Ep 138 | 5 Ways to Segment your List for Better Messaging

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In this episode, I talk about the five segments you can set up in your business. I share some insights o why I love email marketing, where your email becomes the most magical, how to organize your list, and the five areas you can segment within your email list. Tune in to learn more about how to segment your list to send the right messages at the right time and get them more engaged in what you are doing.

What You'll Learn:

→ why organizing your list is important.
→ why email marketing makes an impact on your organzation.
→ the five segments to consider.

Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:

[01:50] Why Sami loves email marketing. People that give you their email address are interested in what you have to say. They are warm and ready to dive deeper with you.
[03:26] How to organize your list. Not everyone needs to get all the messages. By organizing your list you can get the most important information to the right people at the right time.
[03:51] Segment #1 – Your donors 
[05:06] Segment #2 – Your volunteers
[05:33] Segment #3 – Your board members
[06:20] Segment #4 – Your event attendees
[07:14] Segment #5 – Those that you serve

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Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern]  Hey there, welcome to another episode of The Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast. I'm Sami Bedell Mulhern, your host, and today we're diving into the email. And more specifically talking about how to segment your list. So you can send the right messages to the right people at the right time, and get them more engaged in what you're doing and taking action on the things that you need them to take action on. I love email marketing more than any other marketing activity that you can do. So I'm really excited to dive into these five segments that you can set up in your business. And don't worry, if you're sitting here thinking, I don't know what a segment is, I have no idea how to do that with my list I got you covered. We're going to do a quick breakdown on segments and tags, and how to set those up, and then dive into five strategies you can use with five different areas of your organization. 

Okay. Before we jump into that, I would love to tell you that this episode is brought to you by our patrons. If you want to become a patron for as little as $5 a month, head on over to thefirsclick.net/Patreon. I hope you'll check it out. We have worksheets that are going to detail everything that we're talking about in today's episode, as well as every other episode that we come out with. So you can take action on the things that make the most sense for growth in your organization and keep things moving forward. So again, thefirstclick.net/Patreon. I can't wait to see you there. Let's get into the episode. 

[INTRO] You're listening to The Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So I love email marketing for so many reasons. But the biggest one is just if somebody has already given you their email address, they're probably interested in what it is that you do. So they're going to want to hear from you. And they're going to want more information from you. And when we send emails to people we are top of mind for when they're ready to make that donor decision or to take you up on the services that you provide or to become a sponsor, right. So that's why email is so great. But we don't want to be sending emails out to just everybody. You can broadcast out a newsletter, or you know, something that goes out monthly or every week, whatever to your entire list. But where your email becomes the most magical is when you can segment it or send specific messages to specific groups of people. 

Now, this sounds complicated, but in pretty much every CRM that's out there, or email marketing software that you use, they make it really easy, segmenting tags, all of those things are terms that you'll hear in a lot of your favorite email marketing platforms. But what I love to do is create tags for things that are hyper-specific. And we'll get into more detail in each of the categories as we go. And then segments for things that might be a little bit broader. So for example, you might have an event segment that everybody gets all of the announcements for all of your events, but then you might have a specific tag like January 2020, to run-walk. And then you can just send specific information about that event to those people that have registered. 

So that's a good way to think about how you organize your list. And don't get overwhelmed if you haven't been doing this. It's okay, just get started with what you have. And it's important to just get started. Okay, so let's talk about five different areas that I love segmenting in creating tags for within your email list. Number one, obviously, is going to be your donors. So yes, you might want to have a bigger group that is all of your donors. But you might want to have tags that are very different. So you might have tags for your monthly donors, you might have tags for your bigger gifts for your grant. Contacts. For those that are business sponsors. There are lots of different individual tags that you might have so that you can email all of your donors, maybe with your annual report or big milestones that your organization hits. But then you can send specific messages to those folks that are in those different categories, right, like your monthly donors that are giving every month might get a special newsletter. 

That same newsletter probably doesn't need to go to your corporate sponsors, but your corporate sponsors might need to know different information about ongoing bigger things, what are the events that are happening, things like that, right? So it keeps it easy to keep your list organized so that you can send those messages and you don't have to go into your email and individually cut and paste. We don't want to be doing that anymore. Okay. So your donors are number one, making sure that you have a big donor segment. And then how can you tag them individually for the different categories that are most specific to them. 

The second category is your volunteers. Now, your volunteers might also be in a big segment. And then you might have smaller tags that are ongoing volunteers, you might have event volunteers, you might have, you know, office volunteers versus out in the field volunteers, research volunteers, whatever it might be, whatever makes sense for your nonprofit organization, making sure that you have them all organized, as well. 

 Third, big segment is your board members. And again, you might have a big segment, that's all of your board members of all time. So it could be retired board members, or, you know, potential board members that you want to hit, I don't know, just depends on what makes sense. And then you definitely want to have tags inside your lists that are current board members that are retired board members that are, you know, kind of your Oh, no, I'm losing the word. Anyway, you know, the board members that are just around not just but that are around all the time, that doesn't really stay on the board aren't necessarily active honorary, honorary board members, you might have them in there as well.  

The fourth one is your event attendees. And again, sticking with our theme, you might have a big as I mentioned earlier, a big segment of all people that have attended events. And then you absolutely want to have them tagged for the individual event that they attended so that you can send them important information. And when that event comes around, if it's an annual event, you can resend them the information and say, Hey you attended our run walk in January last year, we're gearing up for registration, we'd love to have you a part of it this year, makes it super easy for you to remember and get in touch with those folks that are already interested in the thing that you have. While you also might send some messages to everybody who's attended your events, just to see if they want to participate in this one. 

And the last grouping that you're going to want to have in your email, and there might be more for your business. But the last one that I want to talk about in this episode, is those that you serve. So this could be the humans that adopted your Furbabies. This could be parents of the kiddos that are in your after-school program. This could be locations that you need to stay in touch with, if you're doing research, whatever it is, it could be patrons of your museum or ticket holders of your performances. But those are the people that you serve that you're going to be sending separate messages to surrounding the new programs and new services and things that are happening that they might want to take advantage of. Okay, so let me go through this really quickly. 

There are five categories that I talked about today. The first one is donors. The second one is volunteers. The third one is your board members. Fourth are any events that you run and the attendees, and the last one is those that you serve. Now, you will probably have people on your email list that check multiple boxes. So they might check multiple events, or they might have been a volunteer, they might be a volunteer and a participant at the event. And that is okay. The beauty of this is that when you send these messages to these particular tags, or source hyper groupings of people, they're getting something that you know, they care about. 

And in your general emails that you're sending or broadcasting to your entire list. Yes, you can talk about some of these things. And you might engage people in some of those other activities. But you're really going to be able to target and send the right messages to the right people at the right time to increase those conversions, increase donations, increase ticket sales, increase sponsorships, all other things because they're only getting the messages from you that you know, that they care about. One other bonus tip, before I let you go is it's always great, once a year to send an email out to your entire list with a survey and ask some simple questions. What would you like to hear from us? What things are you interested in? What maybe have you not done with us before that you would like to learn more about so that you can also then encourage people to be added to some of those groupings that maybe they haven't been yet because they haven't participated in events. So they're not getting the event stuff, but they care about it, or they haven't donated yet, but they're interested in learning more. 

So those surveys are great to get that information and have conversations and get people into your list in the places that they need to hear the most about. Okay, so take a Look at your email list, get it segmented, get those tags created. And if you're just starting from now that's totally fine. Do not feel the pressure to go all the way back through the history of your organization and tag people and get things going. If you have a volunteer that can help you with that, fantastic, but really let's just get started with getting our list segmented. And then from there, you can set your strategy for how you're going to communicate and how you're going to email those folks on your list. I hope that you enjoyed this episode. Don't forget that these are now available on video on YouTube as well. Thefirstclick.net/YouTube I would love for you to subscribe over there. But subscribe wherever you listen so you don't miss out on a single episode and I will see you in the next one.

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