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6 considerations to ensure segmentation success

How do you get the most out of data segmentation?

As a charity fundraiser you're constantly looking for ways to raise more income to support your charity's mission in the most cost effective way possible. Segmenting your data will help you communicate with supporters at the right time, in the right way, with the right approach to ensure your data works hard for you and your supporters feel valued. 

There's no hard and fast rule to success in data segmentation, in fact we suggest you test strategies to find the best solution for your unique supporter base, but we do think where are some considerations you can employ to get the best out of any data strategy approach.

6 considerations to ensure segmentation success

1. Understand the different ways to segment

Segmentation can take many forms, from basic recency-frequency-value (RFV) models to more sophisticated demographic or attitudinal segmentations. You can also leverage off-the-shelf segmentation tools like Acorn or Mosaic to gain insights into the broader population landscape. The key is to select segmentation criteria that align with fundraising objectives and supporter characteristics.

2. Start simple and scale strategically

While there are countless ways to segment data, charities often begin with RFV models due to their simplicity and effectiveness in targeting communications. These models segment donors based on recency of engagement, frequency of giving, and the monetary value of donations. However, as charities grow and gather more data, they can gradually refine and expand their segmentation criteria to incorporate additional dimensions such as demographics or motivations for giving.

3. use data analytics

According to Jon Kelly, Managing Director of data agency Sequoia Insights, effective segmentation should meet five essential criteria

  1. Measurability
  2. Accessibility
  3. Substantiality
  4. Differentiability
  5. Actionability

These criteria ensure that segments are meaningful, actionable, and capable of driving targeting donor engagement and revenue growth. 

It's crucial to strike a balance between granularity and practicality, aiming for a manageable number of segments that still provide actionable insights.

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4. Harness technology

In addition to traditional segmentation approaches, you can leverage predictive modelling and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance targeting precision and effectiveness. Predictive models analyse historical donor data to identify patterns and predict future behaviour, enabling you to tailor your fundraising strategies to individual donor preferences and characteristics. It might seem like a lot, but working with a partner like Sequoia means they can make this work for you.

5. Segment by product and by channel

Effective segmentation considers both the product or campaign being promoted and the communication channel through which it will be delivered. Segmenting donors by product will allow you to tailor messaging and appeals to specific fundraising initiatives, maximising relevance and therefore response rates. Similarly, segmenting across channels ensures a cohesive and integrated supporter experience with a consistent and relevant communication delivered across their preferred communication channel - whatever that is.

6. Implement a whole charity approach

To get segmentation really working, you need to involve stakeholders across your organisation. By showing them how segmentation can support not only your work, but theirs as well, you’ll be on the road to buy-in and adoption of your segmentation strategies. In fact, segmentation is one of the ways charities can work towards breaking down internal siloes and achieving a more supporter-led approach to their communications.

In conclusion, by considering these factors, you will be well on your way to achieving an effective data segmentation strategy which enhances your fundraising efforts and delivers more long-term income to help you meet your charity mission.

But we do understand that getting started can feel daunting whether you’re just starting out or whether you’re an established national charity. That’s where working with a specialist data agency can really add value.

Finding your data strategy partner

Charity partners of Woods Valldata benefit from the expertise and advice of our data strategy team to support data-based decisions and strategic direction. But we appreciate this might not be right for everyone.

Our sister company, Sequoia Insights, provides impartial data-informed engagement strategies for charities and membership organisations to step up the value they get from their data. Building a deeper understanding of supporters or members and creating a self-sustaining data powered engagement strategy. They’re great to work with and will help you through, step-by-step. Why not reach out to them today?

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