Top 3 Segments for Nonprofits

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Without effective segmentation, sometimes sending emails can feel like screaming into the void. Each week, you send messages, only to see the same engagement. In 2023, sending every email to your full audience just doesn’t cut it anymore. To maximize effectiveness, nonprofits should use segmentation to ensure the right messages reach the right people. Here are our top 3 audience segments for nonprofits, plus some more guidance on segmentation.

Why is Segmentation Important?

Effective segmentation matches your emails’ messaging to the appropriate contacts. While some emails, like a monthly educational newsletter, can be safely sent to your full audience, the same is not true for every campaign. For example, you wouldn’t want to send a 50% off coupon on an online course to contacts who already purchased it at full price. Similarly, you shouldn’t send an email about an event in Georgia tomorrow to contacts in Norway tonight. 

With appropriate segmentation, you can ensure that contacts receive the emails that most appeal to them. Your audience is more likely to engage with these emails, and will appreciate being spared from emails they never opened in the first place. Segmentation is just one element of a smarter marketing strategy.

How Do You Implement Segmentation?

A segmentation strategy should always begin with setting a goal, then gathering the appropriate data on your audience. 

Many platforms offer predictive tools to help you estimate characteristics like location, age, and gender. Other audience info (like attendance at in-person events) may be stored on another platform. Using integrations to sync audience data across platforms can help keep your segmentation process simple.

Once you gather audience data, you can begin creating segments. Every email platform has their own tools for segmentation. However, most can be used to accomplish the same results. Mailchimp users, for example, can take advantage of tags, groups, segments, and fields. To learn more about creating segments, check out our blog post on Mailchimp’s segmentation tools.

Nonprofit Segment 1: The Diehard

Nonprofits looking to maximize engagement & donations shouldn’t let their most loyal supporters go unacknowledged. In many ways, the diehard segment is made up of your dream contacts. Maybe they open every email or have donated a cumulative amount over $3,000 dollars. The specifics of the diehard segment will vary depending on your organization’s size, reach, & goals. Here are some attributes which may make a contact match the diehard segment profile:

 

  • Opening all of your past 10 emails
  • Clicking on all of your past 5 emails
  • Donating more than 10 times
  • Donating over a certain cumulative amount
  • Donating on a monthly basis for over 3 months

However you slice and dice it, the diehard segment should be composed of your biggest supporters. These are the subscribers you should contact with special updates and invitations to your most exclusive events. Reward people for their generosity, and they are even more likely to keep coming back!

Need support with automating rewards to your most loyal supporters? Contact Pure Firefly to build a journey for you, including copywriting and template design.

Nonprofit Segment 2: The Local

Similar to the diehard, the local segment is likely to have relatively high engagement. These contacts may not be the most frequent donors, but they are closely tied to your organization’s goal. Local contacts are not necessarily geographically local (though they may be), but should have a close relationship to your organization in other ways. They may fit any of the following characteristics:

  • Lives within 50 miles of the community you serve
  • Has volunteered previously with your organization
  • Has connected with you via email replies or on other platforms
  • Is personally affected by the issue your organization addresses
  • Participates in organizations similar to your own

While these contacts may not be the most engaged or donate the largest amount, they play a valuable role in moving your organization toward its goals. Because these subscribers are likely to have a connection to your organization’s aims, they may appreciate personal stories and educational emails. 

Local subscribers are also more likely to engage with calls for volunteer support and may amplify your message to others in their community. To learn about Mailchimp’s segmentation tools, including predicted location, consider setting up a training call with Pure Firefly.

Nonprofit Segment 3: The Newbie

When subscribers first join your audience, they present you with a major opportunity. These contacts are likely to be expecting emails and may be highly motivated to support your cause. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by: Use automated emails to Newbie segments to reach subscribers at key moments.

The Newbie segment should include characteristics like:

  • Just joined your audience
  • Recently attended their first event
  • Donated for the first time

Whenever a subscriber has a “first” with your organization, another opportunity for interaction opens up. Let your Newbies know how much they’re appreciated, and they may become diehard subscribers. This is what makes welcome automations such a key part of email marketing strategy!

Pure Firefly Can Help Level Up Your Segmentation

When it comes to segmentation, the possibilities are almost endless. The Diehard, the Local, and the Newbie are only 3 potential segments nonprofits should target with special messaging. Building segments tailored to your specific organization takes time and careful thought, so consider working with an email expert who can guide you through the process. 

Pure Firefly’s team of email specialists has years of experience in marketing, IT, & design. To take the first step towards more effective segmentation, book a strategy call with one of our team members, or contact us for more information.

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