March 29, 2018

5 Ways to Improve Member Engagement by Using Apps

5 Ways to Improve Member Engagement by Using Apps

We've all heard the phrase "there's an app for that". In 2018, that's pretty much true, and if there's not an app for something at this point, you can bet there's a developer somewhere in the world working on changing that at this very moment. There's a key point in these statements. Apps are not only popular; they're becoming essential for any organization that wishes to truly create engagement with its audience. Consumers in any form, whether they're customers of a retail establishment or members of an association, look to their phone for information, but it's not just about having a website anymore; it's about having an app they can click on to quickly find all the things they need from the comfort of their home screen.

Apps are far from a one-size-fits-all idea. They're actually quite the opposite; apps allow associations and members to retrieve pivotal information as they need it, in a manner that's conducive to both time and attention spans. The more well-designed your app, the more likely your members are to use it.

Of course, if it was that easy, every app would be outstanding, and nobody would ever delete one after they'd installed. We all know that's not the case, so here are five ways your organization can improve member engagement by using apps:

1. Push Notifications as Needed

Naturally, you're excited about all the news you have to tell your members, but it's important to be choosy when it comes to employing push notifications. The point of this special app feature is to entice your audience to feel special when they have up-to-the-minute inside scoops. With that said, there can be a fine line between being annoying and enticing where push apps are concerned.

The good folks at Think with Google point out that push notifications that are backed by strategy incorporate the following elements:

  • Who are you as an association?
  • Where is your association in terms of where you expected to be based on prior planning?
  • What is your association up to that your members need to know about?
  • How can you make your push notifications specific, relevant, and valuable?

Limit your push notifications to notices that are primarily the most important points of your association, and you'll win big with your members.

2. Play on Personalization

Apps have a special way of adding a personal touch to associations' interactions with their members. Thanks to an incredible world of data, analytics, and technology that's simply astounding, you can touch your base in ways unlike ever before. To put a personal touch on your app, consider:

  • Greeting your members by name when they log in;
  • Leverage location-based tactics to send messages to members right when they're applicable;
  • Post polls and forums where members can participate interactively and offer valuable feedback to your organization when it's convenient for them.

People have high expectations these days. To truly build engagement within your association, you have to find ways to bring a human element to your app.

3. Increase New Member Rates

Offer social proof of your association's awesomeness by encouraging your members to share their appreciation for your organization online. Social shares by way of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other outlets can even help your SEO efforts, particularly if you cultivate hashtag topics into blogs and web content that will help like-minded individuals happen upon your association when they're looking around online.

Remember, your existing members are your brand's biggest advocates. The more they back you, the more likely others it is that others will be interested.

4. Integrate Invites, Events, and Occasions into an In-App Calendar

Encouraging people to come to your association's events gets easier when you can track everything in one place. Announce upcoming meetings and festivities, allow people to RSVP, and connect to calendars that will send automatic reminders directly through your app. Of course, your app can connect to map apps when event time arrives, making it simpler than ever for people to find the place they're supposed to be.

Easy-to-navigate apps invite better outcomes to special events because people have access to the information they need right at their fingertips.

5. Find a Retention Rhythm

The great thing about an app is that you have the tools to prevent over-messaging while maintaining an optimal presence in your members' lives. Tailor your messages and app features to accommodate individual users' preferences. From the time of day you send your push notifications to the way your app's navigation is designed, look for patterns and trends that can help you improve your members' interactions.

Be open to feedback and find ways to fall into a rhythm to ensure you're where you need to be, when your members need you to be there.

Now that you know why apps are important when it comes to engaging your members, it's time to start building an app for your own association. We invite you to learn about MemberSuite's Insights, and when you're ready to start building your own data-driven interface, we're here to help!