4 Public Sector Email Marketing Strategies to Engage Citizens

4 Public Sector Email Marketing Strategies to Engage Citizens

If you manage public sector email marketing newsletters, how can you be sure you’re leveraging its full potential?

Communication for public sector institutions is not only about sending messages.

On the one hand, you’re responsible for encouraging civic engagement. On the other hand, it’s about managing your data securely and using it right.

The email newsletter is a standard, go-to communication channel for public sector entities to share information, ask for feedback, and educate the public.

In this guide, you’ll learn about: 

Let’s get started!

What is Email Marketing for the Public Sector?

Email marketing for the public sector is the act of sending email messages to citizens to inform and encourage civic engagement.

Public sector email marketing involves the institutions of healthcare, taxes, public schools, municipalities, and other government institutions.

Unlike the business sector, you are seeking to inform and encourage action around civic engagement. For instance, if you’re sending healthcare email marketing, you have to provide value and help patients with their medical experience rather than looking for sales opportunities.

In a general sense, sending bulk emails to a group of people is considered email marketing.

Why Set up an Email Marketing Strategy for the Public Sector?

1. Welcome new clients and citizens

Your welcome email is the first email your contacts will see after their first interaction with your institution. 

Whether they subscribed for your email list through the university’s website or visited your tax office last week.

These messages are important to confirm your audience’s subscription; it also helps you introduce the services your office provides and encourages them to engage with your institution.

Setting up a welcome email is not only a business practice.

Running public sector email campaigns helps you set up the expectations with your users, and make the relationship with the public smoother.

For instance, citizens feel a little bit tense when interacting with their tax office or bank.

Your public-sector welcome email can set up the tone of communication and give your readers a feeling of ease regarding your institution.

2. Deliver valuable information

Often, citizens rely on the public sector to provide them with critical information concerning health and public safety.

Keeping your audience informed strengthens the trust the public has toward your office or institution.

Informational messages inform the public about something that might be relevant to them or might impact them. 

The majority of public sector emails are informational messages.

Setting up a public sector email marketing strategy helps you:

  • Inform about new policies.
  • Update the public about a matter.
  • Send new regulations.
  • Inform about upcoming important dates.
  • Share health and safety regulations.

Plus, email marketing to the public sector is considered the cheapest channel of sharing information.

Media, banners, and ads are considered pricey compared to what email marketing offers. 

You can broadcast emails to 50,000 email addresses under $300 using Envoke email software while keeping your data secure and stored in Canada.

3. Encourage actions and engagement

Email marketing is the most effective tool to encourage action and help the public sector achieve its goals.

It’s not only that you’re sending emails that drive the encouragement and actions of the public.

Most public sector email examples contain a powerful Call-To-Action button that drives the public’s action.

Your CTA can be as simple as “Read More” or can be more powerful as “Vote to shape the future.”

Connect your email to your organization’s and craft a catchy CTA to drive the most interactions.

You can use the following techniques to increase the encouragement of your audience with CTAs:

  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Provide value
  • Show benefits

A powerful CTA in a public sector email is not just a clickable box. It can be what will increase the number of taxpayers, voters, informed citizens, etc.

4. Introduce new programs and services

You might think this part is the same as sending informational emails.

However, new programs and services launch emails serve the objective of announcing something new or related to a recent timed matter.

Sending announcement emails for the public sector is for sharing important news in most cases.

Make sure you don’t miss the time of sending your relevant emails. Or you can schedule your emails using Envoke and not worry about missing deadlines and critical dates.

5. Collect opinion and feedback

It may seem obvious, but communication must be two-way. 

As a public service provider, you want to engage your intended audience, not just broadcast information at them. 

As mentioned already, public sector emails are for informing and engaging not for selling and advertising.

For that, organizations that communicate effectively can leverage the 

 weight of email marketing to collect feedback.

Make your audience feel that their opinion matters, and their input is valuable.

Requesting feedback works both ways. Your audience gets to share their thoughts, and your institution can understand what’s working and what can be improved.

To make your feedback email campaign a success, keep your email copy short and provide clear value.

6. Remind the public 

Humans tend to forget, whether it’s an item on a grocery list, a deadline, or an important event.

Unfortunately, it’s something we’re all good at.

Reminder emails for the public sector have one of the highest impacts on the public’s engagement rate.

Your institution’s reminder email is what makes your audience go, “Oh yeah, I almost forgot about this.”

Sending reminder emails helps renew the information for your audience and encourage engagement.

The perfect reminder email contain all of the information your audience need:

  • Dates
  • Location
  • Documents to prepare
  • Link to FAQ
  • Rules and regulations

Public Sector Vs. Private Sector Email Marketing

Marketing to the public sector is different from the business one.

When doing email marketing for a business, your goal is to sell more and convert more customers.

Yet, email marketing to the public sector serves the objective of:

  • Raising awareness
  • Encouraging civic engagement
  • Solving public issues
  • Facilitating access to information

Here are other aspects that make email marketing for public sector different from the private sector. 

Privacy and security come first

When running public sector email campaigns, you’re mainly managing tons of important public data.

Here privacy and security play a considerable role.

There are inherent risks when privacy is not handled appropriately, so organizations need to understand what guidelines they must abide by and what email software to use.

Envoke serves several Canadian public sector organizations and provides high security with data stored in Canada.

You don’t have to burden yourself with the complex regulations that governments provide, using the right email software for public sector email marketing can’t get loads of concerns off your chest.

Access to quality data

The data you have about your audience is the fuel of successful email campaigns.

When managing email campaigns for a public organization, you’re more likely to access quality data than when managing private business data.

The access to data helps you segment your audience and send personalized emails.

This way, you’ll send the right email, to the right person, with the right content.

Your clients are different, why treat them all the same?

Your audience can have different needs and preferences. It’s considered ‘grandma email marketing’ to send the same message to everyone.

To send valuable messages to each subscriber, you need to segment them into groups.

Suppose we’re dealing with email marketing for educational institutions. Your segments could be:

  • Prospective students
  • Students that recently applied
  • Everyone that’s currently enrolled
  • Students enrolled at a certain level
  • Students with the same field of study
  • Recently graduated students
  • Students that speak another language than English
  • Students with a specific age range (e.g., adult learners)
  • Students with similar campus life interests
  • Alumni

You can use this segmentation example and apply it to your public sector institution, whether you’re into healthcare, tax office, local government, finance, and banking.

4 Benefits of Public Sector Email Marketing – Examples Included

1. Deliver personalized messages

AWC education institution sends the following segmented email examples to recently graduated students. The copy of the email and the CTA makes it a targeted email campaign.

Personalized email example from a public sector organization used in an email campaign

2. Welcome new users

Your welcome email is the first email your contacts receive when they subscribe to your services.

The benefit of sending an automated welcome email is introducing your services and showing how you can help your community and audience.

The following financial service email example is an inspiring example of a public sector email.

Welcome email sample from a public sector institution

3. Thank your supporters

A Thank-you email is used by public sector organizations to build a healthier long-term engagement with their audience by showing gratitude.

When expressing thanks, you tend to win your audience’s trust and include them in your plans. It shows the public how much you care about their voice.

I bet the following public sector email increased the loyalty of Mike Lee’s voters’ loyalty.

Thank you email sent by a public sector organization

4. Send invitations

Quebec region uses public email marketing to send invitations to immigrants who have to participate in an online evaluation.

A clean design, short copy, and direct tone. It delivers just the right amount of information. 

Email invitation example used in a public sector e-blast

How to Set up a Public Sector Email Marketing Campaign

When you’re starting with email marketing for your public institution, you’ll have five starting tasks to accomplish.

  • Create opt-in forms for your prospective subscribers.
  • Upload your contacts email list.
  • Set up user roles for privacy and security
  • Segment subscribers into groups.
  • Send your first campaign.

I’ll go through each one in detail to help you get started and send your first public sector email campaign.

First thing, register to Envoke’s free trial to send emails for your public institution.

1. Create opt-in forms for your prospective subscribers

Create opt-in forms and embed it to your website to motivate website visitors to subscribe and receive emails from you.

By allowing your visitors to join your email list, you’re making your organization’s information accessible.

You can create and add a subscription form to your website with zero coding skills. 

Envoke provides GDPR / CASL compliant opt-in forms to help you build your public organization’s email list and stay compliant.

2. Upload your contacts email list

Collecting and sharing email addresses with your email marketing team is an essential part of email marketing for government agencies.

Once you have those email addresses and enter them into your Excel document, how do you get them into your email service provider’s to broadcast emails?

There is a simple way to import your email addresses from Excel to start sending public services email campaigns in Envoke.

3. Set up user roles for privacy and security

Do you manage a team of collaborators, or managing a remote team?

You can give them quick access to your Envoke account with their individual logins to easily manage and monitor your public sector email campaigns. 

You can add collaborators, each with a unique set of permissions to ensure your data is in safe hands.

Here is how the users’ permissions work in Envoke:

User permissions and user roles manager to help with public sector email campaigns

Some examples of user permission management:

While a junior marketer or email designer can write and create email campaigns, they’re more likely to be limited to access users’ data.

Functions like database field changes, updates, or data import- and exports are locked and only available to administrators.

In most cases, the organization’s head of communication verifies the legal and compliance side of the email; the messages can’t be sent before getting the green light after verification.

This way, you’ll have full control over your email campaigns and your team.

4. Segment subscribers into groups

Today, there are high expectations for clear and concise messaging. 

Your audiences don’t want to be bogged down with information that is irrelevant to them, and they want to engage with organizations on the platforms they frequent. 

This necessitates a comprehensive segmentation or personalization strategy, so your messages are tailored to the type of audience you’re addressing.

Through Envoke public sector email segmentation, you can apply multiple filters to your email contact to make sure you send laser-targeted email campaigns.

Contact segmentation options for email marketing for the public sector

5. Send your first campaign

Sending a public organization’s email campaign is no struggle; you can easily design a responsive email in Envoke’s drag & drop email builder.

You don’t need any IT background or coding skills to send encouraging public sector email campaigns.

Use Envoke pre-built email templates and you can drag and drop elements to design your email campaign and hit send.

Email templates for public sector email marketing


Managing successful public sector email marketing relies on secure email software, segmentation, and action-driven copy.

And by successful email campaigns, we mean emails that drive actions and the engagement of the public.

Email marketing for the public sector is not just sending the email; it’s making public information accessible everywhere and soothing the concerns of your audience.

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