Your members are on their smartphones- constantly. In fact, the average smartphone user spends 2 hours and 22 minutes a day on their phone (Market Watch). Event-only apps are a short-term investment and are often discarded by attendees as soon as they board the plane home. Now is the time for your organization to invest in a year-round mobile app. In fact, 32% of senior mobile experts say “creating personalized customer experiences” is the greatest long-term growth potential for mobile products (Incite Group). Our team has come up with three strategies to help your association app a find a permanent place on your member's home screen.
1. Build A Newsfeed that Matters
Members have joined your association for a specific reason. They are looking to you for industry knowledge, research or networking opportunities. Rather than using your app newsfeed for run-of-the-mill monthly updates, be sure you're sharing provocative content that is relevant to your members.
Share breaking news in your industry or highlight heart-felt stories of your members in their local community. Write content that triggers your member's emotions and creates curiosity and awe. The key to great content is creating a story that is positive, funny, or unique. Ipsos showed that 61% of online sharers share interesting things; 43% share funny things and 29% share content that is unique. Each of your stories should be engaging, memorable and shareable.
Create “how-to” or “best ways” articles that address your members' greatest concerns. This will build trust with your audience and also increase returning visitors to your app for more valuable information. The content you create determines the value of your app.
2. Create A Network for their Niche
Your association is special because you are bringing together a group of like-minded people. These individuals hold the same profession, believe in the same cause, or support a particular industry. It's your association's mission to bring these individuals together to conquer specific challenges- and that's where your app becomes your greatest member benefit.
Forums within your app allow your members to create discussion boards around specific issues, events, or research topics. They can share their opinion, relevant articles, or event photos. If they aren't comfortable publicly commenting they can reach out to other members through private messaging. Your app also offers a member directory so individuals can search for past connections they've made at conferences or regional events. Your app is your association's answer to instant networking.
3. Remind Them Why Your App is Different
Storage space may be the most valuable resource of your member's phone. Your association app is competing with social apps, photos, and text messages for memory. In fact, 25% of users say they don’t download apps because they don’t have space on their phone (Deloitte, 2017). The content in your app has to be more valuable than the other apps your member has installed on their smart phone.
Your app should show value from the App Store description to the constant flow of current content scrolling within. Ask yourself why your app is unique and important for your members. Once your have developed your value proposition, remind your members why they need your app. Push notifications are the most effective way to remind your members your app is installed and relay value instantly.
Here are some easy ways to create effective push notifications without agitating your members:
- Only send information that is valuable to the individual. Which means customizing notifications on app activity or sharing newsfeed articles that may be of interest to them because of past reads.
- Send push notifications based on when the user is most likely to be active on their phones (ie take time zones into consideration before sending).
- Personalize push notifications with names and emojis. Actually, adding emojis to push notifications results in 70% higher CTRs. (CleverTap 2018)
- Keep it short & sweet- 10 words or less is the sweet spot for push notifications.
- Share important dates or deadlines to ensure the member doesn't miss any opportunities for event registrations in their area or accidentally lets their membership lapse.
Use your association app to create member value and increase member engagement with these three simple strategies. Are you looking for more easy-to-implement mobile trends? Check out our 2019 Mobile Trends Guide- it has real-life association examples to help outline your mobile engagement strategy this year.