Public Sector Email Marketing

Tips on getting personal with the public with public sector email marketing

Low cost and effective

Emails can sometimes divide opinion as a tool for work productivity but when it comes to marketing they are still one of the cheapest and most effective ways to target your audience.

Campaign Monitor, one of the primary email platform tools estimate that in 2017 around 268 billion emails are sent and received every day to over 2.5 billion users around the world.

These figures are staggering and are only set to increase.

Privileged position

This of course begs the question as to how you get your email marketing campaigns to work better for you?

Well believe it or not, as a public-sector marketer, you’re actually in a relatively privileged position of having access to a quality data list (well most of you do).

In most cases the public needs to comes to you whether it’s to pay tax, access your services or get real-time information.

Your institution will also be one your audience will largely trust, so if you think about what that means it should give you a head start in knowing your audience will be more willing to open your communications.

Public Sector Email Marketing

Start with good planning

So, in this blog we’re going to quickly run through some important insights, hacks and tips to getting email marketing campaigns working even better for you.

It all starts with good planning.

Planning your objectives is essential, knowing what results you’re looking for and which audiences to deliver those results to you is half the battle.

For instance, your email may just be to communicate your new opening times, or it could be asking your audience to join or switch to a new initiative.

Once you’ve got your objectives in place here are your other important steps to consider:

What to consider

* Choose your email platform tool - ie MailChimp/ActiveCampaign/Campaign Monitor

* Identify your target audience and campaign send time

* Create your contact list

* Create a/b testing for content/subject lines

* Send email

* Analyse the reporting after a few days

* Learn from results and go again!

Setting out with a clear plan for your email marketing campaign will deliver more effective and measurable results. | @JSTweetsDigitalClick To Tweet

Choose the right platform tool

Choosing your platform tool will depend on your volume or any existing agreement your institution has in place. But any of those listed above are recommended and they’ll allow to import and segment data lists to fine levels of detail, so you can get all nice and personal with your messaging.

These tools are designed to be flexible and if you send out regular emails as a nurture programme or other CRM campaigns, they can be automated in advance.

Then once you’ve identified what you need to say and to whom, your next step is to develop your copy and design.

Be personable, and engaging or informative.

When it comes to copywriting, you should always aim to write in personable, plain English. After all, this a private message so it should feel like someone is talking to you.

After that there are different approaches for different objectives.

If the purpose of your campaign is to inform; then you’ll want to keep the copy slightly more formal and straight to the point.

If it’s for a sales email like selling tickets to a museum exhibition, or rail tickets to the All-Ireland final, you can afford to be more light-hearted and fun with your headlines and sub copy.

And if you are promoting something that will give you a strong visual experience like the books in the National Library, then you may want that image to do most of the talking for you.

Whatever your email’s purpose your copywriter should also know your brand tone, so it feels like the same voice talking to the public, no matter what you have to say.

You can also get really personal by using what you know about your audience in a smart way, and pull their names, or birthdays into the email using dynamic tags.

Your emails should always aim to be as personable as possible, think of them as a one to one conversation | @JSTweetsDigitalClick To Tweet

A matter of subject

But the body of your email is not the most important piece copy that need writing. Why? Because you first need to have a compelling subject line in order to persuade your audience to open it.

This is where the trust I spoke of earlier in this blog will be important. It predisposes your reader into thinking you’ll have something relevant or important to say and your subject line should reinforce that.

Think of your subject line as your first impression, the banner headline so to speak, and if it doesn’t pique your reader’s interest you won’t get them to click through to see what’s inside.

There is a trick to this however, as you don’t want to come across as too spammy by including shouty words like FREE or €€€ symbols either.

See table below as a quick checklist for optimising your subject lines and increasing open rates:

Visual table titled – Optimising email subject lines

* Keep it short and sweet!

* Give the reader a hint as to what’s inside…

* Never mislead or falsely advertise

* Use plain concise language – as people scan their emails quickly

* Use stats or numbers

* Ask a question

* DON’T USE CAPS OR EXCLAIMATION POINTS!!!!

Put some time into developing your email subject lines and make them as catchy as possible | @JSTweetsDigitalClick To Tweet

A/B Testing and analysis

If you have a few different subject lines or are unsure what tone of email will work best, then this is where the measurability of the email format will come to the fore.

Don't put all your eggs into one communications basket. Try two (or more) different messages. Then take a look at which subject lines or content provided the best open rate and click through rates.

This is also where email’s value for money comes in. You’ll be able to see what works and effectively fix what doesn’t work relatively cheaply.

If no one’s signing up to a new health screening programme in February. Try and change the angle of approach for March. See if that gets the messaging across better.

The analysis side of your email platform tools are very insightful and will show you how the open rates and click rates of all your embedded links, while it will also give you an idea of the quality of your mailing list through your bounce rates.

A/B testing is a great way for you to find out what messaging works best for your email campaigns | @JSTweetsDigital Click To Tweet

Great examples of Public Sector email marketing

So, as you’ll have read getting your email marketing campaigns working for you is actually quite straightforward, once you’ve clearly laid out your objectives and keep the above tricks of the trade in mind.

Institutes and departments like your own will send out hundreds of emails every year, so it’s important to look at a variety of different styles and design templates which may best serve you.

You can learn from your peers, there is plenty of examples, explore some of the best emails designed for US public sector institutions.  I’m sure this will inspire you to think of ways to reach your email marketing goals.

Want to know more?

This is just a brief overview of how you can get your email marketing campaign’s working better for you.

As always if you’d like to know more on this subject, we’d be only too happy to help.

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