Membership sites tend to be on the cutting edge when it comes to innovation, new strategies, and the flexibility to try new things. The audience also tends to be younger, which makes it easier to implement newer points of engagement. All of these factors combined make mobile apps a natural extension for your business moving forward.
The Benefits of Mobile Apps for Membership Sites
When you run a membership site, so much of your success is tied up in engagement. If you can increase membership engagement, you’ll almost always see an uptick in loyalty, retention, and profitability. A mobile app is just one ingredient in a membership engagement recipe, but it’s a key one. Here’s why it’s so effective:
Creates an additional touchpoint. Any time you’re able to engage with your members on another platform, it strengthens that connection even further. It also helps you stay top of mind. By layering a mobile app on top of your membership website, email, and social media, you create this web of touchpoints that makes you a compelling figure in the life of your members.
Enables push notifications. One of the amazing things about a mobile app is that it gives you the opportunity to send push notifications directly to the member’s smartphone. (They have to opt-in for push notifications, but there are ways to encourage them to do so.) This makes it a highly effective method for reaching your audience in a timely manner.
Adds functionality. Mobile apps create an added degree of functionality that you don’t get with social media or email. It puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to create features that add value to the people within your tribe. This, combined with a healthy relationship, encourages people to continually renew over and over again.
Establishes another inroad. You might consider developing a free and paid version of your app. The paid version is included in your membership subscription. The free version is accessible to anyone who downloads your app through the app store. This provides another avenue for onboarding new members. (If you make the free version great, they’ll be interested in upgrading to the paid version. This gives you a chance to bring them through your sales funnel.)
Makes your brand more relevant. Modern is relevant. The more you implement modern elements into your engagement strategy, the more relevant you are in the eyes of your members. You just have to make sure your app stays up to date at all times, otherwise it can devolve from an asset into a liability.
Every membership site has its own objectives, but these four benefits are fairly universal in their value. Entrepreneurs that continue to ignore mobile apps run the risk of losing out to the competition.
How to Develop a Mobile App
Okay, so you’re sold on a mobile app, but now what?
The next step is to develop a mobile app. Here are a few pointers:
1. Hire a Freelancer
Don’t try to code your own app. Unless you’re a skilled coder with years of experience, it’s going to take too long and the quality won’t be up to par. Instead, hire a freelancer who can develop your app for you in a fraction of the time. It’ll cost you, but the quality will make it worth it.
2. Use a Service
Another option is to use a service that allows you to build an app from pre-set templates and various drag and drop features. This method can work if you have a very basic app, but isn’t recommended when you need something extremely proprietary or advanced.
3. Keep it Simple
Have you ever noticed that the best mobile apps are also the simplest? Strip out all of the fluff and design an app that’s sleek, intuitive, and high performing. A third grader should be able to pick it up and figure it out.
4. Install Useful Features
Your app will ultimately be judged on how useful it is. Make it pretty, but focus on the utility of the app. If it can add value to the user’s life, it’ll stay on their phone longer and get more use.
Adding it All Up
Mobile apps for membership sites are a pretty new development in this space. But those who’ve taken the deep dive into this extension of their brands have reaped some pretty compelling rewards. Will you give it a try?