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21 August 2017

"Dear customer" - Personalisation & segmentation in marketing

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What is segmentation and personalisation?

Segmentation essentially means taking a broad range of people (your members and/or potential members in this case) and dividing them into groups based on common characteristics. Once divided into various groups, marketing efforts can be targeted better and more intelligently than every member seeing the same thing.

Personalisation implies tailoring content to your recipient. The simplest form of personalisation would be to change your opening line of an email from “hello there” to “hello Andrew.” You could also go more in depth and personalise your website and the experience they get whilst browsing.

Member segmentationWhether your goal as a membership organisation is to get members to attend events, inform your membership of current affairs or retain your current members, segmentation and personalisation can improve your marketing efforts.

Knowing your membership

It’s likely you already have a record of your members (and possibly potential members too). If not, there is no time like the present to start building that list! Even if you do have your membership’s details in an Excel spreadsheet or maybe a database, CRMs (like our own RiverCRM) can give you a great deal of flexibility and power when it comes to segmentation and personalisation, taking the effort out of some of your marketing activities. So, how do you use that list effectively? Let's look at some examples.

Examples of using segmentation, please!

Here are some ideas of how you could segment your audience and also how to use that segment:

  • Segment #1: Members who have been to an event
    Why not offer a discount for upcoming events to previous event attendees? For events that naturally follow from the one they attended.
  • Segment #2: Members with certain career types
    Consider sending an email with events relevant to that career path. Or products from your shop if they are applicable.
  • Segment #3: Potential members that are students
    Inform students that they can apply for student membership, whilst telling them the benefits of doing so.
  • Segment #4: Membership status ending soon
    Offer a loyalty bonus for renewing in advance.

Obviously these are just a few cases where segmentation can help your marketing efforts. It’s up to you to get creative with segmenting and using those segments to best effect.

Which channels suit segmentation and personalisation?

PersonalisationThe main channels that benefit from segmentation are the ones that you actively use to contact your membership. That isn’t to say segments don’t work for other channels, but the following tend to be more suitable:

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Remarketing (in pay-per-click terms)
  • Social
  • Your website

Is there more to it?

As well as better targeting, you may find that you spend budget more effectively by only directing marketing activities towards those who might be responsive.

You might also learn more about your audience in more depth by sending similar content to two different groups and finding out which one is more receptive to your marketing.

So however you approach segmentation and personalisation, rest assured it will change how you do marketing and hopefully improve results whilst you learn a thing or two about your audience. And if you wish to chat to us about marketing to your membership or developing your membership website/CRM then simply get in touch.

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