Email Marketing - Part 2 - Lists, Tags, & Contacts
Join our host, Toby Rosen, in the second episode of our email marketing series. We're talking about lists, tags, and contacts in ActiveCampaign, how to keep your account organized and avoid an email marketing nightmare, and an automation trick to keep the systems working for you.
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Welcome to Legal Marketing 101. I'm Toby Rosen. Welcome back to our Thursday Deep Dive series, where we are again talking about email marketing and active campaign. So let's get right into it. Today we are diving into lists, tags and contacts, and this is hopefully one that will be pretty applicable to you, regardless of what kind of email marketing program you're using. But again, we are going to be talking about active campaign specifically, so your system may use some different terms, but lists, tags and contacts are pretty common concepts, that they exist, usually in one format or another, so you'll just have to figure out that terminology, and there are some programs that don't really use tags and lists. There are just a few different variations you may have to look out for. Let's start with lists in active campaign, though, because they're actually pretty simple. So in active campaign, lists are just what they sound like they're lists of contacts. So you can think of lists as sort of the email marketing foundation. They're kind of like these neatly organized folders that help you segment your audience based on some specific criteria. So, for example, you might have a list for current clients and another for prospects and ones who are just subscribed to your legal newsletter, and contacts can exist in a single list, or they can be on multiple lists, or they can be on no lists. But typically what we're using lists for is to just organize a group of people so we can send particular types of emails to these people, or just so that we can keep our account organized generally if we have a lot of contacts in there. So we want most people to be on a list, even if that does sound a little dark. But the key with lists is segmentation. An active campaign allows you to create and manage a bunch of different lists really easily so that you can ensure that your emails are sent to the right people at the right time, and they'll allow you to send a segments of lists depend on particular conditions, and this level of precision is vital in legal marketing, where the different practice areas the different client needs. Every different client needs a really tailored message to get the point across. But these lists alone are not going to cut it, and that's where tags come into play. Tags are kind of like sticky notes for your contacts. They help you add specific labels or some kind of identifier to an individual contact. That could be within a list or multiple lists, and tags are really incredibly versatile, and they can be used to track client interests or case types or referral sources. You can kind of use them for whatever you want. So, for instance, if you're a personal injury attorney, you could use some tags like car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, and that would automatically categorize contacts based on their legal needs, and this makes it way easier to send relevant content and offers to the right people at the right time, even if those users exist within a couple of different lists. So on top of that, though, active campaign's automation features will allow you to automate tag assignment based on contact behavior. So if someone clicks on a link in an email about divorce law, then we can automatically tag them as interested in divorce law, and this kind of automation is going to save you time and ensure messaging is always on point. But let's talk about contacts, because the tagging thing can go on forever, and we'll probably have more episodes about that in the future. Contacts these are the individuals who make up your lists and carry those tags. In an active campaign, each contact represents a unique person in these, contacts is where we're storing the essential information about people, including their name, their email address, their phone number. Any tags, maybe notes, but contacts go way beyond these basics. They allow you to track engagement like email opens, clicks, website data and an active campaign. It's all automatic, and this kind of data is gold for legal marketing. It helps you understand which contacts are actually engaging with your content and maybe which ones need a little bit of a nudge. And the CRM capabilities in active campaign are not too shabby either. They let us keep detailed notes on contact interactions and meetings, consults, and this kind of information stored in our contact info pages helps us ensure that every communication is personalized and personal and it's specifically tailored to the needs of the user. This is really critical here, and I say it's important because that kind of organization is really the linchpin to success in legal marketing. Without a good system, your email platform is going to quickly turn into a nightmare that you never want to look at again. So we're going to run through a couple of key strategies you can use to keep things tidy, but there is no one way to marry Kondo this correctly. You can use whatever organization system you like and whatever works for you is okay, but you need to be doing something. So number one that I like to think about is segmentation. This is the key. This is the secret sauce in legal marketing in pretty much every avenue. And when it comes to streamlining the lists in our account, we want to start by creating lists that are catering to specific audience segments, like current clients, prospects, maybe newsletter subscribers or previous clients, and this type of segmentation in our data is going to help ensure that messaging for each of these groups remains relevant and it's going to resonate with the right audience at the right stage in the process. By keeping things simple and basing things on what type of relationship or what stage of the relationship it is with that person, you're not going to need to move people around so much or have them added to a bunch of different lists. But the other things we use tags. But number two is consistent naming conventions. This is probably the most common error I see in any type of platform that any marketer has been working on is that naming conventions are all over the place, and I'm definitely guilty of this myself, but there's a system to deal with this, because it really, really helps if you have multiple teams, multiple team members working on your data. But these naming conventions you want to develop a standardized version of this for your lists and for your tags, and that's because this small but really really significant step is going to simplify everything about selecting the right list or tag or creating email campaigns or when you're creating automations. It avoids the guesswork completely, so it'll save you time and minimize errors for you and your team, and it's going to make these tasks related to email significantly easier to delegate, if this is all listed out somewhere. But number three is that tags are your precision tool. We've talked about them a little bit, but think about these as precision instruments. They allow you to categorize contacts within lists based on specific attributes or behaviors, and while lists are really, really valuable to us, don't go overboard there. A giant horde of lists in your account is it going to eventually cause a lot more problems than it solves. Trust me, I'm organizing my own account, but instead you can use tags to start creating subcategories within your broader lists. This will keep things clean and efficient and allow contacts to be tagged with different interests and different automations seamlessly without having to move them back and forth. Number four is to automate assignment. This is a simple step that can really really supercharge your system. I use this. You should absolutely be using this with tags and with lists, but take advantage of the automation rules in your email marketing platform to automatically assign users to lists and assign tags to them based on either where they're coming from or their behavior after they're in your system. So if they're coming from a specific form, we want to put them into a particular list and then we're putting a tag that tells us about where they came from. For example, if a contact clicks a link related to a specific practice area that you work on, then you'll tag them based on what the link was or the practice area of the link, and then that gives us something to work with for content marketing. Later on, we're starting to build lists of people who have interests within, people who are interested in our firm. And, last but not least, we do need to talk about your hygiene a little bit, and that's because clean data means better engagement, and maintaining clean and accurate contact data is really the key to email marketing success. If you don't have accurate data, we don't know what we're doing at all. So every now and then, or maybe just every spring for spring cleaning at least, take a magnifying glass to your lists and your tags and really your whole account, look at all your contacts and start to remove old contacts that are either going cold or that have disengaged, and remove tags from users that are still engaged, but maybe we're not doing anything with those tags anymore. Look for redundant tags or outdated tags too. You'll probably find some of these every now and then. Keeping these things up to date, removing the bad or old contacts and just generally keeping things uncluttered is going to help you improve your engagement through your email marketing efforts and just improve your marketing overall. It's so simple that getting this stuff clean would help you out, and all of these systems together can seem like a bit of a monster to deal with. I get it, and if everyone isn't working together and firing on all cylinders it's really difficult. I understand, but with everyone on the same page about all of how your lists, your tags, your contacts work and all of the pieces of the system really well documented, success is in your future, and we're going to talk about training and educating your team on email marketing more in another episode, but for today, that's it for Legal Marketing 101. Check out rosanadvertisingcom for more Thanks.