New mobile engagement tool for BAGI

Mobile application for the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis | 5 minutes read

 

BAGI or Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis is the professional association that unites people from the residential construction industry and related businesses to conduct their business efficiently and ethically to provide the community with reliable, safe, affordable residential construction accomplished by competent professionals in the industry.

It has always been a high priority for BAGI to promote, educate and network with their members, along with providing advocacy, education and meaningful services to benefit its members and the new-home building industry in the most efficient way. BAGI was looking for a solution to replace their existing mobile app with a newer and more user-friendly platform that would make interaction and communication within the community become faster, more productive and convenient.

 

Bagi mobile application from 14 Oranges

 

After researching for options, BAGI chose 14 Oranges based on their deep experience in the mobile application development industry while understanding the association’s needs. 14 Oranges were able to provide them with a mobile-first approach to enhance the engagement with BAGI’s members.

One of the vital issues in the project was the transfer of the association’s existing app content into the new platform which 14 Oranges was able to do with ease.

Thus, in April 2019 the brand new mobile application for BAGI was launched and now is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The BAGI mobile app is a very simple and convenient engagement tool that creates a place for members to go for internal communications. Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis members can use this app to stay in the loop of Association events and activities.

Furthermore, the mobile app can easily provide members with access to Policies and Procedures, internal messaging, schedules of the upcoming events, industry news like government affairs, networking and others. It is also possible to collect feedback from the members to improve association services.

 

BAGI mobile app

 

The application has a simple but modern interface as well as the easily-managed CMS platform Info Grove, allowing to create and manage the content, add or remove modules quickly and conveniently.

“14 Oranges successfully replicated all desired functionality from the previous app while developing other improvements. Positive internal feedback has focused on the accessibility of the backend. Expect 14 Oranges Software to follow a straightforward and accountable process and meet their commitments”, Director of Communication and Special Events, Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis, Kristen Krempp.

 

You can order a free demo of your mobile application HERE.

Typical stages of the mobile application development

A simple guide for communications managers | 6 minutes read

 

mobile app planning

 

The development of a mobile application can seem like a daunting task for communications managers as for most it is something new that has not been undertaken in the past. Fear not, as we will present the process to you in simple stages to help you with the process and hopefully alleviate your fears.

 

First of all, everything starts with an idea; however, understanding the implementation process is crucial to make sure you succeed with your project. Any brilliant idea can collapse with poor execution while, by contrast, a simpler idea can lead to brilliant results with good execution and a good implementation process. This rule works for any project but is especially true for software development and specifically – mobile application development.

 

In real life, the best results are achieved when the client’s side, usually a communications manager, and development team achieve full understanding and fruitful cooperation.

 

Before even starting to work on a mobile application, it is very important for communications managers to understand the development cycle and its stages.

So, here are our essential stages of how to manage this process:

 

1. Define your idea and create a brief

Literally, put on paper your idea by answering the following questions:

  1. Who is your future mobile app?
  2. What are the challenges faced by your community?
  3. What can a mobile app be helpful with?
  4. What are your organization challenges?

Ideally, we also recommend having all your brand standards and guides already prepared as it will help with development steps; however, it is not essential to get started.

 

2. Choose a supplier.

Here different options can be considered such as an in-house developer, a freelance developer, or a reputable development company. We will not dive into this topic much further in this discussion (more on this later) but what is important here is to make sure your supplier has experience in your area and understands the business processes of your organization.

 

Here you can download our Mobile Application Planning Guide 

 

mobile application

 

3. Arrange a kick-off meeting.

In this meeting, the communications manager and the development team discuss the mobile application requirements, the organization “wants” and “cans”, the technical implementation and feasibility, the timing, the challenges, and what should be done at each stage from both sides.

Here are some technical questions that usually are discussed with the development team:

  • What platforms will be supported? (iOS, Android, other.)
  • What devices types will be supported? (Phone, Tablets, Phablets)
  • Will users need to log in?
  • Will the app need to know the user’s location? If so, how precise and how often?
  • Will push notifications be required?
  • Will payments be accepted inside the app?
  • Will the project require a website?
  • Will the project require an administration panel?
  • What kind of features do you require?

 

4. Create a mobile application plan.

At this stage, the structure of the mobile app needs to be considered as well as the logic, features, content, and how the app should work. While in this stage, any changes can be reviewed and altered quite easily so it is important to finalize all issues to avoid any mistakes at the later stages.

 

5. Implement a prototype and design.

A prototype – is the clickable draft of your future mobile app. Here you can have the complete visualization of how your mobile app will look like including the design. Recall, we also recommended having your brand guides prepared? Having these guides will allow the development team to incorporate them inside the prototype so you get an almost complete visualization of your mobile app.

 

6. Start mobile app development.

This stage is the development stage of the project and should be entirely handled by the selected development team. Just make sure you have approved all necessary materials for the team and they have everything they need (according to previous stages) to develop the app.

 

7. Test the mobile app and launch.

At this stage, you have received your completely finished dream mobile app. So now you and your organization need to test it. We would recommend having a few reliable team members to test the app so that you will receive relevant comments that can be adjusted before the app is launched.

After approving the app, it will be ready to submit to the respective app stores. Once the apps are public, the project is completed.

Following these basic steps will allow you to simplify and improve the cooperation between your organization and the supplier to get a mobile app that can start to resolve your organization challenges and improve engagement with your members. It wasn’t too bad, was it?

 

Don’t forget to order a Free Demo of your future Mobile Application. Click here.

A mobile application is an essential tool for an organization

About the advantages of mobile apps for organizations | 5 minutes read

 

      It has been almost two decades since the first smartphone came into the market (remember those Palm Treo?). Since that time, the technology landscape has seen tremendous improvements such as the ability to receive emails or full internet browsing and of course mobile apps. Those improvements have boosted the development of supplementary industries such as mobile phones production and software development.

      Since the first apps were developed back in 2008, our smartphones have become an essential part of our life – it influences our behaviors especially in the way we consume information, consider it, and take action. No wonder that on average we spend 8.8 hours per day engaging with digital content on our smart devices (According to Adobe Consumer Content Survey).

      With that in mind, it is important to consider that drastic behavior change in how you communicate with your audience. No longer is it sufficient to just send emails and expect 100% engagement from your audience or simply have a website, smartphones and mobile apps must be considered or you risk the chance to lose your customers or members.

mobile app

 

How can your association or organization benefit from a mobile application?

 

Before answering, let’s analyze human behavior.

We want to get the information in the most efficient way which means fast, relevant, convenient, and interactive, and also we want our voice to be heard. So, we tend to engage with the content that can constantly satisfy our expectations. In return, organizations are looking for options on how to satisfy our needs.

In professional marketing terminology, this process is called customer experience.

Let’s consider how a mobile application can improve your member’s customer experience.

 

1. Fast and relevant information delivery

With a mobile app, your customers or members will receive the updated or most relevant information right in the app or with special app notifications or pop-up messages. There is no need to wait for a web page download or even remember a specific URL to find out the information. With everything in the app, you can be sure your customers or members receive all updates on time.

 

2. Engagement efficiency

First, you have a mobile tool to create different interactions with your members or customers to hear their voice and analyze their opinion to improve your services. Voting, surveys, collecting feedback on a specific topic or the event – all of this can be implemented directly in the mobile app.

Second, the customer can use smartphone tools to engage with the app: make screenshots/photos and attach them in the app, scan barcodes, screen fingerprints to identify themselves for voting or surveys for example.

 

3. Costs reduction

Direct messages in the app reduce costs compared to other traditional messaging options. Moreover, the messages are secured and its delivery is guaranteed because you as an organization control this process.

It reduces the costs for the operational support of your community members or customers because you do not have to manage the traditional paperwork, for example organizing the elections or surveys.

 

4. Improve your brand awareness.

The branded mobile app icon is always noticeable on the mobile phone screen and it constantly reminds your members about your brand and organization’s activity.

 

 

In general, by considering a mobile application now, you are ensuring your customer’s or member’s loyalty in the future.

Next time you are taking public transit, take a look around and see how many people are looking at their smartphones. Now ask yourself a question, are they looking at your app or the app of one of your competitors?

 

 

Consider a mobile application for your association?

We can help! Learn more – click here.

Know your community better: interact, gather feedback, and improve your services.

Info Grove Voting / Survey Module by 14 Oranges

 

Providing services to the community and building a meaningful medium around them is very important. It’s not an easy job, especially when we speak about quality. Sometimes you never know for sure if the job was successful until you ask your community: What are they thinking about?

 

Analyze the success of the event you hosted, the satisfaction of the new improvement you have launched, or in contrast, ask the community. Ask them to support your new ideas, innovations, or to help choose new members and executives – this creates two-way communication that increases the satisfaction and loyalty of your community members.  Consequently maximizing the quality of the job you provide as an organization.

 

14 Oranges understands these needs. We are happy to announce the launch of a new feature in the Info Grove mobile application platform – The Voting / Survey Module.

 

Info Grove’s Voting / Survey Module is a very simple and friendly module which can be used for both voting and survey purposes.

 

Order free demo now Click here.

 

Info Grove framework mob app

 

The integrated Voting / Survey module allows your organization to create, send, collect feedback, and analyze information to improve your services. While enabling your community to vote for their favorite ideas, new members, and executives directly in the mobile application.

 

So, with the Info Grove Voting / Survey Module, you have one simple tool for different feedback purposes which includes (but is not limited to):

  • A survey, referendum, plebiscite voting
    Receive feedback with binding results or not
  • Executive voting

    Simple voting = 1 vote for 1 candidate
  • Group voting 

    Vote for more than 1 candidate for a position, for example, board members or city council representatives
  • Resolution voting
    
Have your community give their approval on your resolutions, either to your full membership base or for board members and executives only
  • Write-in voting
    Allow members to write-in the name of a candidate on the spot

 

Aside from the opportunity to improve your community membership engagement, Info Grove Voting / Survey Module allows your organization to save money by reducing costs on the old form of paper printing, mailing, and manually counting feedbacks.

14 Oranges provides a high-security level of data protection with Info Grove Voting / Survey Module. All information is safe during and after the voting/survey process.

 

 

Info Grove mobile apps

 

Mobile Apps for Cities: 10 Citizen Engagement Features

city mobile apps

Cities across North America are developing mobile apps as a new way of reaching citizens in a mobile-first environment. In 2017, the average user spent over two hours a day on mobile apps, and over three hours a day for millennials. Mobile apps present a new avenue to reach citizens, gather insight and opinions, and connect them to local services and events. We often see cities tackling mobile communication with a single-focus app, such as a 311 report or garbage schedule app. While we do see immense value in these types of apps, we believe that a complete city app, with a wide-range of services, provides the most value to citizens. For example, the City of Hamilton uses our Info Grove platform to send emergency notifications, promote events, link citizens to jobs and other services.

 

In addition to the City of Hamilton, we’ve worked with the City of Surrey and several U.S. counties to provide new avenues for mobile-first citizen engagement. Here are the top 10 features to include in a city app for citizen engagement:

 

 

 

1. 311 Reports

 

 

311 report mobile app

 

 

Allow citizens to complete reports in the mobile app to notify city staff regarding important issues.

311 reports provide citizens with the tools to report any problems to the city, such as potholes, graffiti, or property damage. Ideally, you’re able to configure each report so it’s emailed to the appropriate staff member.

 

2. Emergency Notifications

 

 

emergency notification mobile app

 

 

Keep citizens up to date with push notifications for city emergencies.

The City of Hamilton uses push notifications to inform citizens about road closures, weather warnings, and changes in hours of operation for public facilities.

 

 

3. Startup Questions

 

 

personalized mobile app

 

 

Allow citizens to personalize their experience with the mobile app with startup questions.

Not every push notification needs to be sent to every app user. Startup questions give the power to the citizen to determine how often they want to be notified.

 

 

4. Spatial-Based Triggers

 

 

geofencing mobile app

 

 

Integrate geo-fence technology to alert citizens who enter a specific location with push notifications or location-specific content.

For example, when an app user reaches the trailhead for a hike, he or she would automatically be sent a push notification with trail details and any relevant information.

 

 

5. Things To Do

 

 

parks and rec mobile app

 

 

Provide an active directory of things to do in the city. Users should be able to sort by “near me”

Connect citizens to public parks, recreation facilities, hiking trails, shopping malls, bike routes, and other points of interest. The City of Surrey links users to its large system of bike routes for easy access.

 

 

6. Event Information

 

 

event mobile app

 

 

Keep citizens informed with everything happening in the city.

Allow citizens to add events to their native calendars, share on social media, and get directions. Create new content to promote new festivals and conferences in the city.

 

 

7. Weather

 

 

weather mobile app

 

 

A good mobile app has features that keep users coming back for more. Every citizen is interested in weather, right?

Including an active weather widget in the app encourages citizens to launch the app on an ongoing basis and will link them to other app features.

 

 

8. Contact Information

 

 

contact list mobile app

 

 

Two-way communication is vital. Provide citizens with a city contact list organized by citizen need or department.

Allow citizens to email, phone, or schedule a meeting with staff representatives.

 

 

9. City Resources

 

 

city job mobile app

 

 

The list of resources will vary depending on each city’s specific needs:

  • Garbage/recycling schedules
  • Jobs and employment opportunities
  • Renew dog licenses
  • Public transit schedules
  • Pay a parking ticket

 

 

10. Social Media Integration

 

 

social media mobile app

 

 

Gaining organic engagement on social media is difficult. Are citizens even viewing your Tweets?

Integrate your social media accounts in the app and connect users to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Youtube account.

 

Conclusion

 

The most important feature to include in a city app is updated content. Whatever features you decide to implement, whether a 311 report, garbage schedule, or local events, if your content is outdated or irrelevant you will not gain a consistent user base. Unfortunately, many cities fall behind in this category and we are left with archaic city apps in the app stores. To combat this challenge, a mobile app should find ways to integrate to current communications, such as a website hosted with WordPress or Drupal.

However, you’ll likely have content that does require ongoing maintenance. If you’re choosing to outsource your development to save costs and gain expertise, look for an app service that provides a backend content management system so non-technical staff can log in and update content — no coding required. Also, don’t forget to set up Google Firebase Analytics to track your success!

 

Interested in building a mobile app for your city? Click here to see if Info Grove is right for you!

 

Info Grove mobile apps

Mount Seymour Little Leagues Goes Mobile! With a new app available on iOS and Android

mount seymour little league

 

The Mount Seymour Little League has launched its new mobile app for players, parents, coaches, and fans to stay connected with all things baseball in Mount Seymour.

mount seymour baseball mobile app

 

 

 

The MSLL provides baseball for boys and girls ages 5 to 19 in the Deep Cove and Seymour communities of North Vancouver, B.C. The Little League promotes fun, friendship, sportsmanship, volunteerism, and skills development to players of all ages and abilities.

 

The mobile app, available for free on both iOS and Android, acts as an all-in-one toolkit for league information.

 

 

sports team mobile app

 

 

The MSLL mobile app includes game schedules, local weather, rules, field locations, and other league information. People can use the MSLL app to:


– View game schedules for all age divisions
– Filter game schedules by division and/or field location
– Browse the league event calendar and sign up for events
– Check out the local Deep Cove weather forecast

– View the Myrtle Park concession schedule
– Access useful volunteer information about scorekeeping, pitch counting, and field prep
– Download the MSLL division rules
– Verify a player’s Little League baseball age
– Access information and maps for MSLL baseball diamond locations around North Vancouver
– View contact list for the MSLL Executive Committee and Division Coordinators
– Stay up to date with quick access to the website and social media pages
– Watch MSLL videos including coaches training
– Report an injury to our Safety Officer

 

The mobile app allows users to personalize their mobile experience with the Mount Seymour Little League. After first launching the mobile app, users are asked “startup questions” which let them define what baseball teams are relevant to them. 

 

 

startup questions mobile app

 

 

The mobile app uses 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform, which allows league staff to send targeted push notifications to relevant users using the info from the startup questions. For example, parents of Rally Caps would not be notified for a rain delay affecting Minors AA. Users are able to change their answers at anytime by going to the setting option in the app. 

 

The league administrators also plan to use push notifications to alert users about large events, picture days, and coaching clinics. 

 

Download the Mount Seymour Little League mobile app today!

 

 

Why Mobile Optimization Should Be Your Focus for 2018 REPOST: From Small Business BC

website development

To view the original post from Small Business BC, click here.


In 2017, nearly 70% of all media time was spent on smartphones, on either a mobile app or a website. Just a few years ago, having a website was the bare minimum for a business. In 2018, a mobile-responsive website is now the benchmark for success. As we move towards a mobile-first society, mobile optimization is necessary for customer engagement and retention. At the same time, we also see increased use of mobile apps by the public. So, what is best for your business? A mobile-responsive website or a mobile app?

Mobile Responsive Websites

Going with a mobile responsive website model has the following advantages:

  • Content is being increasingly consumed on mobile devices over desktop.

  • It helps site usability by improving the user interface and user experience, making it easier for customers to access your content. It’s important to ensure your content consistent across all platforms, including iPhones, Androids, iPads, tablets, and desktops.

  • Google values mobile-friendly websites, so it helps search rankings (SEO) while decreasing your bounce rate for mobile traffic.

  • Ideal for your social media marketing efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., especially if you’re driving traffic back to your website.

  • Mobile ecommerce is on the rise. People are getting more comfortable completing shopping orders on mobile devices. Look at the latest stats from Black Friday and Cyber Monday from 2017.

  • Improves email marketing campaigns that direct traffic to websites, if the user opens emails on their smartphone.

Not sure when it’s time to take mobile engagement one step further? Here’s why a mobile app is better than a website for brand engagement, and when it’s time to upgrade.

Mobile App Advantages

  • Apps are faster than websites.

  • Apps are more convenient and familiar than mobile-websites.

  • Mobile apps can offer offline support to content without needing wifi or data.

  • Apps better integrate with social media and help increase organic engagement.

  • Apps provide improved access to onboard services (i.e. native calendar, GPS, Google Maps, beacons, camera, and targeted push notifications.)

When to Upgrade?

  • When mobile traffic surpasses desktop traffic.

  • When you’re ready to adjust to changing demographics (millennials)

  • When you see a high percentage of returning visitors (via analytics) and want to increase brand loyalty, engagement, and grow returning customers.

  • When your email open rate is lower than industry standard.

  • When you want to leverage targeted push notifications (based on age, location, interests, etc.)

  • Promote two-way communication by having forms, surveys, and polls in the app.

  • If you want to run mobile campaigns in 2018 by using notifications for promotions, events, and news. Encourage action by the user, such as “share on social to be entered to win!”, “add the event to your native calendar”, or “One-day sale! Stop by today!”

  • When you want to increase revenue and cut costs by adding banner advertisements in the app and cutting print media.

The first step for any business is to ensure your content is accessible across all devices. It’s important to consider the user interface and user experience as they interact with your mobile website or app. Review your current website analytics and display the primary use cases in easy to spot areas for all devices. For example, items such as contact us and services should be easy to find. Ensuring your website is mobile-responsive is the first step to converting website visitors into leads.

City of Pittsburgh Mobile App Allows Citizens to Report Fraud

pittsburgh logo

pittsburgh mobile app

The City of Pittsburgh is taking a mobile-first approach to government accountability and transparency.

 

Pittsburgh residents and employees who suspect the fraud, theft or waste of city dollars can now report it through a mobile app.

“We have employees in every neighborhood in the city. We have citizens who are watching them. This gives an opportunity for citizens to immediately report any of that kind of activity that they believe to be waste or misuse,” said City Controller, Michael Lamb.

This app increases government transparency by bringing mobile accessibility of information to citizens and stakeholders of the City of Pittsburgh. Citizens and staff for the City of Pittsburgh can use the mobile app to:

 

    • Learn more about the Office of the Controller and its role as the independent watchdog of the city’s resources. 
    • Report fraud, waste, and abuse against the City of Pittsburgh. 
    • Search city contracts, campaign donations and expenditures of candidates for City offices, and lobbyist that do business with the City. 
    • Use Fiscal Focus Pittsburgh to create and analyze custom reports on the City’s financial data. 
    • Search Unclaimed Property to see if the City owes citizens or businesses money. 
    • Read Pittsburgh’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the detailed explanation of the City’s revenues and expenditures, or the abbreviated version, Popular Annual Financial Report. 
    • Find City Financial and Performance Audits to see how Pittsburgh has ensured your tax dollars are working for citizens. 
    • Connect with Pittsburgh through social media to get all the latest news from the City office and about City finances. 
    • Give Pittsburgh feedback on how to better to protect Pittsburgh’s finances. 

 

The mobile app collects and stores all forms and information from the app in a backend content management system. All reports are submitted anonymously to ensure citizen safety and confidentiality.

 

The City of Pittsburgh mobile app was built and maintained using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove software.

 

Info Grove mobile apps

 

Governments across North America are using Info Grove to reach citizens using a mobile-first approach. Info Grove allows multiple levels of government staff to access the backend to add and edit content in real-time. To learn how Info Grove can help your city, visit our government page today.

CityApp: A Mobile App for Citizens of Hamilton

city of hamilton logo

The City of Hamilton has launched “CityApp”, a new way for citizens to find news and information in a mobile-first environment.

CityApp was built to provide the most used tools from the City of Hamilton website into a mobile app. After scanning website analytics, City staff identified several primary use cases that became primary integrations in the app. Converting these features into a mobile app environment helps decrease obstacles that citizens face when completing tasks. Download the app for iPhone and Android today!

Mobile-First Approach

hamilton mobile app
 

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says it’s about taking advantage of the tools that people “tend to travel around with and use most often.”
Since the app has launched, Eisenberger notes there are “12 different areas you can delve into” such as transit, recreational services and waste collection. Types of features include:

 

  • Access waste collection resources, including our interactive waste collection calendar and sorting tools.

     

  • View and filter drop-in recreation schedules by date or location. Add classes to your calendar and get notifications when drop-in programs are cancelled or facilities have emergency closures.

     

  • Browse job opportunities in the City.

     

  • ‘Near Me’ GPS functionality – find local events and festival listings based upon distance from your current location.

     

  • Read recent media releases from the City.

     

  • Find and contact Councillors, easily add committee meetings to your smartphone calendar, check meeting agendas and watch videos of Council sessions.

     

  • Check out City of Hamilton’s official Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels.

     

  • Pay and view parking tickets.

     

  • Access public transit routes and schedules.

     

  • Buy or renew your dog license, and find a dog park.

     

  • Access information regarding Food Safety and inspection results of restaurants in the City.

     

  • View city locations, including parking lots, flu shot clinics, fire stations, hospitals, swimming pools, and more.

     

  • Write a feedback survey to provide input about the mobile app, feature set, and what to improve.

 

When users first download CityApp, they are prompted to answer a series of start-up questions to personalize their experience with the app. Users are asked questions such as what area of Hamilton they live in and specific services or topics of interest. This allows the City of Hamilton to send out notifications for emergencies, road closures, program cancellations, and service changes citywide or surrounding areas only.

 

A Dynamic Mobile Experience

 

The City of Hamilton plans to update the app on an ongoing basis and provide new links and resources for citizens. The CityApp is built and maintained using 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform, allowing city staff to easily update and edit content in the app. Info Grove is built with a unique framework that allows City staff without a technical background to make changes in the app.

 

At any time, citizens are able to update their preferences to receive more or less push notifications. Citizens are also encouraged to give their opinions about the app and how it can be improved.

 

“We are working hard to grow our digital capacity and provide residents and visitors with a better online experience. Our new CityApp provides more opportunities to access information and interact with the City of Hamilton on the go. I encourage our residents and visitors to download CityApp and take advantage of this new, convenient and fun way to access our programs and services.”  – Mayor Fred Eisenberger

While growing its digital capacity, City of Hamilton staff were trained on how to use the content management system tied to Info Grove. City of Hamilton staff have access to the backend where they can add and edit content, send push notifications, collect forms and data, and create banner ads for emergencies. The system is easy to learn and is able to sync with 3rd party tools, such as WordPress and Drupal.

To learn more about the app platform that the City of Hamilton is using to reach its citizens, visit our Info Grove page today!

Info Grove Mobile Apps

Mobile Apps for Associations: 8 Must-Have Features Member Engagement & Communication

association mobile apps

Advocacy associations often have a difficult time connecting with members regarding industry news and events. As email open rates decline, association executives are searching for new ways of reaching members to keep everyone informed. In order to match the changing demographics (millennials), associations are beginning to migrate to mobile apps.

Within the last few years, many advocacy associations have begun developing mobile apps to provide members with a mobile-first approach to engagement. Mobile-first strategies are implemented with the goal of allowing members to access content on the platform of their choice, and not limiting the user to a desktop. If your association is considering a mobile app for member engagement, here are six must-have features to guarantee mobile engagement.

1) Targeted push notifications

Sending a mass push notification is the same as sending a mass email, though useful, segmenting communication will increase engagement and open rates. Mobile apps for associations must be equipped with targeted push notifications so members don’t feel overwhelmed with constant alerts.

Associations should target members based on a variety of factors, such as age, location, personal interests, profession, etc. When members first launch the mobile app, they should be asked a series of questions to personalize their experience with your new app.

The Washington State Pharmacy Association asks users to list their profession (either pharmacist, retired, student, or pharmacist technician). In doing so, the WSPA can send news and information to those who it’s most relevant; meaning students will not be notified for events regarding retired professionals in Washington.

arkansas education association mobile app

2) Polls, surveys, and forms

When adopting a mobile-first strategy, integrating polls and surveys is critical for two-way communication. Associations are able to collect data and information that help better understand the needs and opinions of members for future development. It’s important to eliminate barriers that members face when attempting to engage with your association – make engagement as easy as possible.

Use polls to ask members about recent legislative initiatives, their favourite parts of the app, or whatever your association finds most important. Coupled with targeted push notifications, quick polls are a powerful tool to receive member insight fast.

It’s important to ensure that the polls you create are linked to a backend data source for collection and organization. If the poll requires immediate attention, such as a live event or political policy action, it would help for association staff to receive the forms via email or text if needed.

association mobile apps

3) Event integration

Gone are the days of “one-and-done” event apps. Associations are now realizing the value of a year-round mobile app as a platform for member engagement. As many marketers are aware, the hardest part of marketing your mobile app is getting people to download it to their personal devices. It’s believed that once a user has downloaded the app, you’ve passed the largest hurdle for mobile engagement. Provide the event schedule, speaker lists, sponsor list, etc., for event attendees to make the mobile app a must download.

It’s common for associations to have multiple events per year, whether an annual general conference, a local meeting, or even online webinars. A mobile app should allow your staff to create new pages and content for every event your association hosts.

Event pages in the app should allow users to add events to their native calendars and schedule reminders. To improve engagement, event pages should let users seamlessly share on social media to promote attendance by more members. Further, users should be able to find key information, such as directions, contact info, and links to sign up for the event.

Coupled with targeted push notifications and polls, your mobile app will provide a next-level event engagement strategy and create a new event experience for members.

Event app

 

4) Political contacts

At its foundation, advocacy associations strive to make positive change with respect to political policy and government action. An association mobile app should link users to their local state/provincial/municipal representative to contact via email or phone.

One mobile app integration to consider for political advocacy is KnowWho, a membership engagement service to contact legislature representatives. By adding a third party service like KnowWho, associations can run a mass advocacy campaign in a mobile environment with targeted push notifications. Send call-to-actions to members and ask them to send an email to their state representative through the app or share information on social media.

mobile app advocacy

 

5) Grassroots Advocacy Campaigns

Mobile apps provide a mobile-first environment for rallying members (Click here to learn about our “Campaigns” feature for Associations!). Grassroots advocacy can be streamlined in a mobile setting when combining targeted push notifications with association campaigns. Unifor runs advocacy campaigns, such as “Support Local 597! Send a letter to Dwight Ball” or “Universal Pharmacare” and plans to use the app to gain public momentum. A series of targeted push notifications, based on union sectors, member status, and geographic location, can be sent to members across the country in seconds. Union members have immediate access to campaign links and can send an advocacy email in minutes.

mobile advocacy campaigns

 

6) Backend content management system

Mobile apps must make the life of association staff easier, not harder. Many mobile apps developed today are equipped with a backend content management system to allow staff to easily add and edit content. 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform is easy to learn and offers drag and drop mechanisms along with simple data import capabilities.

A second way to reduce the workload for association staff is to provide unique logins for the backend of the mobile app. Specific staff should have their own login information and authority within the backend, meaning not all staff would have the same power to change content. Association executives should be able to appoint new staff to edit content or send a notification without fear of a mass application error. The backend should require no coding knowledge to make changes and to add content.

Info Grove mobile apps CMS

 

7) Member ID Cards

Mobile apps are a great way to provide access to association benefits to members. The Minnesota Education Association allows members to launch their unique ID card to redeem benefits where accepted.

Minnesota Education App

 

8) Donation Portals

It’s essential for your mobile app to feature donation portals in easy to locate places to help streamline fundraising campaigns on mobile devices. For member donations, it works best to link members to your existing association web page from the app.

The Missouri Education Association uses its mobile app to link members to three separate donation portals: The PAC, the Hope Fund, and the Cheer Fund. By providing a donation portal in your mobile app, you are making the donation process as easy as possible for members.

 

association mobile apps infographic

Read more about Why Associations need a mobile app here.

14 Oranges provides mobile apps for associations across the U.S. and Canada. Info Grove is the platform designed to make mobile apps easy. With Info Grove, association staff can build a unique mobile app with features specific for each association. No coding required. Click here to see if Info Grove is right for your association.

Info Grove