Nixle: Suggestions for Increasing the Size of Your Nixle Subscriber Base


Suggestions for increasing the size of your Nixle Subscriber Base.


The success of a mass notification system is based upon how many people see the messages being sent out. During an emergency, the main goal is being able to reach as many people as possible in a short amount of time. Below are some tips to increase your Nixle subscriber base along with success stories from agencies currently utilizing Nixle.

Harness Local Media

"We used the Nixle handout and created a more customized version for our neighborhood. We hand it out at crime prevention education programs, and actively promote this free service as part of the police department's role to the community."

Advertising your notification system through local television, radio, or newspaper is a great way to start. Consider setting up interviews for your agency representatives with the local media to help you reach a wide audience. Be sure to provide clear instructions on where and how people can register.

Get Social

"Don't wait until an emergency before sending out a notification. Rather, engage your community on a regular basis with less urgent information, including public safety tips, event reminders, and department news. Neighbors interact and communicate, which helps spread word to friends and family."

If your department is already using social media as a tool to engage the community, it will be a good platform to share that you are using an opt-in mass notification system. 

"Our subscribers regularly share our Nixle messages with email and Twitter, so at the end of each of our Nixle messages are instructions on how anyone can sign up if they are not already a subscriber. We've had so many new subscribers who've used the local Nixle registration service."

You can let your followers know exactly what they need to do to sign up. Posting these instructions regularly helps increase subscribers.

Send out a Press Release

"We have a local e-newsletter that publishes local community interest information that publishes not only the messages, but how to subscribe. It's been a great partnership!"

Issue a press release to your community about your Nixle notification system that includes information about how often you will be using it and what types of messages you're planning to send out. This will give residents a clear outline on what they can expect from this service and why it would be of value to them. Don't forget to emphasize that the service is always free for residents. Customizable press release templates can be found on the Nixle Promotional Materials page.

Install the Registration Widget on Your Website

If residents are visiting your website it is a good indicator that they are interested in hearing public safety updates from your department. Posting a Nixle registration widget, button, or link on your website is an easy way to get more residents to sign up. Those widgets can be found on the Nixle Promotional Materials page.

Get Creative with Your Marketing

"We made small magnets that are passed out at community events, meetings, placed on mailboxes, handed out by patrolmen, available in banks, and delivered to schools. We're also considering placing our Nixle twitter handle on patrol vehicles. The opt-in information is also the hold music for when you call government offices!"

Posters and flyers are not your option to encourage residents to subscribe to Nixle. Agencies have gotten creative and used vehicle accident reports, police service cards, and even billboards to encourage their residents to sign up.

Publish Relevant Content Often

"Our largest growth came by partnering with the school district, who were able to contact parents advising them of the program. We try to put out interesting stories at least two to three times a week so readers continue to believe that Nixle is relevant to them. Weather events are the biggest draw as we put road conditions and closings on Nixle."

Consistency is key when getting more residents to opt in. The types of messages you publish are just as important as how often you send them out. Regularly posting relevant news and important updates is a great way to keep your community engaged. Not using the system often enough will cause residents to either forget about the system or not see the value in subscribing.

Continue to Remind Residents to Sign Up

"We've created targeted groups (Youth, Community Events, Government) that have attracted approximately 7% of our total membership. By focusing our messages, we're able to ensure our subscribers are hearing about the things they want to hear about, and in turn will tell others who'll join those groups as well."

Getting residents to opt-in to Nixle is an ongoing process. Set aside some time each week or month to remind residents to sign up. A flyer could be sent out with utility bills, or instructions on how to sign up can be posted on social media once a week. Also make it a habit to pass out marketing materials at town hall meetings and other local community events your agency attends. And always encourage your community to share the information with their neighbors and friends.

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