How to Measure Impact Online

Recently we held a webinar with Martin Done, Service Director Communications and Marketing and Sarah Lay, Senior Digital Officer of Nottinghamshire County Council to discuss the Council’s new branding efforts and outreach to drive avoidable contact and channel shift initiatives. You can watch a replay of the webinar here.

Due to an overwhelming number of questions from the webinar, Sarah and Martin spent some time answering the feedback that they weren’t able to get to during the webinar. Below is part two of the two blog posts reviewing the questions and answers from this webinar. You can review part one here. The questions and answers have been lightly edited for context and brevity.

Darren: How has the move away from leaflets to online information affected your online visitor statistics?

We don’t tend to measure impact in this way (increase in web traffic) but increasingly try to measure a visitor’s success online rather than just volumes. So, we don’t want to increase visitors to our website as a stand-alone objective but rather have a higher success rate (and therefore lower cost per transaction) for those who are transacting/getting information from us digitally.

Pair this with comments from emailme users such as ‘I don’t have to trawl the website to find info – I get it straight to my inbox’ and increased volume of traffic to the website could be a misleading metric for us. As we add in more transactional sign-posting via emailme we may seek higher click through and subsequent goal conversion but at the moment we’re focused on subscription levels and satisfaction as the main measure of success.

In terms of measuring impact of emailme as part of our integrated communications the survey run in April 2014 is our benchmark. In this 69% of respondents said they felt more informed about Council services as a result of emailme; and 43% feel more satisfied with the Council (survey taken during period of delivering £100m cuts).

George: Just wanted to confirm one of your stats, what amount of new visitors to your website and email opens are coming in via smartphone and tablet?

At the moment we’re seeing 45-50% of monthly traffic to our website is coming from those using smartphone or tablet devices – and this is increasing all the time. We don’t have any stats at the moment about which device people are using when they open our bulletins but it’s possible to create responsive templates (DSA do this well). GovDelivery could provide more information on utilising responsive designs.

Note from Dave Worsell, GovDelivery: Emails that are easily readable across devices and platforms are becoming more and more important for successful digital comms. In order to make the most out of your messages you have to think not only about what you want your stakeholders to read, but where they’ll be when they read it. While “responsive” design is typically only applicable on iOS/Apple, organisations can strive for mobile-optimised designs across operating systems and devices by implementing a few best practices in their email design. We recently held a webinar on creating email designs that span platforms and encourage more stakeholder engagement with your messages. You can optimise your emails for mobile access by making your fonts larger, links/buttons more prominent, and embracing white space. Check out the full webinar here for more tips.

Angela: ­Will the GovDelivery tool integrate with Notts future website functionality, e.g. personal online accounts?­

GovDelivery has been implemented ahead of much new digital functionality planned for the Council’s digital services so integration has so far been low. As we enter the second half of our first year we’re looking to integrate with digital tools being implemented by the Council such as a new e-Forms package. We’re confident this integration can be done as we’ve heard from other GovDelivery clients about their experience. Integration with other systems and software would be a consideration when scoping the need for these.

Jonathan: ­How have you found the engagement levels across different demographic groups over email?­

From the survey we ran in April 2014 we have some information about the demographics using emailme but we don’t collect any demographic data on sign up. The survey results tell us that of the respondents almost three quarters were aged 46 or over with more than half of the respondents aged 56 or over. From the survey respondents just over half were female and 95% were white.

We do collect postcodes as part of the emailme subscription (although this is optional) and we have run a couple of small datasets through Experian MOSAIC to understand more about which areas of the county people are subscribing from and inform our communication about and through emailme.

Check out the replay of the Nottinghamshire County Council webinar to get the full story.

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