How important is it to segment your nonprofit’s contact list?
Here at Wanna Pixel, we would argue that it’s one of the most important things you can do for your nonprofit’s communications.
Segmenting your contact list can help you make the most out of those incredible relationships that you’ve worked so hard to create for your nonprofit. Especially when it comes to donor management and helping your nonprofit contact the right people to partner with in order to perform the good work that you want to do.
We know segmentation takes time, a luxury that your nonprofit might not have a lot of. But would you make the time for it if we told you that segmenting your contact list can actually help you improve your nonprofit’s communications, multiply the effectiveness of your fundraising efforts, and improve your donor relations?
We think it’s more than worth the effort it takes.
Contacts Are Humans
Your contact list is made up of humans, and no one human is like another: they don’t all want to engage with your nonprofit in the same way. People are unique, and so we should treat them as such.
Some of your contacts are avid volunteers, while others prefer to donate; some want to attend events, while others would rather read about them in your monthly newsletter.
No matter what your message is, grabbing someone’s attention—or better yet, having them respond in a meaningful way—is nearly impossible with impersonal mass communication.
You’re much more likely to garner that positive response from your contacts if you reach out to them with the right message.
Segmenting Your Contacts
When you think about segmentation, think of organizing your contacts into different groups with the goal of targeting them with content that is relevant to their interests and needs.
Many nonprofits will use a CRM to help them organize and keep track of their contact records. If your nonprofit is looking to select a CRM, we highly recommend UkuuPeople or CiviCRM to help get the job done.
Start by choosing different personas that might help to group your contacts. Personas might consist of a contact’s characteristics, their interactions with your nonprofit, demographics, communication preferences, financial ability, passions, and interest in your organization. Use these personas to help group your contacts for specific email marketing.
Then use these segmented groups to tailor your email messaging to your contacts. Sending more personal communication increases the likelihood of a positive response, whether it’s volunteering for your nonprofit or partnering with a specific project or campaign through financial giving.
Segmentation allows you to send out the right message about your contacts’ involvement, setting you up for a successful ask.
Email Segmentation Case Study
Still not convinced that it’s worth your while? Let’s take a quick look at a nonprofit email segmentation case study.
The Green Bay Botanical Garden
The Green Bay Botanical Garden used segmentation to improve email communications, helping them bring in more dollars and increase engagement from their contact list.
As a nonprofit organization, the Botanical Garden “touches the lives of more than 125,000 visitors each year while connecting people with plants.”
When the Botanical Garden decided it was time to start segmenting, they had 18,859 subscribers on their email list and had been sending the same weekly email to every one of them with an email open rate of only 12 percent.
They decided to start with segmenting their list into two groups and send more targeted information to these two segments.
The first group (of 13,000) was made up of people who hadn’t opened emails for quite some time. The second group (the 5,800 remaining) was made up of people who had been fairly engaged and who had opened a weekly email update within the last five weeks.
- The first group they segmented as their monthly subscribers and decided to start sending them monthly organizational updates. These bird’s-eye view monthly reports took their email open rate for this group from 0 percent to 8.1 percent, which is a huge win considering they were hardly engaged previously.
- The second, more steady group continued to receive their weekly email updates with more specific information about the happenings of the Botanical Garden. Taking their organizational weekly emails from 12 percent to a whopping 45 percent open rate!
Although they only started with some simple segmentation techniques, they were able to re-engage contacts who had become disinterested and see more response from their regulars.
Can you imagine what would happen if they continued to narrow down their segmentation groups?
It’s Worth Your While
If you take the time to segment your contact list and use that information to better target your audience, you’ll see an increase in engagement and giving.
We want to see your nonprofit master the art of segmentation to multiply the good work that you’re doing. Connect with us to learn more about using technology to improve your nonprofit’s communication!
PS: If you want more reading on how nonprofits have used email segmentation to boost engagement, check out these articles as well as these. Or for other idea’s on how to get donations for your nonprofit, check out this article by our friends at Wild Apricot – How to Get Donations: 18 Ways the Pros Are Doing It.