The Council had identified a requirement to reach out to its community via electronic communications. Councilors agreed to the changes in May 2014 and up until April 2015, email or SMS was not a channel used to reach out to their customers. The objective was to reduce Council costs which would in-turn be re-invested in to the community.
This was a new process for Councils in this region. Of the 45,000 residents, the Council only held email addresses for people who had distinct and discrete areas of interest: e.g. recreation, arts and business. The Privacy Officer deemed that those people could not be contacted other than for the area of Council interests they had opted in-to. This required a mass gathering of both email addresses and permissions.
Blue Star DIRECT worked with Council to wash and cleanse its existing data and mail its residents a letter, incentivising them to provide their details and opt-in for digital or SMS communications. The competition was held to encourage people to sign up to digital communications so they could stay tuned with events and regular information held by them via their preferred channel of communication.
As a result Council reached out to over 25,000 residents and achieved a 32% response rate. 4,200 residents have now opted-in to email communications and 3,800 residents have opted for SMS notifications. Council will save over $6.6k in revenue and will continue to save as the database converts more communications offline to online.