Segmenting: It’s Not Just for Arthropod’s Anymore!
by Jake Patoski, Training & Online Learning Manager
Wouldn’t life be so much easier if all of your supporters were in the same age range, lived in the same general area, had the same interests, and consistently took action and donated? But since that’s obviously not the case, you have to write different types of content to different demographics and decide who should and shouldn’t receive each communication from your organization. This process, of course, is called segmentation.
Segmentation also is used interchangeably with the term “targeting”. The “what” and the very basics of the “how” have been covered by Salsa’s Amanda Foster and Libby Sinback before, so if you’re looking for a good overview, check out their blog post. But we’re going to dig into the details of making segmentation happen, both in your Salsa HQ configuration and in your communications decisions.
This blog post will cover how supporters can be segmented on the Salsa backend. We’ll start off by looking at group membership and tagging, the broadest and simplest ways to segment.
Group Membership / Tags
These options are unique because supporters can be added automatically to a groups or tag just by completing a page. You can add people automatically to groups on the User/Supporter Info screen, or add tags to that same page so their record is tagged as well.
You’ll find the Group addition options here (this example is from an Action page, however you'll find the same options on a Sign-up page):
Using the second option highlighted above, you can allow supporters to choose which groups they’d like to be a part of. This is helpful when your organization has already chosen the ‘Interest areas’ to group supporters into: at that point, you can add those options on your sign-up pages (and elsewhere) to have your supporters organize themselves.
The other aspect of groups to mention is that any of the results we get from the queries that we’ll run below can be added to a group for easy selection in future queries. This is helpful!
Besides groups, you can also add tags to your pages. Once a supporter takes action on that page – whether it’s signing a petition, making a donation, or just signing up with your list – they can receive that tag. (Trying to figure out when you should use groups or tags? Check out this blog post written by our very own Akash.)
The option to add tags can be found here:
So you’ve got supporters dropping into groups and being assigned tags, but you may require more specific targeting. In those cases, we’ll turn to the Query/Export tool found in the Supporter Management package.
Queries for segmenting
When using queries to segment your supporters, there are a few main areas you’ll look at:
- Group/tag membership
- VIP status
- Group membership
1. Group/tag membership
Since we’ve already discussed how groups/tags can be used, you’ll want to know how to query for them. You can add group membership here:
And tag membership here:
You’ll find most of your geographic/location information about your supporters here:
You can choose to filter based on city, state, zip. You could also change the operator on the condition to have a list of options which are gone through. That would take this form:
Alternatively, you can catch a broader geographic area by searching based on “Distance from zip code”, as you can see below. This is helpful if you have an ‘epicenter’ for your issue/action/event, and would like to target supporters who are in that area.
3. Action history
If your supporters took action on an advocacy page, you’ll query for that information here:
4. Donation history
To segment on a lot of donation history and information, you'll make the following selections:
5. Email history
And to segment based on email history, you have various options:
6. VIP status
What constitutes a VIP is completely up to your organization. There are a lot of factors that could go into selecting – is it based on total donation amount? Highest single donation amount? Do you simply have a list of supporters that you know are VIPs?
If there are certain criteria such as those listed above for your VIPs, the best method to segment them is to first create a group for the VIPs – maybe it’s simply titled “VIPs”, maybe it’s a further segmentation like “VIPs – High dollar” and “VIPs – Board members”. Then you’ll run your criteria as conditions in your query, and on the results tab, add those supporters to your group.