Everyone wants to get tailored content. But how can you do that when you just have a huge list of names? How are you supposed to make sure Taylor gets emails about building his brand and that Monisha gets emails about creating systems to streamline her business?
It’s time for you to up your email marketing game and collect more information on your subscribers.
What Do You Really Need to Know?
There are two types of people in the world:
- People who don’t think they need to collect more information, and
- People who collect more information than they know what to do with.
I’m asking you to find a nice middle ground between these two common types. I want you to collect just enough so that you can segment your audience and not a data point more.
Take a moment right now and make a list of things you wish you knew about your email subscribers. Your list might look something like this:
- The category that best describes their business
- Their career type
- Biggest business obstacle they face
- Location in the world
- Language preferences (Useful if you have a bilingual audience)
- Favorite flavor of bubblegum
Now I want you to ruthlessly cut down your list. A data point about your subscribers stays on the list if you can answer yes to at least 2 of the following questions:
1. Are you willing to create content for just this type of audience?
e.g. Will you create different content based on what their biggest business obstacle is?
2. Is knowing this information about your subscriber going to make them more likely to read your emails?
e.g. Can knowing someone’s favorite flavor of bubblegum going to be useful information to convince people to read your emails?
3. Is it an easy data point to search for and segment?
e.g. Will it be easy to segment people by birthdays? (That’s potentially 365 segments!)
After using the rules above, your list might look like this:
- The category that best describes their business ( Y, Y, Y)
Birthday (N, N, N—unless you’re sending birthday wishes, but that’s another story.)
- Their career type (Y, Y, Y)
- Biggest business obstacle they face (Y, Y, N)
Location in the world (N, N, Y—if country based)
- Language preferences (Y, Y, Y)
Favorite flavor of bubblegum ( N, N, Y)
Now that you’re left with the essentials, we’re going to split the list into two columns: Sign up Form Field and Create a Tag. If you don’t often need to search for this information often OR you want the responses to be freeform, they’ll go into a form field. If you need to constantly segment this audience AND its responses can be narrowed to a short list, then create a tag.
Sign up Form Field
Biggest business obstacle they face
Create a Tag
Category that best describes their business
Note: The Sign Up Form Field requires you to be tech-brave. Read on below to see what it requires. If that’s not your jam, then stick with creating a tag. I promise that even the most tech-shy can accomplish that!
Now that you know what you want to know about your subscribers and how you will store that data, we’re going to create the way you collect that information.
How to Add Other Fields to ConvertKit Forms
Before we jump into the how-tos, a quick and important note: additional fields are not searchable in ConvertKit. If you add a last name field, you cannot search by last name. However, there is a workaround for this. You can always export your email list and find what you need in a CSV file. This workaround is useful if you need to find something in a new field you created.
For those that are a bit tech shy, give this a try but don’t feel too bad if it goes over your head. If you find this to be too difficult, then stick with the second method of tagging to collect data. I recommend you watch a video tutorial of how to do this over at ConvertKit.
1. Go To Any Subscriber’s Page and Add a New Field
Go into a subscriber's individual page. There you can add a custom field. Add the custom field and hit update. Then you’ll be able to grab the HTML code. Copy this and paste it in a plain text document for later.
2. Grab the HTML Code of One of Your Forms
Go into one of the forms you want to have these new data points at. You’re going to grab that HTML and paste it into a plain text document.
3. Add the New Code to the Form
Look in the plain text document that has your HTML for your form. Scroll until you find the text label for First Name and Email Address. Now insert your new code right before the email address label.
4. Add the New Form to Your Website
Now that you have the complete form you need, copy all of that HTML and paste it into the text/HTML section of your website where you want the form to appear. The form will now have your new, additional fields.
How to Collect Information Through Sequences and Link Triggers
Now it’s time to collect information that you want to frequently segment. To do this, you’re going to skip the double opt-in, and instead immediately send an email through a sequence to serve as that confirmation.
1. Create Your Tags and Automation Rule Links
First thing to do is to create tags for each of the responses you want. For example, in language preferences you’d create a tag for every language you create content in.
Once you have all of the tags created, you can then create Automation Rules for each tag.
2. Create a Single-Email Sequence
Go into ConvertKit and create a new sequence. You’ll set the delay to immediately so that the email goes out as soon as they sign up.
In the email body, add your questions and your responses, with the responses being trigger links to add tags to your subscribers. It may look something like this:
I love talking with you about making your biz dreams come true, and I’d love to know a bit more about where you are in your business! Just click the link below that best describes you.
I‘m thinking about starting my business in the next few months
I started my business this year and I need help building my brand
I’ve been running my business a while and I want to learn more about streamlining it and creating effective processes
Thanks for letting me know! I’ll be creating even more content tailored just for you.
Not on the list? Hit reply and let me know what best describes your situation!
3. Create the Ultimate Automation Rule
Create an automation rule so that everyone who signs up on any form gets added to this new sequence. Pro-tip: You can add as many forms in the automation rules as you want! No need to create an automation rule per form, create just one ultimate automation rule.
4. Turn Off Double-Opt-in
Go into each of your forms and turn off double-opt ins for all forms that don’t have downloads/incentives. If subscribers are signing up to get a freebie, then don’t turn off the double opt-in, so they can still get the download link. But if the opt-in is still set to the default confirmation, turn off the double opt-in.
Watch the Data Points Flow In
Now that you have your data points flowing in, your job is start segmenting and creating unique, engaging content. You can create a webinar on effective processes and systems in a business and market it directly to Monisha. You can write an amazing blog post about branding and send it just to Taylor.
When you do this, you’re going to see your open rates skyrocket and your content get a lot more engagement. Why? Because you’re sending them exactly what they needed. This is the beauty of knowing who your audience is.