Top 10 Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet-eWelcome Series

7. Developing an Electronic Welcome Series for Your Church Visitors is our 7th of Ten Top Church Outreach Ideas for the Internet.

Whenever you welcome someone new to your church, it is likely that you have a team ready to make sure the new person feels welcome. They serve him coffee, exchange sincere pleasantries and ask for his contact details. Your church does this to make sure that the newcomer comes back to your church and becomes a regular attendee and active participant.

Using the same analogy, your church website can strategically welcome and interact with your first-time and returning visitors by offering them something “ministerial” in exchange for their basic contact information.

There are many ways to do this. For example, you can offer free Christian e-books, spiritual gifts tests, MP3 files of your best sermons, invite them to read your ministry blog, or install a prayer wall where they can leave their prayer request (like we mentioned in an earlier post). In exchange, the website visitor would simply have to provide basic contact information: First Name and Email Address.

Typically, once they have requested your special free offers, your system will have a triggered set of email messages that automatically go out at pre-established intervals: one week later, two weeks later, etc. Each email is designed to get those newcomers further acquainted with your church and encourage them to return, possible even get further involved.

Each auto-responder email message is designed to welcome the newcomer to a different aspect or your church or ministry, and of course, encourage them to get involved. Why not collect email and snail mail addresses on church visitors in exchange for a Welcome Kit about your church, then place those emails into your electronic welcome series?

Some good real-time examples of this practice can be found here:

Gregory Dickow Ministries (Or, see Sign up Now box upper right on Home Page)

Gregory Dickow Store

Jewish Voice Ministries

By developing an incentive-based e-welcome series, you can be assured that you will remain in contact with people who have shown in interest in your church outreach in person or on your website. This may not yield instant results in increased church membership, but you are establishing relationships with newcomers, who as long as they remain on your email list, are indicating that their interest remains. Plus, typical results show that for every 100 emails you acquire, 63% of those will also give you their full name and mailing address in exchange for a Welcome Kit from your ministry!

For a Free Demo on how this process works, contact Pathmaker at 623-322-3334.

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Strategic Web Communication Principle #4: Interactivity

Build interactivity into your website to improve your non profit marketing.

To keep people coming back to your site, you’ll need more than just good design. You need a hard-working site, and you must update it regularly. Many of today’s most successful websites are interactive, meaning they allow people to participate in the content in some way.  The best example is Wikipedia, where up to 7,000 volunteer contributors update and monitor the encyclopedia daily to ensure accuracy and prevent abuse.

Many other sites develop interactivity by providing games people can play. An extreme example of this is Second Life, where you participate in a virtual world online:

http://secondlife.com/

An example more relevant to not for profit organizations might be a Prayer Wall, such as the Prayer Walls at Presidential Prayer Team that we’ve discussed, or the Prayer Walls at Gregory Dickow Ministries. This online initiative provides effective internet marketing, a way to interact with your members, while also retaining relevance with your ministry site objectives. At GDM, each Prayer Wall is sent an email thanking them for their participation and welcoming them to the broader GDM ministry through their electronic Welcome Series.

Other interactivity vehicles such as chat rooms, forums, contests, blogs, libraries, photo sharing, and wikis can get people coming back to your site – building a community of people interested in your topics and endeavors.

If you’d like some help to establish a ministry Prayer Wall on your website, or improve your non profit marketing, contact Pathmaker Marketing today for assistance in getting started.

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