Your association strives to bring great value to its members–news and information resources, community management, social networking, opinion research, fundraising, public relations, and so much more. But, if your association is like most, it is delivering its value via email and website at best. While businesses and government organizations are increasingly turning to the power and convenience of mobile technology, only about five percent of associations currently offer their members a mobile app.
That seriously needs to change. Mobile technology has grown rapidly and nearly everyone now uses a smartphone to access information. Nothing can connect members to associations more personally or more conveniently than a well-designed mobile application.
If you are not offering your association members a mobile app, here are seven reasons why you should:
1. Provide Ultra-fast, Easy Access with Mobile Apps
Mobile apps will enable your members to access news, information, documents, and other resources anytime and anywhere. A mobile app not only increases your accessibility to members, your app can beautifully streamline that access, making information and resources instantaneously available, without cumbersome downloads or web navigation. Even when we are home, we frequently use our smartphones to stay connected to the people and organizations important to us. Many people don’t want to have to sit in front of a desktop computer to connect. They want to do it quickly and easily in the palm of their hand.
With a mobile app, your association can make it convenient for members to access information while travelling on public transportation, taking a lunch break, or any other time when they can’t access a desktop. Mobility will bring easier access, and easier access brings increased member satisfaction. Increased member satisfaction will ultimately lead to more members for your association.
2. Make Payment of Dues and Donations Easier with a Mobile App
As you know, timing is critically important when it comes to donations and membership purchases. Whenever a member is compelled to make a donation or purchase a membership, your mobile app will be handily there, to accept it quickly, easily and securely. Providing a donation button in your mobile app can help you exponentially grow your fundraising, memberships and sponsorships. We cannot overemphasize the importance of payment convenience. This, alone, is well worth the cost of a mobile app.. Using mobile apps, associations can also leverage Apple Pay and Google Pay, making it fast and easy for even small associations to start accepting online payments.
3. Use push notifications to engage members
Members want to be kept informed by their Associations. They want to know the latest news, resources, events or other information that is relevant to them. Mobile apps achieve this very smartly with push notifications. Mobile apps can learn what type of updates a user prefers, then automatically send the user that relevant data whenever it becomes available. Push notifications allows associations to actively but effortlessly engage members directly and keep them actively interested. Using push notification, you can also prevent members from having to waste time and energy looking for the key information they want and need.
4. Survey your Membership Quickly, Easily and Effectively
Mobile apps are excellent tools for conducting membership surveys. Associations can easily send out surveys in the mobile app to capture member input on important topics of discussions. Because they arrive quickly and can be easily and conveniently completed, members will be much more likely to participate in surveys. You won’t have to worry about surveys sitting, undone and forgotten, in members’ email inboxes. Mobile apps enable you to survey more often and to enjoy greater participation from members.
5. Learn More About Your Membership with a Mobile Apps
Mobile Apps can provide exceptionally detailed information about your members preferences. Although websites can capture limited information about user behavior, Mobile apps can easily capture analytics such as user time spent on the app, favorite topics and functions, ineffective content, and much more. This data can then be used to inform strategic decisions about association services, marketing, and content.
6. Build a social Network for Members in your Mobile App
Mobile apps can provide secure, convenient access to all of your association’s members. For many associations, this invaluable resource alone is worth the cost of a mobile app. In addition to enabling members to easily message each other, a built-in social network will provide your association with powerful organizing, sponsorship, advertising and promotional opportunities.
7. Provide Display Ads for Sponsors
An ad-free mobile app may be preferred by many associations. But if your association needs to quickly monetize a mobile app in order to afford it, sponsorship display ads are extremely effective. Your mobile app can easily include a separate screen to showcase sponsors, or, ads can be smoothly inserted in the middle of content. Ads can be designed to be eye-catching, without disrupting the flow of content. With a little creative thought, you can even sell advertising sponsorships for individual sections or specific content within your app.
Mobile apps offer a world of possibilities for associations looking to provide value to members. The best part of today’s mobile app development is its ability to build in phases that intelligently control costs. Then, as your membership or resources permit, your association can add new functions and capabilities to its mobile app. As each of these new capabilities are announced, your association’s mobile app will be signalling to members that their association is dynamically moving forward and increasing value.
If your association wants to be seen as a sophisticated, forward-thinking, effective organization providing invaluable benefits to members, you need to start creating a mobile app strategy.
If you need help sorting out what a mobile app can do for your association, give us a call. We can help.