Last week we spoke with one of our long-term resellers, MyArk, who has been building apps with AppMachine for nine years now.
How It All Started#
MyArk started more than 20 years ago, printing handbooks for local governments in the United Kingdom.
Says MyArk: “In 2014, the English government wanted to go paperlight and paperless, so we needed to figure out what we should do with our business. At that moment, we realized that we should extend our portfolio to make our company future-proof. And that’s when we started offering mobile apps to our existing customers.”
“At first, we tested it with one of our customers, and they were really excited about how this app could help them to go paperless and support them with their organisational processes. When we had our first successful app, we were able to excite other departments by showing them the value the app added. They would just call each other to see how our app was helping them in supporting their internal processes.”
MyArk was able to extend its customer base one by one and now employs 11 people. The company supports many local government organisations in the UK with a mixed portfolio of printed handbooks (yes, sometimes paper handbooks are still necessary today!), digital manuals, and mobile apps. They have produced over 80 apps and are now one of the preferred AppMachine partners in the UK.
“We estimate that in the past years, we have helped our government save in excess of £11 million in printing costs. That's something I personally am very proud of, and that’s of extreme value for our partners and our country!”
We tested a few other app builders and we finally choose AppMachine because it has a user friendly interface which makes it simple to use. The publishing processes are not complex and they have detailed guides. We are also very happy with the extremely quick customer service response (Arjen & Erik have been superb!)
Sponsored Marketing and Advertising#
MyArk also found another source of income with their app business. “With our apps, we enable other organizations and businesses to market themselves to employees via the apps. This allows recognized organizations to offer specialized services, products, and exclusive discounts to the hardworking government staff.”
It’s a great way for advertisers to target this specific workforce with exclusive offers. Because MyArk builds apps for each local government organisations separately, it’s also very appealing for local businesses to use this modern way of marketing and advertising. The advertisements range from online education, where you can apply for an online university course, opticians, a 50% discount on pizzas, or event discounts of 10,000 pounds on the development of new houses.
“The beauty of the apps is that digital platforms provide analytics. First, we had to do our best to get positive analytics by making sure the employees used the apps a lot. We were able to achieve that by adding a lot of functionality to the app to increase its usage. The fact that the employees are taking advantage of the services and products provided in the app also gives us credibility to go out to sell to other advertisers.
The apps are used by the employees on a regular basis. Based on the analytics data, we know which of the sections in the app are used a lot and which ones are hardly ever used. In the latter case, the clients are informed that they should swap the content for other features that have a better usage rate in other apps.”
At first, MyArk managed the content for the apps themselves, but this took them a lot of time, so they gave the content managers of the local organisations access to the app-building environment. Now, these clients can make changes to the content themselves.
How Does MyArk use AppMachine for Business Apps#
MyArk never considered building custom apps themselves because their employees have no specific developer skills. And hiring developers who could build both iPhone and Android apps just wasn’t cost-effective. “Using AppMachine as our app-building platform gave us the chance to build apps for our clients without having to extend our team,” says MyArk Andy Kirkham, company director of Chapelcroft ltd (t/a MyArk).
MyARK added a lot of features to its apps to make them as valuable as possible for government employees. When talking about functionality, their internal business apps serve a lot of different purposes:
- PDFs to share digital handbooks or any other digital resources.
It’s convenient for the employees to have important information always at their fingertips. You know employees always use the latest version by sharing these documents digitally.
- Send push notifications if you need to reach out to all employees
- View emails and work rosters
- Easily contact departments like HR and IT
Are the Mobile Apps Available in the App Stores?#
You will not be able to find the apps which MyArk built in the app stores. The apps aren’t suited for public distribution because they are only meant for government employees. These are “unlisted apps,” which means they can only be downloaded via a direct link.
In the Apple App Store, this is called “Unlisted app distribution.” If you have a regular developer license, you can submit your app in the regular way to the Apple App Store. You just need to add a note in your app’s review notes that the app is intended for unlisted distribution and submit a request with Apple for unlisted app distribution.
Apple will still review your app, but they will be less strict regarding app content intended for a small or niche set of users. This guide explains how to Publish your app unlisted in the store.
For Android phones, it’s even more simple. The app can be downloaded from a link generated by AppMachine. You don’t even need to upload the app to the Google Play Store.
You Too Can Sell Apps to Your Customers#
So now you know how MyArk is able to build apps for its customers. You can also become a reseller, just like them, because with AppMachine you can start immediately. No need to learn coding skills, no need to invest in new hires, and no high-end design skills are required.
Start with a template. With the help of our clear and concise support documentation and our very skilled support team, you will be able to create your app in a matter of days. Our support team has helped thousands of customers to build their apps and get them published in the app stores. They can help you every step of the way.
If you have an app idea, or if you know a lot of businesses in a specific market, start by creating one app for one of your clients and try it out. Start just like MyArk did, and let’s see what your app revenue will be in three months!