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Text Messaging for Local Governments and Municipalities

Text messaging is the most effective electronic communication tool when marketers want to deliver clear, quick, and concise communication. 

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SMS alerts and notifications alter the way we send and receive important information. To that end, many industries use text message marketing, such as local governments and municipalities

Let’s discuss the importance of text messaging to local governments and how they use this tool to help inform and engage the communities they serve.

Why is text message marketing important for local governments and municipalities?

Local governments and municipalities need to reach citizens quickly and efficiently. Message content ranges from informing voters about an upcoming election to a notification about a power outage.

With the advent of quick electronic communication solutions, government agencies, local government offices, and municipalities now know to turn to experts in text message marketing

The effectiveness of text messages comes down to the prevalence of cell phones. 

Cell phones largely define mainstream communication. People keep their mobile phones with them wherever they go and check them often. 

Government employee texting citizens using her mobile phone.

To see cell phones’ position as an inclusive communication tool, let’s look at two important statistics: 97% of Americans own a cell phone, and 81% of Americans text regularly

Plus, text message marketing continues to rise with an impressive 98% open rate, which is the percentage of recipients who open the message.

Scalable for municipalities of all sizes

From the smallest towns to the largest cities, text messaging remains a viable resource. Municipalities easily add subscribers once they integrate a text marketing system which is a natural way to send information to the public

After all, cities of every size and shape work for and by the people. and people own cell phones. Public entities new to text message marketing often start small with a few opt-in keyword campaigns and then scale as they put more keyword campaigns in place. 

Therefore, a city can start out with a small text marketing plan and over time change to a plan that is large enough to work for the entire population. 

Speed and efficiency

Once municipalities establish an opt-in process with either a keyword campaign or text marketing webform to start building their text marketing database, they can send short, timely communications via SMS when they need to share information. This is more streamlined than lengthy press releases or even email notifications.  

Government employee outside of a government building texting.

The biggest advantage of text message marketing integrally involves the speed and efficiency with which it delivers communication to large groups of people.

Use cases for government officials and constituents

Government servants often find new ways to use text message marketing with citizens. Think of opportunities like educating the public about community events and keeping the public informed about changed trash days or local power outages. 

Plus, raising a group of volunteers for a community fun run or reminding the public about free health resources in the community are a couple more examples of how text message marketing can positively impact a community.

Additionally, cities can combine text message marketing with social media which can powerfully and significantly boost engagement. 

How do you use text message marketing for local governments and municipalities?

Emergency alerts

Think of text messaging’s uses in emergency situations. Cities can inform community members about road closures, downed power lines, and aid services in a natural disaster situation. This empowers community members with the information they need in an emergency situation..  

Likewise, law enforcement agencies and local governments issue emergency alerts for all types of emergencies. The ability to send out alerts quickly comes from SMS messages to phone numbers that opt-in. This creates a step forward in public health and safety.

Road closures or traffic alerts

This use includes storm warnings, road closings, and other alerts that affect public safety. This provides a big help to law enforcement teams, which allows them to get ahead of a situation and mitigate risk. 

Government employee is sending a text message about a road closure to citizens using her mobile phone as she walks outside a government building.

Notifications for local elections

Messaging services really get the word out about local elections.

A wide range of industries currently use push notifications in business marketing. Integrate notifications through an SMS text to increase attendance and encourage constituents to vote in local elections. 

Boost civic engagement

Want better attendance for your community events? Text message marketing often boosts attendance, builds excitement, and increases engagement. 

Using text marketing along with more traditional methods like emails and press releases for community events encourages greater participation. By getting the word out using all the communication tools available, more citizens participate in these events. 

Property and local tax reminders

Municipalities benefit from reminding property owners when their taxes are due via text marketing. Sending a text message reminder to community members that need to take care of their taxes with a broadcast is simple! Ensure community members are tagged appropriately, such as “tax notification” and send a broadcast message

The broadcast goes to each person texted at the same time, but each number receives the message individually as if they were the only one text. Plus, any replies are only sent to the city’s text marketing system, not everyone that was text.

Text message marketing with this purpose creates a win-win with minimal effort. Even utility companies can revamp old communication models and use SMS messaging to send courtesy bill reminders. 

Simply create a workflow for this type of messaging, which automates notifications for customers. 

A man standing in front of a government building receiving a tax notification.

Event notifications

Unlike traditional landlines or snail mail, cell phones are always with us. Text message marketing perfectly exemplifies how to promote and market events

For an even stronger event promotion, integrate marketing tactics and combine social media accounts with text messaging. Event promotions just became easier!

Industries often think creatively about text message marketing, and local governments and municipalities now follow suit. The objectives of each may seem different, but the outcomes are the same – quick communication to an audience for the purpose of awareness or action. 

Text messaging changes events – big and small. When you promote events, it increases event attendance. 

What to do next

As a local government or municipality, you can clearly see the benefits and use cases for text message marketing. The public sector now can use communication tools known in the private sector.

A government employee in his office receiving a text message from a citizen.

No matter your audience, they keep their phones with them everywhere they go. If you use SMS for notifications, it enables communities to stay more informed and engaged. 

Get in touch with TextSanity today to discuss your text messaging needs and learn more about text message marketing and pricing