During the G-Cloud 8 application and award process, the Digital Marketplace team used GOV.UK Notify to communicate with suppliers.
GOV.UK Notify,built by the Government Digital Service, allows service teams across government to send text messages, emails or letters to their users.
Often people worry about whether government departments have received their form or application for something. Having them get in touch to check wastes time for them and provides an extra cost to government. GOV.UK Notify is designed to keep users updated with the progress of an application.
Keeping our users informed
Good communication with our users is very important. Suppliers apply to supply their services to government and be on a 'framework' through the Digital Marketplace. Once all the suppliers have been evaluated and received the result of their application, the successful services are made live on the Digital Marketplace. Between these 2 dates, we need to communicate regularly with suppliers.
We need to tell them about key dates and times as well as update them on new information that may have an impact on their application. It’s important that they receive it at the right time: to many of our users, it’s business-critical information.
Why templates are useful
Some of these messages are standard to all framework application processes but other messages are very framework specific. We have to send all of these messages to a large number of recipients.
Using GOV.UK Notify made sense. One of our aims at Digital Marketplace is to enable end-to-end buying that’s as frictionless for users as possible. GOV.UK Notify makes it easier for the Digital Marketplace team to send information to suppliers about a specific application process, as well as for suppliers to keep track of their application status.
GOV.UK Notify allows us to create templates for the recurring emails we send out when we host the applications for a framework on the Digital Marketplace. Having reusable templates saves us lots of time. The main information in the emails is the same regardless of whether suppliers are applying to supply services through G-Cloud or Digital Outcomes and Specialists. We just need to pass in the framework name and the important dates in the application timeline.
At the moment, we use the upload CSV option to tell GOV.UK Notify who to send our emails to. In future, we will be integrating the GOV.UK Notify API to send the emails automatically at key points in the application process.
Previously we were using using an online email service but this is more suited to marketing emails. So far we’ve found that using GOV.UK Notify makes things easier and quicker. It helps us keep our email lists clean and streamlines the process.
The Digital Marketplace team is only using GOV.UK Notify to send emails at the moment because we don’t communicate by text or by letter.
The Digital Marketplace was the first service to use GOV.UK Notify emails. It’s exactly the kind of service that helps us toward our vision: to make it easy to add new, well-designed frameworks to the Digital Marketplace and offer a high quality end to end journey for buyers and suppliers. Our aim is to build things in a way that they can be iterated and reused easily. Our senior developer, Kev, recently blogged about this in a post about the Digital Marketplace’s progress towards becoming a platform.
If you have any questions about the Digital Marketplace, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org