One of the most overlooked parts of Easter planning can be the follow-up process. It’s incredible to see new guests show up at your church after you’ve spent weeks preparing, but how do you get them to come back?
Email is still a very effective communication tool for your ministry and guest follow up. Using email automation to follow up with first-time guests can simplify your workflow and ensure you connect with guests in a timely way. I would recommend using MailChimp because it’s simple to use and pretty inexpensive, but many email services offer automation.
Here’s a way to use email automation at your church this Easter.
Schedule a series of emails to send in the 30 days following Easter Sunday to guests who turn in a connection card. Recruit a staff member or volunteer to enter their information so you can send the initial email 24-48 hours after your Easter Sunday service.
Email #1 – Thank you and a free resource
This first email should come from a pastor saying thanks for celebrating Easter with you and offering a free resource to help them grow in their relationship with Jesus. This could be an original song from your worship team, a devotional resource, or a prayer guide.
Remember to tell your guests that when they fill out a connection card they will receive a free resource so they know to look for it in their inbox.
Email #2 – Invitation to come back
Aim to be as strategic with your post-Easter planning as you are with your pre-Easter planning. Plan to start a compelling and practical sermon series that would draw in someone who wouldn’t typically attend church the week after Easter. In your second email, invite them back for the series and emphasize why the series will benefit them and what they will get out of it. Include your service times and a link back to your website for more details.
Email #3 – Ask for feedback
The best way to improve your first-time guest experience is by capturing honest feedback. Using a tool like SurveyMonkey, create a brief survey to find out about your guests’ overall experience. The survey should include questions about what they noticed first, liked best, what could be improved, and how your staff can pray for them.
Email #4 – Meet the pastor
Many churches host a class or an opportunity to meet the pastor for new guests. Send a note with an overview and invitation to attend the next class. Include the important details like when, where, and how to register (if necessary), and if childcare is offered.
Email #5 – Get Connected
The final email should highlight ways to connect with other people through ministries like small groups. Include information about pastoral care and which staff members to contact if they have questions about getting to know Jesus or just want to speak with someone.
In all of the emails, make sure the voice of the email matches that of the sender and keep it personal. Set up the email to send directly from a personal address and encourage recipients to reply directly if they have any questions.
Ready to get started? Here are a few additional resources on email automation.