Why Intense Segmentation Leads to Awesome Results

Today’s guest blog post is written by Karla Smagorinsky, Associate Product Manager here at Patron Technology.

For arts organizations, connecting with your customer base through email marketing is key to growing your business — no surprises there. These days, it’s all about market segmentation and highly directed email campaigns to reach the most specific sector of your customers and elicit a response. But the process of actually defining your metrics is often overlooked. How do you make sure that you are targeting the patrons that you want to connect with?

The simple act of defining your terms can bolster your marketing efforts. Although this probably seems elementary, you might be surprised how frequently this vital step is skipped.

Imagine for a moment that you’re a marketing director at an arts organization who would like to extend a discount code to your most loyal patrons for next season, demonstrating your organization’s gratitude for their continued support. First, you need to figure out how to structure a report of your most loyal customers to whom you’d like to send this code. Defining “loyalty” to mean “those patrons who have purchased the most tickets in the past five years,” you quickly run a report showing a list of patrons who have purchased 15 or more tickets in the past five years, and you send out the code to those patrons. Great!

But is this all the analysis you need to do? Does that report include subscribers? Donors? How exactly do you decide which of these is more loyal than the other? How should their donor history in the past X number of years factor into their loyalty? Should the number of actual tickets purchased be figured in, or just the number of unique events? And beyond all of that, what do you expect to gain from these patrons in the long term, and why are these patrons the best prospects within that context? The answers to these types of questions will form the framework for how your organization defines an abstract concept such as loyalty.

Once you’ve determined a basic definition of your target audience, you’ll be able to have a higher-level discussion of what you would like to result from this interaction with your most loyal patrons. Of course you want them to come back and use their discount code, but chances are, you don’t want to have that be the end of the conversation.

Maybe you’re hoping for more word-of-mouth buzz, or higher subscriber numbers for next season — either way, that conversation will be important to your decision of what loyalty means for your organization. In turn, almost automatically, your marketing efforts will directly support your fundraising campaigns (and vice versa). You can bet that a patron who has been slow and steady in her purchasing habits over the years is a better donor prospect than the 25-year-old who bought five tickets for a birthday present one time, and thus a better target for a continuing relationship with your organization.

Only after you have done the hard work of defining your goals and setting long-term objectives for your promotion will you have enough clarity for the patrons you’d like to target. The more targeted and accurate your outreach, the more your patrons will feel that their attendance or support is important and appreciated, and that you are taking care of them as they take care of you. This symbiotic relationship will invariably lead to more gifts and patronage in the future — and all that accomplished just by properly defining your metrics. Imagine that!

Learn More about PatronManager, the powerful CRM platform that helps you sell more tickets, raise more money, and cultivate stronger bonds with your audience, all in one database.