4 Ways To Increase Your Guest Return Rate


Last week we looked at the 2 Hopes To Have For Your Guests at church. If you didn't catch it, go back, read and come on back. A connections strategy should be founded in simplified hopes such as the ones I listed.

Now that a guest has visited and made a meaningful connection, the second hope was that they return, right? Well, every week they don't return the chances of them returning gets slimmer and slimmer. In fact, if they don't return in the 3 weeks, chances are you won't ever see them again. 

So, how do we make it easy for them to return? Here are strategies our Connections Team, led by Mark Wittig, have put in place:

1. Give & Get

Give them a gift and get their info. Gifts for guests can range from hundreds of different items. And we've tried them all and we keep coming back to the coffee mug. Everyone drinks coffee so it's a useful gift, and once again, everyone drink coffee so it's seen multiple times a week in a person's home. Slide a simple connection card in front of them, ask them to fill it out and tell them you want to send them another gift...

2. Give Again

We send a Starbucks gift card and, sometimes, a gas card with a hand-written card in the next 24 hours. We express our gratitude for the investment they made in coming to check out our church. If you checked in a child, our kids ministry will double up on our efforts to send the family a handwritten card.

3. Cast Your Next Hope

Mid-week, our Connections Pastor sends an email thanking them for investing their time in checking out our church and expresses that our hope is that they would simply come back that coming Sunday.

4. Cast Your Hope One More Time

Lastly, our Lead Pastor will send a similar email thanking them and expressing our hope that they would simply come back that coming Sunday. And it's always great to hear from the Lead Pastor in this process.

Every recorded guest goes in our database and we begin to track their return. Our goal is to see 50% of guests return in the next 3 weeks (2 visits in 1 month). We call this our Guest Return Rate. When this number dips below our goal, this is the time to adjust the strategy. Getting people truly connected into the church is something I'll cover next week.

Here is my core belief on this whole topic: Get a goal, set a strategy, make a measuring stick. Don't mess with it to mess with it. Mess with it because you have measured it. You can always adjust your strategy but without a goal and without a way to measure if it's working, you cannot set or reset strategies to increase your Guest Return Rate.

@@ Don't mess with it to mess with it. Mess with it because you have measured it. @@

So my parting question is this: What realistic goal do you have for a Guest Return Rate in your church?