Don’t look now, but Christmas Eve is in less than two weeks! If you are a pastor or church leader, your schedule is probably filled with staff meetings surrounding this momentous weekend. And for good reason, too! Not only is Christmas the day we celebrate Jesus coming into the world to save us from sin and death, but the Christmas weekend is also one of the highest-attended church services around the world each year. These visitors who come through your doors do not merely represent a number or statistic, but an opportunity to spread the gospel throughout your community. We know that you’ve probably spent many days planning out how to best engage with your Christmas visitors, so we won’t try to unravel those plans. But we do want to give just a few tips on how you can use the Subsplash Platform to capitalize on this opportunity to engage with your local community this Christmas season:
Announce your app from the stage.
There is a very high likelihood that each person who comes through your doors next weekend owns a smartphone or tablet (according to Pew Research, 77% of American adults own a smartphone). So why not share with them one of the easiest ways to stay connected to your church? Even a quick 30-second plug will do wonders for post-Christmas engagement. Now every person who is sitting in the audience knows where to go to find all of your church’s content, and they can even do it right there from their seat! Additionally, you can create an “I’m New” push notification group and encourage visitors to opt into that group to receive more information about your church. We’ll touch on that again shortly.
Going to church on Christmas Eve may be overwhelming for some who are first-time visitors. You probably have a strategy in place to connect with new folks, but let’s face it….your staff and greeting team can’t meet every new person who comes through your doors, especially if you have a larger ministry. The unfortunate reality is that even with a robust plan in place, some people who enjoyed your service or would like more information about your church may slip through the cracks. This is where technology can help fill that void. By adding your connect card, a welcome message, and any other relevant signup forms or information to your app, you can make it easy for everyone to get connected, even after church is over. Your printed bulletin and connect card may end up in the trash, but your digital connect card will be in everyone’s pocket at all times. There will probably be people who forget to stop by your connect desk, throw your Sunday bulletin away, or feel compelled to get in touch after stewing on the message for a few days. Since you’ve announced the app from the stage, they now have it on their phone, and since you have your connect card and welcome materials in the app, they can easily get in touch with your church.
Use push notifications.
Remember how you announced your app from the stage and encouraged visitors to join the new push notification group during the service? Now it’s time to follow up! Send out a push notification to the “I’m New” group thanking them for attending and offering any follow up information that you think would be helpful. This could include your connect card, a welcome video, information about how to get in touch with a pastor, or even just an encouraging passage of scripture. Unlike most emails, push notifications get extremely high open rates, and this will add a nice personal touch to your follow up process. On top of that, push notifications have a much lower barrier to entry when it comes to connecting with people. Not everyone is going to be immediately comfortable with providing their personal information (email, home address, phone, etc) to you - especially if they are a first-timer, and no personal information is required to receive a push notification. If you’d like some visuals that show users how to subscribe to push notification groups, we’ve got a video for you here.
Download The Church App.
With so many people traveling to visit friends and families over the holidays, chances are that some of your visitors may not be staying in your town for long. Good news: helping them find a church in their hometown doesn’t have to be hard! In fact, it can happen in a matter of seconds, right on their phone. The new search tools available in The Church App allow any user to quickly find a church based on name or location, and engage with that church’s content in a matter of seconds. Check out The Church App today to see for yourself!
Want some more tips and ideas? Check out this webinar from our Client Success team! They’ve compiled a list of creative ways to boost engagement before, during, and after your Christmas Eve services. We are praying that God would use all of your hard work and preparation to draw people to himself, and we can’t wait to hear stories of all the amazing things he does through your ministry! Merry Christmas to all!