Don Crowther
Don Crowther

Proven Strategies and Techniques To Build YOUR Business

Proven Strategies and Techniques To Build YOUR Business

Tutorial: How To Use Email Tags

Want to make your email marketing 10x more effective?

Start using email tags effectively.

Unfortunately, not all email systems give you the capability to do this, you’ll need to be using one that allows tagging, like Active Campaign, Keap, or ConvertKit, but the difference tagging makes in the results you get from your email marketing and the additional revenues tagging brings in, are definitely worth the switch!

In this article, I’m going to show you a set of specific tags I use in my email campaigns, and how, by using them in your systems, you can achieve a whole set of advantages not possible otherwise.

What are email tags?

In the olden days of email marketing everything was based on lists. You’d have a list of people who signed up to receive emails about raising aardvarks as pets, a separate list of people who bought that product, yet another for people who attended your webinar about it, etc.

And a given person could be on all of those lists.

Then new technology came along. Using those systems there’s only one list – of people who have opted in to receive email from you.

Then you apply tags to those people to indicate what categories they fit into (bought your product, attended your webinar, etc.)

Then you send out emails based on who has those tags. 

For example, you set a tag for everyone who signed up for your webinar next Wednesday night. Everyone who has that tag then gets reminder emails to attend.

The cool thing about this capability is that now you have the ability to track all kinds of information you couldn’t before, enabling you to more precisely target people based on what they do and don’t do.

That’s the power of tag-based email systems!

Advantages of Using Email Tags

Think about it this way: would your marketing be more powerful if:

  • You knew everyone who has ever clicked a link in an email to find out more about one of your products?
  • You knew everyone who expressed enough interest in a certain topic to click a link about it?
  • You knew everyone who had opened any email you sent out in the last 3 months?
  • You knew the opposite: everyone who has not opened any email you sent out in the last 3 months?
  • You knew what types of links your audience clicks on most (text links, images, screenshots from videos, links in the P.S., etc.?)
  • You knew which of the people on your email list were more likely to open an email with a question as their subject line, versus which ones opened statements? 

Can you see how knowing each of these would enable you to:

  • Segment your list – only sending emails about topic A to those people who have clicked on prior emails about that subject (indicating that they’re potentially interested in that topic), so the rest of your list doesn’t unsubscribe because they’re not interested
  • Get higher open rates – by creating different types of subject lines based on the types of subject lines they’re most likely to open
  • Send additional promotional emails to those who have indicated interest in your product or offer
  • Send reactivation campaigns to people who aren’t opening emails to get them interested and opening your emails again
  • Include the “right” kind of links that work best for your audience

It always amazes me how many people don’t use the power of tagging in their email systems to get more and better data about their audience.

I suspect this is because they don’t understand the power of doing it, and more importantly, how to do it.

How about if we just fix that right now?

In this article, I’m going to show you a system that will allow you to gather amazing data.

Data you’ll be able to use to increase conversion of all your emails in the future.

And my bet is that once you start getting this data, you’ll become absolutely hooked and you’ll come up with all kinds of ways to use tags to increase your conversions even further.

Let’s start with one quick basic: most tag-based email systems (like Active Campaign, Keap, ConvertKit, etc.) you can set things up with a couple of clicks so that whenever someone clicks on your email not only do they go the page that link is connected to, but behind the scenes, you can set a tag in your email system that gives you more information about what just happened.

So if I have an email with a link to an article on the best names for a pet aardvark, I can not only send people there, but I can add a tag to their record that shows that this person may be interested in aardvarks as pets.

Then later on, I can go back, find everyone who has clicked on any email about aardvarks and send a special email sequence just to them, promoting my new aardvarkian product! 

Now that we’ve got the basics down, let me explain the 3 types of tags that I set each time someone clicks a link in an email.

Email Tag Type: Link Clicked Tags

Link Clicked Tags show which emails someone has clicked on. And in general, it shows everyone who clicked on a link from that specific email.

I name the link with the subject line of the email and include it in the category Z-Links.

For example, our email on best names for pet aardvarks had the subject line of 21 top aardvark names in 2021.

So anyone who clicked on the link in that email would receive the tag “21 top aardvark names in 2021” under the category Z-Links. 

In my email system, which lists the tag category first, followed by an arrow, the name of the tag would be Z-Links -> 21 top aardvark names in 2021

If that link is in the email 3 times, each one of them would be assigned that tag. For this tag, I don’t care where they clicked the link, just the fact they clicked.

Email Tag Type: Interest Tags

Almost all of my emails are about one of about 20 different general topic areas like productivity, tools, copywriting, video, mindset, etc.

Over time, I’ve found that some people are really interested in information about some of those topics but never click on links about other topics. 

That’s fair, I do the same thing. I’m pretty fascinated with aardvarks. Anteaters: not so much. A wise email marketer would look at my click patterns, and start sending me more info on aardvarks and remove me from any mailings an anteaters.

I do this through Interest Tags. I’ve created a tag for each of the 20ish topic areas I tend to write on, and assigned them to the category Interests.

So, I have tags for Interests (the category name) -> Productivity (the tag name), Interests -> Tools, Interests ->  Copywriting, etc.

Whenever I send an email I figure out what general topic area that email talked about, and anyone who clicked on that link gets assigned that tag.

Like the Link Click tag, this same tag can be set from any of the links on that page, no matter where they are in the email.

This is incredibly valuable for segmentation. If person A has clicked on 3 or more emails in the productivity category in the last several months (I rotate my content around between topic areas) that’s a pretty good indication they’re interested in that subject and vice versa. 

If enough people are in a certain interest category, I’ll go in search of an offer I can make in that area, whether it’s an affiliate offer or one of my own.

Likewise, I can use this to suppress mailing on that topic area to people who have never clicked on an interest link in that topic area. So, for example, as I send out an email on productivity I’ll suppress (not send it to) anyone who has received at least 3 emails about productivity but hasn’t clicked on the link in any of them. (Hint, I just gave you an incredibly powerful advanced technique – enabling you to significantly increase your deliverability and potentially, sales.)

Email Tag Type: Position Link Tags

Position links are designed to tell me what types of links people most frequently click. 

Actually, I cheat here and combine two elements into one category: where in the email the link was placed (body, P.S.) and what type of link it was (text, image, video, or button.)

So, if someone clicked on a button in the P.S. they’d get two tags: Position -> Clicked on link in P.S. and Position -> Clicked on button.

Here are the tags I currently use as position link tags:

  • Clicked on image
  • Clicked on video
  • Clicked on button
  • Clicked on text link
  • Clicked on link in email body
  • Clicked on link in P.S.

With the combination of these three types of links: Link Clicked, Interest, and Position tags, I get huge amounts of valuable information I can use to increase my conversion rates.

Here are a few use cases:

  1. I get a bright idea that I ought to create _______ new product.

    Excellent. Before I go to all that effort, let’s see if my audience has indicated interest in that subject area before.

    Action: I open up my Interest tag for that general topic area and see how many people have historically clicked on links in that topic area.
  2. I find an affiliate product I really like and think would be wonderful for a portion of my audience, but not all.

    Action: I start by opening up my Interest tag for that subject area. If that number is big enough, then I send out an email just to people who have that Interest tag, offering that product to them.

    That way everyone else on my list doesn’t even see the offer, so they’ll be less likely to report it as spam or unsubscribe because it’s not applicable to them.
  3. I want to increase my click rate on links in my emails.

    Action: I open up my Position tags and look at tag counts for each position within my emails. Those tell me not only where in the email to place my links, but what types of links to use.

    You may have noticed that I’ve been including lots of clickable images in my emails recently. There’s a reason for this… 🙂
  4. I want to increase the deliverability of my emails.

    This is a whole subject in itself. But one tactic I use is to look at everyone who has opened emails in the last 3 months but not clicked on any of the links in them. (A click on a link is an indicator that people are engaged with your emails, and decrease the probability you’ll be placed in their spam email box.)

    Action: I run a report of everyone who has opened emails in the last 3 months who has not clicked on any of the links. I assign that group (opened emails but no link clicks) to a special tag, then send them out a couple of irresistible offers – links so great they can’t resist clicking on them.

I could go on and on, but those are just a few of the ways you can use the data from these tags to increase your conversions and build your business.

Recommended Action Steps

Several action steps come from this:

  1. Make absolutely sure you’re using a tag-based email marketing service, like Active Campaign, ConvertKit, or Keap. You may like whatever you are currently using, but if you can’t set tags, you’re missing out on all the benefits discussed here.
  2. Set up a system like the one I described above then rigorously use it! You don’t have to use my system, but I’d consider doing something like it to gather those types of data.

    It literally takes about 5 minutes more each time you send out an email, but the data you receive from the accumulation of those 5 minutes over time is priceless.

There’s no reason to feel overwhelmed. I recognize you probably haven’t been doing this in the past. 

No problem. Simply start now, and in a few months, you’ll have yourself a treasure trove of data you can use to increase your conversion rate and put more on your bottom line!

This is Don Crowther saying just go do this stuff!

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