Chambers of commerce are one of many organizations that could dramatically improve member engagement with a thoughtful mobile communication strategy. Member attention has shifted from desktop to mobile, making it critical for chambers to maintain a strong mobile presence. In this respect, chamber of commerce mobile apps are an evident solution. A native mobile app can enhance a chamber’s ability to connect members, offer deals and lend business support, but many chambers have neglected to integrate an app into their engagement strategy.
The benefits of having a dedicated mobile app were not lost on the Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce. For over 100 years, the Carlisle Area Chamber has supported economic growth in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. With over 700 corporate members, the chamber provides networking, business exposure and exclusive deals, among other benefits. The chamber already had an app in its engagement toolkit, but found themselves wanting more from it.
Dissatisfied with their previous app provider, they began shopping around for other app creators. A mutual connection introduced the team to MobileUp Software, a leading provider of customizable apps for chambers of commerce. MobileUp’s custom branding capabilities and powerful configuration tools were a major selling point. They quickly established that MobileUp could sync with their database system and signed a contract with the team.
The Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce was seeking an app that could:
Upon partnering with MobileUp, the team was assigned a project manager and began communicating with the development team. Chamber officials described their app development experience as “seamless and easy.” Hoping to present the app to one of their sponsors by a certain date, the chamber requested to expedite the app creation timeline. The MobileUp team met the deadline, completing a 60-day buildout.
For the app’s initial rollout, MobileUp provided the chamber with a suite of marketing tools and ideas and held a training day with the chamber’s staff. World events brought economic shifts that demanded certain updates be made to the app. The chamber was able to liaise with MobileUp in order to task out ongoing changes and edits whenever they were needed.
To track performance, app analytics were fully accessible from the admin dashboard, making it easy to measure the efficacy of the app once it was deployed. Download and engagement rates with exclusive deals could easily be monitored.
Despite launching the app just as the COVID-19 pandemic began, which forced many of the chamber’s member businesses to temporarily close, chamber officials saw impressive download rates and an enthused response from members. “Everything from our events to member resources are right there in the app. I think it makes it easier for people to interface with us and our website. It steps up our game with communication with our members,” says Jennifer Germain, the chamber’s Development and Marketing Director. They expect the chamber app to be an excellent resource for small businesses seeking support. In light of the favorable download rates, the chamber plans to double down on promotional efforts for the app in the future.
Upon rolling out the app, the chamber saw a spike in usage for their in-app “hot deals,” a space where sponsors can offer exclusive perks and discounts to Carlisle Area Chamber members.
The chamber was particularly excited for networking and group-focused features. “The really great thing that drew us to [MobileUp] were the features they had that others didn’t, and among those was the group feature… This feature opens up so many different possibilities for connection and networking between our members. It’s right at their fingers when they download this app,” says Germain.
The app’s event pages have helpfully aggregated information on upcoming events for members. This allows them to easily access event details without having to search the site on their mobile browsers.
As of yet, the chamber has only scratched the surface of potential uses for the app, and they are enthusiastically planning for future ways it can be leveraged
Chamber officials have fully endorsed mobile apps as a worthwhile strategy for other chambers of commerce to buoy member engagement. Jennifer Germain described it as “another piece of the marketing puzzle,” that serves to connect “all the pieces of the marketing web.” Notifications, she adds, are an incredibly effective method to maintain a stable presence in members’ minds and lives. “We didn’t have the push notification feature in our last app. In this app, it’s very easy to use. You can schedule them and then view your analytics, which is helpful. It’s a great reminder tool and really does help us.” She says.
Since switching to MobileUp software as their app provider, Carlisle Area Chamber has raved about their customer success and account management teams, calling them “extremely responsive” and consistently helpful. They’ve never encountered any problems with the app being down or not functioning properly. Questions on the administrative side are quickly addressed, with chamber staff able to make adjustments to the app whenever needed using the intuitive admin console and tools.
Chambers of commerce looking to introduce a mobile app to their member base can easily look to MobileUp as their mobile app provider. With their custom-branded native mobile apps, MobileUp is a budget-friendly solution for chambers that seek to improve their member engagement rates. Their flexible, cloud-based SaaS technology makes MobileUp an easy choice for chambers shopping around for an app developer. When you’re ready to integrate a mobile app into your chamber’s member engagement strategy, schedule a complimentary demo with MobileUp.
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