The 3 Most Powerful Strategies for Successful App Adoption:
Get your members downloading and loving your church’s app.
Think about some of your favorite apps on your phone. What do you love about them? More than likely your most-used apps do two things: Bring you some sort of enjoyment or entertainment and simplify your life in some way. Take mobile banking for example, I love that I don’t have to go to the bank to cash a check and I can make a transfer in 5 seconds flat. I also enjoy checking on stocks while I’m in the app.
Without this app, I’d be missing out on some major benefits–and for awhile I was. Despite being a millennial, it took me a long time to get on the mobile banking train. Like others, I just assumed that anything I could do on the app, I could do on the web so I didn’t really need it. It wasn’t until I saw a targeted ad on facebook touting all the features, that I decided to give it a try. The point of this story is, you can’t enjoy an app if you don’t have it and you can’t assume people know about your app, why it’s important or even that you have one. Successful app adoption takes a little work but it’s 1000% worth it.
That’s why we put together our three powerful P’s of successful app adoption. Use these strategies to get your members using and loving your church’s app.
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: people need to hear information seven times before they remember it. As we’ve mentioned before, people have to know about an app to download it. And oftentimes, we have to tell our audience about it several times before they take action. So with that, promote, promote, promote your app! Of course we don’t mean promote in a car salesman-y way but in a genuine, “this app makes our church so much better” way.
It’s also important to get creative with the where and how. Here are several thought starters:
- Put up flyers on community boards and posters in the halls.
- Post about it on social media and your website + include download links.
- Encourage your members to talk about it in their groups and daily lives.
- Call for a download challenge in your service.
- Send texts or push notifications promoting the app.
- Use the app as a part of your service: Do an in-app bible reading or live poll (lots of interactive possibilities!).
- Feature your app in a blog, newsletter, or emails.
Lastly, when you’re promoting the app, it’s critical to be really clear about why they should download it and consistently use it. Tell your members how easy it will make everything, from giving to signing up for events to sending in prayer requests. Talk up the benefits of having all church information and communication in one place. And don’t forget to play up the fun! Everyone loves good podcasts, games, and worship music. Here’s a few ideas on how to communicate the “why”:
- Powerpoint template (Grab your free template here!).
- Create a promo video (It can be as simple as, “3 reasons why you should download the app and what you’ll get out of it”).
- Lunch & Learn after church.
- Get specific! Focus on important features at service, on social media and more. For example, “ 2 reasons why you need to fill out your profile”
- Designate app ambassadors.
- Give people something to do immediately inside the app, like fill out a connection card, participate in a live poll or check-in with your photo.
- Roll out a new feature every week for the first few weeks. (Keep things fun and fresh while they’re still in the adoption phase!).
- Give your congregation a profile goal.
Now that you’re promoting away, make sure everyone knows how to access it and download it. A simple onboarding process is key. One great way to do this is with a live preview or demo of the app. Show your members how to download it and then go through the app with them. This by no means should be an exhaustive list of everything your app can do. You don’t want to overwhelm or throw too much at your members at once. The goals is to show your members the value it will bring to them and to the church–and how easy it is to do it all!
On top of that, you can record a demo to reach members while they’re at home or on the go. We love the idea of a mini-series on your favorite features. For example, do three short videos, walking members through the processes of each feature while touting the benefits. one could sound something like this:
“ Hi friends! Today, I’m going to quickly walk you through the giving feature on our app. Simply click here, choose your payment method and amount, and you’re done! I love it because it’s fast and convenient for those who don’t like to carry cash or check. Thanks for watching – See ya Sunday ”
This is just an example but we like the general recipe: A personal touch + quick, step-by-step runthrough + tell why you love the feature. Pretty easy, right?
PREVIEW PRO TIP: Tell your members to fill out a profile.
After your members download the app, tell them to complete their profile. Member profiles are a foundational part of your app. They help leaders like you get insights on who your members are, what they like viewing and so much more. Profiles also connect members to each other. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Luckily, our last tip is what you as a church leader do best, preach! Be enthusiastic. Get people excited about the app and the opportunities it opens up for them and your church.
Make it a part of your church’s culture by infusing it in your church’s regular experience. Encourage people to give with the app on Sunday (and beyond), do a group prayer from your in-app prayer requests, and even start your own podcast. When you integrate your app into your everyday, it becomes second nature to your members.
Your app has all the potential to be a member favorite. It has the ability to entertain, engage, and make life easier for those who use it. By promoting, previewing, and preaching, you can connect members to your church in a whole new way.