Segmenting for Success: A Look at Share the Gulf’s Strategy

Email segmentation: what is it good for? Absolutely everything. From increasing your open rates to ensuring your donation asks are properly targeted, even a little bit of segmentation goes a long way.  

Change.org client Share the Gulf - a coalition of chefs, restaurateurs, restaurant associations, seafood businesses, fishermen, conservationists, local food advocates and regular consumers that want to keep the local Gulf seafood industry fair and strong - uses list segmentation as a key tactic to increase their email response rates. Here’s what you can take away from their program’s successes and apply to your own organization.

Segment by Source

When Share the Gulf is running Change.org campaigns like this one to recruit new supporters, they automatically create a group specifically for those new members. As people are added to the Change.org group in their CRM, they can begin sending a tailored welcome series right off the bat (and we all know how important a good welcome series can be, right?). Segmenting by source means that Share the Gulf can also follow-up with that group on a regular basis to close the loop on the campaign they originally signed, and continue to message Change.org users on topics that are relevant to their interests.

Focus on testing

There is nothing better than cold, hard data when it comes to making decisions about email strategy, which is why Share the Gulf places a huge emphasis on testing. For example, they compared action rates between Change.org leads and organic leads on welcome emails that contained language similar to their petition (words like ‘economy, fairness, seafood, gulf heritage’) but the organic list response rates were low. Then they changed the top of the same email to say words like 'preserving conservation program’, and ‘sustainability’ and the action rates went up. Small changes like that can make or break your conversion rates, so every email you send should be tested or include some aspect that is proven to work well for your list.

Segment by supporter type

As a coalition with a variety of supporter types, honing in on whether someone is a restaurant owner, a fisherman, or just a local supporter helps Share the Gulf target their messages appropriately. You wouldn’t ask a local supporter to host a fundraiser at their restaurant, and asking a restaurant owner to just sign a petition wouldn’t be the most strategic use of their time and resources. Knowing who is on your list and what you need from them is key to making an informed ask and avoiding blanket emails to your entire list with a single action.

Want to know more about list segmentation? Check out this recap of Associate Client Manager Erin Viray’s presentation at last summer’s Salsa FUSE Conference. How is your organization segmenting your list? We want to know - tweet us at @ChangeOrgs!