Thursday, June 26, 2008

What Makes You Feel Welcome?

This is one where I need your feedback. Some people at the Church Marketing Lab have been discussing the materials they use to introduce their churches to visitors. It got me thinking about the visitor brochure we use at NMC - which I've been wanting to improve for a while - and how welcome that makes people feel.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think any materials you can put in the hands of visitor are the sole determinant of whether they will feel welcome or not. But I do think those in-hand materials can add to or detract from a visitor's experience.

So, if you were a visitor at a church what types of materials (brochures, stickers, CDs, DVDs, maps, etc.) would make you feel welcome?

I need you on this one - since most of you aren't in church marketing your points of view are incredibly valuable to me. And, if you are in church marketing, your point of view is still valuable.

Please leave a comment with your suggestions on how to make visitors feel welcome. Thanks!

3 comments:

Rob said...

Dan,

Here's what I would like as a visitor:

1. Being met soon inside the door by a person knowledgeable about the children's programming and willing to lead me there, so I can drop off my kids. This is non-negoitable for me. If the church doesn't value my kids, I'm not interested...and I bet I speak for alot of parents.

Back to your question....here's what I'd like you to hand me when I tell you I'm looking for a church home:
- something with your core beliefs and values

- a staff directory and little bios...I just like knowing a bit about who I may be hearing.

- a overview of the adult and children's ministries like SS and Wednesday night offerings. Let me find a class or group that I can fit into...don't push me into a class I'm not sure about. Let me make that decision.

- a DVD with visual highlights or pictures of different ministry stuff would be great. I love multimedia, and seeing real people doing real stuff at church would appeal to me.

-For any church of size, please give me a map of the building so I can find things on my own. I hate asking for direction...if you make me do it, I may decide to just leave.

- If you want to do any giveaways, make it something fun. Everybody does magnets, pens, or mugs. Do Frisbees, Nerf balls, or something goofy. If that's not your thing, then make it simple and impactful, like your batons to the seniors, along with an explanation of why you chose this.

- Give me email addys and a website I can come to with any questions. I think I'm more likely to ask that way than to call the church office and risk sounding dumb.

That's all I've got off the top of my head...hope you can find something useful in this mess!

Rachel said...

beyond the human factor of someone noticing my deer-in-the-headlights look and coming over to introduce themselves and give a tour of the church? i'd love something i could immediately pop into the radio of my car after the service, when things are still fresh. i don't want to read anything; it'd end up of the floor of my minivan. i don't want to be directed to a web site (solely) since it's likely i won't be heading straight to a computer.
i want the cd to be fun, maybe a sampling of worship music (yeah, i'm reaching for the stars here and pretending copyright laws don't exist); perhaps some fun, lighthearted interviews with staff people; i want to know core stuff {beliefs, mission, etc}; i want to know who to contact if i want to get involved // i want to get a feel of the church and paper media simply is intimidating. a video version of this would be cool, too ...

Michael said...

Seriously?!?! If upon stepping through the doors of a church I was handed my own multi-media presentation, detailed information about the staff (meant to be servants, right?), map of the facilities, and information detailing every children's program and CE offering available, I might feel a bit more overwhelmed than welcomed. I don't mean to be overly harsh. I undertsand there is a trend, and maybe for the best, for churches to progress in order to meet the needs of a changing society; but, are you really wondering what kinds of swag will make your church more appealing to newcomers?

I understand that's probably not too helpful; but, I was compelled to share. It is exciting to see that you are so passionate about what you are doing and constantly trying to imporve.