Almost as soon as email was created, people started creating email lists so they could reach others with related interests. Email list software like LISTSERV became a vital way for communities of people to interact with each other.
In 2013, email is still incredibly valuable as a communication channel, playing an important role in government communications. Agencies can use email for regular outreach and emergency communications, updating citizens about services or events of interest to them. (See my previous blog on Email Finds New Life in Integrated Campaigns.)
But maintaining separate email lists is no longer the best way to manage email subscriptions at the scale that most government agencies need. Each new email list adds management overhead and cost. And while subscribers like very detailed, targeted subscriptions, they don’t like having to manage many individual subscriptions, so they are less likely to opt-in for updates.
A new class of Digital Communication Management (DCM) solutions replaces email lists and adds essential automation and integration capabilities to subscription management. With DCM, government agencies can use email more efficiently and effectively to manage citizen communications.
Defining Digital Communication Management (DCM)
A DCM solution is much more than simply a collection of email lists. By consolidating subscription management and automating the creation and distribution of content across different subscriptions, a DCM solution transcends the limitations of email lists.
- Agencies can create many different subscription options without additional management overhead. People are more willing to sign up for notifications from very specific lists of interest to them.
- Citizens or stakeholders can manage their subscription profile from one location, easily adding or changing their subscriptions.
A DCM system automatically monitors websites for new content and generates updates for relevant subscribers – reducing effort for government staff and ensuring timely notifications. And it integrates easily with other channels, such as text messaging, RSS updates and social media.
Making your own case for DCM
For most government agencies, deploying a DCM solution delivers a rapid return on investment in cost savings from reducing paper processes and shifting interactions to cost-effective, digital channels. They can also help you achieve other goals of reaching more stakeholders, increasing citizen awareness of services and programs, and improving emergency communications.
GovDelivery offers a white paper, The Transformative Power of Communications: Digital Communication Management for the Public Sector, with information to help you evaluate the potential for DCM in your organization, including:
- Guidance on calculating the Return on Investment (ROI) from DCM
- Real-world examples of federal, state and county government agencies that have moved from email lists to cloud-based DCM, and their results
- Guidelines for a successful DCM deployment
If you’re ready to leave email list management in the past, download this paper and see if a Digital Communication Management solution is right for your agency.