5 Ways to Help You Segment Your Communications

Why Segmentation is Important

The whole idea of market segmentation is to attract the right customer (or donor) using the right methods. When you send out that annual appeal, you’re targeting a large number of individuals who have different reasons for supporting you. You can’t use the same message and same images for all of them. They want to see a buy-in that fits their expectations and reasons for supporting you.

Case Example: No Kid Hungry

NoKidHungry
No Kid Hungry uses statistics to identify the problems.

For example, it might be helpful to target new donors using the statistics on the number of people you’re serving, and how that looks in their community. This first No Kid Hungry ad campaign is targeting people who need to be aware of the problem in their community, so that they have a reason to support it. Using statistics and ‘sad children’ pictures works well for this initial buy-in grab.

When targeting existing donors, however, you have a bigger challenge. They’ve heard your pleas. They know that children are hungry. They know that $1 will buy 10 meals at the local food bank. Why should they keep donating to an organization that isn’t solving the problem? That’s where segmentation comes in.

This second photo is one of many visual and text-based stories that show how donated funds were directly used to improve the lives of children and communities across the US. It’s important that they focus on a broad range of topics, and use a broad range of mediums to disseminate this information. It’s attractive to a wider audience.

No Kid Hungry Impact
This photos shows a direct impact that No Kid Hungry has had on a community.

No Kid Hungry’s entire website is built so that it tells the right story for the right supporter. It’s separated into 5 categories- The Problem, The Solution, Our Impact, Take Action, Give. I use this organization as an example because their marketing campaign is effective and easily recognizable. They even have a privacy disclaimer on their site that tells you how they track your personal information when browsing the site- talk about keeping up with the times!

There are plenty of other organizations who do a great job at this, as well. Even small organizations can use these methods to increase visibility and have a stronger call to action.

5 Ways to Make it Easier

There is a lot of software that will make your segmentation process simpler. Here are a few that are commonly used in the nonprofit world (in no particular order):

MailChimp

MailChimp allows you to segment your campaign lists so that you can easily send the right communications to the right people. You can even do this with the free version.

SPSS

SPSS is a common evaluation software that lets you put your data collection to work for you. It even helps you segment that data to look for common threads and characteristics. While not directly a communication’s based tool- the information should be used to inform your marketing.

Salesforce

Salesforce lets you run all kinds of reports on your donor, consumer, volunteer, or whatever person-type you track. You can use this information to create segmented lists to target the right people. You can run a report with the correct parameters, export those addresses/phone numbers/emails into your mailer of choice-and bam. You’ve got a campaign. Here is one method of doing this (Warning: non-Salesforce site)

Raiser’s Edge

Raiser’s Edge is well known for its use in donor management in the nonprofit world. It can also include targeted marketing analysis to help you identify donors who might give more with the right kind of messaging. Bonuses include integrated direct mail, email, and social media resources.

GiftWorks

Giftworks is another popular donor management platform that includes targeted analysis, segmentation, data importing from other platforms, and communications tools. It can be a little pricey, starting at $90 a month.

Next Steps

You’re probably wondering what is this segmentation thing and how do I even start using it? That’s a whole other topic that has been talked about by people much smarter than myself. Here is some good reading material:

The Accidental Fundraiser – Roth & Ho

The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause – Kivi Leroux Miller

Published by

Rachel Lendzion

Rachel Lendzion obtained her MSW from the University of Michigan where she studied Community Organizing and Nonprofit Management. She is strongly interested in the intersection of technology and social change. Her background includes work with transitional aged youth and persons without stable living conditions. She hopes to forward her career through nonprofit development and marketing. You can learn more on her website: www.RachelLendzion.com For regular posts on the use of technology and social work, follow her on Twitter. View all posts by Rachel Lendzion

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