Have you created your app but aren’t sure how to get people excited about using it? Here are five keys to a successful app launch:

1) Have a small audience test it out

Introduce the app during a staff meeting and have everyone download it onto their phone.  Consider asking a few volunteers to try out the app as well (find people who are influencers or who aren’t very tech-savvy).  Ask them to start using it over the next two weeks to take sermon notes, listen to podcasts, signup for events, etc.  At the end of the two weeks, get their feedback.  What did they like about the app?  What did they not like?  Was any particular feature difficult to navigate or understand?  Use their input to make improvements to your custom app.

2) Review your changes with the test group

Once you’ve incorporated their feedback, ask the same group to try out the app again.  Go with a shorter timeframe, maybe a week, and gather their input once more.

3) Get key influencers on-board

Who are the volunteer leaders others look up to?  Talk with those individuals and ask them to try out the app (if they weren’t already in your initial test group).  Get their input – hopefully, they love the app and are willing to help you promote it.  Once you’re ready to roll out the app, ask these influencers to invite their volunteer teams or small groups to start using it.  Provide them with a frequently asked questions list and any other information they may need to help people get started with the app.

4) Announce the app

Make a video to introduce the app to your congregation.  Include how the app makes it easier for them to take notes, watch sermons when they’re out of town, tithe, get information about events, and more. Communicate how easy it is to use and how they’ll benefit from downloading the app.

5) Help people get started

For the first few Sundays, station trained volunteers in the lobby or in the back of the sanctuary to help people download the app and to answer questions.  Include a frequently asked questions page on the church website.

Taking these steps to roll out your new church app can make a significant difference in how well people receive the new tool and how many people start using it.  This process may take longer than simply announcing a new app, but the results will be better over the long-run.