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Have you ever received an email that says something like, “If you liked my social media guide, you’ll love my upcoming workshop.”  It might even have included your first name. This is a subject line that gets attention because it’s relevant. You understand why you’re getting it, and it builds off the benefit you’ve already received.

Take a second and think of the emails you are most likely to open.  Or the ones you read once you open them because you found it super relevant. The content speaks to an action you’ve previously taken, and tells you how to take the next step. Or teaches something more you could use.

These are all examples of how the sender used segmentation to ensure the message you received was relevant to YOU.

And there is a super easy way to do this.  That’s email tags.

Talking about email tags is so not a sexy marketing topic, BUT it’s something I’m finding that no one explains to you when they hand you the keys to the email marketing kingdom. Or if they do, it’s something that’s quickly overlooked in the overwhelm of trying to figure out what to even send to an list. Or how to build an email list.

The more I talk with coaches, course creators and entrepreneurs with service-based businesses, the more I realize this is a super underutilized feature.

So let’s talk about what email tagging is, what it can do and ways to put it into action.

So what is an email tag? 

Simply, it’s a little code in your email service system that places a label on your subscribers. It can be a label based on an action, or labels a piece of content from a form submission.

Back in the day when I started email marketing in a corporate role we only had lists. 

(And yes, I realize I just dated myself there. I have been in marketing long enough to have started email marketing for an eight figure business.)

We had lists for everything. But we also were charged for every person on our email list, And ensuring people on multiple lists didn’t get a million emails from us in one day was a challenge.

So the email marketing companies created tags.  Now we can have one list, and simply tag our subscribers in different ways to craft messages that are relevant to them by using as many tags as we want to. And there are a lot of ways to create and use tags.

There are tags that get created based off the form you have subscribers complete, like first name or email address. That’s how we can drop someone’s first name into the subject line and have it change for each subscriber.

We can create product or service based tags that allow us to send messages to only those in a specific coaching program or course. 

We can use tags to track subscriber interests based on the links they click within our emails, so we can create meaningful sales emails that explain how our service meets their specific interest.

And we can use tags to track how they subscribed to our list in the first place, so we can relate our programs back to what got them interested in us.

Beyond just using tags to deliver the right content to the right people, you can also track the number of subscribers by tags to see what topics, interests or lead magnets are most popular with your audience.

These are just a handful of ways to use tags within your email platform. And with so many options, it’s important to have a solid tagging strategy to keep it all under control.

The first step to creating a tagging system is to think of tags across three different tag types: context, action and temporary.

  • Context tags provide insights to the individual subscriber, like what interests they have.
  • Action tags connect to a specific behavior, like a lead magnet download.
  • Temporary tags can be used for short-term things, like watching a webinar for a launch.

Once you have identified what tags you want to use for the different types, you can track them and create a tagging structure.

Like Interest_Social Media or Action_Free Download_Social Guide.  By creating a system of how you label tags, you can keep better track of what each tag means.

You can think of it like “Category_Subcategory_Details.”  You can use categories like Action or Interests, subcategories, like Free Download, and details like Social Guide.

After you have a tagging strategy laid out, you can pop into your email service provider and add it to your forms and emails.

Be sure to make a note on your calendar to once a quarter, or twice a year, review your email tags. You can edit, refine and merge them together as needed to ensure you’re making the most out of this feature.

Don’t feel like you need to segment the content of EVERY email you send based of email tags.

I would encourage you to focus on using tags on your most important emails: your sales nurture sequence or sales emails. Those emails that you want to inspire action.  Being able to ensure those emails are as relevant as you can will help your audience click to open them, and be in a better position to say “Heck yes!” when they get to your offer.

Have questions about how to set-up or use an email tag strategy? Head over to the Marketing In Focus Podcast Online Community in Facebook. Hit me with your questions. I’d love to help you out!