Make Your Message Count With Segmentation

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Audience segmentation is a common strategy for businesses working to sell products and services, but it can also be useful to nonprofits looking to engage their audience. Segmentation means taking your whole community of potential donors and participants and breaking it up into smaller groups, or segments. This allows you to tailor your marketing and communications strategy for each group so you don’t waste time and money sending them messages that aren’t likely to appeal. For twenty-somethings, a digital campaign might be a better strategy, while sending direct mailers might be better for older segments that don’t use as much technology.

For example, the types of events that excite your youngest donors will probably be different than the ones that appeal to your oldest ones. Likewise, you may wish to use different media for your different segments, as email, direct mail, newsletters and radio spots all vary in popularity among different segments. You could also consider changing your brand’s voice when writing for different segments to speak to each group in their preferred mode.

Audience SegmentationGet Personal: Create Different Messaging Based on Segmentation

Not all segmentation is based on age or generation, though that is one important way to consider dividing up your audience to better target your message. You might also find it useful to develop different marketing materials used on other categories. It’s common to segment audiences based on the following:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Areas of interest
  • Gender
  • Education level
  • Religion
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Income
  • Engagement preferences (email, website use, etc.)
  • Giving history

You don’t have to use every demographic differentiator possible — in fact, usually only a few will make sense for your particular nonprofit’s purposes.

To get started, think about your audience in terms of each differentiator listed above and ask yourself if there’s a notable difference in giving or engagement in your audience when segmented along those lines. Could you be doing more to tailor your message to a particular group to get better results?

Next, think about the fundraising communications you plan to send. These could be letters, emails, flyers, text messages, etc. Consider what you could do to each one to make it more personalized and targeted to the particular segments you want to reach.

For example, it makes sense to craft a general email asking for help on your next fundraising campaign with all the information that everyone needs. Save this generic request as a template and make changes based on specific audience needs. For your most reliable donors, change the introduction to include a big thank you for their past support and to detail what your organization did with the funds from your most recent campaign. For infrequent or brand new donors, your introduction would do better to focus on explaining your mission and role in the community instead.

Learn What Messaging Inspires Your Donors

Thanks to powerful software that can sort and track your donors by dozens of demographic parameters, it’s easier than ever to track your audience and segment them at the push of a button. Set up filters to pull up a segment of your donors by demographic information or group your volunteers by interests they’ve expressed in a survey. You can also track prospects as they turn from strangers into reliable givers to your cause. DonorPerfect even allows you to analyze the results of your latest campaign so you can use that information to help you plan your next initiative. Data is power, so use it to guide your next steps as you tailor your message for every niche in your audience.

Learn more about personalizing your donor engagement strategy with DonorPerfect Fundraising Growth Platform.

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