How Email Segmentation Can Help Nonprofits Increase Donations

If I ask “have you taken the time to segment your nonprofit’s contact list?” does your stress level go up a little? We know that segmentation takes time and effort, luxuries your nonprofit might not have. But what if I told you that segmenting your contact list can actually help improve your nonprofit’s communications and multiply your efforts to help you raise more money for the good work that you do?

Here at UkuuPeople we love nonprofits, and we want to help you better organize and engage your contact list.

Contacts are humans, and no one human is like another—they don’t all want to engage with your organization 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.

When segmenting your list, start by thinking about your contact’s “personas.” At UkuuPeople we like to call them “Tribes.” Tribes can consist of a contact’s characteristics, likes and dislikes, passions, demographics, communication preferences, financial ability, or affiliation with your organization. Use Tribes to help group your contacts for specific email marketing. For characteristics that you want to track but don’t necessarily want to market to, try Tags. Then keep track of detailed information in your notes about each contact.

A basic example of the difference in using Tribes vs. Tags with UkuuPeople is: Does your nonprofit track whether its contacts are Donors, Volunteers, Grantors, etc.? These would be Tribes, that you would target with tailored communication or asks. To track information on each volunteer’s preferred role at an event—for example, Set Up, Clean Up, Presenter—you would use Tags. Tags allows for more basic sorting and filtering.

This information will come in handy when approaching your contacts about their involvement and set yourself up for a successful ask. When you tailor your messaging, making it more personal, you increase the likelihood of a positive response, both in a contact’s involvement or through financial giving.

Still not convinced that it’s worth your while? Here are a few case studies about how different companies have used segmentation to improve email (and mail) communication, helping them bring in more dollars and increase engagement:

Clothing retailer Johnny Cupcake’s email list was at 80,000 subscribers, but they had no specific information on any one contact. With the help of vendor software, they were able to gather information about their subscribers to segment their email lists by gender, customer interests, media habits, and brand preferences. They began to segment and target their email campaigns based on consumers’ interests and gender.

The result:

  • 42% increase in email clickthrough rate.
  • 123% increase in conversion rate.
  • 141% increase in revenue per campaign.

Case study taken from 10 case studies that show the power of email segmentation.

Pet retailer Doggyloot personalized emails to its contacts based on the type of dog that its customers own. It offered existing contacts incentives to share the size of their dog and birthday to help them better segment their contact list. Customers now receive personalized emails featuring items that match their dog’s features, as well as special doggie birthday promotions.

The result:

  • Email open rate increased by 10.2%.
  • Click-through rate is 410% higher than average.
  • Targeted email campaigns now contribute up to 13% of daily total revenue.

Case study taken from Email Personalization: 750% higher CTR and more revenue for e-commerce site.

Even back in 1997, before e-blasts and online campaigns were a thing, Barbara O’Reilly worked for the Harvard Law School’s annual fund to “analyze giving trends of past alumni gifts and created 7 to 10 groups with tailored ask amounts.” Such a targeted approach made a huge difference in the way alumni responded to these mailings.

The result:

  • A 60% increase in direct-mail revenue that year.

Case study taken from Donor Segmentation 101.

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 from your audience.

We created UkuuPeople with humans in mind. We’re a simple CRM that helps you organize your contact communications. We integrate with some of your most-loved tools (like mailChimp, Give, Google Calendar, Gravity Forms) to help you better keep track of all your contacts and segment your lists, positioning your organization for success.

We want to see your nonprofit master the art of segmentation to multiply the good work that you’re up to. And we’re doing everything in our power to help you along the way.

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