Tag Archives: star trek

Increase Your Donations through Audience Segmentation

This article originally appears on the SageWords.net blog.

Increase Your Donations through Audience Segmentation

By Stacy Dyer

Audience segmentation is something businesses figured out a long time ago. To get an idea of why segmenting your audience data is so important, watch this video about Star Trek Red Shirt Death Rates with Matt Bailey:

OK, so you’re not trying to survive the next away mission (maybe you are, but that’s a different article), still there’s a few key points to learn from this example.

  1. Different people are motivated by different things
  2. People are more likely to do what you want when your message resonates with their individual perspective
  3. Tailor your message to connect with that perspective

Let me give you an example of what this means for nonprofit fundraisers.

Pretend you run an animal welfare organization. You have both myself and my husband in your database because we both animals. But there is a key difference in our perspectives. (You happen to track this key detail in your CRM because you are a rock-star fundraiser!) What is it?

I am a cat person.

My husband is a dog person.

Now you want to send us each an email asking to give to your annual fund.

To me, your appeal features a picture of a sweet, fuzzy kitten. I am more likely to connect emotionally with your message and click to go to your donation form.  There, I see a picture of another cute kitten. Now I know I am in the right place! You are bunch of kitten-loving fools and of course I am going to support you!

To my husband, you send the same appeal, but feature an image of a dog instead. He sees your adorable puppy face and raises you another donation!

What happened here? It was the same campaign, the same message, and you doubled your responses (and donations) just by segmenting your audience.  By targeting each segment with an email and landing page specifically designed to create an emotional connection with them, you were able to tap into sources of support which you would not have otherwise.

That is the power of segmentation.

One message doesn’t work for everyone. Identify what key attributes differentiate your audience and target campaigns to emotionally connect with each segment of your donor base.

How I Met Geordi LaForge at SXSWedu!

How I Met Geordi LaForge at SXSWedu!
by Stacy Dyer

I had the privilege to hear LeVar Burton speak at SXSWedu, a conference focusing on innovation in learning.

Stacy Dyer and LeVar Burton at SXSWedu

Stacy Dyer and LeVar Burton at SXSWedu

In his keynote address Burton shared his philosophy: “at the intersection of technology and education, storytelling is the key to learning.

Wise words indeed from a talented artist and life-long learning advocate who has been a part of the legendary Reading Rainbow franchise for 23 years–the third-longest running children’s series in PBS history*. A new Reading Rainbow app will be release in a few weeks.

LeVar Burton keynote at SXSWedu

LeVar Burton keynote at SXSWedu (photo credit: Stacy Dyer)

Technology aside, it is clear that Burton’s philosophy stems from his formative experiences with great storytellers. From Alex Haley’s epic Roots to Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, Burton’s acting roles immersed him in the visions of great storytellers, and strong family connections to the encouraged an almost evangelistic passion for life-long learning.

According to Burton, Haley’s vision of storytelling demonstrates the indomitable strength of the human need for family, while Roddenberry’s vision sees the infinite potential of humans. For Burton, these vision were bridged by Fred Rodgers. It sounds strange, but for Burton it made sense. Especially when I learned that Burton attended seminary himself (Mr. Rodgers was a minister.) Burton explained how he was inspired by Mr. Rodgers impression of the media of television as a pulpit, as an opportunity to reach his flock and share his message. Burton took this lesson to heart.

After the keynote, Burton was able to attend the networking reception where he mingled with attendees. It was a great opportunity to meet and share ideas with one of my long-time inspirations and idols (did I ever tell you I wanted to be a Star Trek engineer why I grow up?)

How to incorporate the latest technology into effective learning programs is what SXSWedu is all about. As a Star Trek and Reading Rainbow veteran, Burton is uniquely positioned to publicly champion the use of technology while keeping the focus on the content–the story that is being told.

Today, educational technology leaders must focus on building a technology infrastructure for learning. What I have learned at SXSWedu this year is that infrastructure is only the first step. Tech won’t teach. As a learner and mother, I am intrigued how the next generation of educators are leveraging technology to create opportunities for extraordinary educational experiences.

* Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_Rainbow


Star Trek – spoilers!

I hate those ear slugs. When I was a kid, they gave me nightmares for weeks. Ask my mom; I slept with cotton balls in my ears.

But I loved this movie! JJ did himself a big favor setting this new Trek universe the way he did. Without saying too much, I will say that time travel is involved (allowing for the much anticipated Nimoy appearance for which we’ve all been clamoring) and so basically, all bets are off. To satiate my desire for big explosions in space and budget-blowing special effects – I’ll forgive you your trespasses.

However, there are 2 things I will not forgive: 1) the Enterprise crew would never laugh at a nemisis in his moment of defeat – that’s just bad form; not to mention you Starfleet grads should really know enough gravitational physics to know when its time to RUN AWAY! 2) WTF is “red” matter anyway???

PS My favorite part about reinventing this series is the Lucas-esque tone that’s been brought to Trek. Someone’s favorite movie is Empire Strikes Back… hyperdrive fails, Hoth, and more – oh my! Don’t worry, JJ, me too. :)