The Ultimate Guide to Tagging

As an email marketer, you probably already know this:

Each contact in your email list is different.

But what if you have thousands of subscribers on your list? How do you make sure your emails are personalized and tailored to each recipient?

Here’s how: Tags.

Tagging is one of the easiest and most effective ways to manage growing contact lists. With tags, you can keep your contacts organized and send highly targeted emails every single time!

In this article, we’ll help you learn all about tagging, what makes tags so unique, and how to use them in Sendlane to run your personalized email campaigns!

Let’s get started!

What are tags?

Tags are labels you can assign to contacts based on their personal characteristics or how they interact with your email content.

Unlike lists, you can add multiple tags to each contact at a time!

There are three main purposes of using tags:

1. Organization

If you have hundreds of thousands of contacts in your email list, it can be difficult to sort through and organize them.

By adding tags, you can get rid of the clutter and quickly categorize your contacts based on their behavior, interests, or any other characteristics!

Take a look at the example below.

Jewela, an online jewelry store with over 10,000 email subscribers, can tag contacts based on their buying preferences, like “Necklaces,” “Earrings,” and “Rings.”

This will help them keep contacts organized based on their purchase preferences!

2. Segmentation

With tags, you can also create highly targeted segments to send tailored email messages!

For example, Jewela can create a segment of contacts who:

A) Are interested in rings

B) Haven’t opened your emails in the last 60 days

Segmenting contacts with the help of tags can be useful for sending personalized emails with a very specific purpose. In this case, Jewela can send a re-engagement email that focuses on their ring collection!

sendlane_ecommercce_segmentation_ebook


3. Triggering

Another useful function of tags is they can act as triggers in certain parts of your automation!

For example, Jewela can run an email automation for contacts tagged with “Earrings” to share updates regarding an upcoming earring collection launch!

In this case, the “Earrings” tag will act as a trigger for the automation.

The difference between tags and email lists

You might be wondering: Can’t I just create separate email lists to organize my contacts?

The short answer is: Yeah, but why?


While you can create email lists (and you should), tags allow you to get granular.

Email lists are great for sending emails repeatedly to a specific group of contacts. But with tags, you can make sure that each email is sent to just the right combination of subscribers.

For example, let’s say that Jewela has three email lists based on contacts’ age:

  • Teenagers
  • Young adults
  • Adults aged 30+

If they further assign tags to each subscriber, such as the type of content they prefer to interact with, and what their last purchase was, they can send highly targeted emails that go beyond just the age group.

For example, they can send tailored emails to:

  • Teenagers;
  • who last bought a pair of earrings;
  • and who like to see recommended products.

Tags are especially useful in running targeted automations as you can add them to any part of the workflow.

For example, Jewela can add a conditional split in one of their automations to send Email A to contacts who have the tag “earrings” and Email B to contacts who have the tag "necklaces”.

email_marketing_charming_charlie

Source

As your business grows, so will your email list. Keeping your contacts organized with lists is possible, but can quickly get inconvenient if you want to send highly targeted emails.

The benefits of using tags in email marketing

Using tags can transform the way you send emails to your contacts.

Not only can they help you send targeted emails that go beyond basic list segmentation, but they can also tell you a lot about how your customers interact with your website and emails!

Here are a few reasons why you should start using tags right away:

1. Track customer journey

Adding tags to certain links inside your email campaigns can help you track customer journeys!

For example, you can tag any text, image, or button inside your email. When a subscriber clicks on the tagged link, the tag will automatically get added to their profile.

This can help you identify where a subscriber came from when they land on a certain page on your website or make a purchase!

2. Boost engagement rates

Tags let you create targeted segments and send highly personalized emails to each of your contacts.

This helps you improve your engagement rates by showing people relevant content they’re actually interested in!

The more targeted your emails are, the more likely a contact will be to engage with them.

For example, if Jewela sends emails with recommended products to contacts who are tagged with certain product types, they’ll be more likely to get a positive response!

sendlane_campaing_reporting

3. View detailed reports and insights

View detailed reports and insights The coolest thing about using tags is that you can dive deeper into your insights and reports to better understand your customers. For example, you can generate reports for very specific, targeted campaigns that you triggered through tags. This can help you analyze the type of customers who engage with your emails the most, or those who need an incentive to engage!

What type of tags should you use?

There are dozens of tags you can use to segment and target your contacts. In fact, you can pick any name for your tag, as long as it makes sense for your business.

But you need to be careful when naming your tags. If you start tagging contacts randomly without a proper system in place, you might end up with hundreds of tags that are difficult to sort through and organize!

If you’re unsure where to start, here are some useful types of tags to get you started.

1. Product tags

You can tag contacts based on their buying preferences, such as the last product they purchased.

Product tags are especially useful when you're selling multiple items as they can help you send targeted emails for each product!

Going back to our jewelry store example, Jewela can use tags like “Rings,” “Earrings,” and “Necklaces” to organize contacts based on the type of product.

The next time Jewela runs an email campaign, they can match their email content with whichever product(s) the contact is more likely to be interested in!

2. Sign-up source tags

Another way to tag your contacts is by the form they used to join your email list.

Here are some common sign-up sources that could apply to your business:

  • Newsletter sign up
  • Website checkout
  • Facebook shopping
  • Webinar registration
  • Ebook download
  • Event registration


billabong_email_marketing_newsletter_opt_in

Source tags can help you visualize your contacts’ complete journey, such as the type of content they’re interested in and the platforms they use to interact with your brand.

This helps you focus more on the platforms that perform better than others at generating leads and sales!

For example, if there are dozens of contacts in your list who are tagged with “Webinar Registration,” this might indicate that your target audience is interested in webinars!

3. Action tags

You can also tag contacts by the type of action they take on your website or within your email!

Actions could include refund requests, new purchases, support tickets, clicks on CTAs, cart abandonment, etc.

Tagging contacts by their actions is also an effective way to learn more about them and send them emails they would like to engage with!

For example, Jewela can tag contacts who recently requested a refund, and then send these people a discount on their next purchase!

4. Status tags

If you want to send targeted emails to contacts based on how engaged they are with your brand, adding status tags is a great idea!

Status tags can indicate the state of a contact in terms of engagement, activity, and other behavior. Here are some examples of status tags you can use:

  • Engaged
  • Inactive for 30 days
  • No purchase in 60 days
  • Loyal customers

Adding these tags allows you to tailor your emails to contacts with different engagement levels and loyalty to your brand.

Jewela, for example, can start a re-engagement campaign to try and engage contacts who haven’t opened their emails in the last 30 days.

They can also sort through the contacts who have been inactive for the past few months to see if any email addresses are outdated and need to be removed!

5. Interest tags

One of the simplest ways to tag your contacts is by their likes and dislikes.

Everyone wants to see content they love, and tagging contacts based on interests lets you make that happen!

Interests can vary depending on your type of business. A clever way to find out what your subscribers are interested in is to simply ask them!

For example, Jewela can send out an email survey to its contacts, asking what type of content they would like to see in their emails.

Would they be interested in new product updates? Discount coupons? Sale announcements?

Understanding interests helps you create better emails that drive more opens and clicks, and improve your engagement rates!

Five ideas for using tags in your email campaigns

Adding tags to contacts is one thing, but using them to create effective email campaigns is a whole other story!

There are hundreds of ways you can use tags to create personalized emails!

Here are five ideas for tag-based emails you can start sending today.

1. Re-engage inactive subscribers

If you’ve tagged subscribers based on their status, such as engagement and activity levels, you can create re-engagement campaigns to wake up inactive subscribers!

Here’s an example of a re-engagement email by Fleur & Bee.

fleur_and_bee_email_marketing

Sending a short and sweet email like the one above shows subscribers that you noticed their inactivity and cared enough to reach out.

We love how they’ve used minimal email copy, a cute image, and a compelling call-to-action that makes it look super easy to get back on track!

2. Reward loyal customers

You can also use tags to reward your most loyal and active contacts!

For example, if you’ve added tags to contacts who have engaged consistently with your emails over the last few months or have recently made a significant purchase, you can reach out with a sweet reward to make their day!

Here’s an example of how Starbucks rewards its loyal customers.

starbucks_email_marketing


3. Invite contacts to local events

If you’ve added any location-based tags to your contacts, you can use these to send targeted invites to certain contacts for any local events or exhibitions.

For example, Jewela can send an email invitation to a new store launch in Houston to contacts who live nearby.

Here's an example of an email invitation by Fender.


fender_email_marketing

4. Show tailored product recommendations

If you’re using product tags, a foolproof way to use these is by sending personalized product recommendations!

For example, Jewela can send jewelry recommendations to its contacts based on the last product they purchased.

Here’s an example of an email with product recommendations from Lyst.


lyst_product_recommendation_email

5. Send a welcome discount

What better way to welcome new subscribers than with an irresistible discount?

Using tags, you can identify subscribers who have recently signed up and have yet to purchase. Warmly welcome these subscribers with a discount to send them on a shopping spree!

Here’s an example of how Tattly does it.


tattly_email_marketing

How to get started with tags inside Sendlane

Adding tags is super easy in Sendlane, and there are multiple ways to do so.

Tagging imported contacts

You can automatically add tags to contacts that you import from an existing list, such as a third-party software or a CSV or TXT file!


sendlane_email_marketing_tags

In Sendlane, tagging imported contacts will add the tag to every single contact in that list. You’ll need to create separate lists to add a different tag to each one.

Tagging manually added contacts

Want to manually add tags to each contact? No problem!

You can easily tag each contact during the process of manually adding them into Sendlane. Simply add the tag into the provided Quick Add field, and you’re done.


sendlane_contact_import_tagging

Tagging a link

You can also tag contacts when they click on a specific link inside one of your emails!

All you need to do is add the tag when you hyperlink a text or image inside the Sendlane email builder.


sendlane_tagging_link_email

This allows you to better understand how contacts engage with your emails and organize them based on the links they click.

Tagging contacts in an automation

In Sendlane, you can also add tags to your contacts based on the actions they take within an automation!


sendlane_email_automation_tagging

For example, Jewela can add a “Pre-Order” tag to subscribers who sign up for the Pre-Order form on their website.

To learn more, check out our detailed, step-by-step guide (with screenshots!) on how to add tags in Sendlane.

Send highly targeted emails and boost engagement with tags

Tagging is an incredibly helpful tool to organize growing email lists, segment contacts based on multiple factors, and send highly personalized email campaigns!

Are you using tags in your email marketing yet?

Sign up for a 14-day free trial on Sendlane and take it for a test drive!

Caitlin Hutchinson
Brand Marketing Manager
Sendlane

A native of San Diego, California, Caitlin has a passion for developing creative and engaging marketing content. Primarily responsible for overseeing the development, execution and delivery of digital content across all of Sendlane’s channels while maintaining an online presence of Sendlane's team culture. Host of The Marketing Automation Hustle Podcast and Sendlane Youtube Training Channel. Works closely with the marketing team to manage creative projects and develop creative assets/solutions to enhance the brand. Collaborates at the intersection of marketing, product, content, and sales to develop powerful and memorable stories and interactive experiences that bring the Sendlane vision to life.

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