Information technology allows national and local governments to satisfy the needs of citizens in a cost effective way. Unfortunately, citizens still tend to prefer traditional, more costly channels, such as the front desk, phone and mail. Through pilot projects government agencies attempt to influence this behavior of citizens, directing them towards the online channel. With this paper we provide insight into the possibility to influence citizens’ behavior in the complex landscape of multi-channel service provision. The paper systematically compares five pilot projects using a framework that is based on organizational and marketing literature. The results show that socio-psychological factors are crucial in multi-channel management, much more than the technology itself. We conclude that citizens can be directed towards the online channel. However, not all projects are successful. Economic and legal instruments tend to sort more direct effects than communication or service instruments. Moreover, organizational factors such as bureaucracy often hinder eventual success. Choosing a smart and relatively small scope and strong project manager may help to evoke success in directing citizen online behavior.