Personalise – Curating Tailored Citizen Experiences | Singapore Government Developer Portal
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Personalisation can be used to improve citizen experiences when they engage with Government services. Through personalisation, citizen’s needs can be better understood, and Government services can be curated to create tailored experiences. Currently, personalisation of Government services can be achieved through a web and email personalisation tool that was developed by GovTech’s Personalise team based on the framework shown below.

Recognise your target audience: When creating personalised experiences, Government agencies first need to understand the citizens that they wish to serve. To “Recognise” is the ability to identify both known and unknown users when they interact with an agencies’ products/services.

Remember target audience behaviour: Besides identifying target audiences, agencies need to “Remember” how users had previously engaged with their products/services, why they chose to interact with their products/services in the way that they have and what their interests and preferences are. These insights can help to understand users’ intent when they engage Government products/services.

Recommendation of relevant content: Once an understanding of the target audience has been developed, “Relevant” content and services can be recommended based on their intent when using a product/service. As past behaviour does not always predict future actions, it is important to consider contextual data and real-time user behaviour, which will clarify their intent.

Relationship development with target audiences: Through multiple interactions, Government agencies may develop a stronger “Relationship” with citizens. As the relationship deepens, the likelihood of repeat engagements increases, and citizens will expect a more seamless and personalised experience across all touchpoints. This also involves seeking citizen feedback to create more individualised experiences.

Fig 1: Framework on personalised service delivery for public sector - (Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), 2021 - adapted from Accenture’s 4R Personalisation Framework)
Fig 1: Framework on personalised service delivery for public sector - (Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), 2021 - adapted from Accenture’s 4R Personalisation Framework)

What is Personalise?

Personalisation of Government services is enabled through email and web personalisation tools offered by the Personalise team. Both tools enable Government agencies to better adapt to citizen needs and are based on the following principles.

Personalisation is useful: Any personalisation strategy has to bring real value to citizens and should ideally attain one or more of the citizen benefits shown below.

  • Help citizens to discover relevant information more easily.
  • Materialise useful information that citizens may not be aware of.
  • Reduce repeated or unnecessary entry of information.
  • Guide citizens through complex transactions.

Personalisation is relevant: Effective personalisation starts with understanding the users’ intent and provides relevant information at the right time.

Personalisation is individualised: It starts by understanding and classifying users’ based on Segments, Archetypes and the Individual.

Personalisation is a dialogue: Personalisation efforts should encompass a continuous, two-way dialogue that resembles conversations that customers would have with an in-store salesperson. This is because users do not want to be limited by what can be predicted about them, but to own and drive the experience they receive within their own terms.

Personalisation protects privacy: Agencies should only collect data required to deliver personalised experiences that users value and be transparent on what data is collected and how it is being used.They should ensure that appropriate steps are taken to prevent data breaches or mishandling.

These principles need to be upheld as personalisation can achieve its desired outcomes only when it helps citizens to feel heard, understood and valued. When done wrongly, personalisation can be viewed as intrusive and gives citizens the feeling that they are being watched. Inaccurate personalisation may even make the wrong assumptions regarding citizen needs.

Why Should Personalise be adopted?

By personalising citizen-facing websites and emails, citizens will have an improved experience with Government services, leading to quicker and more satisfying decisions and outcomes. This in turn leads to increased usage of Government products and services.

For Government agencies, personalisation leads to more effective targeting and engagement strategies which helps to achieve the desired outcomes of Government agencies. It facilitates stronger Government-citizen relationships and builds trust in the Government.

How Do You Use Personalise?

For agencies to begin their personalisation journey, they can first attend a workshop by the Personalise team before they adopt either a web or email personalisation tool.

Personalisation Workshop

This workshop is a good starting point for teams who are still learning about personalisation and need more to develop and conceptualise their personalisation strategy and goals. Through this workshop, agencies will gain a better understanding of personalisation, setting of goals based on user needs and challenges, brainstorming of ideas and the effort required to personalise services. Once an agency’s strategy and goals are established, the Personalise team will collaborate with the agency to achieve them using email and web personalisation tools.

Email Personalisation Tool

This is a web-based eDM platform that allows personalisation of email campaigns in a variety of ways such as:

  • The targeting of email campaigns to audience groups based on specific criteria, such as interests indicated in newsletter signups.
  • The ability to reach out to citizens who have both interacted with an agency’s website and read at least one newsletter article on an upcoming campaign.
  • The ability to reach out to less active citizens to inform them about a new service that is relevant to their needs.

Web Personalisation Tool

This tool helps bring relevant content to citizens through agency’s websites. The three phases to the implementation of this tool includes:

  • Learning phase – A personalise javascript will be embedded into agencies’ website to learn visitors’ behavior and build a recommendation model based on their browsing patterns.
  • Implementation phase - After the learning phase, the website interface and APIs will be drafted based on the recommendation model provided. For example, a carousel hero banner on an agency’s landing page with personalised contents can be created based on what the embedded scripts provide.
  • Optimisation phase – The personalise system will help to track and monitor key metrics to ensure that web content is consistently optimised for visitors and that recommendations are regularly provided.

Success Stories

Email Personalisation

The Ministry of Education (MOE) SchoolBag team uses Personalise’s email persoanlisation tool to send out a monthly personalised newsletter to their subscribers to increase their site engagements. Here is how they do it:

The SchoolBag team uploads a new set of subscribers onto the email personalisation tool’s “Audience” module every month. This module ensures that existing records are updated and duplicates are removed.

The SchoolBag team will then create a new newsletter through the “Campaign” module simply by uploading email assets and choosing the right subscriber list. On top of that, the team can also create user segments and customer journeys through rules within the “Workflow” interface. This is so that each group of users can receive customised follow-up emailers based on their actions and attributes.

When a campaign is launched, the performance of the campaign will be tracked and any unsubscribes or bounces will be managed accordingly.

Fig 2 Email personalisation workflow
Fig 2 Email personalisation workflow

Web Personalisation

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) MyNiceHome team uses the web personalisation tool to show relevant HDB web articles to citizens based on their personas when they visit the MyNiceHome website. By analysing citizens’ browsing history, the machine learning (ML) model generates the top content that are likely to be consumed by the visitors and tracks the performance of the recommendation through their click-through rates.

The MyNiceHome team achieves web personalisation simply by integrating it with the Whole-of-Government Application Analytics (WOGAA) platform and annotating additional information on their website. The web personalisation tool will then automatically build a custom personalisation model to serve relevant content.

Fig 3: Web personalisation use case (HDB’s MyNiceHome website)
Fig 3: Web personalisation use case (HDB’s MyNiceHome website)

What’s Next?

The Personalise team aims to roll out both email and web personalisation tools to most government digital services over a one-year period. The team is also exploring cross-government collaborations to create a seamless citizen journey regardless of which touchpoints citizens land on.

Contact Us

Reach out to the product team with your queries or feedback through this form.

Last updated 17 November 2022

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