Using Profiles to Build Your Communication Strategy, Part 1

Every church is made up of different groups (or personas) on any given Sunday.

Collectively, you may not be able to tell the difference between them. But these groups—new visitor, regular attender, committed member, and mature disciple—all use your website in profoundly different ways.

Today, we’ll profile the first two personas and reveal what our research shows as the most important sections for each.

New Visitors

A new visitor will be paying attention to different areas of your website than someone who’s been to the church before. They’ll want to know things like:

About Us/Directions. How do they find your church? If they’re on a mobile device, are the directions in your site easy to read? Better yet, is the site mobile-ready?

What can they expect on a Sunday morning? If they show up in a three-piece suit, will they feel out of place? If they don’t show up in a three-piece suit, will that ruffle some feather? More than just attire, people showing up for the first time will want to know what to expect. Can they find this easily on the website?

Event calendar. We find consistently new people want to get connected to the community as quickly as possible. The best way to facilitate this is through the event calendar. If a new person comes to the event calendar section, are they able to find events relevant to them?

Regular Attenders

These folks are the ones who are casually involved with the church. They drift in and out of church life, but they have made an increased commitment to attending regularly. If your church has a membership program, this group isn’t likely to make that commitment without a personal invitation or increased engagement through programs and events.

Here’s what interests regular attenders most on your church’s website:

Event registration. Because regular attenders are more involved in the life of the church, they want to be able to register for events online. In addition to listing out event details, regular attenders want to be able to sign up for classes all online.

Missional or theological statement. Doctrinal or theological positioning statements are rarely important to people until they commit to attending. A regular attender is more likely to seek these out.

Social media outposts. Because a regular attender is increasing their commitment level to the church, they’ll seek other ways to stay involved throughout the week. One of the easiest ways to do this is via social media outposts. Users in this group are highly likely to engage socially with a church.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are similarities between these two groups, namely around community-based activities. In fact, every group profiled does or will include a deep desire to connect to the church community through the website. Join us next week for the profiles of both a committed member and mature disciple.

Read Part 2 here.
Read more from Justin here.
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Justin Wise

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Recent Comments
Yea! You fixed it!
 
— Mr. Troy Reynolds
 
I just discovered this today and am looking forward to exploring the content on here. It looks like it could be very helpful. Just an FYI - in your paragraph on not putting out B+ material you have a typo. A little ironic. :-) The third sentence begins with "You time" not "Your time."
 
— Troy Reynolds
 
I'm lost, to say the least! As a new pastor, taking over a newly started church I have read just about everything there is to learn what I can do to grow the church. I truly beleive that those attending our church are friendly and sincere. So that can't be the issue. I have read all the comments to this article and I feel that most churches will never have a fair chance! We are a VERY small church, so we don't have a children's church (yet). So if a family comes and gets upset that we don't have a children's church for them to put their children into, we lose! We do provide things for their kids to do during the service and even have an option for their kids to be in a different room, if they don't want their kids to sit with them. We are also such a small church that we don't have a worship team/band/etc. Our worship music comes from music videos. The congregation we do have likes it this way, but of course we would love to have a worhsip team. So, if someone comes to our church and is upset that we don't have live music, we lose! The point I am trying to make is that when people come in with preconceived ideas of what a church should be like, they will never find a church home, unless they find a church who's goal is to entertain! Every Sunday our message comes from the Bible, so that can't be a complaint for someone, so instead, people leave the church and never come back because they want more from a church: they don't want friendly people who are following the Word of God; they want a church that give them something (a babysitter for their kid, entertainment, free gifts, etc.) I'm sorry if sound cynical, I truly want everyone to hear the Good News and learn about Christ's love, but if they come in looking for something else, then the church will always lose!
 
— JAG
 

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