Tuesday

15 Terrific Ideas to Effectively Launch Your Parish App



Welcome to your new Parish App service: ParishWorld Mobile.

As you begin your exciting Parish journey into your new Parish App, please always remember the main reason why you have chosen to do this in the first place: BUILD DYNAMIC CATHOLICS. And as Matthew Kelly preaches, you only really need to add just One Percent more Dynamic Catholics in your Parish to begin building your Parish.

Also remember the game changer we had discussed -- PUSH NOTIFICATION. This tool is available to you but only if you have subscribed to our paid Parish service -- ParishWorld Premium. With this tool, every parishioner that downloads the free app is a mobile phone user you can reach directly and instantly with your pro-active push notification messages from the Parish. Read this related article.

But whether you are using the FREE Mobile App service your Parish or our premium paid Mobile App service, the next step in the process is to build your audience. Below are a few suggestions you should consider implementing at your Parish so you can maximize results and start building Dynamic Catholics fast:

Download the App - The Pastor, Parish leaders and all parish staff members who have smart phones MUST download the Parish App and start using it. But it must start with the Pastor. This is the absolute first step to moving your Parish forward effectively. All Ministry leaders should also download the Parish App and they in turn should ask all their individual ministry members to do the same. All Religious Education teachers should also download the App and they in turn should encourage their students to do likewise. For iPhone users, go to the App Store on your phones. Here's a related article. For Android users, go to your phone's Google Play. From either store, download the app: ParishWorld or ParishWorld for Catholics.

Talk It Up. It's that simple.The Pastor must talk it up every chance he gets. Mention it from the pulpit at every opportunity, every Mass, Every Sunday, from now on. Don't stop. Make it a permanent part of your message to the congregation.

Set a Launch Date or Launch Month - Decide on a soft launch date. And a hard launch date. Pick a day within the next 30 days as your soft launch date. This allows you to sort out everything before you actually announce it. We suggest your hard launch date to be two weeks after that. Use that day to make a big splash about your new Parish Mobile App. Extend the launch to make it a full month where you make announcements at each Mass.

Download the App at Mass. Believe it or not, some pastors have done this to great success during their pulpit announcements. They open by lightly stating, "This is probably the only time I will ask you to turn on your mobile phones at Mass." And then they go on and ask the congregation to spend the next 5 minutes downloading the app -- in church! While every Parish is different, it is a thought. Do consider it.

Flyer - Place flyers to be picked up by the public or hang the flyer in high traffic areas.

Bulletin Promo - Promote your new website and app in the bulletin each week. You can make your own announcements. For the initial promotion, you can include any of the following as printed ads in your bulletins. Or you may print and use them as flyers to give away.
~~ half page black & white ad
~~ half page color ad
~~ quarter page black & white ad
~~ quarter page color ad

Pulpit announcements
Make pulpit announcements during Mass after Communion. Have the pastor promote your app by encouraging everyone to use it. Click here to download our sample pulpit announcements.

Bulk Email
Send out an email to your entire parish community and include the direct links to the App Store download pages. Build your parish mailing list. Parish members can join the mailing list from every page of your Parish website. There is a link at the bottom of the page. Keep this campaign going and over time, it will start populating with parishioner emails opting in.

Social Media
Post articles on your Parish Facebook page promoting your new Parish App. Use any other social media program you use - LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Tell everyone to download the app. 

Email Signatures
Staff members should be encouraged to include links to the mobile app at the bottom of all of their email correspondence.

Website Links
Promote the mobile app on the website. We have already included a link in your website main menu to do just this. You may also create an article to display on your front page to promote the app for a few months until the message gets ingrained in the consciousness of the parish. 

Use an Event or Special Collection
Organize a Parish Web/App launch weekend. Place the sign up form for the big event in the app and encourage everyone to sign up. Or, if you can accept online donation through the app, create a link to the donation page for a special collection and encourage everyone to give through the app.

iPads at the Door
On the big launch day of the app, position greeters at the doors with iPads or tablets running the app. The greeters can show off the app and help people download it. You could also use greeters with iPads anytime to help parishioners make donations, sign up for events, or pay for events. This activity can be repeated very weekend for as long as you can. Use your Religious Ed youth volunteers for this activity and offer them service hours for their efforts.

Use Religious Ed Students
 Many parishes we know have used Religious Ed students for the additional manpower you need. Give them credit for their required service hours. They can stand at the doorways on your designated launch day, hand out flyers, collect email addresses, man your iPad displays, etc.

Read Matthew Kelly's book 
The Four Marks of a Dynamic Catholic. His website offers a book program to Parishes at an astonishing discounted price of $3 each including shipping. We know of many parishes who have made the investment to purchase this book in bulk to give away to their Parish members. You should give it careful consideration. But only after you have read the book yourself!

You have the real opportunity to make these changes happen. You can build a strong base of dynamic Catholics at your Parish. But it means that you the pastor and your staff need to be actively engaged.

Build Dynamic Catholics. Build the Church.

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