Governments have a variety of channels at their disposal to help them interact with their citizens. Having realized that citizens still prefer the traditional channels, governments are now focusing on ways to lead them to the web. Previously, we have shown that citizens prefer the use of soft instruments, such as communication. Communication instruments are characterized by the transfer of information from government to citizens, for example, by means of mass media or a letter. This study focuses on how a communication instrument—in this case a personal letter—can be used to lead citizens to the digital channel. We also show the effects of the instrument both in terms of channel usage and citizen perceptions. Based on a field experiment, carried out in cooperation with a Dutch national government agency, we show that unobtrusive channel marketing can be effectively used to increase usage of government e-services, without negatively affecting citizens' current level of satisfaction with service delivery.
- Service channels
- Channel marketing