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Conversion Tactic #7: Tax & Grant Notifications

We recently published a marquee blog post on digital conversion tips for public sector organizations. Over the course of the next few weeks, we have gone into detail on each method — lapsed buyer campaigns, cart abandonment, cross- and upsells, customer lifecycle management, order confirmations and e-receipts, and web and portal notifications. Today let’s explore how to engage customers through tax and grant notifications.

With so many messages sent daily to modern-day consumers, it’s hard to stay top of mind with your target audience. Though not relevant to all public sector organizations, tax and grant notifications are one method to do this.

While the private sector’s concern is making money, the public sector’s focus is serving as a resource for the public’s needs; including taxes and grants.

Enter notifications. Notifications provide a way for public sector organizations to communicate essential information and deadlines to the public. Second to welcome emails, notifications have the highest open rate of all email categories, according to Sendgrid.

A notification stands out in an inbox because it is an opt-in form of communication – and rather than selling a product or service, it informs customers of important deadlines and information.

Why Are Tax and Grant Notifications Important?

Whether it’s federal income tax, state income tax, payroll tax, unemployment tax, sales tax, or foreign tax, everyone is taxed. And, each type of tax has different due dates, requirements, and processes. With all of the different types of taxes customers have to juggle, how are things kept straight?

Grants are equally important and widespread. There are student, non-profit, art, research, career development, industry, tax, and project-specific grants, and many Americans don’t even know about them due to lack of communication.

Long story short, notifications drive engagement and adoption.

From a tax perspective, notifications improve on-time payments. With a federal tax delinquency rate of upwards of 9 percent (for the entire U.S. population), you can see why communicating upcoming deadlines for the American taxpayer is important.

Grant notifications are equally important as they relay deadlines and increase the number of applications.

Where Can Notifications Be Delivered?

Notifications can come in the form of email, mobile, or RSS. Here are a few real-life examples:

Email Notifications

The IRS offers an illustrious example of how tax notifications can be used. With both tax practitioner-specific notifications through the “Tax Stats Dispatch List,” and public-facing notifications through the “IRS GuideWire,” these subscription-based email notifications are invaluable as they provide information about procedures, notices, deadlines, and announcements.

Mobile Notifications

According to the PEW Research Center, as of October 2014, 90% of American adults own a cell phone. People increasingly use mobile devices to access information both personal and professional in nature. Tax- and grant-issuing public sector organizations can capitalize on the mass adoption of mobile with mobile notifications.

For example, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) could create an opt-in mobile campaign to notify individuals about upcoming grant deadlines. Using mobile notifications, they could inform their audience about deadline and grant information. On Arts.gov, the NEA could also create a landing page directing customers to a form where they voluntarily add their personal cell phone numbers for mobile notifications to drive engagement.

RSS Notifications

Grants.gov offers citizens an opportunity to keep track of new announcements through notifications via RSS feeds. The RSS feed syndicates important information about new Grant opportunities by government agency or category.

How Do You Automate Notifications?

Email, mobile, and text message notifications can be automated by connecting customer information with a cloud-based, responsive system like GovDelivery.

Public sector organizations must be the go-to resource for information, including tax and grant notifications, so stay on the offense and contact us for more tips on how to connect more customers with your message today!

Stay tuned to our blog next week to learn more about mobile applications and notifications!