How to Use Mobile Apps to Engage More Members

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It’s a well-known fact that people spend a lot of time on their mobile devices—just look up and you’ll see the faces of everyone around you illuminated with a lovely electronic glow as they peer deeply into the fluorescent screen of their phone.

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This makes it easy to connect the dots—if this is where your members are most of the time, well, you need to be right there with them, beckoning to them from the depths of their cell phones. In other words, this is how you communicate with your members; no longer do you send them a personalized card or flyer with upcoming events. Instead, creating a mobile app for your organization should result in more and more effective communication.

If you’re still not so sure about engaging your members through member and community applications on mobile devices, here are a few things you should know about how apps can truly help your organization prosper:

1. Members become more active.

When your members use your organization’s mobile application, they’re going to be connected to your organization more frequently, reading more news, hearing about opportunities, and getting important information, which means they are more likely to respond. Members will be communicating with each other and having discussions among themselves more often, and in turn recruiting more people to join your organization. Amith Nagarajan, the CEO of Aptify software, says:

“As the old adage says, what you get out of something is determined by what you put into it.  Members who are not fully engaged with their organizations are not receiving the full value of their membership.  And organizations that don’t make it easy for their members to be engaged are missing an incredible opportunity for growth.”

Using a mobile app makes it incredibly easy and simple for your members to be active and connected to your organization. Apps allow members to search association directories, track association events, find out who is registered among their connections to attend certain events, and stay connected and engaged with other members as well as the organization itself.

2. Members feel like they’re making more of a difference.

When your members are active and connected to your organization through your mobile app, they feel like they’re actually affecting a change. When your members feel like they’re making more of a difference, they’re inspired to do more.

Establishing an emotional connection is key—members that feel good about their work will throw themselves into helping your organization’s cause more and more, and spread the word more as well. This is a huge help to your organization overall.

3. Members stay up to date with upcoming events and news.

Members who use mobile apps to stay in touch with their association say that it is much easier to keep up with news and events, and the community in general—this ease of communication via mobile apps leads to more member engagement and satisfaction.

This increase in communication leads to more awareness about your organization to non-members, more sharing, more event attendance, and more donations. According to an infographic by SuperMonitoring, 80% of the time people spend on their mobile devices is spent inside apps. If this is the case, then providing your members with a mobile app is going to drastically increase the amount of engagement you get from your members, and an overall increase in event attendance and organization awareness.

4. Apps help you connect with and retain your Millennial members.

Many associations are trying to find the best ways and the best programs to build that can really engage their younger members. According to Pew Research, the members who use mobile devices to connect with your organization are typically younger than average. If your organization has a mobile app, you will have the ability to attract younger members and keep them involved.

5.  Mobile applications make it easier for your members to donate.

Mobile apps are a wonderful way to ask your members for donations, or even to ask members to share donation links to their social networks. These mobile apps for fundraising let you find creative ways to connect with your members by using different channels.

There are lots of great donation applications out there, such as: Click&Pledge, DonateNow, GiftTool, and Qgiv, just to name a few.

Know of any other ways that apps are affecting membership communications? Add them in the comments below!

Looking for Membership Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Membership Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Leah Readings

Leah Readings is a Software Analyst for Capterra, a company that connects buyers and sellers of business software. She specializes in church management software along with several other software directories. When she’s not helping software buyers, she is, among other things, reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.

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Hi Leah, you’re definitely right about members getting more active on mobile. I’m the founder of Raklet and we decided to build iPhone and Android apps for our membership platform. Now, we also build custom apps for our clients which are mostly membership based organizations as well.

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