Cheap, effective member segmentation starts with an Excel spreadsheet, according to Jane Perry, chief executive of Qantas Super, who has recently used it to initiate targeted communications.

The fund’s return on investment has been a 23 per cent response rate to a targeted mail shot aimed at gaining email and mobile phone numbers from members whose personal details were not complete, while also getting a healthy take up for retirement planning seminars.

Perry endorsed the role of Excel in this process, saying: “Anyone with a knowledge of Excel can do it. It is cost effective and it works. It will lead to opportunities for other product changes and it is certainly providing opportunities for targeted communications.”

Qantas Super started the process of segmentation by putting each member’s age, account balance, salary, years’ of service, location and gender in an Excel spreadsheet.

The fund had viewed its employees according to their work division, for example, pilots, cabin staff and engineers, but the spreadsheet allowed it to divide members regardless of division into eight new groups, which sorted members by their savings level, age and salary.

Perry said two of the first clear findings were a high balance leakage to self-managed super funds by members who were not receiving full advice, while she could more clearly see those close to retirement who had not saved enough.

The first campaign targeted 50-to-60-year-olds by appealing to their lifestyle aspirations in retirement. The campaign used a picture of a real member in a kayak with her husband, and told others about her background and hopes. Aimed at getting members to think about the quality of lifestyle they wanted in retirement, it encouraged them to attend a range of financial planning seminars.

“Superannuation is not easy to sell to members, but a lifestyle is,” Perry said.

Two months ago a second campaign sent a letter, styled as a flight promotion, to members with their name, investment option and division, to encourage them to contact the fund by phone or online to register more of their personal details.

Perry says she was “thrilled” to gain a 23-per-cent response rate to this.


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