Joe couldn’t stop glancing across the reception hall at her. He didn’t know her connection with the bride or groom, but she had a sweet smile.

Eventually, he managed to run in to her while getting a drink where they struck up a great conversation about the extravagance of the three-tiered punch bowl fountain and the admirable inhibitions of children dancing. Her name was Emily. Joe and Emily spoke off-and-on for the entire night, always managing to find each other in the crowd. They seemed to really hit it off.

Then it was time for the bride and groom to make their exit. Everyone rushed to the door, sparklers in hand. Kids screaming. Loved ones embracing. There was lots of cheering and flash photography and crowding around to get a glimpse of the bride and groom as they made their escape. The crowd all waved goodbye as the limo sped off.

Then, all of a sudden, it was all over. Before Joe knew it, most people had left and the waiters were folding up tables and chairs. He couldn’t find Emily anywhere. The guests had scattered before he had thought to ask for her number or any other information about her! He paused for a moment, saddened at the realization that he had no way to continue the relationship.

Many parish websites make this same mistake.

So many times we get people to our great websites only to let them leave without learning anything about them. No way to followup with them. No way to bring them back again. No way to continue the relationship.

One of the primary “calls to action” for any parish website landing page is an invitation to connect further. Convince them to sign up for some email or text message updates from a particular ministry. Convince them to follow you on Facebook or Twitter. Get them to fill out a form that lets them ask questions so you can followup and get to know them. Get something! Then you can continue the relationship.

Otherwise, there is a good chance they may forget to ever come back, get involved, or get a chance to start a real relationship with you and your parish. Use your website to turn those digital encounters into opportunities for meaningful relationships.

Photo by Dan Langendorf. Used with Creative Commons License.

September 14, 2012 Using New Media 0 Comments