Responsys to Develop E-Mail Platform for Government Site

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Netgov.com, an Internet services firm for state and local governments, this week said it hired Responsys.com, Palo Alto, CA, to develop an e-mail communications platform that would enable municipalities to establish e-mail relationships with their constituents.


Netgov's GovDirect service would allow government agencies and/or departments to build a permission-based e-mail database and tailor its communications to the interests of those database-members. In particular, the municipalities can use the e-mail service to inform residents of events and programs occurring in the community.


"Citizens are using the Internet to conduct everyday business and to find useful information," said Stephen Goldsmith, executive chairman of Netgov, Chicago. "They now expect to use the Internet to interact with government too."


Des Moines, IA, is expected to be the first charter city to implement the Responsys-fueled GovDirect service. With GovDirect, the Des Moines municipal government will be able to communicate directly with residents via e-mail and modify information based on criteria selected by each person, Goldsmith explained.


If, for instance, a resident gives his or her e-mail address and indicates an interest in a particular neighborhood, Des Moines officials could send e-mails that alert the resident when neighborhood council meetings are taking place or an e-mail containing the minutes from a community board meeting.


Netgov said it plans to roll out GovDirect to additional cities in November 2000. The organization said it views electronic government as an emerging market for Internet technology. According to a recent study by the research firm, Gartner Group, more than 60 percent of the country's local, state and federal agencies said they would allow some kind of Internet transactions by 2003.


Responsys.com, an e-mail marketing services firm, is providing Netgov with the platforms for collecting e-mail names, distributing the e-mails and analyzing the response rates.

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