I’ve heard it said, “my prospects are anyone who lives in XX,” “…anyone who believes that everyone deserves to see,” “…breathes.” If you caught yourself saying anything like this, you are wasting money, effort, and (gasp!) may not have a grasp of your business.

Here is a more effective way to analyze who you serve; and


once you define this, your verbiage, call to action, graphics, etc. will be far more clearly defined – and, thus, easier to create communication/publication materials.


Analyze your current audience and strong (actually responded to a call to action) prospects:

  1. Divide your audience into Segments. You probably have multiple audiences…Donors? Clients? Stakeholders? Volunteers?
  2. Break each Segment into Groups:
    1. Basic Demographics (gender? age? language? education level? military? business owners? addicts? parents?…. whatever is relevant to your search
    2. What they like/need, and act on?
  3. Convert these Groups into Personas (2? 3? 5?): If you are seeking volunteers, maybe you consider a typical type to be “Mary”: 60s, empty nester, used to be very active in her community and now wishes to continue with less commitment/same sense of recognition… or John who is seeking volunteer hours to look better for colleges. Your approach to Mary and John will be very different. Acknowledge this and apply your techniques in appealing to them. Also, are there “gatekeepers”? If your organization offers counseling services, you may consider approaching doctors that could recommend your services….We will call her Torres….
  4. Break these Personas into Stages of Commitment/Purchase
    1. Pre-contemplation stage, “I need information”
    2. Contemplation “I’m thinking about it”
    3. Preparation: ready, but not until…
    4. Action: the golden moment
    5. Maintenance: never ignore this….

Why does all this matter….? Segmentation alone may make you consider new follow-up avenues and Calls to Action. If you sell through a website, acknowledging these stages may help you better define the sale/appeal stage and change your content accordingly. If you do e-marketing (e.g. Constant Contact) you would have a segment for each group and your message should be completely different…

Don’t jump ahead to tactics! If you analyze your audience properly, your tactics for reaching each one may be different, yet easier.