There’s a school of thought that says email is outdated – that people are moving to social media channels (Facebook, Twitter) and mobile text messaging. Many think the generation entering the workforce today sees email as an ‘old-fashioned’ communication medium.
So, should forward-looking government agencies focus their digital communication strategies on social media and mobile messaging rather than email?
Research suggests the opposite.
Reports of email’s death are greatly exaggerated
Research by Nielsen suggests that heavy social media users use more, not less, email. Even for the socially savvy “Gen Y” demographic, email is an essential part of life.
Email is a powerful communication channel for governments. It’s cost-effective and increasingly pervasive. And as more people have phones with email capabilities, it’s a very fast and efficient way to reach many citizens wherever they are.
In fact, combining email with other digital communications increases the reach of government agencies across all channels. Many agencies use email as part of integrated outreach and interaction strategies:
- Letting citizens subscribe for email updates to current road conditions, new video postings, meeting announcements or new website resources.
- Using email for emergency communications in conjunction with Twitter, text messages and other real-time channels.
- Combining email with social media – such as emailing a daily digest of Twitter updates to citizens who subscribe.
In the white paper “Integrating Email in Government Communications,” industry analyst and blogger Liz Azyan profiles how the Driving Standards Agency in the U.K. uses email as an integral part of driving engagement along multiple digital channels.
For example, the agency sends email updates to subscribers about new videos it releases on YouTube. As a result, they have seen a 163% increase in video views, and their new video releases quickly become among the most popular on the YouTube Motoring channel.
Download the paper to read more about specific strategies and best practices for integrating email in digital government communications.