Church connection cards—tips & best practices for 2021

December 23, 2020

As people visit your church online or in-person, most are looking to make a connection—to meet other Christians and find a church they can call home. The fact is that you may only have one opportunity to establish a connection with them while you still have their attention. 

As part of a well thought-out strategy, church connection cards kick-start personal connections by identifying first-time visitors and providing your church with the information necessary to follow up with them. These fill-in forms are also known as connect cards, church guest cards, church visitor cards, or church welcome cards. 

These cards can help you put first-time guests on the path to becoming returning visitors and eventually active members of your church. You can also use welcome cards to make deeper connections with your regular attendees and members, getting them plugged into small groups, ministries, and volunteer opportunities. 

Why your church needs connection cards for visitors

Why do people visit your church? Whether they’re visiting in-person or online, everyone has their own stories, needs, and reasons for wanting to connect with your church. Let’s take a look at three simple ways that church welcome cards can help your church better understand who they are and how to meet their needs. 

1. They help with introducing visitors to your team

Every pastor has been there: You meet someone at church, have a nice conversation, and then forget to get their name or ask for their phone number—making it impossible to follow up with them later! Church visitor cards allow you to easily gather someone’s name and contact information, which is foundational to keeping the conversation going.

2. They facilitate building relationships with your visitors

With a visitor’s basic contact information, it’s possible for you to cultivate a relationship. This includes following up with them, inviting them to visit again, starting a dialogue, and helping them connect with your community. 

3. They initiate the next steps process

Visitor cards provide information for starting an email campaign to reach and stay connected with your visitors. Here are some practical examples of engaging content to include in your follow up emails:

  1. Show your appreciation with a simple “thank you” email and invite them to visit again
  2. Get personal with a video of your pastor thanking them for visiting and asking how your church can be praying for them
  3. Let them know the ministries your church offers to meet their needs
  4. Offer resources by linking to your church podcasts, sermon videos, and Bible reading plans
  5. Help them get to know your church better by sharing links to your website, mobile app, and social media pages 

Be intentional about the information you request

Each person has their own comfort level when it comes to sharing personal information. This is why it’s crucial for church connection cards to collect only as much information as necessary. The minimum information you need to connect with your visitors is their:

  • First & last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number

For online connect cards, be sure to make names, phone numbers, and email addresses required form fields. This prevents people from submitting the connection form without including that key information. 

Depending on your church’s mission and ministries, you will eventually want to collect more information about your guests—but remember to keep these initial questions to a minimum. Asking for too much information up front might discourage visitors from filling out your cards altogether. 

The importance of using online church connect cards

The fact is, many people will visit your church’s website before attending physically. However, churches that use Subsplash’s church websites and mobile apps can easily add online connection cards and other forms to better engage visitors and regular attendees! 

Here are some tips for making your online connection cards even more effective:

  • Add them in key places, such as on the navigation bar of your website and mobile app
  • Use a compelling call-to-action, like “New to our church?”, “Plan your visit”, or “How can we pray for you?” 
  • Link these calls to action to a page with relevant information and a connection form, ideally in a noticeable way, like with a button

Here is a good sample of a digital connection card from Calvary Murrieta’s mobile app. You can see that it collects just enough information to allow the church to follow up with their visitors—without the form being weighed down by unnecessary fields.

       

Good example of church connection cards on mobile devices

Another good example is Trinity Reformed Church’s “Getting to Know You” connection card on their website. The name and email address are required fields, while the rest of the information is optional. The submit button is bright and attractive, making it clear where to click after completing the form. 

Good example of using church connection cards on a church website

Church connection cards can be helpful for members too

You may have noticed that ministry websites and apps offer a variety of connection cards. This is a good practice because certain types of connect cards also make it easier for church members and regular attendees to develop a deeper connection with the church. 

If you use various connection cards for different purposes, consider adding a section to your website and mobile app that lists each of them. Common titles for these sections include “Let’s connect,” “Connection cards,” and “Get connected,” and should include forms such as:

  • Visitor connection forms
  • Volunteer sign-ups
  • Prayer request forms
  • Small group sign-up forms
  • “How can we help you?” forms

Check out Elevate Life’s attractive use of different cards in the “Get connected” section of their homepage. This allows visitors and church members alike to easily get connected, give, and sign up for volunteer opportunities through their website.

       

Elevate Life’s website has a great “Get connected” section

Another great example of how to use digital connection cards on mobile apps to help people connect with a specific ministry comes from Real Life Ministries. Whether celebrating a new believer committing their life to Christ, helping people join a small group, or simply asking for prayer, users can choose from a well-thought out variety of options.

       

Real Life Ministries’ app offers multiple church connection cards

At this point, you may be wondering, “How difficult is it to make a church connection card to add to my website and mobile app?”, or “How can I make a custom welcome card that matches my church’s branding?” 

Fortunately, Subsplash’s church website builder and custom mobile apps were built with churches in mind. They make it simple to add forms and create your own custom connection cards! These tools are also part of The Ultimate Engagement Platform™, an all-in-one platform that seamlessly connects your website and mobile app to your church's online giving, media hosting and delivery, live streaming, and church communication tool

Ready to learn more about how Subsplash can help grow your church by taking engagement to the next level?[.blog-contact-cta]Let’s chat![.blog-contact-cta] 

Already a Subsplash client? Log in to your Subsplash Dashboard to schedule a call with your Client Success Manager, and learn more expert tips for better connecting with your community!

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