How to Use Tags to Understand Your Marketing Funnels

Keith Perhac
Founder @ SegMetrics

Are you using marketing tags to the fullest?

Tagging is a great tool if you use it right, yet we commonly come across clients who are not using tagging effectively, or who are dumping every contact into the same list with no tagging happening at all.

Some people are even just tagging their leads for “someday” because they think they should be, but there is no pattern to their tags, and when the time comes, they don’t remember what the tags meant.

Making good use of tags will not only give you a better system for understanding how your leads go through your marekting funnels, but will help with using other tools, such as Segmetrics.

So why use tagging and how can you do it better?

Why Tag?

There is one key purpose for tagging – to segment your list.

List segmentation can help you get better open and click-through rates on emails as well as better conversion rates overall. By segmenting your audience according to certain characteristics or interests that they share (for example, they signed up for your free report or they attended your live event) you are better able to deliver messages that are well-targeted to your audience.

Mailchimp found in a recent survey that segmented email campaigns significantly out-performed campaigns that were not segmented.


Source: Mailchimp

A message that is targeted based on the preferences of the audience will have a much more powerful impact than simply blanket-emailing your entire list. You lose significant effectiveness if you send the same email to everyone because you train people to believe that your emails aren’t relevant. This means emails could be ignored in the future, even if the subject matter could have been of interest.

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The role of the tag

A tag helps you to break down data into small groups based on similar interests, actions or demographic measures. Tags help you create your targeted segments because they are easily grouped together and reviewed later. You can review like-for-like, or even see whether there are correlations between one and another.


Tags can also help you tell at a glance what a customer’s relationship with your business is like. Put simply, they allow you to quickly and easily assess the suitability of your messaging for the customer and facilitate the creation of customer segments.

A good system of tagging is great for tracking and data analysis purposes. With SegMetrics, for example, users can pull all of their tag data into SegMetrics in order to track key metrics for all of their Tags — Leads, Revenue, Lead Value, Conversion Rates, and more.

SegMetrics Tags reporting for EOFire. Learn more about how John Lee Dumas is using this Tags data.

SegMetrics users can also use this Tag data to create in-depth segments of users (e.g., all people who have signed up for a webinar or all people who have purchased a product). Now they can track this specific group of people.

Creating a Segment in SegMetrics allows you to zero in on who you want to track.
Creating a Segment in SegMetrics allows you to zero in on who you want to track.

Tags also help you to set up rules within your CRM. For example, if a customer cancels their subscription to your product or service, you will want to remove any membership related tags automatically, so that they are taken off certain mailing lists and are no longer able to access your product. Having the right tags set up means you don’t have to go through the hassle of manually removing customers.

Tagging Mistakes

By far the biggest and most common mistake we see with tagging is that people use it with that “for someday” mindset and so have no discernable system or pattern for their use. This means that two years later, they probably have no idea what the tag they used means and have forgotten how the lead came to have that tag attached to them.

If you create a mish-mash of tags all over the place, it makes the job of drawing useful data from them that much more difficult. If you have trouble finding useful data, or if it is a difficult process for you to get to it, you could easily be missing opportunities to optimize your business and get better results.

On the other hand, having an organized system for using tags gives you a better ability to make use of your CRM and makes life easier by adding efficiencies to your marketing. This alone can give you an advantage over less-organized competitors.

In short: Don’t be like the tagger who is randomly hitting every wall in town only to create a mess. Be organized and have a clear purpose.

[Tweet “Have a clear purpose for all of your tagging. You want to remember it later!”]


Street art by Banksy – the organized kind of tagging

Tagging Best Practices

Tags can be further grouped into parent categories in your CRM. The best way to use these is to think of the parent category as a labeled drawer, while the tags are the things inside the drawer. You should have well-labeled parent categories and tags that you’d expect to find under them (no “junk drawers!”).

When setting up your parent categories and tags, it’s important to have a logical system which will still make sense to you in the future. You don’t want to be looking at a tag in a couple years time and have no idea what it means.

Most businesses will probably only need 5 or 6 good parent categories. The key for you will be to identify which ones make sense. We’ve included a few ideas from common examples in the next section.

Good Examples Of Tags To Use

Here are some examples of the types of tags that most businesses should use. A useful way of looking at it is that you want to be able to quickly determine an individual’s status with your company at first glance. Beginning with those customers or prospect categories is a good start.


Knowing the specifics behind how a customer signed up with you, what their behaviors are and what kinds of events and topics they’re interested in not only helps you deliver more of that targeted content, but it helps you to identify lead values and customer lifetime values for each source. For example, you might find that while one webinar gets you more lead numbers, a totally different one tends to bring in customers who stay longer or buy more. This tells you what to focus on if you’re looking for good business growth.

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Final Thoughts

Tagging is a vital way to make the best use of your CRM and ensure that you have created a good system. Tags help you segment your audience so that you can be very targeted with your messaging, as well as gather key data in order to identify improvements.

If you want to have a better experience with tagging, it’s important to create a good system for yourself, one that makes sense and that you will remember further down the track. This means you should break down the data you need into logical parent categories and create tags that fit well within those categories.

It’s often the small tweaks that can make a big difference in business, and having a good tagging system is one of those small, yet important changes.

Keith Perhac

Founder @ SegMetrics

Keith is the Founder of SegMetrics, and has spent the last decade working on optimizing marketing funnels and nurture campaigns.

SegMetrics was born out of a frustration with how impossibly hard it is to pull trustworthy, complete and actionable data out of his client's marketing tools.

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