My name is sarah nagra and I’m from suffolk trading standards and I’m going to be talking to you about what we’ve been doing at suffolk and how you can make the most out of email marketing .
I’m going to discuss the need for a change, the use of social media in email, some of things we’ve been doing. As well as some hints and tips I’ve come across while using govdelivery.
The way people are communicating is changing. Rather than getting their news from their local newspaper, the rise of smart phones and tablets people are expecting information literally at their finger tips. The suffolkts website when I started a couple of years ago was very out of date and had very little “live” information. So I updated the site so it had the latest news, scams and product recalls. When we implemented GovDelivery is allows us to instantly let people know about the changes to the content of our website. Rather than waiting for them to come back to our site. I also set up a facebook, twitter and blog for your department. To let people know as soon as possible about scams that are happening within Suffolk. This also improved our relationship with the local press, as we’ve had a surge in press requests. Often topics that our comms don’t feel are important enough for a press release but the local radio stations might pick up on and will request an interview.
As I said I set up all these social media sites. I have all of them feeding into one another to allow me to easily contact all our readers, followers. We used several platforms to attract different demographics that might use different social media site. E.g. often more professional element to twitter. GovDelivery system allows us to post directly to our social media sites- which reduces time and effort. But we have made sure that we always reply to people comments on our social media sites- to create that two-way dialogue. Otherwise we are no better than a traditional TV advert/press release, we’re just telling people information and don’t want their input.
We ran a twitter campaign last September called #tsforaday. Over three days we tweeted every piece of work our officers were undertaking to show the diversity of the department. We used govdelivery so people who weren’t even signed up to twitter could see what we were talking about. They could sign up to SuffolkTS twitter email updates as you can see.
When we first started with GovDelivery we were the only department within SCC that had it added to our webpages. Which made it difficult to advertise our presence. As the comms teams weren’t happy to advertise us using the system as it wasn’t across the whole council. Having whole council collaboration was more efficient for everyone, especially the end users. Who inevitably had interests in other departments in the council as well. When we first got started we were struggling to get subscriptions to rise due to lack of exposure but in 18 months have over 7,000 subscriptions for just trading standards topics. How often- be careful about not appearing to spam individuals and also people tend to ignore emails on Monday morning while sifting through the stuff from the weekend and last thing on a fir. Perhaps if not urgent save information on different topics before sending it out. Make sure you engage with people, you normally only have around 1 second to get someone's attention via email, as the DMA 2010 found open rate was around 19% for email updates. Fortunately our open rate is around 26%. Change the subject title, its get that GovDelivery automatically populates this in case you forget but change it to make it more relevant. People are more likely to open if they know they’re going to find the content relevant to them. I have started using the advanced bulletins for my consumer champion newsletters. Which is more attention grabbing visually, as there are pre-designed templates and these can be designed yourself. As you can see there are links to drive people back to your website to read more about the article. Be careful- just make sure you read before you send. Check you have the right recipients, get thing is having access to email all these people quickly. But also means you can make a mistake that all these people see. Make full use of the “send test” facility if you’re not sure how its going to look. Govdelivery allows you generate reports to see what your open rates, click through rates etc to allow you to monitor your success and also if there is anything is particualrly successful that could be replicated across other email alerts.
Sarah Nagra, Suffolk Council Trading Standards
Suffolk TradingStandards ‘Making the most of email’
What are we doing?• Need for a change• Social media integration• Examples• Hints and tips
Need for a change• Change in the way we communicate• Use of social media
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