Do you utilize your website to gather leads to grow your church?
Today, your website is your churches front door to almost every visitor. Statistic show us that before a person will visit your physical campus, they are most likely to visit your webpage. The question is, are you capturing the information of those that visit your website?
Your website should be an honest reflection on who you are. It should be up-to-date. It should allow first time visitors a very clear view of what to expect when they visit. This includes where to park, what to wear, what type of music to expect,your core believes and values, and information on your ministries.
Are you gathering contact information from people who visit your website?
If you knew a visitor was at your church for the first time, would you try to collect their information so you can follow up? The same should be true on your website. So at this point you might be asking, “how would I do this?” There are many techniques you can employ. From the simple, “would you like more information?”, to giving away something free. That something free doesn’t have to cost you anything – it could be as simple as a PDF document.
Think about your target person, what would be something of value that you could give them an exchange for their name and email address?
If somebody visits your website, and is willing to give you their contact information, this is a great first step towards them becoming a member – and all before they ever visit your physical campus.
Email privacy is a huge concern for people. Also, nobody likes to be spammed. So make sure when you ask for the name and email that you include your privacy statement. Let them know that you will never share their email address with anybody, but you will only contact them for things that they are interested in receiving, and that they can unsubscribe from your list at any time. Also – when you email them, NEVER put their names in the TO field when sending to multiple people. Always use an email service such as AWeber or put their names in the BCC field. Nothing irritates people more than sharing their email with a list of strangers.
You can gather emails in one of any number of ways. You could do a simple contact form that then emails you their name and email address which you can manually contact, or you can use any number of email service providers. We personally use AWeber and highly recommend it. Others you might want to consider are Constant Contact and Mail Chimp. I’ve personally used all three of these services and each have their advantages. Over time however, AWeber seemed like the best overall investment with the best delivery rates.
What is keeping you from implementing this today on your site?
These mail services allow you the opportunity to automate your email process. Once you collect the lead, it will notify you. You can also use many of these services to auto respond to people once you get their email address. You can even use the services to deliver whatever freebie you offered in exchange for their email address.
Automating the process
If you want to get really technical, you can add that person to what we call an auto responder. This is a set number of email messages that goes out based off a schedule that starts when the person signs up. So, if someone were to sign up today, they would get an immediate email welcoming them and providing whatever free offer you promised. The next time of you’re choosing, let’s say one week from now, they would receive another email with more information. And with each email they received you would provide them with quality content and solid information. Your goal is to use each email to help get them closer to an on-site visit and eventually become a member.
You can see how this is an invaluable tool for your church. And using a tool you likely already have – your website. So what is keeping you from implementing this today on your site?