They Want It Now: How to empower your association members to help themselves
December 14, 2018
By MobileUp Software
- Sending membership renewal notices
- Mailing new or replacement member ID cards
- Distributing continuing education and advocacy information
- Printing member directories
- Keeping association calendars in front of members
- Answering questions about events and conferences
How to Meet Your Members’ Mobile ExpectationsLike most people, your members turn to the first available device connected to the Internet when they need information. Of course, an organized website serves as a valuable resource when they want data from your association. But is your website good enough to meet their needs?
An Adobe Digital Insights research study revealed smartphone visits to U.S. websites have increased 89% since January 2015 while tablet and desktop visits have decreased rapidly (-30% and -17% respectively) in the same timeframe.
This trend toward smartphone use is expected to continue upward.
So your website’s effectiveness will increasingly depend on its ability to serve a mobile audience.
And to meet that goal, it should be built upon a responsive framework or serve mobile-friendly web pages at the least.
What’s more, your website needs to be optimized to load quickly.
That’s because the same Adobe study determined smartphone visits to U.S. websites include a 10% reduction in the time spent per visit and the number of pages accessed during the past three years.
As the study notes, website visitors “are becoming accustomed to an optimal, efficient experience, especially on their mobile devices” and content needs to be readily available to meet “shorter attention spans and decreased tolerance for useless steps.”
An Alternative (and Better) Solution
So the big takeaway from this research: If your website isn’t tuned for smartphones, it needs to be ASAP.
Unfortunately, enhancing and optimizing a website for mobile engagement can be tedious and expensive.
So what should associations do when it comes to meeting the expectations of their large and growing number of mobile-savvy members?
The best solution is an app.
For starters, an app can place your association front-and-center on a member’s smartphone with an icon featuring your name, colors, logos, and other branding elements.
There is no need to enter a website address in a tiny browser bar. Members just tap the icon to access information in an instant.
Apps meet users’ expectations for immediacy and interactivity.
Built with native code (iOS or Android), apps are built to integrate with the smartphone hardware where they operate and are therefore able to provide a much quicker loading experience as opposed to websites that typically need to make several calls to a remote server first.
This high level of integration also provides advanced mobile features websites cannot match such as triggering events based on a user’s geolocations or use of the device’s camera.
Aside from convenience and performance, apps also provide your association with the opportunity to be automated and paperless (finally!) in specific areas.
For instance, digital member ID cards complete with scannable barcodes or member directories can easily be incorporated into an app.
Same goes for calendars, membership renewal and feedback forms, advocacy information, chapter meetings, conference information — almost anything can be delivered through the convenience and immediacy of an app.