Text Messaging for Cities and Municipalities
Engaging Busy Citizens
Your constituents are busy people. They’re likely to miss email (if that email even makes it past aggressive spam filters), pay little attention to traditional mail, and be irritated by disruptive phone calls. But -- as members of your community -- they do have a vested interest in your message. So how can you reach them? How can you be assured that your communication will not only reach your residents, but be noticed and appreciated by them?
Build Your Community with SMS
SMS text messaging is the most foolproof communications channel out there. And, like you, your constituents are using it to communicate with each other. Text messaging boasts an unrivaled 98% open rate, with fully 90% of those messages read within three minutes of receipt. Build a more successful -- and sophisticated -- community by embracing the technology favored by your residents.
But text messaging isn’t only for external communication. Use it to reach out to staff too -- they’ll likely receive the message far sooner than they would with email, so it’s perfect for communicating last-minute schedule or venue changes, or for use during emergencies.
Engaged Citizens, Healthy Municipality
In addition to dramatically increasing the reach and effectiveness of your communication, use SMS text messaging to provide better service and increase resident satisfaction, reduce call volume, curb appointment no-shows, conduct polling, and much more. Build a smarter and more cohesive community by engaging with your residents, soliciting their involvement, and simply being in touch.
Modern Cities Demand Modern Communication
All too often, municipalities and other public organizations rely on outdated means of outreach. And as a result, they’re perceived as being ineffective communicators, and out of touch with their comparatively tech-savvy residents. Traditional mail is expensive, environmentally taxing, and burdensome; moreover, recipients often put it straight in the trash. Email is far better than regular mail, but people are nearly drowning in it. Advances in spam filtering technology can sometimes overreach, with the result that many legitimate messages are never seen. It’s time to build a smarter community.
Email Marketing Workflow
Time to Build a Smarter Community
Municipalities’ uses for SMS messaging are seemingly endless. Use text messaging to send alerts and notifications, to provide status updates on permits and planning applications, to inform residents of road closures, warn of severe weather, and send reminders of upcoming tax bills. Or embrace the immediacy of text messaging to provide public transportation updates -- San Francisco’s BART system, for example, uses SMS to alert travelers of train arrivals.
Looking to gather volunteers for an upcoming event? Solicit residents’ help via SMS. Want to engage the community’s youth? Text messaging is their go-to means of communication, and they’re unlikely to respond to anything else!
Use text messaging to schedule appointments and then follow up with timely reminders, thus reducing both call volume and no-shows. Divide your database of SMS contacts by area or demographic for more targeted (and thus personalized) outreach. Need to conduct polling or voting? SMS can facilitate those activities too -- and with a dramatically higher response rate than other means!
And text messaging isn’t just one-way -- you can use it to receive messages as well. Accept appointment inquiries, requests for service, reports of crime or suspicious behavior, missed trash collection, and much more. Give your residents a texting “hotline” or series of numbers based on their needs. Or route incoming messages via keywords and sub-keywords.