7 behavioral insights tips from pioneering cities in the field

1. There’s value in testing and learning

New Orleans experimented with different text-message language to encourage residents to take advantage of free health screenings. The message in the middle yielded the best results.

2. There’s no such thing as failure

3. Look for low-hanging fruit

Collections of back taxes owed in Syracuse jumped when the city experimented with putting an eye-catching handwritten message on the envelope.

4. Leadership support is essential

5. Someone needs to own responsibility for using behavioral insights

6. You don’t need a Ph.D. in statistics — but you do need expertise

7. Engage your information technology and legal departments

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