For member-based organizations, membership apps have been getting more and more popular. Keep reading to find out what membership apps are, and how you can effectively use them to your benefit.
Apps are the future of communication. So, if you run a membership association, creating a membership app for your community can have many benefits.
Currently, there are more than 3.8 billion smartphone users worldwide. This means that over 48% of the world uses smartphone applications in their everyday lives. These apps give easy access to the Internet, productivity tools, and games. In fact, a large majority of people even prefer to use their handheld devices instead of their computers.
What Is a “Membership App”?
Membership apps are, in the simplest terms, mobile applications for your members. Think of it as an extension of your online membership platform. Your members should be able to use it and do almost everything they can on their computers. It is an added benefit to your member organization.
There might be a few issues if you decide to build a membership app. For starters, it’s not easy to do if you don’t know much about technology. And even if you do, it will still require a lot of time and effort. You will have to keep up with regular updates and maintenance.
Your features might not work properly if your app is not well-built. Your aspiring and pre-existing members can find this off-putting and frustrating. Making sure that your app looks nice and runs smoothly is extremely important.
This might seem like a big challenge to undertake. If you don’t want to deal with building the app yourself, you can use a company that does this for you. Almost all extensive membership software have the option to supply you with an app. However, there is a potential downside to this: it can be expensive. Some companies will charge a lot of money for this feature, especially if you want it to be a branded app just for your organization. Not to mention that you have to pay a fee to feature your app on things like App Store and Google Play. All of these combined can be very costly for your association.
Why Should You Use a Membership App?
Connecting with your community only through your website can get tedious and boring for your members. In any case, keeping them engaged and interested should be your top priority. Announcing that you will create a membership app might be refreshing. It can bring renewed interest to your platform –especially if the app works well.
But why should you create a membership app in the first place? What are the benefits of using one for yourself? Here are the top three reasons most member communities prefer to build membership apps:
The biggest highlight of membership apps is that they are convenient. They provide an easy pathway to your platform and content. Even if someone doesn’t have access to their computer, they can find what they want with a few simple clicks.
One of the driving factors of the accessibility of membership apps is push notifications. Through your app, members can see important news right on their phone lock screen. You can reach them even when they aren’t on their computer, and keep them engaged in your business.
2. Increase in Revenue
Among the biggest priorities of any membership organization is to decrease churns. You should make your members want to renew their membership subscriptions. Keeping existing members content and bringing in new members will give you a stable reputation and income.
A mobile membership app can help you with that. Providing better service and increasing engagement are among the top methods to keep recurring memberships. A well-built and easy-to-use membership app will help your members quickly connect to your organization, and keep coming back for more.
3. Encouraging Engagement Between Members
One of the key features of a functional membership app is member-to-member contact. Either via forums or private messaging, creating connections between your members is important.
Easy access to other members’ contact information and private messaging can strengthen the bonds between your members. This provides a more efficient route of communication in case of emergencies.
What Should a Good Membership App Include?
The basis of any membership app should be to encourage consistent consumption. Members should be able to reference any information they might need at any given time. Use the accessibility of smartphones and tablets to your advantage.
Some features to ensure an effective membership app are:
- The ability for members to directly sign-up and login,
- Customizable features to reflect your branding,
- Push notifications to keep your members constantly updated,
- Integrations so members can pay their membership fees and renew subscriptions from within the app,
- Easy access to member profiles (their own and others’),
- Personalized membership cards with barcodes or QR codes,
- Discussion boards or forums to increase interaction,
- An announcement board to provide updates, promote upcoming events, and many more,
- Access to your online and offline events, and the ability to buy tickets directly from the app,
- Private messaging option between members,
- Job listings for those looking for jobs or employees,
…and many others. The sky is the limit! You can customize these features and provide different ones. More or less, your members should be able to do a good chunk of what they can do on your website. Be mindful of optimizing your app according to your membership base, and what your organization requires.
Overall, it is clear that membership apps can have many benefits. They have a lot of potential to grow and stabilize your membership organization. Consider your options well, and make sure to do a lot of research before choosing the best software. Before you can implement your app, the first step is to create an extensive membership platform.
Raklet is all-in-one membership management software that can help you with both. Our membership app can provide you with all the features listed above and more. Strengthen your community with our easy-to-use CRM for a low price. Check out our website and schedule a demo to see how we can help you.