We've seen thousands of churches and ministries reach their organizational goals through customized apps, here are a few important benefits, from increased giving to more connectedness with your community...
In our first installment of Tips for Promoting Your App, we discussed some app promotion strategies that would encourage your community to download your app. Here's a review of the four specific strategies we are discussing:
- Generate excitement before the launch
- Leverage the new and improved Subsplash app promotion page
- Communicate the benefits
- Create a promo video
Now, let's take a look at a couple more ideas on how to get your app in front of the people who matter most to your organization.
Communicate the benefits
Your audience might not know all of the ways your app might benefit them, so why not tell them?! Even though you’ve thought through all of the upsides of creating an app for your organization, your community is still warming up to the idea, so tell them how it’s going to make their lives easier. Tell them how they can listen to your podcast on the go, read your blog in an instant, and receive important updates on organization-wide events in push notifications.
You might want to send out an email to let your audience know what the specific benefits are; or, if you send out a monthly newsletter, include a small section dedicated to promoting your app. You might even want to send out a blast on social media that is concise, but hits on the important points.
Create a promo video!
If you have a creative vision for promoting your app that you just can’t wait to share, creating your own promo video is a great way to get your audience excited about downloading your app! While this strategy is more involved, it's a great, creative avenue to get your message across in a way that will stick with your audience in a big way.
Check out some of our other clients' videos for inspiration!
If you're wondering how an app can benefit your organization, let's chat.
"Gotta love technology that serves larger purposes. Thanks for a job well done. Great success. 600 downloads in first week and the first week of giving was 3 times the monthly expense. I will tell the world"
-Bob Seymore, One Life Church
One Life Church in Henderson, Kentucky, was started in late 2010 after months of prayer and preparation. In just 3 short years they have grown to 2,000 in attendance most Sundays. Not only that, but they are currently establishing their third campus and don't have any plans of slowing down!
When we began working with One Life Church in 2011 they were still a relatively new church with 1000 members. The One Life Church App launched right before Christmas in 2011, and the results were incredible. At the time of their launch, Bob Seymore, CFO at One Life Church, had this to say; "Just a quick report of our Subsplash App. We launched on 12/23/11 (2 days before Christmas) and even with the holidays we have seen 1008 downloads in the first month with almost $2000 in giving through the app."
We decided to do a follow up with Bob to see how they'd been able to maximize their app over the past 18 months.
Q: What was the purpose or focus of creating the app?
A: "I was searching for a year for an app that integrated with our current systems - that was the selling point for me. There is a very young demographic at our church and mobile is huge, so we wanted to be able to reach them. Our big objective was that we wanted to be sure that our app was not just a go to once situation but that is was part of the life of our church."
Q: What has been the greatest use of the app?
A: "The interaction with community with the daily bible reading has been really important to us. Also, giving has been crazy. We've seen over $100,000 given through the app alone in the last 18 months. The costs are absolutely worth it. For us, the bottom line (from a giving standpoint) is the young market doesn’t carry cash. Being able to connect with them through the app has been really valuable."
Q: Have there been any extra benefits?
A: "I don’t understand why churches wouldn't (get an app). It’s been a great integration of our resources. We've gone down to one page, once a month for our bulletin and seen a lot of savings through that."
Q: How many downloads?
A: Almost 6,500 downloads in less than two years. The response has been crazy."
Q: Have you heard of any stories through the app?
A: "The coolest stories are like the one where I caught a pastor in our office after he had helped a brand new believer come to Christ and he immediately asked her to get her phone out, download the app and showed her how to read our explorers resources and daily Bible readings to help her start her journey. Gotta love technology that serves larger purposes."
Q: What has been the commitment for maintaining the app?
A: "I love that we don’t need developers in house to maintain the app. If your receptionist can answer the phone, they can update the app."
Q: Any closing remarks?
A: “I think the interesting piece is that Subsplash has an infrastructure that facilitates some of the best and brightest in the country. You work with the best minds and top 10 churches in the country. With the framework we can plug and play and customize to make it ‘us’. You guys are pretty seamless in it all. It's awesome that we can customize what Saddleback does and make it One Life."
Download the One Life Church App here.
"Thank you to all the Subsplash staff who worked to get our mobile app live this week. We’ve received rave reviews already about it because it provides one more medium to extend our messages about the gospel out to the world. Your team worked tirelessly and patiently with us to get this accomplished. I cannot thank you enough for all you guys have done. We love you guys and pray the Lord’s rich blessings on you and your team members. May the gospel be shared over and over through the work you guys do and may our great King’s name be glorified.”
-Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor of The Village Church
The Village Church, lead by Pastor Matt Chandler, is a church of 10,000 people across four campuses in the Dallas, Texas area. "The Village Church exists to bring glory to God by making disciples through gospel-centered worship, gospel-centered community, gospel-centered service and gospel-centered multiplication. The gospel is the story of God reconciling and redeeming a broken creation and fallen creatures to Himself through the life, death, resurrection and future return of Jesus Christ. Our hope and desire is that the gospel would stand at the center of all that we do. It is what directs and defines us. It is our identity." Since launching in May of 2012 The Village Church App has had almost 150,000 downloads, 15x more than their congregation.
I was able to catch up with Scott Ballard, Web Manager at The Village Church, to talk about the impact that The Church App has been having on their church.
Q: What was the heart behind creating your app?
A:“The purpose of creating the app for us was another way to get the Gospel out to an audience we may or may not have been reaching in the first place. We really appreciate the ease of getting the Gospel in the hands and hearts of people through The Church App. We’ve really enjoyed the experience so far and it is serving us really well.” said Ballard.
Q: Have there been any surprising benefits of the app?
A:“We have been especially pleased with the amount of traffic/impressions coming through the app. Social traffic has been huge and much greater than anticipated. Not only that, but the global impact has been really tangible through the app.”
Q: Do you have anything you'd like to share about your experience with The Church App?
A:“Your level of service has been exceptional. TCA is fantastic and your heart to get the gospel out really struck me. We like to partner with people that love the Lord and the Gospel. There is nothing remotely negative to list. The Church App has been a welcomed addition to our family, and has really met our need and served the body well.”
Download The Village Church App here.
This is part 5 in a series that highlights the added value of doing an iPhone/Android/iPad app for your church or ministry.
5: Sharing the Gospel
The most important aspect of The Church App, and the single reason that drives what we do, is bringing people closer to Jesus. Technology does not replace the personal connection aspect that is so needed in evangelism and discipleship, but it can be used as a tool to connect with people wherever they may be. It truly is incredible to have a tool that beautifully illustrates the Truth of Jesus and is easily accessible anywhere, anytime. We have received some great feedback from those that have entered into relationship with Jesus through The Church App. “One of my good friends got his brother-in-law to listen. He’s been listening for the past few weeks and has been a 30 year atheist. He just accepted Jesus two weeks ago after calling my friend and telling him that he had made the decision to follow Jesus after listening to every sermon! He is two states away and this could only be possible with this resource.”
We try to focus on these benefits, but want to make sure it's done right, so as to maximize each one! Here at The Church App, we want to get Christ’s word out there, and we want to do it well so that people will want to continue to engage. We strive to make the best software available for the presentation of the Gospel.
“May the gospel be shared over and over through the work you guys do and may our great King’s name be glorified.”
- Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor of The Village Church and President of Acts 29.