In a previous post, I discussed why public sector organizations and non-profits should adopt a mobile strategy and briefly mentioned that they should consider developing a native mobile app. In this article, I give five reasons why a public sector organization should develop a native mobile app.
Native Mobile App Advantage #1: Deliver Mobile Friendly Content
One of the benefits of a native mobile app is that it will deliver mobile friendly content. Any information that is displayed on the organization’s website can be repurposed and added to an app so it can be easily read on a smart phone. When adding content, it’s important to remember there’s limited real estate so you need to pick content that’s most used. Content that is rarely viewed on the web site doesn’t have to be included in the app.
Native Mobile App Advantage #2: Convenience:
Smart Phone users spend 80% of their time using apps vs. 20% of time on the web. I think a big reason is convenience. Think about it: Would you rather use the Facebook app or launch Safari to access it? If you have content on your website that is regularly accessed, you should strongly consider developing an app to make it more convenient for your users.
Native Mobile App Advantage #3: Push Notifications
One of the most powerful features that can be found on an app is the ability to send out push notifications. Push notifications have a read rate around 80%. Compare that to email which has a dismal read rate of 22%. If you think about it, if your phone vibrates, you instinctively glance down to see if it’s an important message. That’s the power of mobile which is why apps are only going to increase in popularity.
Image Source: PUBL
Native Mobile App Advantage #4: App Smartphone Capabilities
A native mobile app has the ability to leverage smartphone’s capabilities. For public sector organizations and non-profits, some of the things to consider include:
GPS: The ability to provide directions and show resources on a map
Push Notifications: Refer to Native Mobile App Advantage #3
Camera: A picture says a thousand words. The ability to send an image provides faster communication
Tap to Communicate: The ability to tap the screen for emails, calls, and text really facilitates communication
Image Source: Fasturtle
Native Mobile App Advantage #5: Offline Mode
Probably the biggest advantage of an app over mobile web sites is the ability to work offline. A mobile web site needs an internet connection to function in comparison to an app that can function without Internet access. This is best for a population that either has unreliable data connection or for economic reasons cannot afford a Wi-Fi data plan.
A native app is a communication tool for their customers which if used and promoted properly can become a valuable asset to any public sector organization or non-profit.
By Rich Foreman, CEO / Apptology and Director of Startup Grind Sacramento. Rich co-authored the book Tap into the Mobile Economy and his blog has been listed in the Top 20 Mobile Marketing Blogs of 2014. Follow Rich on Twitter at@ApptologyCEO or attend a Startup Grind Sacramento Event.