The ‘Plan A Visit’ Church Framework
This new guide will show you everything you need to know about one of the most important pages on your church’s website…the Plan A Visit church webpage.
This page is all about new visitors and it’s a page that every church website needs.
The best part?
This strategy will help ensure you always make a great first impression on potential new visitors.
Finding A Church Online
This is crazy:
Did you know that Google processes more than 50,000 searches every single second?1
Not only that, but 97% of people search for local organizations online.2
What’s more, 46% of all searches on Google – almost half – are local searches.3
What does this mean for you?
It means that every day there are people in your community searching for a church.
This is why every ministry needs a Plan A Visit church webpage on their site – a page dedicated to helping potential new visitors map out their first in-person visit to your church.
Why? Because attending a new church for the first time can be intimidating.
Here are some common questions that can plague new visitors as they consider attending a church:
- What am I supposed to wear?
- How long is the service?
- What about my kids?
What’s more, upon walking through your church’s doors – into a foreign environment – a whole new set of questions arise:
- Where do I drop off my kids?
- Where should I sit?
- I wonder where the closest restroom is…
Here’s the bottom line:
Attending a church for the first time is difficult.
So how can we make this process easier for potential new visitors?
The 7-Part Plan A Visit Church Framework
Simply put, an easy way to improve the new visitor experience at your service is to add a Plan A Visit church webpage to your site.
Ready to see an example?
Nucleus is a new kind of church website builder. And one of my favorite features of Nucleus is that it comes with single-click page templates.
This means that with just one click you can create a full Plan A Visit church webpage on your church’s website – complete with pre-written copy, image placeholders, and more.
Part #1: Getting To Know Each Other
The Plan A Visit church webpage framework is made up of seven different sections.
The first section is titled: Getting To Know Each Other.
And the main purpose of this first section is to acknowledge the potential discomfort of attending a new church for the first time.
Here, you want to empathize with your potential new visitor and show that you care. Demonstrate that you recognize their apprehension and then, put them at ease.
It gets better…
Because here’s a copy-and-paste script that you can use word-for-word (replace placeholder names accordingly):
"We know meeting someone for the first time can be intimidating, and going to a new church for the first time can be nerve-racking. We want to help make your first experience at Life Abundant Church a great one!"
Part #2/#3: Service Times & Meeting Locations
Moving on to the second and third sections of our Plan A Visit church webpage framework…
Here, you simply want to list your service times along with your meeting location(s).
Do you have multiple campuses? Make sure to link to each. It’s helpful to add a link to Google Maps as well.
This is the type of information that isn’t ultra exciting, but knowing when and where your church meets is obviously very important to a new visitor.
Part #4: What Can I Expect?
In my experience, section number four on your Plan A Visit church webpage is where you can truly begin to make an impact on a potential new visitor.
Section four is titled: What Can I Expect?
Now that you’ve made your initial introduction, it’s time to explain to your potential new visitor what they can expect upon attending your church for the first time, as well as provide answers to their questions.
As our culture becomes more unchurched, don’t simply expect your new visitors to have an inherent understanding of what goes on in a church service.
Spell it out in black and white – be precise.
Because what may come as second nature to you, could be completely foreign to a new visitor.
To make this easier for you, below you’ll find a pair of pre-written scripts to help bridge this gap (replace placeholder names accordingly):
Script #1 - How Long Is A Life Abundant Service? "In total, a Life Abundant church service is about 60 minutes in length. Services begin with the Life Abundant band leading the church in music - song lyrics are projected onto the screens so you can sing along and/or engage with worship however you feel most comfortable. After the music portion of the service is complete, one of our pastors will come out to share an encouraging and hope-filled message about Jesus.”
Script #2 - What’s The Culture Like At Life Abundant Church? "Sunday’s at Life Abundant are exciting, casual, and relaxed. Come as you are and expect to feel welcomed as our guest.”
Part #5: What About My Kids?
And we don’t stop there…
Because there is one more lingering question that we absolutely need to address on our Plan A Visit church webpage – and that question pertains to children.
This is perhaps the most important question and objection a new visitor has concerning your church.
For this reason, I like to dedicate an entire section of our Plan A Visit church webpage to respond to this question.
Here’s the script I like to use (replace placeholder names accordingly):
"We believe that kids should have a blast at church every single week - and at Life Abundant Kids, we make this a priority. The other thing we make a priority is your children’s safety. Because of that, we have a detailed check-in process for our Life Abundant Kids program the first time that you visit. You’ll want to leave yourself an extra ten minutes to get signed in for the Life Abundant Kids experience. Life Abundant Kids is offered at every Life Abundant Church service for kids ages infant through Grade 8."
Part #6: Let Us Know You’re Coming
Keeping it moving, we’re now at section six of our Plan A Visit church webpage framework.
Up to this point, we’ve been sharing information with our potential new visitors, but now it’s time to call them to action with a form titled: Let Us Know You’re Coming.
Think of this like a reservation at a restaurant – except for church!
When a new visitor fills out this form, it puts you on high alert to be on the lookout for a new visitor.
On the flip side, by filling out this form, a new visitor is that much more likely to follow through on their intention to attend your church for the first time because they’ve made an actual commitment.
But that’s just part of the story…
Because when a new visitor submits this form, there are a couple of things that should happen.
Firstly, your church should receive an email notifying you that a Plan A Visit church form has been submitted – that way you can prepare accordingly.
Secondly, your new visitor should receive an immediate follow-up email.
The great thing about a platform like Nucleus is that you can trigger a notification email to any email address you want when a form is submitted – and you can also integrate your form directly with a platform like MailChimp (a free platform) so you can send follow-up emails automatically in mere seconds.
To make this even easier, below you’ll find pre-written email copy that you can use to write your initial follow-up email.
Here’s what that email should say (replace placeholder names accordingly):
Hey *|FNAME|*!, This is Brady from Life Abundant Church. Thanks for filling out our "Plan A Visit" form. We're so excited to meet you. Here are three things you need to know about attending Life Abundant for the first time: #1. As soon as you enter our building, head straight for the big blue wall (you can't miss it). Here we'll have a welcome bag waiting for you with a few gifts. #2. Life Abundant has kids programming for children ages infant through Grade 8 - click here to learn more about Life Abundant Kids #3. Our church meets every weekend on Sundays at 384 Concession 7 Rd. in Niagara-on-the-Lake at 11:00AM See you soon! Brady Shearer Life Abundant Church P.S. If you have ANY questions at all for me, *|FNAME|*, don't hesitate to ask. When you reply to this email it will be sent directly to me and I'll make sure to respond as soon as I can!
A few things to note about this email:
- Several key items from the Plan A Visit church webpage itself are repeated in this email – namely, the information about kids ministry along with service time(s) & location(s)
- I offer precise instructions to new visitors upon entering our building for the first time: “Head straight to the big blue wall.”
- I want visitors to know EXACTLY where they should go as soon as they walk through our doors. But I also want them to know we’re expecting them and we’ll even be waiting for them with a gift to welcome them.
Part #7: Testimonial
Lastly, the final section on our Plan A Visit church webpage framework is the testimonial.
I like to close out the Plan A Visit church webpage with social proof from another real person who was once a new visitor themselves.
Up to this point, a potential new visitor has heard a lot from us – the church – but now, I want them to hear from someone else.
SIDE NOTE: I especially like tucking this testimonial directly underneath the Plan A Visit church form. It’s just another way to instill confidence and trust in the mind of a person who may still be on the fence.
Here’s The Next Step…
Every church website can benefit from a Plan A Visit church webpage.
Simply put, it’s one of the most important pages on every church website.
Follow this guide, take advantage of the pre-written copy, and you’ll make a great first impression with potential new visitors.