I am always looking for ways to connect with first-timers who show up at a Sunday service. At Unity in Marin, Calif., we ask for people to self-identify and then hand them a welcome packet. I have often wondered how many people actually look at the welcome packet. Within the packet is a greeting from me that invites them to contact me so we can meet face-to-face. Honestly, that almost never happens. I realized it was time for a new strategy to augment this practice.
We decided to invite the first-timers to fill out an information sheet, which asked for contact information and was attached to the outside of the packet. If they fill that out and turn it in to a specifically identified person, then they would get not only a free CD of the service but also a 10% off coupon to have brunch at the restaurant across the street. More people started raising their hands to self-identify.
The real payoff is as follows. Sunday afternoon one of my staff collects the contact information and sends the newcomers an email (from me) that I wrote welcoming them and inviting them to meet with me. Many times, by the time they get home from Sunday service, they already have an email from me. This is working. I see on average two new people a week as a result. I invite you to do the same. If you would like, I will send you a copy of the letter I wrote that they receive.
Response from a first-timer
“Thank you for your warm welcome! I certainly feel a warm and friendly welcome from all who I have met at Unity in Marin! It is a wonderful community!” —Jewel