Beating the Odds: Using Web Properties to Expand Your Reach

If a Tweet is published in the Twittersphere and there are no Followers around to see it, does it have an impact? Unlike the classic tree falling in the forest scenario, this question has a resounding answer: No. It doesn’t take a famous philosopher to understand that even the most beautifully crafted Tweets, emails, or Facebook posts don’t count for much if there aren’t any stakeholders reading them.

BeatingOddsIn many ways, effective digital communications is all about the odds. The more people you reach, the better the odds are that some of them will take action. And just like gambling, the real communications “high rollers” are the ones who’ve figured out strategies to beat the odds. In our recent webinar, “Accelerate Your Outreach for Maximum Impact” GovDelivery Engagement Consultants Lauren Modeen and John Simpson offer a wealth of simple tips and tools for taking your government communications plan from the nickel slots to the high-stakes poker table.

Let’s roll the dice and look at a few of them:

Overlays

In the world of web property poker, overlays are a straight flush. Designed to grab the attention of stakeholders and convert one-time Web visitors to subscribers, overlays are simple, unobtrusive lightboxes that pack a big punch. When a user visits your website an overlay window will pop up on their screen asking them if they’d like to subscribe to updates and prompting them for an email address. By asking your Web visitor to sign up for updates and providing easy access to do so, overlays allow your organization to continue engaging with stakeholders without requiring them to continually visit your site. Deceptively simple but incredibly effective, we have seen government organizations that utilize overlays see an average increase of 250 to 500 percent in new subscribers.

Direct Sign-Up

When it comes to reaching new subscribers, where you put your sign-up box is just as important as what it looks like. Placing a simple sign-up box where visitors will easily find it can increase your organization’s number of new subscribers by an average of 30 percent. Though open website real estate may be hard to come by, dedicating a spot above the fold in the upper right or upper left corner next to your other communications icons will get you more return for your money in a high-stakes game.

Checkboxes

checkboxOnce you’ve played a winning hand, it’s time to collect your chips, right? Though it seems obvious, many organizations make the mistake of not taking advantage of a key opportunity. Adding a subscription checkbox at the bottom of any form on your website (e.g. the Contact Us form) that requires a user’s email address is a great way to avoid asking for the same information twice. Getting stakeholders to visit your website is the hard part, so making sure you maximize the opportunity to connect with them once they’re there is crucial.

For more tips, great government examples, and in-depth information about how you can beat the outreach odds and increase your mission impact by optimizing your communications, check out the full webinar.

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