Share best practices, tips & tricks and discuss digital communication as it applies to your daily government lives.
Reach more people and get those people to take action.
How can we increase the number of people signing up for updates to government information?
September 28, 2009 at 9:39 pm #81639
At GovDelivery, we obsess over this question because you need “subscribers” if a communications platform is going to deliver real value. We’ll post some great resources here, but we’d love to hear from GovDelivery users on what approaches seem to drive increases in subscription rates.
September 29, 2009 at 2:19 am #81649
“Numbers of subscribers” is certainly a very strong metric for measuring the quality of your service.
But do you have any other metrics? Do you use a customer survey for determining those things that customers want (but hadn’t been asked about?). And by “customers” aren’t we really talking about your customers’ customers (i.e., the interested public)?
For example: Citizens might be telling you that they do like email-alerts from specific government offices, but would they like it better if they only got truly personalized email-alerts, i.e., only the ones that affected them personally (e.g., by zip-code)?
Rather than asking how to get people to to use your product (i.e., a marketing question), the deeper question should be “What do people really want?”
As a user of GovDelivery for many years, I’ve been thinking about this for awhile. So I look forward to your thoughts (on my thoughts).
September 29, 2009 at 2:27 am #81647
Another important question is what do the customers need … not in the arrogant sense of the government knows what’s best for everyone, but asked with the understanding that many customers just don’t know what is available and what is possible.
September 29, 2009 at 2:46 am #81645
We are definitely interested in what people really want. That’s why we constantly say that providing maximum choice and focusing on opt-in only (and easy opt-out is critical).
This group is intended for cities/counties/agencies/etc. that are already using GovDelivery and paying for it. Sorry if we weren’t clear on that context. We certainly welcome participation and input from others, but that will be the context so the organizations on here don’t pay any extra if it’s used more, they just get more for the taxpayer’s investment in the system.
I don’t think there are perfect answers to these questions, but we do have some pretty clear metrics to get us started.
1) How many people signup for information
2) How many topics does the average person signup for
3) How active are subscribers: What % of people use the messages (we can track open rate, click through rate, # opens, # clicks, etc.)
4) We also look at survey data and try, where possible (we should partner better with ACSI on this) to track the impact of use of GovDelivery on ACSI scores. Here’s CDC talking about how use of this approach drove up ACSI scores
5) We encourage clients to survey clients for more mission-oriented feedback. How do these notifications help you do your job? How do they help fight crime, improve public health, etc.? As well as what’s wrong with them and how could they get better? Many of our clients have done this and it’s always been a useful exercise.
We have found that offering more choice, by itself, has a terrific impact on metrics. If citizens don’t signup, it’s the ultimate way of saying, “this is not of value, I won’t give you my information if this is all you’re going to send me.” If they signup and continue to receive and use messages, that’s good validation that the program is of value.
Here’s a link to a longer presentation I did on this a while back. Let me know what you think. We’re updating and improving recommendations over the coming weeks.
Lots of our clients do gather zip and target messages that way, but others don’t like to gather the personal info and don’t want to go through the effort of geo-targeting though I think the trend is in that direction for certain info.
September 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm #81643
I’ve used govdelivery for about six months and I find it’s a very useful service. I love the metrics it provides – especially clickthrough information. Sometimes the navigation isn’t very intuitive, and it takes a while to get used to, but all in all we are very happy with this service.
As to the questions people asked about “what do people need?”, we at FCIC / GSA look at the FAQ’s people ask at usa.gov to determine what people are asking for, and we respond in kind.
September 29, 2009 at 1:41 pm #81641
Jonathan: Thanks for the feedback. The point about use of your FAQs is really smart. That can drive your Web content and your use of GD.
We’ve invested a great deal in the past year re-writing the front-end of GovDelivery in Ruby on Rails to make integrations easier and to make navigating more intuitive. I hope you’ll find the new interface, coming soon in GovDelivery 3 more intuitive. I’m sure our team will be reaching out to you for feedback given your comments.
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