What is a mobile app and do I need it?
Before we dive into your new church app, we would like to take the time and share the importance of a mobile app and what it can do for you, so let’s begin.
At this point, you may be looking for a redesign in how your church appeals to your members, you may feel like you want to create or redesign your website, for new flow of newcomers, or business cards or marketing. That’s all well and dandy, but have you ever looked into the realm of what a mobile app can do?
Sure, we can tell you you don’t need to spend more money, time and effort into getting a new platform to host your church needs, or shove you into the latest and greatest trend all churches are trying to do these days, but what we can share, are a few key differences between your church website and current marketing materials and an app, to let you decide.
The Three Reasons Why Mobile Apps Are Better Than Mobile Websites.
1. An app is for building a community
2. Apps focus your church communication
3. Apps can increase giving potential
Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?
#1. An app is for building a community
#1. An app is for building a community
Let’s start out by stating the obvious:
Your website is NOT a mobile app, and your mobile app is NOT a website. Not to insult your intelligence, but it’s essential to point this out from the start.
Here’s the deal:
Many churches and leaders get confused on this subject, and we can totally relate. You’ve invested money in building a website that looks good on a computer, tablet, and mobile phone. It’s slick, has a ton of features, and as far as you can tell, your audience can use it. Building a website is a good thing, but it’s only one part of a bigger communication puzzle.
Here’s what you need to know:
If your website makes for a good mobile app, then your site doesn’t probably have the content it needs to work well. In addition, if your mobile app is used as your church’s website, then it’s probably not working the way it should.
Let’s break it down for you like a fraction.
There are two significant differences between your church’s website and an app:
Your church website is for your new visitors, those who DON’T know you or what you do.
Your church app is for RETAINING your members.
This isn’t a perfect comparison but, hang tight.
Your church’s website is your new front door. According to a few studies, as many as 90 percent of your first-time visitors will visit your church website before they dream about visiting your church. While people are on your website, they’re trying to get a feel for who you are and gather basic information. After they spend time on your site, many people will decide whether or not to visit you based upon their online experience.
You know what else?
Your website should lead people to visit your worship service or event. Your site needs to provide information potential visitors are seeking, and it needs to be readily available. For instance, here’s some non-negotiable information you must include on your site:
Time of services
Information about childcare
Including this information is vital for your church.
Not only does it happen to be the most commonly searched for information on a church’s website, but this information is also missing on many church websites.
Do you know what else about your church website?
People will view most of the content on your site, maybe once … shocking isn’t it? After someone visits your church, they will know what time your worship service starts, and they will become comfortable with your childcare, so its clear to say, they won’t consume this content again.
Where are you getting at?
Your church website serves an important role, and it’s vital for your church to have one. But your church’s website is limited in its purpose and what it can accomplish.
Embracing A Church App
Unlike your church’s website, your church app will be primarily used by YOUR CHURCH MEMBERS. There’s a percentage of first-time guests or frequent visitors who’ll use your app. But for the most part, the people who use your app are people committed to your church. Since this is the case, the way you use your app will be different from the way you use your church’s website.
Let’s explore these differences a little more in detail…
#2. Apps focus on your church communication
Your church, is pulled in a million directions online:
“Like us on Facebook!”
“Follow us on Twitter!”
“See our latest updates on Instagram!”
“Listen to our podcast!”
“Read our blog!”
With so many options, your church members are led to several different locations. Basically, they end up getting bounced around online like a ping pong ball and many will refuse to get involved due to the fact, that they have to visit each and every one to stay informed.
But, this isn’t the case with your church app. You can provide ONE location for your church to …
… engage with you on your internal social media …
… listen / watch to your latest sermon …
… register for an upcoming event …
… submit a prayer request …
… read a blog post …
… make a donation …
… read the Bible …
the list goes on.
Instead of leading people to follow you in a million different directions, you can lead them to download your app once to connect with you, engage in your church community, and staying up to date on everything concerning the church.
Check this out.
With BerryXChange, we create a special place within your app for internal social media content and other content automatically. Having an internal social media network lets you have total control over what is being posted and to have the means to control it as you see fit. Your content creates a one-stop shop your members can easily visit to engage with.
You know what else?
With your new church app, your church can download, listen & watch your sermons when they are away from home, which sometimes, can be inconvenient with a website.
But wait, there’s more!
Here’s another helpful tidbit:
Your church app users can easily like, comment and share what they are doing within the app. Unlike most church websites, an app has built-in features that make building a community, super easy. Making content easy to connect with, is one way you can increase engagement.
One last thing about boosting engagement with your church app:
As long as someone has downloaded your church app, you can send them a push notification (short message) to get their attention—even if they don’t have your app opened.
The message you send pops-up on their phone’s home screen, and they don’t even have to unlock their phone, answer a call, or check their email inbox.
#3. Apps can increase giving
An app makes it easier for your church to give. We understand people can access your church’s website with their mobile phone to donate. But this isn’t necessarily the best option.
Here are three reasons why:
… Apps are optimized for phones …
… Mobile giving is easy …
… Mobile giving can increase giving …
First and foremost, your church app is built to create a great mobile experience. Most church websites are built with a desktop or laptop user in mind. Your site may be mobile-friendly, but there’s a good chance your site wasn’t made to work well on a mobile phone. When someone accesses your website from their smartphone, there’s a good chance it will be difficult for them to donate because the font is hard to read and the button to give is difficult to press. When it comes to your church app, this isn’t the case at all. An app is built with a mobile-user in mind, which leads me to the next point.
Mobile giving is easy on a church app.
The giving form is easy to access, and with a couple of clicks, your app users are well on their way to donating. In addition, an app gives your church the ability to give anytime, anywhere. And it makes it super easy to set up automated recurring giving. These benefits aren’t theoretical, either. We’ve found that when a church fully supports mobile giving, they’ll see at least a 10 percent increase in giving over six months.
Do you want to see an increase in giving?
Then provide your church with a mobile app to make it easy!
Well, there you have it.
Three reasons why mobile apps are better than mobile websites:
An app is for building community
Apps focus your church communication
Apps can increase giving
Does your church need an app?
Still not sure if a church app is right for you?
Keep scrolling we’ll be sure to peak your interest!