Event Recap: What You Need to Know From the 2017 Granicus Benchmark Report


In preparation for the 2017 Granicus Benchmark Report: Mapping an Effective Digital Strategy, we analyzed 1.4 million emails from over 3,000 public sector organizations. The data provide great insight for government organizations to compare their communications strategy to their peers, and determine what’s working and when to adjust.

Granicus’ recent Digital Engagement Training: Benchmark Report Takeaways and Q&A dove into the report and offered key insights on how you can boost your metrics. During the training, Kristen Seefeldt, a Business Intelligence Analyst at Granicus and Lyndsay Booth, Digital Engagement Strategist at Granicus discussed the five metrics analyzed in the Benchmark Report and how your organization can improve them.

The Big Five Metrics

  1. Engagement Rate measures the number of times a subscriber opened or clicked on a bulletin in the last 90 days. “This gives you a snapshot of where your subscribers are with your communications right now,” Seefeldt explained.
  2. Open rate is the measure of the total number of bulletins received divided by the total number of recipients. This allows organizations to test subject lines and track how subscribers are engaging with them.
  3. Click rate is the total number of clicks a bulletin receives divided by the total number of recipients. “Analyzing the click rate allows you to see how well your call to action is working and how well your links are capturing subscribers,” Seefeldt said.
  4. Subscriptions per subscribers measures the average number of topic subscriptions per subscribers and shows how much your subscribers are interested in your topics.
  5. Overlay impact rate measures the total number of overlay subscribers gained divided by the total number of direct subscribers gained. Seefeldt explained, “When it is over 100 percent this means that you are receiving more overlay than direct subscribers which is beneficial.”

Moving Your Metrics Up

In order to improve your overall communications strategy, Booth gave tips on how you can start improving each metric.

Engagement Rate:

  • Know your audience and what they want from your organization.
  • Focus on the value and what you can provide to your audience so they are more engaged with your messages.
  • Keep your messages direct and short. “As a general rule of thumb, people have about an 8-15 second attention span for your emails,” Booth said. “So you only have a few seconds to grab their attention and communicate what your value proposition is so you need to use this space wisely.”
  • Test everything you are sending out. You won’t know what works best with your unique audience until you try it.

Open Rate:

  • Segment your audience to provide them targeted and tailored messages.
  • Keep the subject line simple. “You only need about 54 characters in the subject line, anything else will get lost,” Booth explained.
  • Use a timely hook and incorporate holidays and current events to pique the interest of your audience.
  • Test subject lines to see what works with your audience and the segments within your broader audience.

Click Rate:

  • Use a visual call to action with a button instead of a hyperlink.
  • Identify valuable content through click rates and use them in subsequent communications.
  • Prioritize your asks and avoid trying to cram too many calls to action into a single email.

Subscriptions per Subscriber:

  • Organize your topics and make sure you are only using ones that are still relevant. Booth recommended doing a topic audit at least once a year.
  • Use plain language instead of government jargon so citizens know what you are trying to say.
  • Send a welcome message to new subscribers and run re-engagement campaigns with sleepy subscribers.

Overlay Impact:

  • The first step is trying it out. If you are getting pushback at your organization use it first on an internal landing page instead of the home page to track how well it does so you can make a case for it.
  • Keep it simple and avoid putting too many fields in the overlay.
  • Avoid being a nuisance and be intentional about when the overlay shows and who it shows for.

Are you ready to learn if your agency is hitting the mark with your digital communications strategy? Download the 2017 Benchmark Report: Insights for Mapping an Effective Digital Strategy to start monitoring and measuring to improve the metrics that matter.

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