The Anatomy of a Guest Follow-up Text

Your weekend services are too important to let any new guests fall through the cracks.

Let us help you reach more guests by adding our Digital Connect Texts to your service this weekend.

Having previously discussed the anatomy of a guest follow-up process, it was concluded that adding text, sent on Monday after the weekend service, as the Step 1 in your process (or as the only thing you do to follow up with your guests) sees up to 80% more engagement than not texting.

text follow up schedule

Let’s now explore the anatomy of what that text should look like. But before we dive in, let’s talk about the guiding principle.

Effective communicators already have an accurate feel for what compelling copy looks like, even if they don’t actively know the elements. Even if you don’t consider yourself a great communicator, just having that ‘pulse’ of how to engage with people means you actually know what effective text copy looks like. Many of us don’t always think about it that way or do it all the time, but we could. Here’s our proof.

A first-time guest is like your first-time crush, if you think about it. You are trying to connect with someone you don’t know and you are trying to so without “blowing” your chances. At least, if you approach first-time guest follow-up this way, you are likely to nail it and engage more.

It is also great stewardship as most churches already spend time, talent, and treasure in getting people to come to church for the first time. Isn’t the next step in building a relationship?

So, what exactly is the anatomy of a guest follow-up text?

There are 7 parts to an effective guest follow-up text.

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  • Short (~ 160 characters or less) sent within 48 hrs after the event.

  • Coming from a local, 10-digit number (not a short code).

  • Integrates the person’s name—Personalization.

personalization
  • Says who you are in a very natural way. Ideally, from a person like a pastor or with some specific, church-related role.

  • Writes using shorthand and natural communication—e.g. wknd vs. weekend.

  • A reminder of how you got connected so they don’t feel spammed. In other words, how did you get your guest’s number?—e.g. Hi, (guest name), thx for joining us this wknd.

  • An implicit ending that shows you care and can invoke a response.

    Some alternatives to #7 might include asking questions to promote engagement and that can work. However, it does put some pressure on your first-time guest to respond and raises the flag of wanting something. But if you decide to ask a question, it should always be focused on showing that you care about how they feel—e.g. “Were your needs met at our church?” or “Can we pray for you?”.vs. “Are you able to do...? “ or “Do you want to attend an event?”.

Here are some examples of great guest follow-up texts.

  • Hi, (guest name), (your name) here, a (your role) at (your church name). Was great to see you this past wknd. Enjoy your day & know we are praying for you.

  • Hi, (guest name), (your name) here, a (your role) at (your church name). Grateful for your presence this past wknd. Have a super day and a blessed week.

  • Hi, (guest name), (your name) here, a (your role) at (your church name). Thanks for joining us this past wknd. Our prayers are with you.

  • Hi, (guest name), (your name) here, a (your role) at (your church name). Thanks for taking part this past wknd. Were we able to meet your needs?

  • Hi, (guest name), (your name) here, a (your role) at (your church name). Was great you took part this past wknd. Any questions we can help with?

  • Hi, (guest name), (your name) here, a (your role) at (your church name). Grateful for you choosing to worship with us this past wknd. Is there something you would you like to learn more about?

  • Hi, (guest name), (your name) here, a (your role) at (your church name). If you were to describe this weekend with an emoji, meme, or picture, what would that be?

Here’s how you would do that within PastorsLine.

The primary thing to keep in mind is thinking about the end user and not your needs. Imagine the first-time guest as a potential crush that you are trying to woo to Christ.

People won't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Dozens of churches are already using
PastorsLine and seeing success.

The PastorsLine platform is a church-driven, bulk texting platform developed and managed by church ‘insiders’. We know churches intimately. We’ve attended them, been part of their management teams and worked with them for many years. Our goal is to serve you by helping you spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. We’ve positioned ourselves to be your in-house, IT team for solutions to your communication issues. In addition to everything our platform can do, our partners love our responsiveness to their needs and fast tech support.

s_wilborn

At first, the landline feature seemed like it would overload the church secretary since everyone would have the church phone number saved in their phones. This has not happened! People are simply interacting with our events better than ever before! We love the landline feature.

Sterling Willborn

Associate Pastor, Journey Church

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“[PastorsLine is] a huge answer to something we’ve been looking for. I was able to send a template with a field merge by scheduling it... ”

Dr. Matthew Robinson

Pastor

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By using the same phone number for texting and calling you get people to remember your phone number. When it comes the time that are ready to reach out to us they know the phone number.

Abraham Schwartz

pastor-richie

The personal and almost immediate assistance at [PastorsLine] is so great! We feel valued and important! We love that it is church-based!!! … Jason and the team at [PastorsLine] are always ready to help, make things better, and they also welcome feedback.

Richie Halversen

Pastor @ College Drive Church

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For us [a PastorsLine text-enabled church landline] has been huge for people to be able to text the number they already knew for our church. It means they don’t have to remember two different numbers when they are looking to try and get in touch with us. Most people don’t even realize its mostly an automated process.

Tyler Boles

Connections Pastor, The Exchange

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The text message bible study invites are working great. We saw a huge increase from 5-6 to 10-12 and the numbers stayed consistent. 

Zeke Vas

Pastor

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We hired [PastorsLine] to assist us in a new “Small Group” initiative we were launching at our church. The tools they provided us with helped us monitor and take action on hundreds of responses. Our workflow was cut in half and our ability to track, monitor and follow through with the data gathered more than doubled.

Chris Elliott

Associate Pastor, New Believers

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Sending and receiving texts from our landline number is the #1 feature that ensures visitors and members can engage with us on the most relevant means of communication there is right now. Having one number to advertise, simplifies all graphics, ads, announcements, etc. for us, as well as for those we're trying to reach. I use PastorsLine EVERY DAY. It's changing the way we engage with our members - it's both easier and more effective.

Tara Freeman

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PastorsLine has been a fantastic tool which has enhanced communication with out church family. As with any tool, the secret is in learning how to use it effectively. I have been most excited when I see my church members telling their very own unchurched friends to text “PRAY” to our pastorsline number and have them join our prayer sessions.

Paolo Esposito

Pastors, RGF Church

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"Baptism Worship Service Reminders - bulk texting—we were blown away by the number of people who showed up."

Cara Saliby

Dir. of Admin.

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PastorsLine has totally changed not only my workflow, but it's taken our "personal" factor up 10x! Just with our welcome process, we have gone from a 40% READ rate to a 40% CONVERSATION rate. That's just crazy!
So thanks 🙂

Tommy Carreras

Group Director

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When we finished our evangelistic event in Houston, 70% of those who were baptized, communicated with me through PastorsLine...it had a big influence.

Wyatt Allen

Evangelist, End Time Hope

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It’s honestly the best feature that we have utilized. Being able to give one phone number for voice and text simplified our process.

J.W. Dunbar

Pastor Gateway Church, Ashland, KY

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I belong to a Church Communications group on Facebook, and you were highly recommended. We signed up with you over others because we are a multi-generational church and you have an ability to reach people on landlines.

Daniel Chambers

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I honestly never realized how many people must have been trying to text our landline all along! We never advertised our landline as a number you could text, but we have gotten multiple members of our congregation and even guests from some of our events to send us texts saying, ‘Thank you for this and that’, and it has been really great to see!

Heather Bredeman

Joy Christian, Center,
St. Cloud, MN

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““...the guest connection card...We had a great response -- people whose names and contact info we might not have captured otherwise. Our autoresponder directs them to our Welcome Center...where we have a gift...with their name on it."

Kristen Waddle

Church Communications

Myrnn

The land line is more familiar with our congregation. When we texted from the other number, some would inquire about who was sending the text as the number was unfamiliar, and we did not use it frequently, so by the time we sent another text, some had forgotten the number.

Myrna and Peter Rohdin

New Life Fellowship Church, Elmhurst, NY

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effectively with their members and visitors through text, voice, and social.

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