What's in this session?

  • Why is a church connection card so important? (1:19)
  • How few fields can you ask for while still keeping a card relevant? (2:33)
  • Use a connection card as an extension of your central hub (5:28)
  • Some people prefer a physical card (6:35)

Show notes and resources

Free Bonus: Click here to download The Church Announcements Script Bundle – this free download includes 8 pre-written announcement scripts that you can swipe and start using in your church

The Transcript

Brady Shearer: Thanks for listening to today’s episode of Pro Church Daily, this is Brady, creator of Nucleus. You’ve heard it enough from me. I want you to hear it from real users of Nucleus. This is Barry, he’s a lead pastor.

Barry says, “As a brand new church plant, Nucleus has been invaluable. I have a full-time job, a family, and I’m also a lead pastor. I don’t have time to figure out a complicated platform or spend too much time updating our website. Nucleus has been our answer. Easy and quick to implement and update. Also, instead of a complicated slew of clipboards or sign ups at our welcome table, it now happens online.”

That was what Barry had to say. Head to Nucleus.Church to learn more and get started.

Alex Mills: Well, hey there, and welcome to Pro Church Daily, the show where in 10 minutes or less, you’ll get your daily dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus while we navigate the biggest communication shift we’ve seen in the last 500 years. I’m your host Alex Mills, I’m joined as always, by the boss man, it’s Brady Shearer. And today, we’re talking about the perfect church connect card template.

Pretty much every church has a connect card.

Brady Shearer: Yeah.

Alex Mills: You might call it something differently. The connection card, the red card. The I’m New Card. The Welcome Card. Heard a lot of different names for it.

Brady Shearer: The red card?

Alex Mills: Yeah, I think the church branded it like, their church’s color.

Brady Shearer: Oh, yeah. I thought it was sweet.

Alex Mills: Very cool. But we all have one. We call it different things, but essentially it’s that card you want new visitors to fill out so that you can get their information and follow up with them later. And if you’re not already using this, or if you are already are using it and it’s just always been there and you don’t really know why it’s there, it’s just one of those things.

It is a very important piece of communication we use in our churches. Let’s look at some data. In 2000, BARNA reported that almost six in 10 American adults, 58% to be precise, had attended church in the past month. That was the year 2000. Fast forward to 2015, and that number had dropped to just 46%. Basically, a percentage drop every single year.

Now, we don’t know if that trend is going to continue indefinitely, but it has been for the last, almost two decades. What does this tell us? People are attending church less frequently, and this makes the connect card platform that much more important because it takes so much effort to get someone to attend church for the first time, we want to capture their information so we can close that back door of people leaving and follow up with them and find, A, is this church is a great fit for you? It might not be, but if you don’t come back, we don’t want the reason to be because we didn’t follow up with you.

You being able to follow up has so much to do … almost, relies entirely on your ability to get more people filling out the connect card, giving you their information.

How can we improve the response rate of connect cards filled out? At the end of the day, it all comes down to finding the sweet spot between how many form fields you need to ask for versus how few you can actually use, because what we’ve found with data and anecdotal evidence is that the fewer forms you ask, the less amount of information you ask for, the more responses that you’re going to get.

Brady Shearer: Yeah.

Alex Mills: And this has been proven by another study by BARNA, they looked specifically at millennials. What kind of information are millennials willing to give to churches upon their first-time visit? 82% of millennials said they were willing to give their first name, 53% said they’d be okay giving their last name.

33% email, 19% physical address, 12% phone number, 6% social media, 15% said, “I don’t want to share anything.” Couple interesting things that stand out to me there. 85% of millennials are willing to share their information with churches upon first time visits. They might not want to share their social media handles, but they’re okay sharing information. I would suggest, and guess, not based on data, that generations past, would be more unwilling to share information.

Brady Shearer: Okay.

Alex Mills: But as millennials, we’re so willing and used to giving all of our info to Facebook and to Google and Amazon-

Brady Shearer: Yeah, it’s all out there anyway.

Alex Mills: They know everything about us. What’s a church? That’s fine. No big deal over there. You gotta look at what are people willing to give, because you need some type of contact information. 82% are willing to give their first name. So, that’s great, but on its own, a first name is effectively useless.

You’re probably gonna need their last name and then you’re going to need at least one of either their email or their phone number. Millennials are three times more likely to give their email. This may not be true for all demographics; I have not seen data like this when it comes to church information connect cards with other generations, so maybe Gen X and Boomers are more willing to give their phone number.

But I don’t want anyone to have my phone number. Don’t call me. Never call me. Never call. I don’t want it.

Brady Shearer: I’m not picking up. It’s going right to voicemail.

Alex Mills: Exactly. So, my best suggestion would be to use three fields: the name, the email, and … oh, I guess, first name, last name, email. Found it. I’ve got it. But here’s the game that you’re trying to play. How few fields can you ask for while still keeping a card relevant?

Here’s what you need to remember. You can always follow up and get more information later, right?

Brady Shearer: Absolutely.

Alex Mills: Like, one you have them in your CHMS, once they’re in Planning Center People, once they’re in CCB or whatever you’re using, as long as you have that single piece of contact information, you want to follow up with them later.

Brady Shearer: Yeah.

Alex Mills: And that’s the key. Don’t ask for it all up front, because you’re going to minimize the overall number of responses that you get. Ask for as little information as you can and then, fill out their full profile at a later date.

Every Nucleus user gets access to what we consider to be the perfect connect card template. And what we do with our connect card is we don’t just limit the number of fields that we’re asking for, we do that of course, but the other thing that we do with our connect card, is we use it as an extension of the central hub.

Brady Shearer: Yes.

Alex Mills: Remember this idea of the central hub? I talked about it on Episode 61 of Pro Church Daily and 62 and this idea of the central hub is to have a single destination for every single next step. And we use our connect card as Nucleus users as an extension of that central hub.

So, on the front side of the connect card, there’s a huge call to action, and it reads simply: follow along with today’s experience at, and then you insert your Nucleus URL. So, follow along with today’s experience at LifeAbundant.ca. And the verbiage that we use is very, very crucial there. Follow along with today’s experience.

Basically, that verbiage implies that to really maximize your experience at church today, there is accompanying information that you’re gonna want. And that is true with Nucleus, because we have the fillable message notes. So for the entire message, you can be following along with the pastor’s outline, filling in your own message notes and then emailing yourself the completed notes at the end. You can take your next step directly within your seat, so if you’re promoting baptisms or small groups, you can have sign ups and registrations directly on your Nucleus, and have those filled out.

But the reason that we still have that physical piece of information is that print isn’t dead. Print is not at all efficient, but it is not dead, and I love having a piece of print material in every seat, but I also like to make sure that I use that print material to promote what really matters, which is the Central Hub. I use it as a launching pad to get them connected to the Central Hub.

With that being said, on the back of our connect card template that every Nucleus user gets, there is information for someone to fill out a connect card physically if they care to do so. Then what I have them do is return that connect card, and then, as soon as that connect card is returned, the person that’s volunteering to man the boxes at the exit of the auditorium, or that’s manning the lobby kiosk where everything’s set up, I have them re-enter that information directly into the Nucleus so that everyone is being found in that one spot, and everyone can be followed up with immediately using the instant email follow-ups if you’re using the Nucleus integrations, for instance.

And this is what makes a Central Hub so great, is that you can have different extensions of it, right? Your Central Hub can work on a mobile device. Your central hub can work on a desktop. It can work on print material like a connect card. It can work on a tablet set up as a lobby kiosk.

But at the end of the day, there’s a single piece of software that’s powering all of it, and this is what allows you as a church to only have to maintain and pay for a single platform, which is amazing. But connect card, at the end of the day, people are gonna still prefer the physical, I’m always gonna promote the online, follow along with today’s experience at LifeAbundant.ca and I’m gonna ask for as little information as possible so I can maximize my responses.

But as long as the Central Hub’s still powering everything, I think that the connect card is still a great platform to use, as long as it’s working in tandem with the Central Hub, and not like, fighting against it.

Brady Shearer: Yeah. You know, I remember, even before I started working here, you wrote an article about this. It’s gotta be two years ago, three years ago, about connect cards, and this very thing, ask for less and you’ll get more, and so, I took that article and I was working on a church at that time, and I took that philosophy and I translated it to what we were doing.

I took our connect card. I totally revamped it. I asked for name and email and it’s similar to what we talked about on Episode 61. You know, I share my experience from church, when we used to have so many avenues for completing next steps, but realized, when we boil it all down and just have one avenue, one Central Hub, you’re gonna get way more engagement.

And so, that’s so true. I’ve seen it. This is my own experience in church. That when you get rid of all that … stop asking me for my gender and my social insurance number and whatever, if I see, if you’ve got it all on your tithing envelope too and it’s with a bunch of other fields, I see all that? I’m not gonna fill it out.

But if I see two fields, or three, if you include first and last name as two, my name and my email? That’s all you want from me? I’ll give it to you, no problem. And then, you as a church staffer or volunteer, now you can trigger that follow-up sequence, like you said, with your church management software, with MailChimp if you want. That’s free. You can trigger that follow-up sequence during the week and get whatever information you want from that avenue. But don’t try it on a Sunday morning because you’re not going to get anything if you try it that way.

Alex Mills: This is why we say Nucleus is a new kind of church website builder. Because it’s not just like, “Here’s your static page with service times on it,” it’s meant to be the engine that powers every single next step in your church. All of your church’s operations, from that first impression that your website is making, all the way to next steps. Baptisms, sign ups, and of course, that initial first step of someone filling out a connect card, it’s all powered by a singular engine. You can use Nucleus for that. We’re in our launch week.

Nucleus.Church, you can find that. Whatever you do, make less information required for your people when it comes to connect cards. You’ll see more connect cards returned, which means more connections being made with real people that can connect to your church and experience that path to loving God, loving people, making disciples.

Brady Shearer: There it is.

Alex Mills: That’ll do it for today’s episode of Pro Church Daily. We’ll see you tomorrow.

Brady Shearer: It’s a special week here at Pro Church Tools because this week is Nucleus Launch Week. Nucleus is a new kind of website builder for churches, and we’re celebrating launch week by giving every new user of Nucleus a crazy lifetime discount. This discount will never go away and you’ll get every new future of Nucleus for free going forward.

Use Nucleus as your main website, use it as a mobile app replacement. Use it as a kiosk in your lobby. Nucleus is incredibly flexible. Lock in your lifetime discount this week and this week only at www.Nucleus.church.

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