Small business marketing is a bit like golf.
You don’t use a driver for every single stroke. Yeah, you might luck out and get a hole in one, but it’s more likely you’ll end up spending way too much effort for too little return.
What matters is that you identify exactly which club best fits your current situation. In a sand trap? Use a wedge. Just a few feet from the hole? Bring out the putter.
It’s the same with marketing and growing your business. Every business owner needs to identify their customers’ specific wants, needs, and concerns in order to sell to them better and more effectively.
This is where data segmentation becomes of great value to a small business. In WORKetc, we mainly do this using tags.
Rather than give you completely separate databases of customers and leads (and all the pain and extra effort that come with that setup), we instead put all of them in one and gave users the power to segment data quickly and easily using tags.
These tags can be applied to any activity in WORKetc, from contacts and sales leads to projects, tasks, and timesheets. Even products.
Let’s say you have a digital marketing firm that offers both SEO and PPC services. You can create “SEO” and “PPC” tags to slice and dice all of your contact and project data.
If a new customer wants you to help boost their SEO rankings, for example, you can apply the “SEO” tag to that customer’s contact record plus any SEO projects and tasks that you do for them.
And when you need to get an overview of your SEO services, you can easily filter for the “SEO” tag and immediately see everything that you’ve done and for whom you did them.
It’s a quick and easy way of segmenting and differentiating between different aspects of your business while still keeping everything related tied closely together.
Automate Your System with Tags
WORKetc has a few default contact tags that come with it. You can’t remove, rename, or otherwise edit these default tags, but you can add and remove as many new tags as you wish.
There’s another thing that sets the default system tags apart from the user-created ones: they let you automate certain tasks in WORKetc.
If you apply the “Sales Lead” tag to a contact, for example, a new unnamed lead record will be created. Once that new lead is marked as won, the “Sales Lead’ tag you applied to the contact is automatically changed to a “Client” tag.
There’s also the “Email Bounced” tag. When you email someone using WORKetc and delivery fails, that tag automatically gets applied to the contact record of the person you were emailing.
Filtering your contact list for specific tags is very easy to do, as well: simply click a tag on the tag list to the right of the search box in Contacts > All Contacts and the list will immediately filter for all contacts that have the tag you chose.
If you want to quickly identify all the people who may have switched email addresses so you can contact them via other means to get the new one, you just click on the “more” link on the tag list and click the “Email Bounced” tag in the dropdown.
Send Out Targeted Campaigns With a Few Clicks
You can also use tags to quickly create email lists for highly-targeted marketing campaigns.
Let’s say you run an IT company that offers everything from computer repair to web hosting and design services. You’ve segmented your customers according to which aspects of your business they’ve used, e.g. PC Repair, Web Hosting, and Web Design.
Now let’s say you’re running special discounted prices for annual subscriptions to your web hosting packages, so you create a new marketing email announcing it.
As appreciation for their continued patronage, however, you also want to give your current subscribers a bigger discount.
It would be pointless to send this particular marketing email to clients who only ever used your PC repair services, of course, so you want to send it only to those current clients who have the “Web Hosting” tag applied.
To do that, you simply go to Sales > E-mail Lists, create a new mailing list, and use the “Auto add from tags” option.
Simply select the “Web Hosting” and “Client” tags in the dropdown, make sure that the “Subscribers are added if they contain any tags” option is selected, and then click the “Create” button.
Every single contact in your contact database with the “Web Hosting” and “Client” tags will immediately be added to the new mailing list, and all it took were five or so clicks.
Help Customers Fix Their Issues Fast
Tags can also be used to tailor the availability of knowledge base articles in your WORKetc customer portal.
Using the same IT services example from before, help articles on how to configure a cPanel dashboard would be useless to a client who doesn’t use your web hosting services.
What’s worse is all those extraneous articles could make it longer and harder for them to find the exact fix they’re looking for.
Instead of making all of your knowledge base articles available to every single client with customer portal access, you can use tags so specific articles are accessible only to those clients who will actually find them relevant.
Clients with the “Web Hosting” tag, for example, will only see articles about your web hosting services. Those with the “Web Design” tag will see articles about web design.
By giving clients access to relevant help articles, you not only make it easier for them to resolve their issues by themselves, you also ease the load on your in-house support team.
More Tag Tips & Tricks
Importing contacts can be a bit tricky sometimes. It’s not unheard of to import a whole bunch of new contacts and then suddenly realize at the very end that you messed up and all the fax numbers were mapped to the phone field.
To quickly clean up a mess like this, you can create a temporary tag before you start the import. Something simple like “Import1”.
If you do somehow mess up the import, you can then simply use the bulk removal tool to remove all contacts tagged “Import1” and then start over.
Set tags to appear only on relevant items
It’s easy to go a bit gaga over tags and end up creating a lot of them. To keep non-relevant tags from cluttering up different modules of WORKetc, you can got to Settings > Tags and set them to show only on relevant items.
Tags that you created for contacts and are not relevant for tasks, timesheet, and projects, for example, can be set to appear only in contact records.
Getting Rid of Unneeded tags
Sooner or later you’ll get to a point where you feel the need to delete some of your tags.
If you’re still unsure whether or not you’ll need a tag later, you can instead choose to hide it for now. You can then unhide and delete it later once you’re 100% sure.
Now, if you use tags a lot then chances are you’re going to hate having records with no tags at all. To make sure no items end up tagless, you can apply a different tag to those items before deleting the tag you want to get rid of.
First, simply filter for items that have the tag you want to delete. Let’s say “Acme Marketing Convention 2016”, for example.
Next, apply a different tag to the items that appeared in the search results. You can bulk tag items through the Contacts screen or when you’re using smartlists.
Finally, delete the unneeded tag. All done, and no record ends up without any tags.
We probably don’t use tags as well as we should. We mostly use them in two ways 1) marking what field a client is in (finance, govt, etc) and then to marking contacts as their respective roles (owner, manager, employee). But this post has inspired me to do more…who knows what opportunities we’re missing?
We’re currently using tags to keep track of contracted services for our clients as each contract looks a little different based on the services they subscribe to. For example, education and training is not a service that is automatically included in all contracts. However, clients with that service are tagged appropriately. That way when we add new education offerings, we’re only letting the clients know who are subscribing to that service. This has really helped our account managers to know which clients are utilizing which services across their portfolio of accounts.
We use tags to email clients that have outstanding invoices. We can do a search based on the date of the outstanding invoices. Then we apply a tag to them. Then email everyone with the tag. We also use the smart search feature with this. It’s very helpful and useful!
We are tag crazy at TechHelp. At a minimum, we use tags to segment our contact database by client type, industry and area. We provide consulting services to clients that produce everything from micro chips to potato chips. Tags help us target news of an upcoming food safety workshop to the potato chippers and not the micro chippers. Sending the wrong information to a client can damage the relationship and make a client think you are just not paying attention.
We use the tag feature, not as much as a like. but after reading this article it has given me a few new ideas. Being able to send out an email to just the right audience will be extremely useful. It will be interesting to see if i need to use the delete tag feature.
We use tags a lot. When we are calling on prospects and are successful at getting them onto a mailing list – we tag them with a “To Subscribe” tag and then have a smart list that auto-populates with those contacts which are then bulk added to a mailing system. Similarly for other marketing opportunities – we look at creating tags as much as possible.
I live for WorkETC tags. The biggest obstacle this solved was created smartlists, based on tags. I send out monthly emails to the same people each month. I went ahead and tagged all those people with the name of the monthly email. Then I created a smartlist, applying that tag. Now- every month all I have to do is find my smart list and my email gets sent to the right people. I never forget anyone!
Great examples of tag use shared here, including the use of temporary tags.
We mainly use tags for domain names – our work is more domain name-centered, than client-centered. One client may have four domain names, one with all the bells and whistles (tags) and another a satellite site with fewer tags, and two others with a “pointer” tag – simply pointing to the appropriate page of the primary domain.
Our main use of tags is developing Smart Lists. We have time, per our business model, to do whatever is in the greatest interest of the most clients to ensure their site is successful. With a tag-driven Smart List, we’re able to document our work as we do it, and to document any deviations from the norm.
I started this post yesterday…then took a couple of hours to revisit the User Guide for Smart Lists to see how we could make better use of tags. Now I’ll have to look at System Tags again, too. Good refreshers. With your examples and the great examples of other users, there’s always more insights to glean. Thanks.
We’ve been focussing on using Tags more effectively. We like how Tags can automatically populate mailing lists – one less manual step for us to do. We are also searching for segmented users using multiple tags and incorporating Tags into Mailchimp. Tags is a key feature for us in WorkEtc.