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emergency app
Elizabeth VenafroMar 9, 2021 9:45:00 AM4 min read

Top 2 Reasons Your Emergency App is Not Effective

While many emergency notification providers focus their efforts on mobile apps, the lack of user adoption is alarming. In speaking with a recent prospect, we asked if they knew how many subscribers actually used the emergency app. It prompted them to do some digging and they were shocked by what they uncovered... The organization had been paying for 10,000 subscribers, but only 450 people had actually downloaded the emergency app.

1. Lack of User Adoption


Users must be informed and compelled to download personal safety apps. That places the burden on the administrator to advertise and promote it. What's worse, once the emergency app is installed, it needs to stay installed. Setting up and learning to use the emergency app also places an additional burden on administrators. Apps that ask for private information, such as location, lead to user concerns and further discourage installs. In the end, it can feel like a nightmare just trying to promote and keep the app installed, rather than focusing on what's matters most -- how to stay safe. 


If you are dependent on the installation and retention of an emergency app to provide a safety service, you may find you lack the reach for an effective solution. Estimates suggest only 7% actually download emergency notification apps and only 10% of those users enable location services. That means you only reach 7% of your audience in an emergency.

2. An App-Only Approach


An app-only approach can hardly qualify as a safety solution if it covers less than 10% of your audience. Furthermore, not every person is inclined to receive information in the same way. For instance, while most people have cell phones, there is no guarantee they will have their phone with them when you send an alert. For that reason, a one-dimensional approach is bound to fail.


Organizations need the ability to deliver emergency notifications through every communication channel available, instantaneously and simultaneously. After all, the success of an emergency response plan is predicated on whether or not the community is able to receive your alerts.

Emergency App Best Practices


With over 80% of the United States population carrying a smartphone, emergency alert apps are indeed an important extension to an organization's emergency communications strategy.  Omnilert has developed a way to close the emergency app adoption gap for good.


The “100% installed” Omnilert Instant App (also available as a conventional native app in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store) provides the complete emergency app experience to users without requiring them to download or install anything. It ensures the rich functionality of an app can always be accessed by subscribers, equating to a 100% installation and adoption rate.  


A simple link is appended to an SMS text message and/or email message to provide users with two-way messaging, polling, tipping, panic buttons, rich media and safety resources with a single click. The Instant App link can be easily bookmarked or saved to the user’s cell phone home screen. 


In addition, while the Instant App expands your reach, it still works best when used as part of a multi-modal strategy. A multi-modal or multi-channel approach will increase the odds of a particular recipient receiving your message. For each line of communication pursued, the likelihood that recipients will see or hear the message increases.


An emergency mass notification system can employ multiple channels — an Omnimodal approach — to guarantee the message is received.


Use this checklist to identify the best ways to reach your people. Extend the value by integrating your existing systems and adding new endpoints to meet changing needs.  


Click here to read the Multi-Channel Communications Checklist