You’ve done the right thing and built out a custom church app. You spent weeks setting the stage, creating the correct campaigns, and preparing your people for the launch of your app. You partnered with the best church app providers in the world and they’ve got your back for launch weekend. Launch weekend happens and you’ve reached maximum saturation: the expected amount of people downloading and using your brand new app. On paper you’ve done absolutely everything right, but just a few short months down the road, you’re bummed.
- Downloads are down.
- Engagement is down.
- New giving is down.
How did this happen? How could something that seemed so right, feel so wrong?
The answer may surprise you, because you did nothing wrong. You ran the right campaign, with the right church app provider, and got the right app into the hands of the right people.
They downloaded the app, signed up for recurring giving, and only come back to the app when needed.
You see, people think their church app is going to be the best thing ever. That their church is going to consume information on it like CNN or spend time sharing things on it like Facebook. But that’s just not going to happen.
Your church wants an app that helps them engage on the weekend (sermon notes), gives them quick information on upcoming events (calendar), and options for in-app giving (recurring or one-time). For the most part, this is all they want.
Here’s your dilemma:
You think your app is the best thing ever (it’s not) and that given the opportunity our people will want to spend hours on it per week (they don’t). Your audience spends five hours a day on their phones: playing games, surfing the web, in social media and listening to music. That means you 300 minutes to grab their attention and get your piece of the pie. Only thing is, they’re only willing to give you a max of twenty-four minutes a day.
Your church app is placed at the bottom rung of time allotted in a person’s life, and you think that’s the worst thing in the world. We think it’s great.
Why is this good news?
It’s good news people your app is in the hands of your people and can serve their needs in their time.
It’s counter-intuitive to think that we spend time and money just to have an app sit on someone’s phone, only to be used at max a few times a week. Some may even say it’s crazy. There are those that will want you to stay away from church apps and push you to a mobile web-app experience or just their website. That is not going to solve anything.
People want to engage with an app, on their terms, in their own unique ways.
The world has gone mobile, and the church is responding.
It’s important to understand that 90% of all phone activity is done in-app, and that by taking just a small piece of that pie, you’ve actually done something daily significant. You see, you’ve built trust in your brand and you’ve allowed your app to become a place where people keep coming back for more week after week. Sure, it’s only for a few minutes, but those few minutes are incredibly valuable. Because over half of your audience has downloaded ZERO apps this month, you’ve beaten the stats and are coming out on top. What you are doing is most definitely working.
It’s time to change how you think about your church app. Here’s how:
- Accept the fact that your app is not the best thing in the world, and that is OK.
- Embrace the opportunity to influence up to 8% of people’s time on devices.
- Leverage time spent in-app to help your audience take their next right step.
- Make sure your church app provider is your church app partner.
We help you think right about church apps, but we recommend these companies to build it with you.
They care more about you than their bottom line, and that makes a difference. If you are considering a new church app, then we recommend you start by reading our article on choosing the right church app platform, download the rate sheet in that article, and start serving your audience in-app within a week.
Disclosure: We get absolutely nothing from any of these companies. We simply just want to serve the local church.