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#Association Executives: Why Member Segmentation is Important

#Association Executives: Why Member Segmentation is Important
I recently registered to attend and exhibit at an upcoming conference.  As an exhibitor, we receive lists of conference attendees to market to prior to the event and encourage them to stop by our booth.

Because I registered for both the education and the trade show, I have been placed on the attendee list that sponsors and exhibitors are receiving.

In the last three weeks, I have received three emails inviting me to stop by a fellow exhibitor’s booth.  All are offering prizes, and inviting me to stop by and enter their draw.

What is wrong with this scenario?  Besides the fact that the emails are generic, not addressed specifically to me, and do not offer any real value, I have no business for them!

Not only are they wasting their time and effort, but they are wasting mine.

Yes, I have blogged about this before, and I think this is more indication of the increasing laziness amongst industry suppliers.  Segmentation is SO important; as it’s been proven time after time that it’s the single easiest way to increase marketing ROI.

What could the association have done to stop suppliers from emailing to the wrong people?  It starts with the conference registration (simple check boxes help):

  1. Ask whether the person is  an industry buyer, or a supplier;
  2. For buyers, ask about what products and services they might be interested in so your suppliers can market appropriately.
  3. If supplier registrations, ask whether they may have business potential for any fellow suppliers, and if they do, list general categories for them to check off.  
  4. Ensure that your exhibitors/sponsors have signed off that they ONLY will market to individuals who have potential for their products/services.

Back to this conference, I also have a copy of this list, and will be sending my own email.  Because it has not been segmented for me, I will have to do it myself.  This takes time, but I believe this is necessary to ensure that I maintain the level of respect for our company, and our brand.  I just wish the association would elevate their brand by providing that service for everyone…

Simple segmentation can solve a lot of frustration for your conference attendees.  It can be done easily by asking the right questions in “check all that apply” formats.  If you are looking to get started on segmenting your members, a quick survey will get you started.

If it could be done so easily for a conference, can you imagine what it would do for your other communications?  Perhaps raise engagement levels with your members?