Many churches are ditching the sign-up boards and spreadsheets for easy-to-use online forms when they need people to register for events or join a small group. These online forms can be powerful and convenient when used effectively. Follow these seven tips to make the most of these tools for your church:
1. Collect all the key information
If you’re using an online form for VBS sign-up, make sure you collect the important details you’ll need—like parent contact information—when they register, rather than asking them for more information later.
2. Keep them short, simple, and sweet
While you should be careful to gather all the information you need, leave out the fields that aren’t necessary. HubSpot found that the completion percentages for online forms drastically decreases as the number of fields increases. Avoid long forms that require people to continue scrolling to complete or they might throw in the towel before hitting that submit button.
3. Make them mobile-friendly
People aren’t just accessing your church website from a desktop—they want to give and register for events from their smartphones. Make your online forms responsive so mobile sign-up and registration is easy.
4. Get creative
Don’t just use web forms for event registration—use them VBS sign-ups, ministry assessments, prayer requests, and mailing lists. Take advantage of this tool and all the ways you can put it to work for your church.
5. Allow people to skip account creation
Have you ever visited a website to make a quick purchase, but it required you to go through the inconvenient process of creating an account just to make a one-time purchase? To prevent people from abandoning event registration for the same reason, allow them to sign up without creating an account to keep the process quick and simple.
6. Accept event registration payment
Rather than having people sign up for an event online then bring payment later, allow them to pay as they register. Incorporate partial payments, timed pricing, and volume discounts, too.
7. Integrate them with your ChMS
Don’t go through the hassle of data entry if you can automatically have the information update in your church database. Integrated online forms will save your staff time and improve accuracy.
Check with your ChMS provider to learn what services integrate with your church management software—some even provide web form builders as a built-in feature.
How has your church effectively used online forms?