Key considerations for data segmentation

Data segmentation is one of the most critical elements of a successful fundraising appeal. For effective segmentation of your next appeal, here are key factors to consider.

Data segmentation is one of the most critical elements of a successful fundraising appeal.

Segmentation is the process of analysing existing data surrounding past behaviours or other specific variables of a donor and using quantitative information to communicate more effectively with an appeal recipient.

Rather than basing correspondence on assumptions, segmentation allows charities to create appeals based on what they already know about donors’ behaviours, lifestyle and actions.

While segmenting data might seem like an extra step, it truly is critical to building better charity-donor relationships.

When data is segmented based on any factor, donors are more likely to feel as though they’re hearing from someone who knows them. Rather than a recipient receiving generic mail and assuming it’s ‘junk’, effective segmentation regarding geographical location, hobbies, age range, gender or donation history encourages them to look a little bit further into the correspondence they’ve received.

Segmentation is variable

Segmentation doesn’t have to be consistent from appeal to appeal. If you’re not sure how to narrow down your database, test a few demographics until you find something that the audience responds to. The most effective way to understand how your database will respond is to test, test and test again! When you find something that works, stick with it!

A functional database is critical

Effective segmentation requires a sophisticated database that tracks past behaviour, habits and demographics. While basic or manual data storage can be effective to a degree, a sophisticated database allows for more in-depth segmentation leading to the best results.

Website integration

A database that integrates with a website can give you a more comprehensive understanding of behaviour patterns. You can identify how long someone spent on the website and the actions they took once they got there. If someone clicks through to the website from an email they’ve received but their donation was made over the phone shortly afterwards, you might be more likely to assume they’re not comfortable donating online. This will help you tailor communication based on the donation method.

Segmentation variables

The options for segmentation are limitless but here are some basic ideas to get you started:

Location: Referring to someone’s specific location in your appeal material allows you to demonstrate how the charity has helped people in the local area. Giving readers the impression their donation will help the local community will encourage support regardless of where the charity is based.

Age: Differentiating between Generation X and Baby Boomers will help you use age-appropriate language to connect with the donors.

Previous donations: Identifying the value of donations received will help you determine appropriate language according to the stewardship process when thanking for past support.

How someone donated: Highlighting the donation method means you can tailor correspondence to the recipient’s preference. If a donor always makes their gift over the phone, refer specifically to their past phone donation. If they give via the website, make sure the ‘donate now’ button is front and centre of any correspondence.

The opportunities when effectively segmenting a database are limitless. SupporterHub is a donor database system that holds comprehensive data on donors and prospects to facilitate effective segmentation.To find out about our FREE trial (no credit card required) and learn how SupporterHub can help take your charity to the next level, click

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