The Most Important Update Trending on Public Sector Websites

With any government program, project, or initiative, you can’t just rely on an “if you build it, they will come” strategy.

If nobody knows about your initiatives or projects, they can’t make a difference. To be truly successful at your job to drive engagement with these programs, you have to capture people while they are engaged on your website in order to promote your ongoing programs. An overlay is key to that success.

An overlay is a simple, understated light window box that allows you to capture contact information from your website visitors, so you can connect with them later and encourage them to visit a park, inform them of a policy, download a report, or register for an event.

overlay1And you’ve already seen them everywhere. If you head over to your favorite retail website (mine are Banana Republic and, you’ll likely be prompted to sign up for future information. That’s because the private sector knows how critical it is to convert website visitors into subscribers of ongoing updates.  And the results are astonishing. So why not piggyback on this wildly successful audience growth tactic?

Public sector overlays can be customized to be secure, 508-compliant and completely mobile responsive, so there’s no reason why government organizations can’t harness their power. They are the fastest and most effective method of growing your digital audience.  And when we say effective, we’re talking 200-500% increases in the number of people signed up to hear from you. That means more Web traffic, more video views, increased usage of online services, and more.

Overlays are spreading like wildfire in the public sector. Organizations at the federal, state, local, and international levels are already jumping on board.

overlay2The U.S. Department of Interior’s (DOI) website overlay contributed to massive growth in stakeholder connections. In the first eight months of implementing an overlay through GovDelivery, the DOI more than doubled its unique subscribers and more than tripled subscriptions to its topics. The combination of the GovDelivery Network and a website overlay grew the number of people the DOI reaches from 5,000 to more than 147,000 people in just three years—an increase of more than 2840%.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission implemented an overlay in June with GovDelivery and the organization is already seeing the benefits. “Initial results are looking great! We’d been averaging about 40 direct subscriptions per day. It hasn’t even been 24 hours yet, and we have 507 newcomers,” says Scott Ball, Internal Communications Director. That’s an increase of 1167% in audience growth.   No other action you take on your website will have as much impact in such a short amount of time.

There are so many more examples of overlays doing amazing things for public sector organizations. Check out USDA’s, Minnesota Department of Revenue, FEMA’s, and Nottinghamshire County Council in the U.K. (just to name a few).

The best part? They’re simple to create, customizable, and free to GovDelivery clients. For more information about implementing an overlay at your organization, contact us at

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