I did not want to give the impression in my first two articles, that return on investment (ROI) is always about dollars and cents. Ultimately the return you will most thoroughly enjoy from your church’s website is emotion. This emotion hopefully will be positive and result in someone becoming interested in attending and even joining your church. Read on for examples of how to integrate emotion and your website in order to influence your ministries.
In case you are not aware, measuring your website visitors’ emotions is impossible. Unlike objective data such as views, clicks, and downloads; there is no “emotion meter” attached to your web server. So I will explore what emotions you should design for. If you change a page to cater to that emotion, see how it performs over the next few months. If you see encouraging data, see where you can integrate more emotion into the rest of your site.
Welcoming: Your website is often their first interaction with your congregation, church, pastor, ministries, etc. If they do not feel welcomed, they most likely will never take that next step and attend a service or contact you. As I have said in previous posts, this does not just mean putting a nice welcome message. This includes not jamming your faith in their faces within the first few minutes. Invite them in love, do not demand they attend in self-righteousness. Demonstrate how you are welcoming people of all walks of life to get to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
Inspirational: Do you let the Holy Spirit work through inspirational testimonies or videos? If you have a new member that is considering volunteering, it would be great to provide inspiring content about the impacts it is having in God’s Kingdom Or do you have some existing members that would be a great fit for a new position of leadership within the church? Maybe a story of some church elders, deacons, or community group leaders would inspire others to ascend to similar positions. Show the amazing impacts these people and ministries are having. Let them talk in text, audio, or video to lead others to do the same.
Encouraging: Are existing members nudged to participate in your ministries? Often we need to help those members that have been with the church a long time. They have been serving in some form for many years and may not see the big picture in their contributions. Imagine if a Sunday school teacher could see evidence of the many lives they have been a part of over the years. Not only would you encourage that one person, but a young family might feel welcome, and an existing member may be moved to volunteer in your youth ministry!
Again, I want to emphasize that if you have one of these emotional pieces of content on your site (or even posted on social media); have a clear call to action near it. It may be signing up to volunteer in a ministry, or signing an electronic card to encourage a church leader. Regardless, use the action to determine the success of your emotional ROI.
Action Item: Brainstorm some emotionally charged content that can help support one of your high-level church goals. Create pages or secondary content that can be highlighted on your home page or social media. Ensure it is tied to a positive emotion and has a clear call to action associated with it. Then observe your traffic data to see what responses your new endeavor is creating.