I’m working with a client to figure out ways they *wish* they could segment their email list in the future, so they can start collecting the data to do so now. It’s a very interesting conversation.
Like most visionary conversations, you end up with a long list of possibilities. Some are more demographic in nature (e.g. the kind or size of organization that the person on the mailing list works for) and others are related to their interests, inclinations, and levels of experience, all of which can be very helpful in making your communications to those people as relevant as possible.
But for a variety of very practical reasons, you then have to pare that list down. We are doing that by asking questions like . . .
- Is this something we can really expect people to share via a web form or survey?
- Will they really know the answer to this question if we put it in the form, or will they just be guessing?
- What’s the likelihood that this particular topic we care about now will still be important, both to the nonprofit and to the people being served, in two or three years?
- Is this piece of information just “nice to know” or would it really help target the right people on the email list with the right information?
- Could asking this question actually turn some people off or make them feel bad in some other way?
- Is this information about the person whose personal email address we have, or about the organization they work for? When does that matter?
Of course, the biggest questions of all is “Will we actually use this data in some meaningful way?”
I’m talking more about these and many other issues related to email list segmenting for nonprofits during our next webinar on April 29, 2014, Email List Segmenting: Strategies to Increase Open Rates, Motivate Action, and Build Engagement. I hope you’ll join us!