame for someone to offer their contact information but never hear from you again. Instead, create a streamlined system to handle every connect card with care.

Provide a Sign-In Form for Kids

Since you’re requiring critical safety information anyway, ask parents to complete a simple sign-in form when dropping their kids off for the first time. Include checkboxes for them to indicate their interest in other programs or ministries. This gives your staff an easy touchpoint to connect with parents the following week. If a parent tells you their needs outright, when you follow up, you’ll know exactly how to help.

How to Engage New Leads

Use a multi-platform approach to generate leads, both digitally and in person, to be sure you capture the contact info of every visitor—even on a busy Sunday like Easter when the greeter team might not meet everyone. But when a family visits and likes your service—what’s their next step? Without an additional touchpoint, they may not be back until next Easter. So here’s how to engage them in meaningful ways.

Send a Thank You Message

If your new visitor fills out a contact card while attending a service, send them a short SMS text message thanking them for coming. A text from the pastor gives the visit a personal touch, even if they didn’t get to meet you face to face. A simple text shows your visitor they are seen and valued. In the text, include the next steps through a link to your website or an invitation to the next newcomer’s lunch. 

Invite Them to Your Next Church Event

Every email address you receive is precious—be strategic in how you use it. Invite your new lead to the next church event, especially if it relates to the topic they were inquiring about or the demographic they fall into. You can also send an invite to an upcoming sermon series to help them go deeper. 

If you know the lead came from a specific form, like the marriage quiz, invite them to your next relevant ministry event, such as a marriage conference. Simple demographic details tell you which emails to send, so your visitors feel connected to you about things that impact their everyday lives.

Always Include a Next Step

Whether you’re sending a welcome email or adding them to your email campaign as a lead magnet, you should always point to the next step. Most people don’t take the time to search your whole website and find all the information themselves. If you email a web visitor, include a personal invitation to your next church service. Alternatively, if you’re sending emails to parents of Awana kids, inform them of the programs you offer for adults. Each message you send should make it easy for them to take the next step.

Provide In-Person Touchpoints

For in-person visitors, provide straightforward ways to engage with you before or after the service so they never walk out the doors without connecting. These touchpoints might include greeters or a welcome team, clear signage, a welcome center, or time after the service to mingle. 

Some churches find it effective to set up a coffee bar and offer treats to encourage people to start conversations. Other churches provide welcome bags with a gift and information about the church. Brainstorm with your team to find the best avenues for your church to connect with new visitors.

Offer a Dedicated Time to Meet the Pastors

Newcomers often want to meet the pastor himself, in addition to your greeters or staff. Since Sundays are a busy morning for pastors, scheduling a specific time for this is most effective. Whether it’s a simple coffee hour after the service or a newcomer’s lunch where they can ask questions, this provides a personal way for visitors to take the next step in integrating with your church community. Be sure to invite guests directly from the pulpit and email your newcomers a schedule beforehand so they can plan their visit accordingly. It would also be thoughtful to offer extended childcare so visitors can engage without distractions.

Help Newcomers Get Involved

Most newcomers don’t want to wait months to feel like part of your church family. Be sure you clearly communicate how they can get involved right away. Even though long-time members may know who key points of contact are, visitors want to reach someone who can help with their particular needs and connect them with others in their demographics. List on your website the ministries and small groups you offer, along with a contact form to get visitors involved in ongoing events. 

In-church announcements are a great way to keep members in the loop while explaining the upcoming events for each program area and introducing the point person in case visitors have questions. Provide your greeters with resources to inform new visitors, and train them to make introductions with relevant ministry leaders so visitors can put a face to each point of contact’s name. This intentionality will help your visitors go from strangers to members seamlessly.

Don’t Let Anyone Fall Through the Cracks

Jesus taught the parable about being the Good Shepherd of 100 sheep. In this story, the shepherd was willing to leave his safe, remaining flock of 99 to find and rescue the one who was lost. We can do the same. 

It’s easy to focus Sunday mornings—even Easter—on church members you know and love. But don’t forget the people you’ve never met. Attending a new church can be lonely, and even a little scary, so being welcomed by a pastor or staff member and having the chance to start a conversation with you can make all the difference. 

By generating leads and following up with visitors effectively, you can ensure no newcomer stays just a face in the crowd. They may start the day feeling like the one person who is out of place—let them end their Easter Sunday feeling like they have a new friend and a new church family!

If you’d like to learn more about how Missional Marketing can assist you with lead generation, website forms, and follow-up emails, simply contact us here

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