Here’s what we’re doing.
This is all textbook stuff straight out of the book Fusion by Nelson Searcy. He includes much more info, though, and all the stock emails included. So make sure to get the book.
The big lesson is being ruthlessly intentional about following up with every single response that people make. When I first implemented this assimilation process I handed it off to my secretary. No longer. As I thought about it, I couldn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be doing at least part of it. So I will physically hold the response cards in my hands and pray over them. If I had a specific conversation with a guest I’ll make reference to it in the email. Is there anything more important I could be doing on a Monday morning? I don’t think so.
So that’s what I take care of. I send out the first and second-time emails. Our secretary sends out the hand-written notes with the gift.
My process is simple. I wrote out a stock first and second time guest email response. I then wrote out custom responses for every option someone could check off. I then copy and paste them into the email as needed, and send it off. Simple.
First-time guests get a certain email with a gift later in the week, and second-time guests get something similar, but with different stuff and info.
And third time guests? Well, by that point I do my best to give them a personal phone call if I haven’t already spoken to them. Originally, I tried to schedule a personal visit, but I found that I wasn’t getting too much reception with that from guests. I think it seemed a little too much. Older people dig it, younger evidently do not because I wasn’t able to connect on even one home visit. But that’s ok. You have to do what works, right? So do what works for your area and demographic.
Finally, this begs the topic of having some kind of database to store all the information you’re receiving from your guests. You must use something! Here’s a post I wrote about a web-based church database that we’re using, which I recommend.
So take a moment to think about what your church does when someone fills out a response card. Does it go to some stack somewhere and collect dust? Or do you have an intentional process for following up with every single decision that someone might make?
If you don’t have everything mapped out, it’s time to jump in. Invest a few hours and sit down and write out specific responses for every request possible. Why don’t you get started right now, in fact, and get it done?