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District of West Vancouver — Sending a Clear Community Message
Because West Vancouver is primarily residential, the municipality also provides extensive community services and facilities — a par-three golf course, public swimming pools, basketball and tennis courts, and a recently rebuilt community center all fall under its influence. As an indicator of community involvement with district services, the West Vancouver Memorial Library has the highest per capita circulation rate in Canada.
The district also hosts Canada Day celebrations, puts on the long-standing Bridge Festival, and celebrates music and the visual and culinary arts with its annual Harmony Festival.
“In 2014, we began a push toward centralizing communications. We were looking for a solution to unite email communications from our diverse group of business areas. Besides our traditional municipal functions, our art gallery, museum, and festivals each have their own marketing programs,” explains Donna Powers, Director, Community Relations & Communications, District of West Vancouver. “We wanted each of these areas to continue to work independently. We also needed to ensure that we had a single system in place so that the communications department had oversight into our message, branding, and editorial style.”
As if that wasn’t enough, 2014 was also the inaugural year of the Canadian anti-spam legislation (CASL). With growing subscriber lists and disparate email communications suites in use by multiple departments, compliance with the new privacy and confidential personal information regulations was not something they could put off.
“We knew that our existing systems were not compliant with British Columbian or Canadian privacy regulations,” says Powers. “But, as a government, we had a responsibility.”
“We have a new hire I wasn’t able to train personally, so I pointed her to the Envoke training videos and articles and asked her to send me a test message this week when she was comfortable with the system. With a whole support library of answers and the Envoke How To section at her disposal, she had no problem,” says Mafi. “For technical issues, there is always someone there to respond immediately. Customer support and service-wise, we are really happy.”
A strategic partnership
Since its engagement with Envoke began, the District of West Vancouver has amassed subscription lists of over 42000 contacts — each of its 11 departments maintains an independent sub-account and multiple subscription lists. The district currently sends 800,000 emails annually, and that number is growing.
Envoke has become a critical tool for the district’s communications department and a key part of an initiative to reduce waste and conserve resources when communicating with the community.
“We have grown our number of sub-accounts, subscription lists, and subscribers. My goal, year by year, is to use Envoke to decrease the number of paper letters we send,” explains Powers. “Now, when we begin a new project, we send one paper letter to the affected households. It explains the situation and informs them that, if they want updates, they need to subscribe.”
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