A segment is portion or a section of a whole. The verb segment means to separate. If you want to cut the clutter with your communications, you will reach more members if you get more selective.
When we conduct formal reviews of association materials we ask one question before we begin. We always ask the AE, or the ED and Communications Specialist, “Who is your audience?” Without fail, the answer is “everyone.” Not coincidentally, we uncover communications that contain words and clutter and non-specific features about all the things they are trying to sell.
“When you try to reach everyone you’ll end up with messages that are diluted and generic.” – Melynn
I never met an association who is the low-cost leader in their industry. In other words, association membership is a “sell” for most of you. You either need to convince people to join or you need to influence them to belong (to get involved, or just once to attend an event, or to contribute to political action).
Segmenting helps you compose communications that are clear and specific. And segmenting has other benefits:
- If you market to everyone, you’ll waste time & resources marketing to people who aren’t interested or who don’t need what you offer.
- Segmenting helps you define the people you serve.
The next time you sit down to plan an event or begin to write about a program, brainstorm all the possible member groups that might be interested. Determine the specific type of member you most want to reach. Be thoughtful about thinking how the member will benefit from your activity. Then begin your communication with those results in mind.
Most of an association’s competition is not another association; it is too much cluttered, trivial and generic communications. Don’t make your member figure out “what’s in it for me.” Try segmenting your membership and crafting relevant communications to overcome a very real problem – overload.