What is the definition of a great church app?
One with dynamite graphics? Simplicity? Works offline? Is secure? Has uplifting content?
While all these (and more) are components of successful apps, the true definition of a great church app is ‘one people use daily’. That’s it. If people are not using your app daily, then it’s not successful. Period.
A recent article in BiznessAPPS reports that people only use about 20 of the apps on their phones on a daily basis. Getting into that ‘Top 20’ is a challenge.
A game changer is user-centric push notifications.
In order to get your push notes to be user-centric, you are going to need some data. The article identifies several useful points:
Push notifications need to be geared for the stage your user is in. The article organizes them into four stages:
- All users begin as ‘newbies’. Within a short time, newbies make decisions about your church app. Some will decide to uninstall it, remaining newbies.
- Others, about 23%, will keep your app on their phone but not use it very often. BiznessAPPS called these users ‘passersby’.
- Users who are ‘engaged’ are the prime category. These people go to your app very often, usually daily. They are your target audience.
- The fourth group is ‘dormant’ users who used to be engaged but have changed their behavior for some reason.
It is also useful to know HOW your user is engaging with your app. Is he or she using ALL the features or just a select few?
Today’s digital users tend to have different devices and touchpoints. The majority use these devices in a similar schedule each day. For example, we may wake up and check our work emails on our laptops, firing off answers to a few critical ones even before breakfast. Then, we may move to our phones to have a look at social media.
Success of the push notifications is increased when they arrive to the ONE device your user is on at the moment (and not to ALL the devices that user has). So, if your users tend to be on their phones between noon and 1 p.m., that’s where and when your church push notes should arrive.
A push note inviting people to ‘drop in now for Bible study and refreshments’ is not really relevant if they are nowhere in the vicinity of your church. So, push notifications which are linked to location should only be sent to devices within a fixed location radius.
Personalization is the key to keeping your digital relationship human and not spammy. This means knowing what each user prefers and sending them only relevant push notes.
The time taken to set this up will be well worth it. BiznessAPPS reports a Harvard Business Review claim that personalization encourages conversion by 40%.
Related to ‘device’ (above), timing is all about sending push notifications when users are browsing their phones or likely to be engaging with your church app. It is also about respecting people’s lifestyles. Families with young children may not mind a push note arriving at 7 a.m. – or even earlier. Others might.
The next step is planning your message. Each push notification should have a goal. Perhaps it is to encourage users to interact with your app, keeping users in the ‘engaged’ category. Maybe it is to increase attendance at a recurring church event or to notify of a special ‘one off’ that shouldn’t be missed.
After crafting your message, check back: does your message achieve your goal? And does it sound interesting and inviting? A message that YOU would want to interact with?
If any of the above parts gets a ‘no’, this is not a good push notification to send. And be careful! Many users have limited patience when it comes to irrelevant push notes – about 6-10 of them and ‘bye bye app’.
It is best to monitor your push notifications performance. Metrics such as
- Click through rate
- Secondary action rate
- Engagement rate
- Sharing metrics
- Lead growth
will help you measure how successful your messages are at getting your users to engage with your church app.
Despite the fact that the data is available, most organizations use only 5% of it.
Big mistake. Data will help your church build a complete ‘picture’ of each of your users. These pictures will help you send relevant, user-centric, push notifications, increasing the chances that your users will make your church app a successful one – an app that they use every day.
SEE ALSO: The Human Side of Mobile Apps!