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How to better engage your existing digital audience

Mouse Message BubblesJust as people’s interests and priorities (and Netflix addictions) are constantly changing and evolving, so are organizations’. When people sign up to receive information from your agency they aren’t just signing up to stay informed about a specific topic, they’re opening the door to an ongoing relationship.

As your organization evolves its strategy, you may start programs and initiatives that would interest your current audience but didn’t exist when they initially signed up—don’t let that opportunity to further engage slip away! By reaching out to your existing digital audience and notifying them of new programs and content, you’re both deepening their relationship with your organization and opening up important information to a broader audience.

So, what are some ways you can encourage that engagement? Here are four ideas to get you started:

Convert existing databases

When people provide your organization with their email addresses they’re indicating their interest in your organization, so it’s important that you let them know what you offer to see where else they may like to engage with your agency. Other individuals, teams, or programs within your agency that interact with the public sometimes have email lists that you might not be aware of. The IRS or State Taxpayer Services, for example, may receive e-payments with attached email addresses. Try reaching out internally to see if there are any existing databases you don’t know about, and if there are, consider sending out a one-time invitation to those people asking if they’d like to subscribe to other topics you offer. GovDelivery can help get the process started by auditing and uncovering untapped lists and providing email templates for your one-time invitation.

 Promote new lists

 While we’d all love to think that our digital audience is constantly hitting the “refresh” button just waiting to see if any new email topics have been added to the site, the truth is that’s probably never going to happen. Unless you actively promote your new content options on a regular basis your existing audience most likely isn’t going to know they exist. Every month or quarter consider sending an email to your audience letting them know about new lists they might be interested in.


 Make it shareable

 Your relationship with your digital audience might be deep, but most people will always value the word of their friends and family above all else. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, so take advantage of it! Encourage your audience to spread the word about your organization and its services throughout their own relationship networks, either by email or social media. Adding a social media “share” button or email forwarding link to your messages is a great place to start. Some digital platforms, including GovDelivery, will automatically append share links to all outbound emails, so you don’t have to worry about adding it later.

Capitalize on targeted messaging

 Remember those other departments within your organization we mentioned earlier? Chances are some of them are sending targeted messages—like reminders to renew a license, for example—to a large database of stakeholders. Consider utilizing these automatic emails for another purpose by including a section promoting your email topic lists. Add content to the body or the footer of these emails so you get the most bang out of your proverbial emailing buck.

Want to learn more ways to engage your audience for a wider reach and greater impact? Check out our post on “7 Ways to Grow Your Reach for Greater Impact.”