Gov Delivery make an impact

The Gov Delivery annual conference took place on 11 November in London. The conference has grown in the past few years with 500 tickets snapped up and a great turn out on the day with the hall pretty full for most of the day. As ever, the conference was extremely well organised by all the guys at Gov Delivery, with special thanks going to Dave Worsell.

I’m not going to talk through each speaker as I am sure we’ll get the slide decks available online and videos of the day. I’m just going to give my main takeaways.

Feel free to agree, disagree or remind me if I miss anything by contacting Alan Ferguson @alanfergs on Twitter or by email.

You can’t beat a list of takeaways (not the food variety…)

Here are mine with a few already kicked off in work today while fresh in the mind!

  1. Read the white paper – loved the first talk from Guy Dominy and Kevin Traverse-Healy. Going to take a look at PROOF model in particular.
  2. Find more hidden databases – yep, there are more out there. I am going to hit existing groups and see if we can squeeze more customers out of them. I’ve already had a winner this morning with a few thousand customers who completed our broadband questionnaire recently and opted in. We just haven’t imported across recently.
  3. Split test – again already started doing this. I have created call to action buttons which I am testing. This means at the top or early in the body of the email I will add a button to link to the website. I’ll send this email alert to half the database. Then I will resend to the other half with the link purely in the body of the text. Let’s see if the click through rate rises.
  4. Add video directly to Facebook (credit to Peter Hughes for explaining this one to me) – Stephen Clark touched on this in his talk, illustrating that the cost per view for direct uploads to Facebook was lower than the cost per view on You Tube. So the action is to test publishing video directly to Facebook to see the impact for ourselves.
  5. Look at WhatsApp – we’re all familiar with WhatsApp but using it for a council…madness surely (joking!). Well, Dale Shepherd and Lorna Perry think otherwise and we’re all eager to hear how it goes. Good luck to them for taking this leap of faith in trying a new digital channel.
  6. Offer you a social media policy before its too late – we have one and boy did it help us out before diving in. Hearing the horror stories of reeling in 80 or 90 Twitter accounts is a nightmare. Contact Alan Ferguson @alanfergs on Twitter or by email if you want to see ours.
  7. Overlay – we need a Gov Delivery overlay otherwise we’re never going to get the subscribers we deserve!
  8. 3 is the magic number – according to Susannah Pike from Dorset. That is 3 links per email alert. Want to look at their excellent presentation again for more ideas!
  9. Share stats – Susannah Pike showed stats from other councils. We all need to see these to benchmark as I thought we were doing really well! We’re doing ok, but must try harder – we’re a B- at the moment and I need to get us to A***! Gov Delivery aware of this request so watch this space.
  10. Mirror email alerts and the website – thanks to DVSA for these tips. We’re not likely to get this soon but its firmly noted for the future!
  11. Educate others – I’m not an accountant. I never want to be. Accountants are trained to be really good at what they do. I’m well trained in what I do and have many years experience in web, email marketing, social media, marketing (even before t’internet existed), plus general project management and a pretty handy public speaker and facilitator. So I need to take ALL of this and remember to lead the way in educating service areas on how to communicate effectively with their target audiences. That’s just a small takeaway from Cormac Smith’s talk. I’d like to see that full ‘robust, interactive presentation’ (excellent description courtesy of Amish Patel) in all its glory to really appreciate everything that was said.
  12. Enter awards – one way to focus the mind on great work you’ve done is to enter an award. I did this on Tuesday when I submitted a piece for the email marketing award from the top guys at Comms2Point0.
  13. Government Communication Service (GCS) – find out more about what they do and how I can get involved.
  14. Get out more – I always say this but its so important to get to these events and others in association with Central Government too. Last thing we want in local government is to fall further behind the work of GDS in particular.
  15. Meet more people face to face – great to actually meet up with a lot of people I only know from Twitter. It makes the day so much more enjoyable when you get to say hello face to face rather than from behind a hashtag! Having said that, I did love the big screen relaying all the #ukcomm14 tweets.

And finally…

Thanks again to Dave Worsell and his team for arranging the day. It was great. It was lively. It was one to remember – and I’ll remember it for all the excellent speakers who will spent a LOT of time preparing the talks in advance. It showed with all of them.

Alan – otherwise known as @alanfergs on Twitter


Email marketing | MailCamp12

In May 2012, Alan Ferguson was invited to speak at MailCamp12, which was held in The National Audit Office and organised by Steph Grey of Helpful Technology.

The event is designed to share stories and tips on effective email marketing, newsletters and alerts for the public sector.

Alan spoke about the success Central Bedfordshire Council were having with their email marketing which was launched in January 2012.

Here is Alan’s talk.