Not all donors are alike. Understanding and recognizing this helps us deliver relevant offerings and communications to our donors, and is the essence of customer segmentation. A segment is a group of people that displays similar behaviors, needs, and motivations. Data segmentation is the process of analyzing the data within your nonprofit to identify different donor/stakeholder segments to deliver relevant communication to each of those segments. To give you more perspective, think about it this way – sending out ‘Why Donate?’ communication to a frequent donor adds no value and may make that donor feel unappreciated. Data segmentation helps eliminate these errors and deliver effective communication.
In addition to being a way of delivering relevant communication, data segmentation allows for our marketing efforts to seem customized, non-spammy, and indeed achieve higher conversion rates. In fact, with today’s technological advancements, it is now possible for organizations to communicate with segments of 1.
Having established the importance and advantages of data segmentation, let’s look at how nonprofits can go about creating these segments.
Step-by-step guidance on segmenting your donors
Step 1 – Identify your donor’s behavior. How often do they give? How frequently do they give? Do they volunteer with you? What’s their demographic? Do they prefer email or snail mail?
Step 2 – Based on a donor’s behavior, create a segment that corresponds with their behavior. For instance, if they’re a recurring donor, place them into that communication group.
Step 3 – Match content to intent in order to nurture them. For example, for a segment of one-time donors, create and send content that will motivate them to become recurring donors.
Step 4 – Group all donors belonging to a particular cluster into 1 segment. Once you identify these segments, you can then start targeting relevant communication at each donor.
Step 5 – Automate and stay up to date with this process. There are several tools in the market that help you with data segmentation — use these to take the guesswork out of the process and to stay updated.
While the above-mentioned steps form the basis of your behavioral marketing, there are smaller levels at which you can create customer segments to deliver effective communication. For example:
Source of conversion – Depending on the source through which a donor lands on your website, it is possible to customize relevant information. For example, a donor landing on your website from a Google search might have far lesser information than a person landing on your website through a YouTube/Facebook video ad. So, once this donor fills out details, you can send out communication with all the information they may not have seen.
Geography – This is a simple filter that helps us understand the best time to send out communications. For example, if you have observed that your nonprofit achieves maximum open rates when you send an email during the day, this data helps you to reach out to everyone at your preferred time.
Frequency of donation – Say you have a segment of donors who are loyal to your NPO and make donations every month. With this kind of segment, you can send out new reports or follow-ups to check on their well-being if they suddenly stop giving.
Occasion – There is a good probability that your nonprofit enjoys a surge in the number of donations during certain occasions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. Identifying those donors who become the most active during these periods and replicating a lookalike audience based on their behaviors can help you run a successful festive campaign.
New donors – What kind of communication would a first-time donor expect? Having your team dive into such insights and delivering valuable communication to every first-time donor is definitely worth it. Nurturing these supporters can help turn them turn into recurring donors.
Donation amount – Donors who contribute hundreds or thousands of dollars to your organization may require a different amount of care than a donor who gives $10. While both are incredibly valuable, donors who give more will probably expect a certain level of communication and engagement from your organization.
To wrap up, good segmentation allows you to personalize your communications so that each of your supporters receives the care and information they need to continue their support. Love the idea? Here’s a parting tip – make sure your segments are easily identifiable, differentiable, understandable, and actionable. If you have all these checked, you’ve got yourself a perfect segment!