How To Keep Your Email Sequence Automations From Overwhelming Your Raving Fans

email list segmentation tips

An email list is designed to allow you to continue building a relationship with your subscribers… but there's a problem:

Each of your subscribers has a different idea of what the “relationship” should look like.

So how do you keep your email sequence automations from overwhelming your raving fans?

There's a trick you can use to decrease the amount of unsubscribes you receive from your clients. And it's called tagging.

Start With An Email Marketing Platform With Tagging Capabilities

“Tagging” is a method of labeling – or segmenting – your email subscribers, based on their activity (or inactivity).

It's a great feature that some CRM systems (like Drip, ActiveCampaign, etc.) offer to power your email automation. For it to work, all you have to do is create a tag and set up its parameters. Then, sit back and let your CRM system do the rest.

Not all email marketing systems have the ability to tag… so choosing the right tag-based CRM is going to make a huge difference.

Then, you can use the following email list segmentation tips to create the automated email sequences that will impress – not overwhelm – your raving fans.

Tip 1: Create A Unique Welcome Sequence For Each Opt-In

With each opt-in offer we create, we spend a significant amount of time planning its look, feel, and content.

But do we take the same amount of time to plan out what's going to happen after our new subscriber opts in?

This is one place where tagging can really come in handy:

With each opt-in offer, you can choose to run a unique welcome sequence that eases the transition between “here's your free book” and “yo, I'm showing up every week with a newsletter.”

The sequence might look something like this one, built in ActiveCampaign:

email list segmentation tips

Essentially, your new subscriber begins with the new opt-in tag (which triggers the sequence), and after making it through the series of emails, receives your regular “newsletter subscriber” tag, completing the transition.

Tip 2: Offer An Opt-Out for A Particular Sequence

It's inevitable: at some point you'll likely end up running a promotion (for your own product or someone else's). The first people you'll want to tell about it are the ones on your email list.

But what tends to happen (especially when you're promoting someone else's product) is that a portion of your email list subscribers become disenchanted with the promotion.

With this disenchantment comes the dreaded “unsubscribe.”

…tagging to the rescue, again!

One thing that's worked really well for us during our own promotions is creating two tracks:

The “Light” Promotion – just an email or two that's sent out to all of our subscribers.
The “Intense” Promotion – a more focused and in-depth series of emails that are sent to anyone who clicked on a link in the “light” emails.

Here's how it works:

The Light-version emails are designed to raise awareness and interest in whatever promotion we're running, but they aren't really focused on really selling the product. They're focused on enticing subscribers to click on a link to “learn more”.

Anyone who does click on one of these links is then tagged in our CRM. This kickstarts the “Intense” series of emails.

And because we know that they expressed some level of interest in the product, we're not as concerned about annoying them with a more intense sales promotion.

In the end, everyone is much happier. Our subscribers are all aware of a new product that we truly believe in, and those who are actively interested have the chance to learn more.

Tip 3: Use Tags to Know Ahead of Time Where You'll Be Sending Each Promotion

Tip #2 uses tags to filter your subscribers in the middle of a promotion. But now, let's take a look at how to be more proactive with your tagging.

By using email list tags throughout your marketing and selling process, you can pre-determine who's going to be most receptive to your various upsells, cross-sells, and downsells.

In short, you can identify the needs of your clients and connect them with the resources that fit them the best.

For example:

The moment someone purchases our PopupAlly Pro plugin, they receive a unique tag.

Sure, we could automatically send them an upsell sequence that's triggered by the tag.

But we can also take advantage of the tag months later. We did this, for example, when we came out with the AccessAlly Pro integration with PopupAlly.

Our popup plugin users could receive a much more personalized message that “hey, your popup plugin can now be used with AccessAlly Pro to build opt-in quizzes!”

Those without the PopupAlly (or AccessAlly Pro) tags received a much more generic “Have you ever thought of the potential of using an opt-in quiz to build your email list?” message.

In the end, the message was much more tailored to the actual needs of the recipients.

Idea 4: Culling the Email List

This last idea is focused on the overall health of your email list.

Because at some point, you'll want to take the time to clean out the “dead” subscribers who aren't superfans of your message anymore (or maybe who only signed up for a free gift int he first place).

When this happens, you can create a re-engagement email sequence to see who's still interested – and who couldn't care less.

You can learn more about how we set ours up in this blog, but essentially, here's how the sequence runs:

  1. All subscribers who haven't opened an email from you in X days are added to a sequence
  2. If any of these subscribers clicks a link in the emails, they're removed from the sequence
  3. Those who never take action (and have no other “purchase” tags) are removed completely… from your newsletter AND your CRM

It's one of the most effective ways to make sure you're not paying your email marketing system to house subscribers who never interact with your business!

What Email List Segmentation Tips Are You Using?

The entire concept of email list segmentation is focused on personalizing the experience of your email subscribers. Hopefully these 4 email list segmentation tips will help you get started on a new path of personal, unique emails.

If you have any other great ideas or tips to share, list them below – we're all ears!


Maria MyreMaria Myre is the word person at AccessAlly, where she spends her days sipping on espresso and exploring new, intuitive ways to connect entrepreneurs with the tech tools and training that will best fit their business needs. When she’s not writing tech-y business stuff, Maria enjoys art and horseback adventures in the Great Outdoors.

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