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Granicus Releases Annual Digital Benchmark Report for the Public Sector

Granicus, the largest provider of cloud-based software solutions to government, today announced the release of its annual digital benchmark report for government. The 2017 Granicus Benchmark Report: Insights for Mapping an Effective Digital Strategy identifies proven digital benchmarking metrics for measuring digital communications within government. This is the second edition of the Granicus Benchmark Report and includes best practices, trends and insights that support the work of government organizations in accomplishing their missions.

Government agencies using Granicus solutions sent nearly 10 billion digital messages in the past year to millions of citizens, but often have very different practices for increasing engagement and enhancing digital communications. In the report, Granicus measured activity of over 3,000 government organizations using digital communications to connect with over 150 million individuals to determine the most important approaches, tactics and strategies to strengthen the relationship between government and citizens across the country.

“As the leading provider of cloud-based software solutions to government, Granicus is in a unique position to provide valuable insight into digital trends and tactics that have demonstrated effectiveness in the public sector which can help organizations accomplish their critical missions,” said Mark Hynes, CEO of Granicus. “From providing life-saving information in times of crisis, to informing citizens of where to vote on Election Day, effective government communications is vital to the citizen experience – this is why utilizing proven best practices and methods is so critical. With these new benchmark metrics, government organizations will have clear insight into how to optimize their outreach and engagement efforts.”

Snapshot of Findings:

  • Authentic Reach: Government digital communications continues to reach a broader audience. In 2017 over 150 million people were engaged across multiple platforms using the GovDelivery Communications Cloud versus 120 million people in 2016 (25 percent growth year-over-year).
  • Subscriptions per Subscriber: The demand for relevant government content and communications continues to grow. Citizen audiences subscribed to a median of 5.6 communication topics in 2017, up over 100 percent from 2016.
  • Engagement Rate: The overall median engagement rate – the metric that measures the share of recipients that have engaged with any digital communication within a defined period of time – across all levels of government was 45 percent, while local government saw the strongest engagement rate of 57 percent.
  • Open Rate: Open rates for government communications continue to far exceed the private sector, indicating relevance and interest. The median open rate for government – the number of recipients who opened an email compared to the number who received it – was 21 percent, which was much higher compared to private and nonprofit sector open rates.
  • Click Rate: The median click rate – or the number of recipients who clicked on an email compared to the total number who received it – was 2.9 for organizations measured in the Granicus Benchmark Report.
  • Overlay Impact: The trend of utilizing subscription overlays continues to deliver strong subscriber growth results. Overlays are a small window delivered to webpage visitors during their visit to encourage registration for future emails, and are incredibly powerful for gaining new subscribers. For the median Granicus client, overlays increased subscribers by 144 percent over the previous year.
  • Overall Assessment: The digital metrics measured in the 2017 Granicus Benchmark Report highlight that there is a growing demand for communications from government and that organizations continue to improve the reach and relevance of their digital messaging. As audience levels increase and digital engagement metrics outperform those in the private- and nonprofit-sectors, government organizations are seeing high value and strong return on investment of digital communications efforts.

In addition to reporting metrics by government vertical (agriculture, education, economic development, focused), new to this year’s benchmark report includes metrics by administrator (admin size), which references the number of government employees who regularly access Granicus’ GovDelivery Communications Cloud to send and track messages.

In order to more directly support the needs of government, this report also provides resources, best practices and real examples of government communications to help government organizations develop and execute successful digital practices in the coming year and beyond.

“Again this year, Granicus’ benchmarking data highlights a compelling story in the world of government communications,” added Hynes. “We continue to see advancements in methods used by the public sector to communicate and government organizations becoming increasingly sophisticated in their outreach. The practice of comparing digital engagement metrics with the very best in government is an important exercise for continuous improvement.”

The data in the 2017 Granicus Benchmark Report was measured from July 2016 to June 2017. Granicus used median figures because it is a more accurate representation of customer performance and is not affected by outliers.

For a free copy of the 2017 Granicus Benchmark Report, download it here and sign up for the upcoming webinar on July 26 at 2:00 p.m. EST, “2017 Benchmarks: How Does Your Digital Strategy Stack Up?

About Granicus
Granicus provides technology and services that empower government organizations to create seamless digital experiences for the people they serve. By offering the industry’s leading cloud-based solutions for communications, content management, meeting and agenda management, and digital services to over 4,000 public sector organizations, Granicus helps turn government missions into quantifiable realities. Granicus products connect more than 185 million people, creating a powerful network to enhance citizen engagement. By optimizing decision-making processes, Granicus strives to help government see better outcomes and a greater impact for the citizens they serve. For more information, visit