First we’re going to start out with the list-based systems. These are things like AWeber, MailChimp, Constant Contact. Although AWeber is working on moving towards tags — they’ve added some tags in there — they’re still not a full tag-based system as far as I can tell, but definitely MailChimp, Constant Contact, these are list-based systems. These are what most people are used to in email systems.
I’ve got some examples here. If somebody comes to your website, you’re a pet store and they sign up on your email list, and they sign up on a lead magnet you have for cats, the I Crave Cats list, in a list-based system you would have separate lists for each pet type. You got I Crave Cats, I Dig Dogs, I Prefer Parrots, I Love Lemurs. If you are a cat person, you’re going to be email@example.com. You’re going to start getting emails, the buy my cat stuff, the more about cats email. These would be autoresponders.
In a list-based system, the list gets the same autoresponder. If you want one specific to cats, you’re going to have to have a cat list. If you want an autoresponder specific to dogs, you’re going to need a dog list. Now what happens if the cat guy comes along and says, “I also own a parrot, so now I want the parrot stuff”?
Well, in a list-based system the cat email is going to be in the system twice as two separate contacts, one on the I Crave Cats list and one on the I Prefer Parrots list. Again, if a dog guy comes along and also has a lemur, the dog email address will be duplicated and he will be on two separate lists with the same email address. Got that? We’re making a list of people specific to that topic. One list, one autoresponder for that list.
Now, what happens if I want to send a broadcast, I want to send a message to everybody who owns a cat? That’s pretty easy because I’m going to send to the cat list, I’m going to send an email about cats. Now to me a broadcast means it’s a specific time, like, “I just woke up this morning and, hey, I want to send an email to my list.” I’m going to broadcast on a message. It’s not an everybody on the list is going to get that message at the same time. It’s not a autoresponder where it’s going to depend on where they are in the system. A broadcast is everybody’s getting the email at the same time.
If I want to broadcast to the cat list, really simple. Pull up the cat list, send them an email. Some with dogs, parrots, lemurs. But, if I want to send an email, a broadcast message, to everybody on my list, now I’m going to broadcast to all pet owners. In order to do that I’m going to have to send it to each of my four lists. Now in some systems – MailChimp – if I we go back here to my cat person, if they’re on the cat list and the parrot list and I do a broadcast to all my lists, they’re going to get that email twice. Other systems are a little more intelligent. I believe AWeber doesn’t do that. But in MailChimp, everybody, if they’re on the two lists, they’re going to get the email twice.
The only way to prevent that in a system like MailChimp is to make a master list and then manually move all your lists to it, so when you want to send out an email to everyone, you’ve got a master list. But now you’re duplicating contacts and you’re paying for all of your contacts twice. Pain in the butt.
A different way to do it would be to have one list that you called Pet Owners. When I signed up as a pet owner you could have a custom field that you made that they would identify what kind of pet they had. Then it would say, “Hey, buy my pet-type stuff.” Here it would fill in cats, or dog, or lemur. Now again, one autoresponder, so I’m going to have to make the same autoresponder for everyone. They’re going to get the same message other than the name of the pet is going to be replaced.
I couldn’t have specials specific to cats. I couldn’t send you to a specific page about dogs because everyone’s getting the same email. Little harder to do, but when I get to the broadcast, now that gets nicer because everyone’s on one list. I can send out a broadcast to all pet owners.
Then I get down here to segments. This is where it starts to get confusing. Because you can segment a list. Based on the fact that people said, “I was a cat,” this custom field was cat, I could make a segment of cat owners. I could make a segment of dogs, parrots, lemurs. Then I could broadcast to just that segment. That might be nicer.
This way, if I do a broadcast to everyone, they’re only going to get the email once even if they’re on the cat segment and the parrot segment. But, the way I’ve just described it, it wouldn’t be possible to do because this is segmenting based on my custom field, and my custom field has to be one value. I can’t have a cat custom field and a parrot in the same custom field. You would have to pick one or the other. These are the drawbacks to a list-based system.
Now let’s move over to a tag-based system. Let’s talk about tag-based. These are systems like ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft, ONTRAPORT, which I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about these before. These are tag-based systems. Now here’s the big difference between a tag and a list. With the tag-based system, everyone is on my list once. Usually by email address. If I ever came back and tried to sign up a second time as a dog owner, when I was originally a cat owner, if I use the same email address it’s going to look at that and say, “Oh, he’s got both.”
Here, it’s by your email address. Cat, I can tag them as a cat owner. I can put them on an autoresponder sequence that’s cat welcome. Same with dog. I tag them as a dog owner. They go on a sequence that’s dog welcome. Here comes my parrot guy. I tag him as a parrot but he also has a cat. We can do that. We can tag him as a cat owner. Now he’s going to get the parrot welcome and the cat welcome. Same thing with lemur. We tag him as lemur; he could get dog as well.
Now we can set up a lot of rules based off of these tags or these sequences. See, with a tag-based system there’s a lot of rules involved in the background. You can do just about anything you want based off of a tag, or even what they did, what they clicked on, what they went to. Very powerful stuff.
In this case, if he originally signed up as a parrot owner and was getting parrot autoresponders, two weeks later, if he signed up as a cat owner and I didn’t want him to get conflicting emails, I could pause the parrot welcome emails and start the cat. Or I could just say, “Don’t start the cat until he’s finished with the parrot.” Very powerful stuff. You can really set up a lot of rules to do whatever you want. That’s the different welcome sequences.
Notice that these sequences aren’t associated with a list. It’s totally free-form. I can just take people from Dog and I can move them down to the dog sequence. Again, they could also be on Lemur. They could be on Parrot. They could be on anything. It’s totally free-flowing. These would be my autoresponders that are going out based on what lead magnet they asked for.
Now what if I want to do a broadcast? I want to do a broadcast to all? Super simple, because everybody’s on one database, one entire list. I just say, “Send it to the whole list.” Pretty simple. But, if I wanted to send a broadcast to my cat people, again really easy. Because I’m just going to look for anybody who has the tag cat. I want to broadcast to my dog list, I’m going to look for anybody that has the tag dog, and so on. Very simple to do broadcasts. If I do the broadcast to all, they’re not going to get four emails from me because they’re tagged as cat, dog, parrot, lemur, like they would in a list-based system possibly, depending on which one you’re on.
That’s the real basics of list versus tag. Tag gives you a lot more power. List a little simpler as far as probably setting up in the beginning, but a lot more limiting because your autoresponders are limited to one per list in most of these systems. Tags, I can go crazy; I can do anything. Lists, a lot more limiting. There you go. My quick overview of list versus tags. You got any questions, hit me up in the Facebook group. Hope that clears some things up for people. Thanks for listening on a Saturday morning.