Talk Thelema: GatherArticle: They Filled Out A Card. Now What?
So now you have all this information in the form of a Connection Card or sign-up sheet. What now? What exactly do you do with it all?
Let’s start out with some basics first.
When it comes to personal information, many people are very hesitant to provide you with that information if they don’t know what you are going to do with it.
So let’s be clear about this: All information obtained from attendees at a Talk Thelema meeting will never be sold, rented, leased, or otherwise released to any third party for any reason. Personal information may only be accessed, used, or provided between Talk Thelema, HeartFlame Ministries, or (if any) a sponsoring organization and solely for the purposes of (a) attendance tracking, demographic research, and legal protections and (b) personal contact from a specific coordinator to an attendee of a specific group meeting unless further permission is granted by the individual subject to the information is being accessed.
Please keep in mind that Talk Thelema is a licensed brand of HeartFlame Ministries. HeartFlame Ministries takes privacy and security of personal information seriously. In accepting use of the Talk Thelema brand, you are agreeing to abide by certain obligations in regard to the use of the information you collect from visitors and regular attendees.
What does this mean in plain English?
- Only Talk Thelema, HeartFlame Ministries, and (if any) a sponsoring organization may access or utilize personal information. It is never shared elsewhere for any reason.
- No third party may access or use this information in any form. This includes a larger organization of which a smaller organization may belong. Example: A local body of O.T.O. may not share personal information of an attendee with the Grand Lodge of O.T.O. or any other local body of O.T.O.
- Personal information may be used only to contact the individual for the purposes of Talk Thelema or, in limited cases—and only if additional permission was granted on a Connection Card, sign-up sheet, or other information collection process—for the purposes of inviting an attendee to other programs or events directly related to Talk Thelema, HeartFlame Ministries, or (if any) a sponsoring organization.
- Additionally, personal information may used only to track numbers of attendees, both new and returning, for demographic research as needed to understand the development of Talk Thelema, or for legal protections in cases of extreme abuse, threat of violence, or unresolvable disruption of the group meeting, hosting location, or attacks against individuals.
Obviously, in order to provide follow-up and outreach, a minimal amount of information is needed including at least one method of contact. However, never push a visitor to provide more information than they are willing to provide.
If you have questions about privacy concerns, please contact us to discuss it.
Now that we have privacy out of the way, what’s next?
They Filled Out A Card. Now What?
One of the largest mistakes that organizations make is a lack of follow-up. You now have all this information in your hands but if you do nothing with it, you’ve lost an opportunity to connect with a real, live human being!
People come back to a group because they feel welcome. You’ve already done your part on making them feel welcome when they walk through the door, but what do we do to make them feel welcome on their return before they even get back to the door?
So now you have this Connection Card (or sign-up sheet), what do you do with it?
Follow-up has two elements: Fast and Friendly.
First time guests should be sent an email or snail mail letter within the first 48 hours of their meeting. Since many of the Talk Thelema groups seem to meet on weekends, Monday afternoon is a great time. Aim for an after lunch email to a guest. There is a sample email/letter in the Resource Downloads that you can modify for your own use.
This first contact is important. It says that they didn’t just become a face in the door, someone at whom you smiled, and then went on about your way. You are connecting with them and ensuring they are given a personal welcome and encouragement to come back to the next meeting.
Keep in mind that we want this connection to be made fast. That first 8 hours is important. Most likely your guests are still mulling over the topic and the conversation of your Talk Thelema meeting. You want to make sure to connect while it is all still fresh in their minds. It also shows them that you haven’t forgotten that they showed up in the first place. You remember them.
Next, you want to keep it friendly. Talk Thelema isn’t about making intimate connections between people. It’s not about that personal space. It’s the social space we want to encourage. Keep the communication light and easy. Keep it welcoming and friendly. The template in the Resource Downloads is a great tool in this direction.
O. M. G. They Showed Up Again! Now What?
They came back a second time, you say? Excellent! So now what?
Of course, the same techniques apply that we discussed with the first time they walk through the door. Don’t stop those things just because they’ve attended once before. Other than having them fill in the “Second Time” slot on the Connection Card or sign-up sheet, treat them exactly like a first time guest.
But then what do we do with that information? Glad you asked.
We want you to do exactly the same thing you did before. Except this time we have a slightly different email/letter for you to send to the guest! Remember: this is only their second time to visit. They are still considered a guest at this point.
Check out the Second Time Follow-up Letter over on the Resource Downloads page.
What constitutes a second time visit? That can be a tricky call, right? For our purposes here, a second time visit is only a second subsequent visit. Otherwise, treat it as another first time visit.
What The...? They Keep Coming Back! Now What?
You must be doing something right! That’s awesome! Keep doing what you’re doing!
However, after six months of regular attendance to your meetings—you’ll have to use your best judgement here if you aren’t holding weekly meetings—you now have a regular attendee. Sound redundant yet?
At this six month point, we want you to send yet another email/letter to the individual as a follow-up and encouragement.It is important that members of your group continue to feel like they are valued. You can also use this six-month letter as a template for a one-year letter that you can send to everyone at the same time.
There is an example six-month email/letter in the Resource Downloads with the other letters.
Congratulations! You’re building a small group of individuals!