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How Digital Engagement Can Increase Your Bottom Line

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To see more examples of agencies that have used digital best practices to improve engagement and grow revenue, check out the Communications Cloud, the features available in the Advanced Package and the video recording of yesterday’s webinar.

If you’ve worked in a government agency, you’re familiar with always trying to do more with less.

While budgets are tightening, citizen expectations are increasing with a desire to connect in different ways.

In our most recent webinar, “How to Increase Revenue at Your Agency: Lessons from DNRs, DMVs and More,” public sector employees explained how their agencies used digital communications to increase engagement and, as a result, the revenue for their agencies.

How Indiana Uses Digital Communication to Automate Most License Renewals

Jennifer Nikirk and Jacque Rood, both from the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency; Jenifer Wisniewski, of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources; and our own GovDelivery Digital Engagement Specialist, Nick Geier, discussed specific campaigns presented by multiple organizations and the impact those campaigns had on engagement and the agency’s budget.

Nikirk and Rood have worked with GovDelivery for about 7 years, and each year uses the platform to send 120,000 license renewal emails to nurses alone — not to mention reminders for the other 59 categories of licenses the organization manages.

Over the course of switching to an all-digital renewal system, IPLA has created a communication strategy that has not only improved renewal rates, but also largely decreased its printing costs, allowing it to use those funds in other areas. “We are a very small agency with a very small agency budget. (GovDelivery) made our operations in the agency much more efficient and effective.”

The IPLA strategy is simple, use three emails to stress the importance of renewing a license and give all the necessary information to do so in an easy to follow citizen journey.

Nikirk said her agency always uses multiple emails to create multiple touch points with increasing urgency. Her first email gives all the necessary information for renewing a license online and is sent around 90 days before the citizen’s current license expires. The second and third emails become more urgent and are sent closer to the expiration date of the citizen’s license, but still make it easy to renew online.

“These emails mimic any paper notices we send out, so people recognize them,” Nikirk said, “and the response upon sending these emails is immediate. We saw 3,000 come it at once.”

Not only did the process become 95 percent automated; Nikirk said IPLA has seen a 50,000 increase in license renewal since partnering with GovDelivery.

How Georgia’s DNR Used Overlays to Grow Its Audience

Wisniewski and the Georgia DNR saw a similar rise in license sales.

Using a website overlay, the GovDelivery Network and audience segmentation, Wisniewski said the department sold 1,000 more lifetime licenses this year than they did in 2015. She said those sales amounted to $273,000 in profit for one year and will increase the amount of people the federal government counts to calculate yearly pay for the agency. “For each person that got a lifetime license we get federal money until they die,” she said. “That’s more than half a million every year.”

The DNR’s communication strategy looked different from IPLA’s, but still achieved results. Wisniewski said the agency grew its audience through a website overlay and gained the information it needed to effectively segment its audience into four categories: Seniors, Sportsman, Non-residents and whole database.

The messaging for each segment is different, Wisniewski said. “For the pre-seniors age group, it’s really important to them that they count and they are important, so we used that in our messaging,” she said, “but it just depends on the demographic.”

Geier also presented a number of email campaigns from diverse agencies — who speak to diverse audiences — who used best practices for digital engagement to increase revenue. His first example came from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.

“The organization operates almost solely on collected fees,” he said. “They use digital communications to inform (citizens) about new policies, (tell them) how to access forms and which applications citizens actually need to fill out.”

Those pieces of information are all important, considering the organization has more than 250 types of applications available.

“People are looking for a seamless experience,” Geier said. “If you can map your steps to completing an application on to the email campaign, it makes everything easier for the citizen.”

Other agencies Geier used to depict best practices of automation and cross promotion, as well as designing for mobile, were the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, The New York Department of Motor Vehicles and Michigan DNR, respectively. Each one has used best practices to improve sales of renewal and save citizens time.

To see more examples of agencies that have used digital best practices to improve engagement and grow revenue, check out the Communications Cloud, the features available in the Advanced Package and the video recording of yesterday’s webinar.

If you would like to speak to someone directly about how you can start implementing best practices at your agency, contact us.