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Behind the Envelope: Your Subscribers Aren’t Complete Zeros

Welcome to Behind the Envelope, a series of posts exploring ways to get the most from GovDelivery. We’ve covered topics such as the GovDelivery Network, increasing subscribers and administrator access, amongst others.Check back often as we’ll continue to publish information that we hope you’ll find valuable. Today we’re talking about subscribers who don’t complete the subscription process. Have an idea on something you’d like us to cover? Email us today.

In an effort to grow your list of actively engaged citizens, it is important to capture everyone who opts in to receive information from you. Seems obvious, right?

The reality is that right now, there are citizens who subscribed to your account but are still waiting to hear from you. These subscribers are those who went through your Quick Subscribe page like the one to the right, confirmed their email address, but failed to select from your list of topics.

Maybe they got distracted and closed their browser before they completed the process, or maybe they weren’t sure what topics they were interested in at the moment. Either way, these subscribers are a missed opportunity.

Audience engagement (and re-engagement) is a leading goal for public sector communicators, so how can we engage those who have been left behind?

It’s Like Finding Money Under Your Couch Cushion

What’s the big deal about these citizens who didn’t complete the subscription process? These are people that have raised their hand and want to hear from you, but need a final push to cross the finish line.

Encouraging these citizens to select a topic means you have a larger audience to communicate with, which can lead to happier, healthier and safer communities.

Let’s Get Started

Here’s the thing: without being able to identify which topic a subscriber was intending to subscribe to, you’re going to have to ask them. To find subscribers with zero subscriptions, begin by clicking on the “Subscribers” button on the left navigation. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see a search box where you’ll need to enter the “@” character and then toggle the drop-down menu to “Contains.” Next, click the “Search” button.

Subscribers with zero subscriptions will have a “0” in the subscriptions column (like the image below).

Since the results page will only display an abbreviated list of results, you will need to export the entire list via the CSV (Search Results) button in the upper right to see everyone with a zero associated with their account.

Now What?

Since you’ve decided this is an important effort (yeah!) and you’ve found your subscribers with zero subscriptions, what should you do now? First, create an unlisted topic and give it a name along the lines of “zero subscriptions month/day/year” and load the subscribers into that topic. Second, send them a quick bulletin asking them to complete their subscription process.

Here’s a rough draft of text you can use to create your own message:

“We noticed you haven’t selected any topics to receive updates from us. We are here to help! Here’s a link* you can use to access your profile.

Completing your subscription takes just a minute and allows you to stay up to date with the latest information.

Complete Your Subscription Now*

*Provide the subscriber the basic subscription link for your account. Not sure where to find your subscription link? Contact our Support team and they’ll be happy to help.

When your subscriber accesses their incomplete account, they’ll see this page:

They’ll need to click on “Add Subscriptions” to complete the process. Including language in your message that makes the subscriber aware of this will remove friction and make it easier for them to select a topic. Feel free to copy and use the above image in your message.

A Mistake to Avoid

Don’t just add these subscribers with zero subscriptions to your “newsletter” topic. You have no idea which topics they intended to subscribe to, so don’t assume sending them the newsletter is good enough. Doing that could irritate them and encourage them to mark future messages from you as spam.

We think it’s important to check for subscribers with zero subscriptions on a regular basis, ideally twice a month. Once you’ve done this once or twice, the process becomes routine and it elevates your account to another level. Doing nothing means you run the risk of them a) thinking they’ve signed up and you’re doing a bad job of sending updates or (more importantly) b) you miss an opportunity to communicate with someone who clearly wants to receive updates from you.

Want to learn more about managing subscriber and their subscriptions? Check out our Subscribers and Subscriptions page on our Support site.