How can I efficiently use lists and tags?

One of the key features of MailBlue is the ability to use lists and tags to segment your contacts and deliver targeted campaigns. In this article, we discuss how you can efficiently use lists and tags to take your email marketing strategy to the next level. How do lists and tags work together and what implications can this have for your email marketing?

In this article, you will learn about the following:


What are lists?

A list is a group of contacts. For example, you can create a list for contacts who have indicated they want to receive your newsletter. Before sending a standalone campaign or automation email, it is required to have at least one list. Contacts must be subscribed to at least one list in order to receive your campaigns.


How can I use lists for campaigns?

You always send a campaign to one or more lists. Below you can read how lists apply to campaigns in MailBlue:

  1. Target Audience Segmentation: When setting up an email marketing campaign, it is important to segment your target audience. Lists serve as the basis for this segmentation. You can choose a specific list as the recipients of your campaign. This ensures that your emails are sent to the right group of people, increasing the relevance of your messages.

  2. A/B Testing: Lists can be used for A/B testing. For example, you can create a campaign and send it to two different lists, with each list receiving a different version of your email. This allows you to determine which version performs better in terms of open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

  3. Exclusion Lists: You can exclude lists to prevent certain contacts from receiving specific campaigns. This can be useful if you want to exclude specific contacts from a particular campaign, for example, if they have already responded to an offer.

  4. Reactivation Campaigns: If you have a list of inactive contacts, you can set up targeted reactivation campaigns to re-engage these contacts. For example, you can send a campaign to the list of inactive contacts with a special offer to regain their attention.

  5. Behaviour-Based Segmentation: You can use lists to segment contacts based on their behaviour. For example, if a contact has clicked on a specific link in a previous email, you can add them to a list of 'Interested' and then send a campaign targeted at that interest.

  6. Conditional Content (Plus or Professional subscription): Some email marketing campaigns use dynamic content (conditional content) that changes based on the recipient. Lists can be used to deliver the right conditional content to the right recipients.

  7. Email List Growth: Lists are crucial for managing your email list growth. For example, when running a sign-up campaign, new sign-ups are added to a specific list that you can use for welcome campaigns.

  8. Periodic Newsletters: For periodic newsletters, you can use lists to reach contacts regularly. For example, you can have a list for weekly newsletters and another list for monthly updates. This helps keep your email marketing strategy structured.

  9. Subscription via Campaign: Within a campaign in the email designer, you can add an action to subscribe to a list behind buttons or links. This way, you can subscribe contacts to one or more of your lists after a specific action (such as clicking a link).


How can I use lists for automations?

Lists are used to segment and organise contacts, and this segmentation can be crucial when creating effective automations. Here is an explanation of how lists play a role in automations in MailBlue:

  1. Segmentation: Before you can create an automation, it is often necessary to segment contacts based on specific criteria. This starts with placing contacts in the right lists. For example, you may want to put contacts who have made a certain purchase on a specific list before starting an automation.

  2. Start trigger: When setting up an automation, you can define specific start conditions, such as subscribing to a list. This means the automation starts when a contact is added to a particular list.

  3. Trigger-based actions: During an automation, you can set actions to be taken based on certain triggers. These triggers may relate to which list a contact is on. For example, if a contact is added to a list with the tag 'Interest in Product X,' this can serve as a trigger to send a targeted email.

  4. Moving between lists: Automations can move contacts between lists based on specific conditions. If a contact takes a certain action, this may result in moving them to another list. For example, if a contact makes a purchase, they can be moved from the 'Potential Customers' list to the 'Current Customers' list.

  5. Adding and removing from lists: You can also use automations to add contacts to a specific list or remove them from specific lists. This can be useful for segmenting contacts, adding them to another automation, or preventing certain contacts from going through the same automation multiple times.

  6. Dynamic segmentation: Automations can contribute to dynamic segmentation. This means contacts are automatically added to different lists based on their interactions and behaviour. This is especially useful for sending highly personalised messages.


What are tags?

Tags quickly and easily display essential contact information and are a powerful addition to lists in MailBlue. They allow you to further segment and categorise contacts based on specific characteristics or behaviour.

Overall, tags help you stay organised or trigger an action; sometimes they do both. In MailBlue, there are three key functions of tags:

  1. Organising

  2. Start triggers

  3. Segmenting

The three functions of tags are further explained in the article 'What are tags?'


How can I use tags for campaigns?

Here are some ways you can use tags for your campaigns:

  1. Segmentation based on interests: Assign tags to contacts based on their interests or behaviour. For example, if you have an e-commerce store, you can assign tags to contacts who have viewed or purchased specific product categories, such as 'Shoes,' 'Clothing,' or 'Accessories.' You can then use these tags to send targeted campaigns to contacts with specific interests.

  2. Sending targeted offers: Use tags to identify contacts eligible for special offers. For instance, if you have a discount promotion for men's fashion, you can tag contacts with 'Men's Offer' and then create a campaign that is only sent to contacts with that tag.

  3. Status tracking: Tags can be used to track the status of contacts. For example, you can assign a tag 'New Subscriber' to contacts who have just signed up for your newsletter. This allows you to trigger targeted welcome campaigns for new subscribers.

  4. Abandoned cart campaigns: For e-commerce businesses, using tags is effective in implementing abandoned cart campaigns. If a contact adds a product to their cart but does not complete the purchase, you can assign a tag, such as 'Abandoned Cart.' This enables you to trigger automated campaigns to remind these contacts of their abandoned cart.

  5. Behaviour-based campaigns: Use tags to trigger behaviour-based campaigns. If a contact takes certain actions, such as opening a specific email or clicking on a link to a particular product, you can assign tags that reflect their behaviour. You can then create campaigns tailored to that specific behaviour.

  6. Dynamic content: Tags can be used to display dynamic content in your emails. You can create different versions of an email and customise its content based on the recipients' tags. This allows your emails to be highly personalised and relevant.

  7. Lead scoring: Tags can be used as part of a lead scoring system. You can assign points to contacts based on their behaviour and engagement. If a contact reaches a certain score threshold, you can enrol them in a specific campaign or consider them as qualified leads.

  8. Exclusions: Tags can also be used to exclude contacts from certain campaigns. For example, if a contact has already responded to a specific offer, you can assign a tag to prevent them from receiving the same offer again.


How can I use tags for automations?

Here's how you can use tags in automations:

  1. Assigning a tag as an action trigger: You can set up automations to assign a tag when a specific action is taken. For example, if a contact opens a certain link in an email, you can assign a tag such as 'Interest in Product X.' This tag can then serve as the trigger for further automation.

  2. Segmenting with tags: Automations can be triggered based on tags. If a contact has a specific tag, this can lead to the start of an automation. Imagine you are organising an event and you want to send a follow-up email to participants. You can set up an automation that is triggered when the tag 'Participant' is assigned.

  3. Action based on tag change: You can set up automations that respond to changes in a contact's tag status. For example, if a contact loses the tag 'Customer Trial Period,' this can trigger an automation to send them a follow-up offer.

  4. Tag removal: Automations can also be triggered when a tag is removed. This can be useful to know when a contact no longer meets certain criteria. For example, if a contact loses the tag 'Prospect,' this can lead to an automation that moves them to another list or sends a follow-up email.

  5. Tag-based splits: You can split automations via an if/else step based on tags. This allows you to create different flow paths based on contacts' tags. For example, if a contact has the tag 'Interested in Product A,' you can send them to a campaign focused on that specific product.

  6. Dynamic content: Tags can be used to activate dynamic content in your automations. For example, if a contact has the tag 'VIP,' you can include a special greeting or offer in your email action.


How can I optimally combine lists and tags?

Combining lists and tags in MailBlue is a powerful way to refine your email marketing strategy and send highly targeted campaigns. Here are some steps to efficiently combine lists and tags:

  1. Create clean and well-organised lists: Start by cleaning up your lists. Make sure contacts are on relevant lists. For example, if a contact makes a purchase, you can place them on a 'Customers' list. Then, you can use tags to track their interests, any purchase history, and other relevant criteria. For instance, if you have an e-commerce business, create one customer list, and then use tags for different product categories such as 'Clothing,' 'Accessories,' and 'Shoes.'

  2. Assign tags based on behaviour and interests: Use tags to capture the behaviour and interests of your contacts. When a contact takes a specific action, like opening an email or visiting a product page on your website, assign the relevant tag. Examples of such tags could be 'Email opened,' 'Viewed Product A,' or 'Purchase behaviour.'

  3. Automatic segmentation with tags: Set up automation's start trigger to assign tags based on behaviour. For example, if someone opens a specific link in an email, automatically assign the tag 'Interest in Product X.' This can be combined with automatic segmentation options based on lists.

  4. Move contacts between lists based on tags: When contacts are assigned certain tags, you can set up automations to move them between lists. This helps organise your contacts and ensures they are on the right lists for relevant campaigns. For example, if a contact earns the 'Customer' tag, you can move them from the 'Potential Customers' list to the 'Current Customers' list.

  5. Targeted campaigns with lists and tags: Now you can set up highly targeted campaigns. For example, you can send a campaign to all contacts on the 'Customers' list who have the tag 'Interest in Product Y,' delivering a specific offer to a specific group. This is called segments, which you can read more about here.

  6. Conditional content (Plus or Professional subscription): Combine tags with conditional content to better tailor emails to a contact's interests. For instance, if a contact has the 'Lead' tag, you can create automations where contacts are followed based on their tag with specific emails tailored to their needs and interests.

  7. Tag monitoring and optimisation: Regularly evaluate how tags are assigned and changed, and adjust your automations accordingly (first set the automation to inactive to prevent errors). If certain tags lead to better engagement and conversions, adjust your campaigns to leverage these tags.


By effectively using lists and tags, you can deliver targeted campaigns that increase engagement with your audience and elevate your email marketing strategy. Taking the time to organise and utilise your lists and tags will result in significantly more effective email marketing campaigns. The possibilities are endless, and utilising these features will help improve your communication with your audience and grow your business.


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