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How to Double the Number of Guests Who Return for a Second Time

It's always exciting when a first-time guest shows up at your church service, event or program.

The goal is to see them return for a second time and become a part of your church.

This is not always an easy task. Stats show that only 7% of guests return for a second time.

That is where I was at. We were seeing lots of guests come each week, but we couldn't seem to break that 7% return barrier.

So I decided to put more effort and resources into our guest return strategy.

We decided to give every guest a gift when they returned. The gift was a nice t-shirt with our ministry logo on it.

Here was the strategy.

Each guest had a personal volunteer who helped them check in. As the volunteer checked them in and walked them to their classroom, he or she would ask the guests questions like "how did you hear about the church" or "where did you move from" or "what school are you attending" and other small talk questions.

After the volunteer has helped the family get to their rooms, he or she will write out a personal note to the family. As they write the note, they will mention something specific that they learned about the family. An example would be a family who moved from Pittsburgh. The volunteer will mention that in the note. This helps guest families see that the note is specifically for them and not just a standard letter that is used for everyone.

The handwritten postcard also has a return invite and says if they return the card the next time they attend, the kids will receive the t-shirt.

Once we did this, our percentage return rate went from 7% to 38%. The investment we made started paying off as we saw a lot more children and families return and get plugged into the church. Many of the kids wore their shirt to school which helped spread the word about our ministry.

This strategy can be used not only for church services but events like fall festival, family events, summer programming, etc.

I want to encourage you to take a look at what percentage of your guests are returning.

Put time and effort into implementing a strategy that will increase your percentage. I believe you can double the number of guests who return.

Your turn. What strategies do you use to encourage guests to return? What is your percentage? Share your thoughts and insights in the comment section below.


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