Successful public sector digital communications is born from a commitment to reach a large and relevant audience. The largest audiences are built on direct contact channels such as email and text messaging as well as indirect channels such social media. Here are a few tips on how you can expand your reach and drive more engagement in 2014 wherever the general public can consume your content – especially on mobile devices.
Add Subscription Options to Mobile Apps. Promoting your email/SMS subscription options through your app is an effective way of growing your audience. Many government organizations allow app users to enter in their email address or phone to receive proactive communications. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), created a mobile app that provides users with tax tips and allowed them to sign up to be emailed with this information ongoing. By promoting their email list directly within their app, they received 14,000 additional subscribers in just a 3-month period.
The good news? There are many ways to connect mobile applications to GovDelivery through application programming interfaces (APIs), making it simple to automatically upload email and wireless addresses from online sources directly into GovDelivery for ongoing outreach.
Make Use of Text to Subscribe Functionality. In situations where an individual may not be near a computer or may have limited access to the Internet, traditional methods of signing up for email updates through an online process might be inconvenient. Setting up a text-to-subscribe program gives your audience the ability to send a simple text message with their email address and a keyword in it to receive email updates on a specific topic.
The City of Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board wants to keep local golfers informed of course news, events, adult golf leagues and schools, junior golf, and more. To capture golfers on the go, they offer a text to subscribe program to give course-specific deals throughout the golf season. Golfers can subscribe to receive emails from their favorite course, or sign up for news from all seven courses. GovDelivery makes launching a program like this easy by offering mobile functionality to capture subscribers using inbound text messages. Learn more here.
Bonus: While capturing email addresses through a mobile opt-in helps grow your audience, you should also be building a list of wireless subscribers by offering 2-way SMS text messaging. In King County, Washington, people can text “KING” plus their zip code to 468311 to get information about healthcare enrollment. By using a short code, a subscriber’s phone number is captured when they text in their information.
Text messaging programs like this aren’t just about convenience either – it’s about equity. Young, low-income people use text messaging more than any other demographic. Where the Internet and traditional media fall short, text messaging fills in the blanks. GovDelivery can reserve custom short codes, like the King County example below, for a branded mobile experience.
A great communications program is born from a large audience. In 2014, continue to build and expand your digital communications strategy with more tactics from GovDelivery. Download the entire Digital Outreach Best Practices Guide for free here.