6 Reasons to Have a Dedicated Guest Website for Your Church

Over the years the Auxano Design team has helped churches think more strategically about guest engagement. (Read 10 Mind Blowing Facts to Fuel your Hospitality Ministry). One great idea is to create a separate website for guests. At Auxano, we call this a “buzzsite.”

To catch an example, check out Gateway’s WelcomeToYourJourney.com or First Baptist’s ExploreFirst.org

Why have a dedicated site just for guests at your church?

1) Make a Bigger Front Porch: Eighty-seven percent of your guests will click-thru before they walk-thru. Having a site dedicated to guests enables you to communicate more guest information in a more useful way.

2) Smooth the Path: Guest have mini-hurdles coming to your church for the first time. They don’t know where to go, or what to do.  A guest site will enabling them to “get a feel” ahead of time, as a simple way to make them feel more welcome.  Notice how Gateway walks your through these key guest decisions from parking lot to checking in children.

3) Show you Care: When a guest enters the dedicated site, it will show that you are expecting guests and that you care about their experience.

4) Resolve Conflict: Having a dedicated guest site alleviates the burden on your main church site to speak to both members and guests.

5) Show Some Personality: A guest site can introduce your church with with a story, promise or creative element. Gateway Community Church used the tagline “Welcome to your Journey” as their URL. It enabled the moment of introduction to include something to spark the imagination and draw people in rather than just saying “visit our church.”At First Baptist Dallas, they creatively use a “Plan Your Visit” form on their ExploreFirst.org to make the welcome experience personalized.

6) Evaluate Your Investment: A guest site can measure the effectiveness of external communication initiatives or campaigns that point to the guest site and not the church’s main site. For example, when Gateway Community Church opened its building, they could know exactly how their six-piece direct mail invitations worked by monitoring web stats when the mail dropped.

Have used a similar site? Let us know about it.

Download PDF

Tags: , , , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Environments >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 
A great question! Unfortunately, the Church Unique Kit is no longer available in print form. We are working on revising it and updating it into an online experience, but that project is at least six months out. An alternative is to come to an upcoming certification class. There is one May 15-18 in Houston, and October 23-26 in Atlanta.
 
— VRcurator
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.