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First Impressions: Survey First Time Visitors (More)

Evangelism Surveys

Survey Your First Time Visitors

Last month, I posted an entry on Surveying 1st Time Church Visitors to help improve your church’s welcoming.

I contacted each church mentioned and discovered the effect of such an online first time visitor survey was a zero.

One church visitor survey was a broken link.

The second church visitor survey for first time visitors was removed since I couldn’t find it on the website.

The 3rd church visitor survey wasn’t used nor promoted by the church for a year or so, leaving only one of the four functioning.

In conversations with the webmaster, I learned that not too many people fill it out because there is no effective means of getting visitors to fill it out.

Survey of visitors seems  like a good idea, but  . . .

The question is:

Why would church visitors come back to fill it out?

Fusion The people who wrote

Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church

have an answer.

They actually use online visitor surveys and have been very successful in getting them completed.

Here is the key to survey your first time visitors:

Visitors who leave an email address on the visitor card get an personalized email on Monday  from the pastor who taught that week, with a link directly to the first time church visitor survey webpage.

This begs the question — how do they get an email address from visitors?

That church uses a response card system, where everyone fills out a response card (sometimes called a connection card), not just the visitors.  When people enter the sanctuary, they receive a program (bulletin in church speak), a pen, and a response card.

At an appropriate time in the service, everyone, including members and regular attenders are invited to fill it out and place it in the offering basket.

The hospitality team processes  the cards and by Monday afternoon around 3, the first time visitors get the email from the pastor who taught that Sunday.  In that email is a link to a short survey and they have found a pretty good click thru rate.

Let me ask you this:

What do you do to make contact with visitors that come to your church?

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About EvangelismCoach

Chris wants to help you increase the number of conversations that lead people towards Christ. He has studied evangelism and church growth ever since working for a Billy Graham crusade over 20 years ago, and has led countless training seminars throughout North and South America in many different denominations.


  1. We have been working hard on the first part of the puzzle for a while. We now have at least 4 ways to get the info. None of them work perfect 100% of the time. Some people what to be unknown. We have both passive and active ways to collect the info.

    Small brochure in the pew where most of us keep envelopes and such. It’s a half sheet of 8.5 x 11 trifold. Simple thank you for being our guest (not visitor) with some program times and full contact information of the staff and office, and a form to fill out to submit their info. It’s important to make sure that the info on the back of the part you want them to give you is not something they might want to take with them.

    Fellowship Pads- everyone signs. Really a poor tool for data collection due to the layout. I am redesigning ours so that we can get the info we need. We know who is a member and not, we need space for the real stuff like name, address, phone, and most importantly email.

    Pastor Info card at the door. We only have one real way of the worship service and I am posted their each week. I ask the simple question if they left their info with us in the fellowship pad. If so I talk for a brief moment and try and pass them along to the other critical aspect of our collection. if not I ask them if they would be willing to step to the side right by me and fill out a small card with their information we need. Few say no.

    Finally, it is critical for our members to talk to them and get the goods on them. I have people who try and get real life info from them on family, work and home.

    Each monday the Elders and Deacons recieve a list of those folks and usally someone can give me more info on them. It helps with my follow up because I can talior it to them. Make it personal.

    The missing part for us is how do members follow up? I read so much that puts the emphasis on memebers doing the follow up. That’s why we are going to do some realy work on helping folks get comfortable in their Christian Skin. So they can talk to strangers with confidence.

  2. Geoff:

    Having been to your church in Northern Virginia, I think you are right on in some people wanting to remain anonymous.

    In terms of getting contact information, Yvon shares some great ideas in a radio interview I did with her:

    It might seem a little challenging on the administrative end to implement, yet it seems to be a very effective idea.


  1. [...] to an on-line follow up Survey for First Time Visitors about their experience of your church’s [...]

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