More and more associations across the world are utilizing mobile applications to better engage their member bases by cutting through the noise of email communication to disperse essential information and provide easier access to valuable resources. As the market begins to realize the utility that comes from using mobile apps, it is important to put the end user experience at the forefront of the development process and determine what key features should be included. App developing can be a daunting and overly complex process if not approached thoughtfully. To assist you in your journey of developing a mobile application for your association we have created a list of the top 10 features you should incorporate into your app.
Here is our list:
Social Networking and Messaging
A connection is key for mobile users, and providing your members a one-stop solution for communicating with you and with other members in a direct and meaningful manner is essential for any association that is creating a mobile app. With more and more people being cautious about what they post to social media, creating a closed network with secure communication for your members will encourage them to communicate freely and often.
One of the most common use cases for an app for associations is an event marketing tool. Help make your annual conference or special event a great success by including event management tools in your app that provide easy access to event details and allow members to access essential information like start times, location, speaker information and more.
Personalized Agendas are a great example of an event management tool that enables your users to engage with the event content that they want to, and ensures that the information for sessions they plan on attending is available at their fingertips. Leverage automated push notifications to alert members to changes in schedule and sessions starting within a specified timeframe to amplify their event experience.
In-app resource centers are fantastic tools for providing relevant content to your association member base. Whether the content is related to an annual conference, or is regularly distributed, a resource center will provide users with quick access to newsletters, files, podcasts, videos and other content. Many hours go into creating compelling content for your members so ensure they see it by notifying them when new content is posted through your app.
Features on their own are great, but sometimes it helps to see a more holistic view of what an app can offer. That’s why we created the Hatch Apps Showcase to highlight some of the most popular use cases for mobile applications and gives you the ability to visualize what your app could look like. Head on over to the Hatch Apps Showcase to see what possibilities exist for your future app.
Many associations offer courses and accreditations services for the industries and professions they represent. By incorporating an e-learning module into your association’s app you create added value and incentives for members and non-members alike. E-learning components like multiple choice questions, and interactive diagrams will enrich your courses by providing a study resource for busy professionals who are constantly on the go. Whether it allows your users to learn new skills, or test mastery to renew a license, your association will be at the forefront of innovative education.
Forums add unlimited utility to your association by providing a community engagement center for your members. Through including a forum in your association app you’ll empower members to create and share content with their colleagues wherever they are. Increasing collaboration and mindshare , is one of the compelling reasons to join an association so by fostering fluid, secure communication you’ll better serve your members.
Highlight what is important for your members by creating a newsfeed in your app that allows association members to stay informed with the most important updates. With a News feed you can segment and prioritize the information your members see to ensure critical updates display at the top.
One of the most important roles an association plays is advocate. By serving as the policy arm for a professional or trade group, it’s an association’s duty to keep members informed of proposed legislation and new laws that could affect members’ day-to-day lives. By highlighting what important policy changes may be on the horizon you can use a policy tracker to send breaking news notifications and mobilize your members to contact their respective representatives in favor of or against a vote.
Another key feature for members of your association is the ability for them to have access to a digital membership ID card or virtual badge within the mobile app. This feature allows for your users to have increased accessibility to one of the most essential aspects of their memberships. With a member-ID function your users will be able to access events, redeem rewards, and utilize all the benefits that their membership offers from the comfort of a mobile application.
Finally, one of the best uses of an app is to highlight your sponsors in a way that your consumers will understand and interact with. Creating a sponsors page puts your sponsors front and center and gives your members the ability to see who is supporting your organization. You might even consider including links to their respective web pages for added recognition. without having to dive or dig in to find the information.
Before you determine what should go in an app you should ask yourself what need will having an app fulfill? At Hatch Apps, we understand the need to discern if an app is right for your current business needs if you are on the fence we have a quick checklist to see if an app would be an effective tool for your association. Whether you’re curious to see more use cases or how an app can compliment your marketing strategy, Hatch Apps wants to help you figure the best approach for your association.
When you build an app for your association there are many things to consider, but what’s most important is how you can best serve your membership. Whether your focus is accreditation, policy tracking or event management by focusing on the end user value and experience you’ll be sure to deploy something to market your organization can be proud of.