Regardless of what it’s called, almost every church has a connection card. Building the perfect connection card for your church involves a variety of factors. One of those is structuring the card in way that’s designed to elicit information. Did you know there are statistics for that? There is data that tells us the best way to ask for a visitor’s information. There are also other best practices for creating inspiring, appealing church connection cards.
It’s not as easy to attract new visitors to your church as it once was, even just a decade ago. Barna reported that in 2000, almost 6 in 10 American adults (58%) had attended church in the past month. Fast forward to 2015, and that number had dropped to just 46%. A decline of 12 full percentage points. As culture shifts, attracting new visitors to your church is becoming increasingly more difficult.
This is what makes your church’s connection card so important. Because once you’ve done the hard work of actually getting a new family through your doors, it’s imperative that you capture their information so they don’t simply walk out after service, never to be heard from again. So how do we do this?
Constructing the perfect connection card comes down to two main factors:
- Limited form fields
- Quality design
The Most Crucial Element Of Your Church Connection Card
Plain and simple. The most crucial element of your church’s connection card is the number of form fields you request from a visitor. The fewer form fields you display, the more cards you’ll have filled out. So the question you need to ask yourself is, “What is the absolute least amount of information we need to capture from a new visitor?”
Keep in mind that once you have basic information from someone, you can always follow up with them later to get more information. So if all you get is their first name and email address up front, you can always follow up later to get their email and physical address.
Below you’ll see an infographic published by Barna that asked Millennials what information they would be willing to give a church at a first visit. Keep in mind that as a group, Millennials are generally not guarded about sharing their personal information and privacy, but they do tend to distrust churches.
Keeping in mind the data in this infographic, you may want to re-construct your church connection card. Knowing that every additional field you include reduces the number of completed cards, how limited can you make your church’s connection card without it being useless?
For instance, obviously, having a connection card that only asks for a new visitor’s first name would yield the highest percentage of cards filled out. But this card would be of no use to you. The connection card exists to allow you to follow up with new visitors beyond your Sunday service. Here is the information I would ask for on a church connection card ranked from most to least important. And I’ll say it one more time: Remember to eliminate as many form fields as possible:
- First Name (necessary)
- Email Address (necessary)
- Last Name (optional)
- Phone Number (optional)
- Physical Address (not recommended)
Now that we’ve tackled the structure of our connection card, let’s move on to the actual design. Below you’ll find 4 brilliant examples of church connection cards.
1. Welcome Home
Most church connection cards ask for too much information. Do you really need to know a visitor’s address, email, and phone number?
Here’s a simple truth: The more information you ask for on a form, the fewer forms you’ll have completed. So the question you need to wrestle with as a church is this: Are we okay with removing some of the fields on our connection card if it means more connection cards will be completed? And if so, what percentage of increase in completed cards would it take for us to make the switch?
The bottom line is ask for as little information as possible on your connection cards.
2. I Have Decided
If you’re finding it difficult to keep your connection cards lean, one workaround is to simply have multiple cards that serve multiple purposes.
At Engage City Church, visitors and regular attenders will find three different cards in the seat backs of chairs: a Welcome Home card (pictured in example number one), an I Have Decided card (pictured above), and a Sign Me Up card (pictured below). Each of these cards serves a unique purpose. Instead of cramming all of this information onto a single convoluted card, Engage has delegated individual tasks to individual cards.
Of course, this can be overdone as well. I personally wouldn’t use more than three different cards total.
3. Sign Me Up
Whatever it is you call the connection card at your church, the verbiage you use will be completely foreign to a new visitor. If you don’t have an evangelical church background, the word connection card (or whatever you call it) has no meaning.
One way to make sure you’re communicating clearly is to color coordinate your cards. Instead of asking visitors to, “Fill out a connection card,” you can simply ask them to, “Fill out a green card.” This ensures there’s no confusion as to which card you’re referring to. Especially if you have multiple cards, color coordinating them — using your brand colors — is a win for clear communication and consistent visual branding.
4. Put Me In, Coach
Don’t be afraid of having some fun with your connection cards. Let’s face it, connection cards are boring. Filling out your information on a card is anything but exciting. But when your verbiage is playful (as pictured above), it can show off your personality as a church.
5. Thanks For Joining Us Today
6. Connect With Our Ministry Teams
7. Trio Of Connect Cards
When it comes to your church connection card, less is more. Taking inspiration from the 4 connection cards listed above, here are 4 helpful tips to consider when designing your next connection card:
- Keep it minimal: The less information you ask for on a card, the more cards will be completed.
- Use multiple cards: Instead of stuffing a single card full of endless information fields, use individual cards for individual tasks.
- Color coordinate: Use colors to make card identification easy.
- Be playful: Filling out cards is boring. Use fun verbiage to show off your church’s personality.
What does your church’s connection card look like? Post an image in the comments below!