Member Segmentation – From the assumptions to the truth!

Member segmentation in its simplest definition is the practice of diving your membership base into groups of individuals that are similar in specific ways relevant to marketing such as age, gender, interests and spending habits.

So why is this so important? In the age of over communication, our inboxes are flooded with 100’s even 1000’s of messages a day. Some from our very own competitors. So how do we stand out from the crowd and have our messages read over anyone else’s?

The answer is of course member segmentation. The more we can understand about your customers, the more we can effectively talk to them. Understanding why your members come into your club will go a long way to developing customised messages for your membership base. In the loyalty world they have been speaking about personalisation and hyper personalisation for years now. Just how do we create messages that make our members ask was this only written for me and no one else?

So, what kinds of segmentation should we be looking at? For me there are three key areas of segmentation that can be achieved:


Clubs have a distinct advantage in that we are legally required to capture information about our members. A member signs up to our club and we are instantly given:

    • Full name
    • DOB
    • Address
    • Occupation
    • Email/Mail

Demographic information is the first layer of segmentation, because its assumptive. We assume that because you are a male aged between 18-50 that lives within 2 km from the venue that you will have an interest in the boxing match on the weekend.

It’s a great first step across the pond into target marketing, but it is flawed. However, it is still far more powerful than using no segmentation at all. It is far more effective than blanket email sends. We use these target markets as a way of trying to ensure that we reduce those unsubscribe rates and at the same time increase the open rates.


Preferences are the second layer of segmentation, because the member themselves has told us about their interests. It is a check box frozen in time – when they joined as a member they liked the Friday night shows – The one thing you need to be mindful of is how often you check in with your members and ask if their preferences still stand? Renewal time is a great opportunity to ask if these still stand.

Collecting preferences these days is much easier than it used to be. Technology has adapted to enable us to send a form asking members to check a box (or several) on a ‘Getting to know you better’ email and the systems will then tag these members to each checkbox.

For example – Mr. Buzz checks Bingo, Raffles, Gaming (and signs a digital opt in check box) and Wine nights on his email. He is now automatically added to those groups in the communications platform.

Examples of preference segmentation include:

    • Bingo
    • Raffles
    • Trivia
    • Gaming
    • Sporting Events
    • Social – Drinks with friends
    • Family – Dinner with kids

Now is the time to get these preferences set in your system – Use the downtime to collect more information about your members to deliver on what they want to hear about. If you are a Buzz E Solutions client and would like to set up a ‘Getting to know you better’ email campaign, please click on the link below.


Here we come to the third and most powerful layer of member segmentation. Transactional or carded data. This is not what we assume or that they tell us to be true – this is what we know to be true. The carded transactions of your member and what they do in your venue.

POS systems are key here as what you can market in the food and beverage space far exceeds what you can do or say in the gaming space. The trick here is not to go too big too fast. Start with simple segments that can then be further broken down later.

For example – Don’t try and segment all your beer drinkers into tap beer, bottle beer, craft beer etc. For a start its great to have information that says Mr. Buzz drinks beer when he comes into the venue.

Likewise, with food – Think about current promotions or offering that can be used to tie into a specific segment – For example Tuesdays is steak night so we are going to find all those members who have purchased a steak in the past 6 months as it helps our promotion.

The top tips for transactional segmentation would be

    • Beer
    • Wine/Champagne/Cocktails
    • Food specials – E.g. Schnitzel night steak night
    • What days they visit (weekdays, Weekends or both)
    • What time they visit (Daytime, nighttime or both)

During this shutdown, we have the time to go through and set up reports in our systems that we can use to tag our members. We can then use these tags to create the ultimate in personalisation and marketing communications. Remember that if you can deliver a truly personalised experience to your members, your communications will not only stand out in their inbox, they will be waiting for the next one to come!