There’s not much point in having a church app if hardly anyone is downloading it. On the first day of announcing your new app, you’re going to naturally have a handful of people jumping in and downloading immediately. Most people, however, will need a little hand-holding or pushing to get to the download, and then a small handful just frankly will never download it. It’s your basic “bell curve!”
So how can we get those in the middle, those people who need a few more reminders or reasons to download to actually take the time to hit “DOWNLOAD?”
Well firstly, there are a couple of schools of thought on whether churches should have an app or not. The argument against the app says that users have the same opportunities in a church website than they do in a church app. And honestly, I don’t fully disagree with that! However, in an Adobe study they showed that the average smartphone user spends 3 times more time in a mobile app then they do on a mobile website.
This tells me that just because people CAN find the same content on the website than they can the app, doesn’t mean they necessarily will, even if the website is optimized for mobile.
Lead them to the download
Don’t just rely on faith that people will actually download your church app. There are many reasons/excuses that stand in the way between your congregation and them downloading your app. Some people, particularly those of an older generation, but in the younger as well, may not know HOW to download the app to their phone.
We just assume that in this day in age everyone knows how to download an app, but that’s simply not true. Don’t be afraid to hand hold people to the app because sometimes that’s what it takes.
At my church, we had a strategy where on a Sunday morning we would have a team of the Youth group in place to help anyone who didn’t know how to download it. They all wore bright orange shirts so they stood out and in the announcements, we told the congregation to look for these youth after the service if they needed help downloading. Let people know that there is a team in place to help them so they have no excuse to not have it!
Make it simple to find
When you explain how to get the app, typically you would tell them to go to the app store and then search for your church name and maybe even the city you are in and then they will find the app.
But what if there were even a simpler way to remember how to get the app.
People are familiar with your website right? You’ve likely had a website much longer than you’ve had an app.
So your church should have a redirect link that directs them straight to the app store to your apps page.
You could make this URL, “mychurch.com/app.” Super easy to remember and say. And if you repeat that every week in your announcements, it’s going to be ingrained into peoples minds!!
Create “Exclusive” Content
Sometimes the ease to get the app is not enough to actually convince someone to do it. The trick is to make them feel like they are missing out on something great. There’s actually a term for this! It’s called FOMO, Fear of Missing Out.
When you tell your congregation that there is content or notifications that are only available on the app, they will feel like they HAVE to download it otherwise they won’t be a part of the cool kids!
What exclusive content can you offer to your church body? Well, that’s really up to you and your imagination. But here are a few ideas:
- Bible reading plan to prepare people for Sunday’s message
- A video mini-message from your pastor once a week.
- A church Spotify playlist highlighting some of your churches favorite worship songs.
Build a community on this platform and make them feel like they don’t want to miss out on the great things happening on the app.