Friday, 6 June 2014

Get the message right (part 1) - Segmentation

“How often should we be communicating with members” is a question we often get asked. Of course, the answer is “it depends”. How often do they visit, how much news (content) do you have, and how do you communicate inside and outside the club. All these factors are key, but how you segment your members for communications is the most important of all. 

Segmentation can cover so many different areas; age, gender, goals, experience, membership type or club site. In terms of communication types and messages we sometimes consider membership (groups), but otherwise, communication will be based on visits or what part of the journey the member is on.

Do we communicate? (who segments):

  • new (first n weeks), and have they made more or less than x visits
  • active (visiting regularly)
  • recently absent (last visited y to z days ago)
  • long absent (last visited more than z days ago)
  • membership (DD, PAYG, Annual, etc)

What do we send (content segments) 

  • goals
  • age
  • gender
  • club/site
  • experience

How do we send? (channel segments, e.g. email, SMS, post)

  • each member’s preferred channel?
  • member opt-in methods
  • what did we send last to that member
  • what works for that journey (our preferences)

Understanding the who, what, and how before you start is crucial to the success of any communication. Linking to internal communication, including face-to-face interactions is the next step, and next blog post…

We were talking to a London club last week that used a service that sent three automated emails, when members were 3 weeks absent, 4 weeks absent, and 5 weeks absent. Member attrition increased since sending the messages, so the service was stopped. To send the same channel message to members on the same day of the week shows no personalisation, ignores preferences, and is fairly obviously an automated system. Including a phone call (at least a voice message) and mixing up the communication channels has a much better effect at getting members back.

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