What appears to be one of the most confusing, and often misunderstood areas of Infusionsoft, is the Tags area. I often hear from my clients that they have too many tags in their application, confusing tags or that they have no idea how tags are relevant or what they do inside the app. In this article I hope to clear that up a bit and help you understand how to best use Infusionsoft tags to better segment and manage your prospects, leads, and customers.
What is a Tag in Infusionsoft?
Let’s start at the very basic level with ‘what is a tag in Infusionsoft’. I think that a visual will better help to demonstrate what tags are. To me, the easiest way to understand a tag is to see it as a sticky note you are applying to your contacts. See the illustration below as an example.
In the graphic of contacts above, which we will imagine represents the list of a pet shop owner, we see 3 different types of contacts. We have Martin, who is a ‘New Lead’ and has just joined the list. Martin is new to the brand and will need to first be indoctrinated (educated) into the brand. Martin is given the tag ‘New Lead’ to help us identify him as such.
Marion, on the other hand, has already been ‘Indoctrinated’ and through that process we have also identified her as a ‘Dog Owner’.
Looking at Stan, we see he is much further along in our funnel as he has a ‘Customer’ tag, a ‘Parrot Owner’ tag and a ‘Subscriber’ tag. Stan has been digesting our content regularly through our newsletter and has also purchased from us giving him the ‘Customer’ tag.
Based on what I have outlined here, you can see right away that each of these contacts is different and should be spoken to differently in our marketing content.
For example, since Martin is new, we want to help him first learn about our brand and what we have to offer for him and his pets. We would also like to identify his needs by determining the type of pet Martin owns and what items he likes to use for his pet. The marketing messages we first send to Martin should be helping to do this, and after this is complete, we would mark him as ‘Indoctrinated’ so we don’t send him through that portion of the funnel again by mistake.
Since Marion has already been identified as a ‘Dog Owner’. We want to make use of this identification by sending Marion ‘Dog specific’ content and offers to build our authority on Dogs and encourage her to buy Dog products, and ultimately, become a loyal customer.
Finally, we have Stan who has been in our funnel for awhile. Stan is a subscriber to our newsletter or blog and has purchased from us before, gaining him the ‘Customer’ tag. In weighing all of these contacts, Stan is a bit more valuable to us because he has opened his wallet. We have gained his trust. We have opportunities here that we currently do not have with Martin or Marion. We also know that Stan is a ‘Parrot Owner’ so we want to encourage him to read more ‘Parrot related content’ and buy more ‘Parrot supplies’ by sending him coupons and offers related to his specific pet. Since our messages are specific to his type of pet, Stan feels cared about by our brand. If we were just sending him generalized content about all types of pets, he would feel less appreciated and probably be far less engaged.
Just from this very fundamental illustration, you can begin to see the power of tags in list segmentation.
Too Many Infusionsoft Tags
I rarely find a case where having too many tags is the problem. Usually, it is a disorganized list of tags or tags not being used properly which is the real culprit.
Tags play a very important role in segmenting your list and you should have as many tags as makes sense for your business. This will vary based on your type of business and offerings.
A business coach with 1-2 products is usually going to have less tags than a shop with 50 products, especially if the latter shop is doing very targeted product promotion. As a new customer buys from the shop with 50 items, they may receive a tag for each specific item they buy. This could result in 50 tags on one contact, if they purchased every item the shop offers. That is usually unlikely, and not everyone is drilling down that deep, but you can see why ‘too many tags’ is usually not the case.
Removing Infusionsoft Tags
As important as applying tags is, the removal of these tags is also important and too often overlooked. As an example, let’s take Martin from the illustration above. If Martin comes into our list and gets a ‘New Lead’ tag, gets indoctrinated and receives the ‘Indoctrinated’ tag, the ‘New Lead’ tag should be removed to eliminate confusion.
Once indoctrinated to the brand, Martin is no longer in the ‘New Lead’ stage and we need to be sure he is identified correctly, so removing that ‘New Lead’ tag becomes very important.
Without the removal, he is identified as both and may start to receive mixed messages or too many emails. This could quickly result in him removing himself from our list since he is getting overwhelmed with marketing that doesn’t make sense and he doesn’t feel important, he feels like a target.
Organizing Infusionsoft Tags
There are often instances I find with my clients, where tags have been misused or duplicated, resulting in too many tags. In these cases, it is important to look through your tags to see if this is the case, clean up these duplicates, and keep your tag list cleaner to make better use of it. Not understanding what your tags mean, or how they are being used, causes confusion and overwhelm.
Having set naming rules for your tags is also important and a way to keep cleaner tag lists. By the way, shorter is always better, so try to make use of abbreviations where it makes sense.
Here we see an example of a tag list that makes use of well thought out naming rules. We’ll use the pet shop again for this example.
Pet Owner Type > Dog Owner
Pet Owner Type > Dog Owner > Pit Bull Terrier
Pet Owner Type > Dog Owner > Pug
Pet Owner Type > Cat Owner
Pet Owner Type > Cat Owner > Hairless
Pet Owner Type > Cat Owner > Siamese
Pet Owner Type > Exotic Bird Owner > Parrot
Pet Owner Type > Bird Owner > Parakeet
Products > Exotic Bird Owner > Parrot Food
Products > Exotic Bird Owner > Parrot Health
Products > Exotic Bird Owner > Parrot Grooming
Products > Dog Food
Products > Dog Health
Products > Dog Grooming
Subscriber > Cat Newsletter
Subscriber > Cat Blog
Subscriber > Parrot Newsletter
Subscriber > Parrot Blog
Subscriber > Parrot Coupons
You get the idea.
As you can see, planning your Infusionsoft tag naming rules is vitally important and will save time later. Spending a little time planning from the start is far easier than trying to clean up a mess later – disorganized tags can get messy quick!
Infusionsoft Tag Categories
So what about tag categories then? How do they come into play?
Like tags, tag categories can also be confusing, especially for a new Infusionsoft user. I often see an unplanned list of categories which make this entire tagging process even more murky. I’ll see common errors like PROSPECT & PROSPECTS or CUSTOMERS & PURCHASERS in category lists. This causes nothing but confusion for you and your team.
Infusionsoft gives you a predetermined set of categories when they set up your application, but you do not have to use these. Use categories that make sense to your business and your funnels. Here are some suggestions for some basic Tag Categories, but again, these will vary by business and you can name them whatever makes sense.
Prospect – Someone who landed on your website/shop page. Just looking=Prospect.
Lead – Contacts who filled out forms or clicked a Call to Action. More engaged=Lead.
Customer – Contacts who Purchased from you.
Inactive – Includes tags related to Contacts who have become unengaged with your website or content over a period of time.
Behavior – Includes tags tracking behaviors of Contacts such as viewing a blog post or clicking over to a video.
Functional – Includes tags used for tracking internal campaign actions for reporting and measuring.
Historical – To track Contact or Campaign historical tags for internal marketing analysis and list cleanup.
Products – This can hold all your product tags.
Pet Type – In the Pet Shop scenario above, this would hold all Pet Type tags. If you sell jewelry, this could hold Jewelry Type tags (bracelets, rings, etc).
There are many more you could add based on how you want your tags organized, but keep in mind this list should remain a fairly short list. You can have too many categories. Use categories that make sense for your tags. What they hold should be easy to identify at a glance. 1-2 word titles are best.
Your Infusionsoft Tagging Recap
I hope this article helped to clear up some initial confusion you may have had about Infusionsoft Tagging and will help you to plan (or clean up) your application tags. If you have a question I haven’t answered in the article, please let me know in the comments are below and I will reply back. Now I invite you to get organized and start making better use of those Infusionsoft tags!