You’ve done it! Your email updates are advertised on your website and social media channels. You’ve created QR codes for easy mobile sign up, and you are spreading the word of the exciting updates you’re releasing. You are launched!
What is the first communication your subscriber receives from you?
Is it a targeted, personalised welcome? Perhaps the first in a series of short messages designed to inform, educate, and support your residents in whatever they need or want to access from your organisation?
Or is it a generic, low branded ‘Welcome! Thanks for subscribing.’ email, followed by a newsletter maybe as much as a month later?
If you are using the Granicus Communications Cloud solution, you may be relieved to know that there are a variety of options to connect with your audience on multiple levels from the very first message.
A warm welcome
All first-time subscribers will receive a Welcome New Subscriber message. This is your first connection with your audience so make sure your branding is in place.
Utilise a first name macro in the Subscription Acknowledgment message if this is in line with your branding tone (and you have captured the information upon sign up).
Why not take the opportunity to lace that first message with links to specific pages on your website to prompt a further action and engagement? Maybe encourage them to sign up for their govService MyAccount if they haven’t done so already.
Don’t forget that a call-to-action button is likely to get more clicks than a simple hyperlink. Let them know from the beginning where to send queries and good news stories.
Advanced Package, Advanced Communications
The Advanced Package features in Communications Cloud support targeted onboarding communications in a way that is easy to set up, easy to analyse, and easy to replicate across your service areas.
The account level Welcome Campaign feature allows you to create multi-message onboarding communications for all your subscribers. Message spacing and content is configurable, enabling consistent yet flexible communications that you can set and amend as needed.
Why not use the Drip Campaign feature in your Communications Cloud account to create a topic-specific, buildable onboarding campaign? One message per week sent out to your audience following sign up, with the aim of informing and engaging on a proactive basis, can reduce inbound contact pressure. Eight bulletins will give you around two months of content, which can be reviewed and added to on a regular basis.
Invaluable campaign reporting will identify the most frequently engaged with bulletins, which you can copy and repeat later in the campaign as an ‘in case you missed it’ follow-up.
Identify quick wins
One way to get a general onboarding campaign launched is to consult internally. Ask your contact centre and various service areas about their pain points. This also contributes to positive internal relationships, where teams feel heard and involved in problem solving.
They may be receiving heavy inbound contact about waste collections or housing. With the current cost of living crisis ongoing, benefits teams may likely come under more pressure. Each area can supply their main pain points with the call to action for residents to engage and self-serve where possible.
Planning ahead for predictable or seasonable events such as Christmas, bank holidays, and colder weather allows you more time and space to pivot for last minute issues.
Perhaps you prefer to run targeted topic-specific campaigns? Fostering, fitness, money-management, sustainability, and parent-child development are just a few examples of successful topic-specific onboarding campaigns. Utilise a custom sign-up form with questions to capture key information. This way you can communicate directly with elements of your audience on specific articles and not overcrowd the main monthly newsletter with information that may be entirely irrelevant to a large percentage.
Think like your audience
It might be all too easy to cram as much information into a bulletin as possible, so nothing gets missed. Try to remember that the longer the bulletin, and the more content within, the more scrolling is needed to view it on a phone screen. Some of those articles toward the end may be missed entirely.
Keep your onboarding communications to single feature messages with a clear call to action. This allows your audience to engage without a time commitment and maximises the opportunity for engagement with each of those articles as separate messages.
Keep in mind the desired outcome of each message (do you want them to take an action or are you informing?) and how that might be measured (subscriber feedback or a reduction in service area pressure, for example).
Don’t forget your internal customers
We have all been a new starter!
When new employees join an organisation, the first couple of months can often feel overwhelming. Knowing who, what, and where are great navigation points in the onboarding process and may help relieve the anxiety of fitting in.
A welcome message from the organisation can help your new staff connect with you early in the relationship. Weekly check-in emails to remind them of training resources, social aspects, facilities, and benefits can help them settle more comfortably into their surroundings. Why not make an introduction to each department leader part of the series? The campaign messages can quickly be paused and updated should change occur, allowing you to pivot and redirect when needed.
In whichever direction you choose to develop your communication strategy, your Granicus Customer Success Team is on hand to help! Not sure who your Customer Success Consultant is? Contact the Granicus Support Team to find out.
Fleur Jarman is a govDelivery Implementation Consultant at Granicus. Based in the UK, Fleur has worked with over one hundred organisations to integrate govDelivery and Granicus digital communications solutions into their communications strategy.