As far as the website vs. app debate goes, it’s not an Either/Or Situation - both are needed. Just as we always like to say – websites are for attention, apps are for retention. It’s time to put your website’s most utilized features and resources in a native app so your members can access them right through their phones. When it comes to keeping your association engaging, it’s important you know your people, what they need, and how to best deliver that.
The best aspects of your website can now live in an app, allowing them to be utilized at a much higher rate due to the convenience of mobile. If you enable your members to access membership benefits such as your event and education calendars, exclusive content, resource library or community forums within an app, you are likely to notice an increase in traffic as users are able to easily open and browse from their mobile device, without a desktop in sight.
ABCA Hits a Home Run
The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) recently launched its mobile app to allow members to stay up to date with ABCA news and content, collaborate with other members in forums and through direct messaging, register for the ABCA convention and regional education opportunities, update their profiles, and access the new Coaching Resource Library, which includes many videos coaches use to hone their own skills and instruct their players. Because coaches love having access to instructional videos, this library has been a big draw for members.
Since the video library has been made available via the ABCA app, the organization has seen a significant overall increase in members accessing these resources. In fact, Jon Litchfield, ABCA’s Communications and Business Coordinator, said, “The traffic on our video website has increased by 25%, which I’d pretty much attribute just to the app.”
ABCA knew its members would benefit from a mobile app and the response has been very positive, “We have gotten great feedback so far, and we’re very happy with the initial 1,500 downloads/logins.”
He adds that, “The forum activity has been a nice surprise; I thought we’d have to promote it a little more, but the coaches have just gone in there and gotten it going themselves.”
What do your people access most on your web site? What do they need to succeed in their jobs and thrive in your industry? ABCA members organically grew their forum usage because that’s what members needed – to talk, inquire, share and learn. Give your members the ability to get what they need in the format that is most desired. And in doing that, they will continue to look to you for leadership and value.