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How to use mobile communications for greater audience reach

iStock_000058784534Large-hands with phonesGone are the days when we had to be tied to our desks to stay up to date on important information. The world of mobile is here to stay and people aren’t staying put in one place while checking their email anymore. In order for your government organization to reach the widest audience, you have to connect with people where they are and make it easy for them to get information from you wherever they go.

Here are a couple ideas to get you started:

 Add subscription opportunities to mobile apps

 It’s not breaking news to say that checking email no longer requires a desk and monitor. Many people increasingly rely on their smartphones to check and reply to email, yet many government organizations still aren’t taking full advantage of the mobile channel. Reach users where they are—which is basically wherever their phones are (so, pretty much anywhere)—and promote your email/text messaging services through mobile apps. Make sure your digital outreach platform will allow you to easily connect and upload email addresses or phone numbers collected from mobile apps directly into your database for ongoing outreach.

The Internal Revenue Service saw huge increases in their digital audience when they integrated their mobile app with the GovDelivery platform to the tune of over 14,000 new email subscribers in the first month, with 72% of those coming from the mobile app.

Make use of text-to-subscribe functionalities

 Just because someone has a smartphone doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll always have access to a wireless connection or mobile data plan. It’s important to offer a way for your audience to sign up for your updates even if they don’t have access to the internet, and text messaging can be a great way to do this. Setting up a text-to-subscribe functionality that allows someone to send a simple text with their email address and a keyword to subscribe to a specific topic ensures that you’re reaching the full range of your mobile citizen base, not just those with uninterrupted internet service.

While building up a list of email addresses is important, make sure you’re casting your net wide enough to reach those citizens who don’t have access to the internet. Two-way text messaging, where people can text a certain number or code to an agency service to get information about specific topics, captures people’s phone numbers and fills in the gaps where the internet falls short. Some digital communication platforms, including GovDelivery can help set up special codes for your organization to offer a branded two-way text messaging experience.

For more ideas on how you can cast a wider net and have a greater impact with your digital and mobile communications, check out our post “Build your audience first – 7 ways to grow your reach for greater impact” or download our Making Mobile Work For You guide.