Using Digital Marketing to Increase Participation in the Child Support Program
The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) sponsored the multi-year Digital Marketing demonstration grant project with 12 state and 2 tribal child support agencies. The project encouraged exploration of marketing strategies to help reverse declining child support enrollment rates and the use of two-way communications with existing child support clients.
The Center for Policy Research evaluated digital marketing projects for three child support agencies participating in the Digital Marketing project: Colorado Division of Child Support Services, Washington Division of Child Support, and the Wisconsin Lac Courte Oreilles Child Support Program. In Colorado and Washington, CPR partnered with Spearca Communications to combine evaluation and marketing services.
As a demonstration project, grantees experimented with various digital marketing platforms and tools to inform future marketing efforts, and build knowledge of digital marketing’s benefit for the child support program. Grantees created evaluation reports, communication plans, and technical assistance tools to serve as resources for other child support agencies. Presented here are resources developed by CPR’s digital marketing clients.
Colorado Child Support Services
Colorado’s digital marketing grant launched with an overhaul of its dated website, introducing a new family friendly look and feel, with enhanced navigation and simplified content. The state’s second intervention used Facebook sponsored ads directed to women aged 30-45 in six Colorado counties to encourage enrollment. The third intervention was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and DCSS used the time to launch an online child support application, a component necessary to take full advantage of digital marketing. This intervention leveraged the online application with remarketing and paid search ads directed to individuals who visited the DCSS website or searched for child support information.
Washington Division of Child Support
DCS’ three digital marketing interventions included Facebook advertising, email marketing through the school communication platform Peachjar, and streaming iHeartRadio advertisements. Advertisements were directed to women aged 30-45 in eight Washington counties. Throughout the project, updates were made to the DCS Enroll for Child Support Services webpage to improve navigation and provide additional application-related resources. Each intervention tested two or more advertisements or targeting strategy against one another while sharing information on DCS services and encouraging enrollment.
Lac Courte Oreilles Child Support Services
The development of an attractive, accessible, and comprehensive website was the first priority for the tribe’s digital marketing project, along with the launch of a client information portal. Child Support Services experimented with Facebook advertising and a platform unique among the digital marketing projects – gas pump advertising. LCO focused its messaging on encouraging existing clients to enroll in the information portal and to share information about services available.