Office Hours – January 12, 2018

Recording of Office Hours hosted by Chris Davis on January 12, 2018.

Topics covered in this session:

  • Deliverability
  • How and when to use the RSS feature
  • Best practices for having multiple lists
  • How to use automations to handle unsubscribes


Chris Davis: Remember, if you can’t make it or you have to skip out early or you want to make sure your question gets answered with priority, you can always send your questions to my email here and just make sure you add office hours in the subject line so I could keep track of it. I’m coming right to you, Jeff, because your hand is up. Let me unmute you when I get the chance. Unmute [00:00:30] it. There we go. Jeff, how you doing?

Jeff: I’m doing great. Can you hear me all right?

Chris Davis: I can hear you perfect.

Jeff: I had a little connection issue. Hey, I got a few things. I got questions and lessons learned to share. I guess I’m starting with my question. I went through some trouble, which I didn’t fully understand all the steps, but to get my domain, which is, that’s my company, validated using [00:01:00] something called DKIM. I ended up interacting with Google on this, an ActiveCampaign. Now, I think I’m sort of like sending from my domain on ActiveCampaign.

Chris Davis: Am I typing in the right URL? Guides to me?

Jeff: No. Guide Smith is like blacksmith or …

Chris Davis: Oh, Guide Smith. I’m sorry.

Jeff: That’s creative.

Chris Davis: There we go.

Jeff: No. [crosstalk 00:01:27] I got issues with …

Chris Davis: There we go. I got [crosstalk 00:01:30].

Jeff: [crosstalk 00:01:31] [00:01:30] This is a British company. This is why ActiveCampaign it’s sort of the third one down, Guide Smith.

Chris Davis: This one.

Jeff: Yeah.

Chris Davis: All right.

Jeff: This is why active …

Chris Davis: [crosstalk 00:01:42] was such a popular name.

Jeff: I know. Long story short, I really liked the CRM and the email functionality in ActiveCampaign. I wear another hat as a university [00:02:00] professor. I’d like to use nice … I don’t want to get a new subscription ActiveCampaign. I want to use my existing database, send out some unrelated some content that’s unrelated to Guide Smith. I was going to ask you again from a sending point of view and making sure people get my emails, I went through this whole process I didn’t really understand to get really like validated as a sender. Within the my [00:02:30] same account, can I be sending … I’m going to create a new list. It’s going to be a bunch of contacts who are unrelated to Guide Smith. Can I send to those people on that list from my essentially with a reply to my university domain even if my university domain is not really … It’s not an ActiveCampaign or a Guide Smith domain or anything? It’s just where I want people to reply.

Jeff: Right. Yes, you can. [00:03:00] you can only add for as far as deliverability, you’ll only be able to add one. You went through this or something. Similar to this. Yes, very complicated. Congratulations for getting through it and just for everybody listening, this is to where when you receive emails and it says sent on behalf of and it shows like ActiveCampaign and this long domain and it just shows that the email was sent on behalf of our server. If you go in there and update [00:03:30] this your DNS records and the ID and your SPF records and all that, it will now show that it was sent from your domain. Your domain will inherit all of that reputation. Why is this important? This comes into, well, a few reasons, but one of the most glaring reasons why a lot of people do this, and I’ve seen the biggest value, is when you’re migrating platforms.

Let’s say I came from MailChimp to ActiveCampaign, and MailChimp server was sending all my old emails [00:04:00] now ActiveCampaign server sending these new ones, I’ve got to retrain the ESPs for this new server whereas if I was sending it on behalf of myself, it really doesn’t matter which tool I was using. It would still beat me. That’s just one. There are a lot of benefits from this. It’s very technical to set up, but for you, Jeff, yes, you can send … You can change the from and reply to email. It just would send from this [00:04:30] domain, which isn’t bad because it’s not like it will show. Most people don’t even go up and hover over there your email address to see what it was sent by, but, yeah, you could definitely have a separate list. I would create a label just so you can keep your automations and everything organized to which one goes where. But when you go to like the reports pages here, here it is, if I go here and hit edit, [00:05:00] you can definitely change the front and reply to emails [crosstalk 00:05:07]

Jeff: That’s really interesting. Yeah. I will be using my of my university address as the from and reply to, but the behind the scenes if people really look and dig, they’ll see that it’s coming from as email service [00:05:30] or whatever. That’s okay. Yeah. That’s okay as long as people are sort of separated out that way. Good. Well, thank you for that. Can I keep rolling or …

Chris Davis: Yeah. Keep going. Everybody, don’t hesitate to put your questions in the chat as Jeff and I are going through.

Jeff: By the way, on this topic, I suppose the good news about using ActiveCampaign as the sender is that you guys have a good reputation. [00:06:00] There’s a possibility that I could mess up my reputation in a minute. It’s all on me.

Chris Davis: Yeah. If you all are starting, just know that I would do this and make sure that you start sending to your most engaged leads first just so your new domain will get that reputation and then slowly span out to others.

Jeff: Yeah. For anyone who goes through this, the only real problem with this was I didn’t understand it. I was just [00:06:30] blindly following instructions. Then, I ended up interacting with Google, which is hosting my domain, domain in my email there. They were helpful. You got to reach out and ask people for help. [crosstalk 00:06:43].

Chris Davis: Because you’re using G apps.

Jeff: Yeah. It’s called G Suite now I think but …

Chris Davis: Yeah. You’re right. You’re right.

Jeff: There was a little bit of tweaking and stuff that I didn’t really understand, but they guided me. On both sides, people got added me through it. I just had to submit some help tickets. [00:07:00] Then, with deliverability and all that, if you could say a little bit more about that like what should I be doing to maintain or enhance my reputation now that it is on my domain?

Chris Davis: Yeah. I like to keep deliverability as low-tech or as a basic because it could be real complex, but at the end of the day, Jeff, what I’ve seen work time and time and time and time again [00:07:30] is being very clear like in the subject line to make the value apparent. Don’t try to be too tricky or too mystical. Then, keeping the emails depending on your audience, most audiences appreciate shorter straight-to-the-point emails with a link to send them somewhere to learn more. That’s probably over 80% of the consumption mode nowadays just thinking about how people are interacting [00:08:00] with social media and everything were just so fast.

The reason why I like that is because you’ll get credit for the open. You’ll get credit for the link click. Those three things having a clear subject line that really entices people to open not tricky or mystical or too mystical or whatnot, but not to have good open rates and good click-through rates are going to set you ahead of the game with any platform any day of the week. Now, I know that’s not always the case to just [00:08:30] easily do that. If let’s say you’re … Go ahead, Jeff.

Jeff: Well, no. That actually works pretty well for me. Keep, but that’s good news because that’s my MO.

Chris Davis: For you, your copy here is so good like it’s very clear like what’s going on right here. This catch how fast can you add your next 100 million like at this moment, I’m like I don’t know. [00:09:00] Let me continue. What is he talking about it here? Then, I would anticipate more talk on what goes into a 100 million. I could see a subject line saying here’s what about your next 100 million. Now, that standing alone, you can’t share that in any Facebook group and say, “Hey, this is my headline. My subject line is getting to 60% open rate, but in the context of your [00:09:30] business, that would be probably one of your best performing as far as open rate types of emails because you’ve opened that curiosity loop right here.

When I look at deliver … When I think of deliverability like the low-tech approach to it is how can I pick up the conversation exactly where I left off. It’s almost like you and I are talking, Jeff, and you get interrupted. You’re like, “Hey, Chris, hold on.”

Jeff: [00:10:00] That’s a great metaphor.

Chris Davis: You want to pick up right where you left off. That’s how I view everything if somebody’s reading here and they opt-in, that’s them saying hold on. When they come back whether they’re going to their inbox or somewhere else, you’re picking up right where they left off. That is … Yes. That’s how you’re going to get it. That’s how you can get the best deliverability and continue to just understand and know the market. It’s [00:10:30] crazy, Jeff, because not a lot of people talk about deliverability in that sense. They’re looking for like a static and strategy like should I change this and do that, but it’s really just connecting with people, right?

Jeff: Yeah.

Chris Davis: Good old marketing.

Jeff: While we’re on this page, the request information button, that’s something that I’m using a Rainmaker. It has a nice form here. I’ve tried to put in an ActiveCampaign form because the benefit of using [00:11:00] a native ActiveCampaign form is I can [inaudible 00:11:04] and track people if they’ve subscribed using a form whereas what’s happening here is that Rainmaker via Zapier is sending the info over with a tag to ActiveCampaign. My subscribers show up as subscribed by API is what it says inside.

Chris Davis: Yup.

Jeff: I haven’t been able to make the form look the right … look good basically. [00:11:30] How should I find a designer who will make me a nice form? Is this [inaudible 00:11:37] kind of thing or do ActiveCampaign have a community that I can go?

Chris Davis: You know what, Jeff? I’m so glad you asked. Are you part of the ActiveCampaign Facebook group?

Jeff: I think I am. Yeah. I have to say I’ve been keeping up there, but I am in there. Yeah. I should just post there or …

Chris Davis: Well, no. Let me do this. You’ve given me a good idea. Earlier this week, I posted a roll [00:12:00] call post that asked everybody who writes copy and everybody comment, “I do. I do. I do.” Just so we can know who’s who, let me do this. I’m going to do that same post in and then ask for who does design. Then, you at least have a list of people there in the group that are users, ActiveCampaign users, and do design so you can go from there, but I’ve had a lot of success with Upwork,

Jeff: If I see people on the Facebook group, it’s okay to [00:12:30] commercially approach them and say I’m looking for help like …

Chris Davis: Absolutely.

Jeff: That’s okay.

Chris Davis: Absolutely.

Jeff: I don’t want to violate any …

Chris Davis: Nope. You’re perfectly … That’s what we want you to do. Even if you want to say … If you wanted, hey, I’m using Rainmaker, and I’m trying to make my form beautiful, anybody in the group know how to do that. That’s perfectly fine, Jeff.

Jeff: Cool. Well, rolling along, if you need to go to somebody else, that’s fine, but I got a whole other sequence of questions here.

Chris Davis: We’ve got like three more questions. Let me knock these three [00:13:00] out. Then, I’ll come back to you.

Jeff: Cool.

Chris Davis: I appreciate it, Jeff. Great questions, everybody. Men, we are off and running on, Friday, which is great. Let me … Ryker. Jeff, I didn’t put your name up here when we were going over your questions, a little rusty. Jeff, deliverability and [00:13:30] design. I’ll do that for now. Ryker, hey how are you, Ryker? I believer … Ryker’s in the group. Yes. Ryker’s is in the UH Facebook group adding value. I appreciate that, Ryker. You can connect two domains to the same ActiveCampaign account instance. Yes, Ryker. You’re correct.

[00:14:00] I’m glad you mentioned this because this is something that I mentioned in onboarding with new employees when I’m training them on that is that the fancy word for this is cross-domain tracking. That’s the ability to track when somebody goes from like may be If I owned both of those websites, I will want to be able to track activity across both of them interchangeably. If you notice when you go to tracking, [00:14:30] you see that? You can have as many … Hey, look at Pamela. I’ve got you in here.

You can have as many domains as you want as long as you can put this tracking code in the header of that domain and add it here. Yes, you can track across as many domains, which again, we don’t call it cross-domain tracking, but that’s essentially what it is and other platforms are going to charge you for it. Yes. Thank you for asking that, Ryker. [00:15:00] Ryker’s helping Jeff. Look at that, the gift that keeps giving. Pamela, let me … Welcome back, Pamela. I’m learning you all’s names. It’s good to see you all. I’m just happy if you haven’t been able to tell them. I’m happy to serve, happy to help. You all make my day better.

Can you explain RSS feed in your blog automation? I just don’t get RSS feeds. Welcome to the [00:15:30] club, Pamela. I have used these successfully in the past. I will admit, but I do struggle at times finding a really good use case better than when I publish something on my blog going into ActiveCampaign myself and just creating the email or having somebody do it because a lot of times, I want my email to read a little different. I want to be a little bit more … I want to have a little bit more control over that messaging, but there are instances where it does make sense. Everything is not marketing.

[00:16:00] Sometimes people have a portion of their website that is a … Pamela, while I’m explaining this, if you have a website, put it in there. I can use your website for an example or if you have an example website, all right, great. Here’s what I’ll do, but yeah. Like I said, everybody is not marketing. Sometimes, it makes sense if there’s a portion of your website that’s like just sending updates like maybe every time a new event is posted, you just [00:16:30] want that to go out to people who want to stay updated with your events. That’s a really strong case for RSS. Maybe if you own a software application and there’s a portion where you always put like changelogs or something like that for developers and they just want to keep in touch. Hold on.

Great. Tommy, welcome. I don’t know if I’ve seen you before [inaudible 00:16:58]. Welcome. I’ll answer your questions [00:17:00] too, Tommy. Thank you. Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to use this blog, for example. Now, I don’t know how it’s set up. I’m just hoping I can do this right, but let me just show you what it looks like. There’s two ways. There’s two ways that, okay … This is for your blog. There’s two ways you can set up an RSS feed as a campaign or as an automation. The difference between the two is that [00:17:30] the automation is going to be able to send every time that RSS is updated whereas this … Well, let me just walk through it. I’m sorry.

I get ahead of myself. I prefer to use RSS. I’ll just put it like that in automation RSS, RSS trigger. They’re set up the same way, but I’ll show you exactly what I mean. I’m going to take this web, this blog site, as my example. Let me grab the URL. Hey, that’s a nice pop-up. [00:18:00] Now, I’m going to say who I want this to go to. I’m just going to assume I have like a blog list. I should create one that says blog, but for now, we’ll do master list. Next. This is the segment of people. While I do the campaign, Pamela, if you share the link to your automation, I’ll just import what you have. We can go from there. Use this design. Share it in the chat. [00:18:30] Watch this, everybody.

This is going to take me to now my email builder. In here, what you’re going to realize is that this is set up. At this point, I have this email design to go out to a certain set of people. I have not determined when it happens. That’s what the RSS is going to do, but since this is an email, I don’t want it to be static like I picked one with the most design elements in it, but I don’t want this version [00:19:00] of the email to go out every time. Instead, you’ll want to use this RSS feed.

Now, normally, people, most the time, you can do whatever the URL is forward slash feed. Normally, that works. Let’s see if it works here. Maybe, it is. Question mark feed. Let me take away the news and do [00:19:30] this. Not a valid feed. Let me do this. No feeds. Normally, I think that might just … Ryker, thank you. Pamela, is this a WordPress site? It probably isn’t. This looks probably like you may have Shopify or something. Yes. Tell me about what it’s supposed to be. They said I’m supposed to put [00:20:00] a TM. It’s Shopify.

Let’s see. Let me just see if I can find it real quick out. I won’t almost spent too much time. I’m trying to find it. I just want to answer the question. Blogname.atom. Let’s try it. [00:20:30] Blog dot maybe that perhaps. I don’t know. Here, let me put this link in the chat. I’m not sure how Shopify works. What I was showing everybody was for WordPress. You’ve tried them, okay. That’s interesting. I don’t know. Blogname lost. I don’t [00:21:00] know. This is very vague. I’ll reach out to a Shopify support and figure this out and help them figure it out, have them help figure it out for you.

You would want more documentation on this that does seem very [inaudible 00:21:22]. Let me use one that I know exists. I believe ours is. I think ours is [00:21:30] blog feed. Let’s see. Let’s test it. There we go. You’re on chat with them right now. They are pushing it back to ActiveCampaign. Well, [inaudible 00:21:44], Pamela. I’m glad you have much. Just tell them if they could copy and paste what your exact feed URL is and then I’ll put it in ActiveCampaign. Just have them what is my dot.atom [00:22:00] feed for my site. I’ll put it in here. We can go from there.

If we did have one, you see that I just typed forward slash feed at the end. It automatically formatted. It detected its At that point, this is a preview. I can customize it. I can have the date, the title show or not. I can have the date show or not. I can have the description. Then, I can add a variety of other elements [00:22:30] here. I should be able to add the URL, a link. I can do all of that from here so that when this goes out, it’s going to pull the most recently published item on my site and automatically put it in here as I have it configured too.

[00:23:00] For this one, did I spell it wrong? blog. I have it configured too so if I just for right now is going to have the title, the date, and the short description. That’s it. Every time I publish something, this is when … Okay. Great, Jeff. [00:23:30] I see. This is how it will show when it displays down here. You see. I have it, of course, configured to show 10 items. I can set it to one to show the most recent. Now, it’s always going to have the most recent piece that was published right there. That looks a little easier to read.

That’s going to change. [00:24:00] Every time I update my RSS feed, how do I determine when to check for the RSS feed? That’s at the next one. I’ve got my email configured. You go to the next screen and right down here, you see this? Every time there’s a new post, how often do I want to check? Maybe, if I want to send … Okay. Pamela, okay. Great. Maybe I want to send a weekly digest. Well, what am I going to [00:24:30] do? I’m going to send this every week. I’m just going to check every week. Then, this will automatically go out. If I’m publishing to my blog and I have this set up for every week, every once a week, it’s going to check and then send out that digest for me.

What is what I don’t know is when in the week it does that. That would be something that I would like to know. [00:25:00] I don’t know if it checks every week. No, because this is a specific date. This is a good one. I don’t know. I don’t know I don’t know how to set when it will check. This is probably why I prefer an automation. That’s how we do it in the campaigns. I won’t walk through the entire thing because the automations are the exact same [00:25:30] when it comes to the email, but check this out. Great. Pamela says she found it. Jeff, hey, is this you, Jeff? What are the chances?

If you do it as a start trigger for an automation, you get this same thing, but look at this. We get a little more clarity. If I use it as a start trigger in an automation and I say [00:26:00] weekdays around … What if I don’t want to do weekdays, but it doesn’t look like I have the frequency? There’s the trade-off, I see, but anyways, I could do it daily at 3:00 a.m. The reason why I like to check out at 3:00 a.m. because nothing’s happening at 3:00 a.m. If I updated something, I can see it at 3:00 a.m. Then, immediately afterwards, I can determine when it should go out. When the time of day [00:26:30] is let’s say I want to send it at 8:00 a.m.

This start trigger is just … it’s always running just like if we did it in a campaign, it’s always looking at this feed every day at 3:00 a.m., always looking at this feed every day at 3:00 a.m. Let’s say today I had some. This morning at 3:00 a.m., it says, hey, there’s a new post because I’m requiring at least one. There’s a new post. The start trigger is satisfied. All of the [00:27:00] RSS content is populated, but the email is not sent because they’re waiting. It’s waiting here until 8:00 a.m. all the contexts that meet that criteria. Then, at 8:00 a.m., I’m going to send out that RSS email. Pamela says, “But isn’t there an opportunity to promote a product if it’s in an automation?” Absolutely.

You can promote a product in a campaign too, but yes, you have an opportunity here to do that as well if that’s something that you [00:27:30] wanted to do with RSS. I would say be careful with RSS because it’s easy to set and forget. A lot of times depending on your platform, I know with WordPress, there have been times where I’ve hit publish on something and forgot like I hit published, but I wasn’t going to mail on it for a couple days. I forgot RSS was set up. RSS is just going to do what you told it to do, so 3:00 a.m. so it’s already emailing people. Now, people are reading the post that I wasn’t ready to necessarily share. Yes, [00:28:00] I published it, but it wasn’t ready to share.

Just keep that in mind. Things that are time sensitive and more promo-focused, I wouldn’t necessarily use an RSS feed for that because you’ll want your copy to be a bit more drafted in like cater to the medium or the channel. Use it sparingly, but like to keep people updated is really what the RSS feed was for. Easily keep people updated so that when you’re making updates, you don’t have to go to places and always manage that. You can [00:28:30] let the RSS feed into ActiveCampaign. They could send it out.

Lastly, RSS feeds are some of the oldest technology ever. Those of you who have been online for a while, you remember bloggers or and Feedburner where you could subscribe to people’s blogs. Back then, you could update your blog. It would automatically push it out. That’s what RSS was. This is much out it. [00:29:00] That is where RSS came from, everybody. That’s the background on it. I’m bringing this up because it is a very dated technology that has not been updated much, but there are technical uses for it as of such. The reason why I want to mention it is because as technology and marketing continue to evolve, this is being pushed further and further back as a viable option.

I think that there is going [00:29:30] to be a replacement for it. I don’t know what that replacement would be, but feeds and all of that, I haven’t seen too many cases in marketing where people have pulled them off effectively in an automated fashion, but if we didn’t have RSS, people would be looking at us like we were crazy. I just say that to say use it sparingly. There are some really good cases like I said. To keep people updated is the primary way that I would use RSS feed. I would not use it if it’s something [00:30:00] that you … If it’s a specific call to action that you want to elicit from your end user, I would not use RSS. I would draft a email that is specific to them.

You’re fine, Pamela, because you’re just keeping people updated when you publish a new post or something like that on your blog so yeah. You’re perfectly fine. I’m a little behind. Let me go up here and [00:30:30] see where we’re at because I think I had a new one. Tommy, you had one. Tommy, let me go up. All right. There we go. Tommy, I’ve got yours. Thanks for asking a question, Tommy. I’ve got one in the Q&A. Sherry, I see yours too. We are off and running today. Let me make sure I’m spelling your name right, Tommy, just like it sounds.

[00:31:00] That’s fine, but I’m a marketer that focuses on automotive market. We are white labeled with ActiveCampaign. I’m trying to figure a best practice for syncing my client’s customer information as well as purchase information to ActiveCampaign. We are going to use a middle database to extract the info from. We want to send it to ActiveCampaign. Yes. For example, customer [00:31:30] info, which vehicle they purchase, when was the vehicle purchased so that he can tag them and add them for an automation.

Tommy, honestly, well, that information is being entered directly into the database by the cart, the seller, the salesman. It’s right at that point that you want that data to be sent to ActiveCampaign. That’s good. Let me think here because [00:32:00] your database is probably if it’s a car dealership, it’s going to be custom for that vertical. It’s not like we’ll see it on like Zappy or anything like that. This is going to require some dev work. It won’t be heavy dev work, but it will require some API work because here’s what I’m thinking, Tommy. There is a way to create a form and just give the salesman the form and say, “Hey, make sure you fill [00:32:30] out this link every time you close the sale,” but that can be redundant since they’re already putting that information in the database.

You don’t want them to double down on information. Essentially, you’re going to need to tap into our API and make sure that when the content is entered into your database and from what … I’m no developer before. What I understand is you’re looking to be able to catch a webhook if possible from your database, your middle database. [00:33:00] That’s exactly what I would do. The reason why I said webhooks is because I don’t know what this means, everybody. Listen. I have the ability to be technical, but some of this stuff is beyond my understanding. I can’t even remember where was that. I think it was under the list. This is all your developer will probably have a field day with this. Where was it under? I [00:33:30] guess under campaigns. I can’t remember where was that. Webhooks. I can’t remember, but I’ve seen it.

It’s an interface that I’m like, “Whoa. Where did this come from?” There it is. Just type in webhooks and search. You’ll see, yeah, they were to list. They were hooked up to lists, but if I select webhooks and I do add, [00:34:00] it gets … These are all of the ways. See. I can initial initiate it or initialize it from contact API. The stuff gets detailed by contact, tag being added, removed. I really don’t … I don’t know how to do this. I shouldn’t go here because now I feel stupid, but anyway, it’s there, your developer. Ryker, I’m glad you can see it too and understand it, but you can set up webhooks from within the platform [00:34:30] to make it easier to send information to, but I defer to the API documentation on that, but how you have it set up and how you’re thinking about it, Tommy, is 100% correct. This is exactly what she’ll want to do.

Like you said, if you could tag them right when that information is submitted, now you can have some automation in ActiveCampaign. Absolutely. Yes. In fact, I’d love to be updated on how this is working for you [00:35:00] once you get the integration because, in fact, Tommy it may even make sense to have you on the podcast because you have a very unique business. I don’t get to talk to automotive, people in the automotive market selling cars or whatnot that are using ActiveCampaign. I think that’d be really good for our listeners just to hear how it’s being used in your specific area of profession.

Tommy, you had another [00:35:30] one. Let me just make sure because I don’t want … Tommy said, “I was attempting to use the RSS for my dealer inventory from an XML feed. It would have been great if the RSS had advanced customization other than the existing.” I agree. I agree. It’s one of those things like RSS for sending an email is really what I mean by what’s outdated, but RSS in general like it has … A lot of you may [00:36:00] not know that your abandoned cart is a lot of times set up through RSS. It’s holding the data like when you just start the checkout process, they treat that as an event like a post in the sense that we’ve been talking about.

Then, it uses that feed to populate and say, “Hey, somebody has abandoned cart and can go on from there.” Anyways. It would be nice to have more features on that under the RSS. You’re [00:36:30] correct. The problem is I think it may get a little bit out of the realm of like emails because that’s really what the RSS is for is just based on email sending, but it’s definitely something to be mindful of and keep in mind. I just want to … If I miss your question, please charge it to my head and on my heart because I’m just trying to keep track of everything.

Ryker says, “We’ve had instances where RSS [00:37:00] feed based test emails work, but live emails do not. I try to always send to a list that just has me on it.” Yeah. Absolutely. In fact, you should be a contact on all of your list so you make sure you get all of your communication, everybody. It’s just good practice, but Ryker, that’s happened to me as well. When it came to RSS to sending an email, sometimes, my RSS feed just wouldn’t update. Hence, the email wouldn’t go out or sometimes I will go and see [00:37:30] the RSS feed is updating, but then, it’s not syncing like RSS has been … for me, it has been really, really tricky. Let me see.

Jeff, I see yours. Let me come here if when you circle back to me, I can share my thoughts and experience. I’m setting up automations verses campaigns in particular so that’s someone who unsubscribe from an automation does not unsubscribe from all of this. It’s been useful. [00:38:00] I want to run it by you in case you have further thoughts. Yes. Jeff, I’m going to give you the floor here. Let me just make sure I got them all. It will send [inaudible 00:38:10]. Can you open by reminding everyone to post chats to … Yeah. I’m sorry. Yup. Jeff, good one, good one.

Everybody, when you ask your question if you can select where it says all panelists make sure you select all panelists and attendees so that people can see your questions as [00:38:30] well. Tommy says, “It will send an XML feed to an email.” Yeah. What’s the use case for that one is it like you’ve got an XML that’s being populated with whenever there’s a new customer. Then, it can now send off a welcome like a customer welcome email. Tommy, I’m interested in that just to know a little more about that. Pamela, [00:39:00] yeah. I don’t understand the webhooks in the application like how they’re set up because it’s very technical.

I’ve seen a lot of integrations like after I do an integration after I’ve done an integration, I go to like my webhooks. I’ll see like they automatically added a webhook for me. I’m like, “Okay. Thank you,” but I don’t know like when it comes to setting them up, I have no clue what any of this [00:39:30] means. See, what triggers this webhook to run. It’s like when a contact is added, I can have this webhook, go out. This URL is out my end. I can catch all of the contact information and do stuff with it, but it’s a developer land for me. I don’t do much with it. I like to use the webhooks in automations. Those are a little easier for me to understand.

I’m going to make a lot more money as I dig even deeper than [00:40:00] I have. Pamela, absolutely. I think digging deep in boat into two respects, digging deep in the application and just your audience just understanding their needs more and more and how to meet it in an automated fashion. Tommy, make sure you look at Jeff’s comment. Then, Jeff, I’m going to come to you right after I get Sherry. Sherry, welcome [00:40:30] back. It’s good to have you. Make sure I got you right. I’ve got Sherry’s question here. Let me make sure you’re still on. Yes. Sherry is still on. Great.

Everybody, keep the questions coming. We’ve got 15 minutes. Well I’m going to make sure that I answer everyone’s. Can you talk about best practices on how to send an email like a newsletter out to everyone active on your list making sure that you don’t send the people who have unsubscribed? I have people on multiple lists. If they unsubscribe [00:41:00] from one, I shouldn’t send them anything else. Yeah. This is a good one. This goes into really what Jeff was mentioning about like sending emails with campaigns and automations. Here’s what I’ll say, Sherry. If you’re using lists how we recommended, we recommend using lists as message types, which means when your messaging is drastically different, use another list, but if your messaging is similar, use the same [00:41:30] list just segments with tags and custom fields.

If you want to send out a newsletter who to everyone who’s active on your list, you don’t have to worry about unsubscribes because if somebody has unsubscribed, they’re not going to be able to continue to get emails. Now, the catch is this. If you have them on multiple list … Let’s say they’re on list A, B, and C. They unsubscribe from this A and [00:42:00] B and you continue to send your messaging to all lists, absolutely. They will get that email. Then, now you’re in spam land.

What I recommend is, one, setting up your list so that when they truly subscribe from that list, they’re not ever going to receive a message in that category. Let’s say I sold clothing and I sold liquor, two [00:42:30] totally different things. They’re not same at all. When I send a mass email to everything I have for sale, maybe I just want them to say, hey, look good while you drink this year. Now, I’m trying to blend them. They should have a choice to say, “Hey, I want information on drinking. I just don’t want information on clothing.” That’s where lists really become an easy way to manage that.

Now, Sherry says the problem is that most integrations send data [00:43:00] to a list and not a tag. Are your free gifts end up on a separate list? Absolutely. For that, I recommend having like a worker list or an integration list. That list’s sole responsibility is for, you see this? I have a couple of them. One, this is called AdEspresso customer audience. I would have the name of the app in parenthesis and then what that list is.

I’m just using this list [00:43:30] to capture leads, but the minute those leads engage or take action, I’m adding them to my main list. I’m never really emailing this list. I’m always emailing my main list because those are my active users because if they opted in on my integration list and didn’t take action, they’ll still just be sitting on my integration list, but when they take action, they’re now moved to my master list, which now gives me the ability to market to.

[00:44:00] Now, Sherry. Think about it. I’m only sending email to my master list because this list signifies our active contacts. Regardless of how many other lists I have, I’ve centralized where my active contacts exist. That’s all I’m sending to. At the point that they unsubscribe, then they stop receiving the appropriate information. Do you do that in an automation? Yes, absolutely. I would do something like this. [00:44:30] I have a way better example in the previous office hours because I actually like draw on the board and map it out. I’ll just create it, but it would look something like this. This is almost identical to what it would look like.

Let’s say they subscribe to your list, subscribe. What’s happening here? Subscribe. I said unsubscribe. Subscribe to your list. [00:45:00] I’ll use that AdEspresso for now. First thing I’m going to do, send them a welcome email or whatever email is when they subscribe. If they’re looking for a download or a link magnet and everything. I’ll deliver it there, IAL is [00:45:30] what we’ll call this. Then, here’s what I’m going to do. Wait Intel. I’ll just keep it simple for now. This is going to be specific to you, has clicked on a link in this one, any link. Oops, don’t want to do that. I wanted to … This is what I wanted to do, everybody. I’m sorry. There we go or [00:46:00] has opened that email. I’m just looking for some engagement.

If they don’t engage, guess what? They don’t get to pass to here. The minute they engage though, what I’m going to do is subscribe them now to my master list or my ongoing emailing list. This is the automation that I would use for that. [00:46:30] Again, at any point, I can go in here and look at all of the contacts who were added to my list by requesting something and didn’t take action. I can rest assure that I’m not sending to them, but if I wanted to send to them, I could. When I send my campaign, I could go back and say I want to send to them too, whatever, but at least now I have some filtering going on. This is split-up.

If you could see like an imaginary line here, essentially, I’m saying you opted [00:47:00] in to a list that is just for a specific integration. The top section is I need you to do something. Until you do something, you’re not getting on my main list. If they do … Now, this is totally different. If they come in this list and they see you’re asking them to be updated like get weekly updates and they come in, well, at that point, you may want to send them a confirmation like, hey, your weekly updates are on the way, but you wouldn’t need to wait. [00:47:30] You could just add them straight to the master list at that point.

You could do that right there. Great, Sherry. It sounds like you’ve got it figured out. Like I said, just don’t email this list because this is the list that is essentially just being used to capture the contacts from your integration. No need to email that list. Just keep it singular and email the master list. Yup. Great. Carly, [00:48:00] I didn’t. I’m sorry, Carly. Carly, I promise I would … Right before here, I was looking through my email. I could not find one. I do have … I do see it. I do see it. Carly, let me do this. I’m going to follow up with you via email. I’m going to answer these via email for you just because I missed your email. That [00:48:30] is my fault. I thought I tagged it. Then, when I looked at my tags, I didn’t see it.

Then, I did a quick search. Since I couldn’t remember who sent it, it got lost. I’m going to email you personally on this one. No problem, but I do have it. Just confirming, I do have it in here. Jeff, all right, I’ve got a five minutes. Jeff, I wanted to, if it’s okay, give you the mic, give you the floor for these last few minutes and talk about your experiences sending campaigns and automations if that’s still something [00:49:00] you want to do. If not, that’s fine. I just want to make sure I make good on my promise to you. Just let me know in the chat. Let me promote you up here. Jeff, welcome back.

Jeff: Well, I’m new to ActiveCampaign. In the last three months, I’ve been just drinking from a firehose. [00:49:30] I come to some conclusions. One of them being that not seeing a lot of benefit of using campaigns compared to automations. The main downside of an automation initially appeared to be that when someone unsubscribes from an automation, they will unsubscribe from all your lists. I have two lists. I have what I call broadcast list where I just keep it everyone. I want to blast things out to them. Then, a client [00:50:00] list, which is people who have actually purchased goods and services. I want to keep them separate because I would hate to lose touch with the clients.

What I learned from your help, folks, is that if you start an automation with a trigger that’s like a dummy trigger, a silent trigger, I started with subscribe to broadcast list and first name is [00:50:30] XYZPDQ. What that does apparently is no one’s going to meet that condition because their name is not on XYZPDQ. Their first name but the fact that there’s a trigger in there that associates this automation with my broadcast list means that if anybody unsubscribes even if they didn’t come in to that automation through that trigger, they’re going to come into it through another trigger or I’m going to add them manually. [00:51:00] When they do unsubscribe, they will only unsubscribe from the broadcast list.

Chris Davis: That’s interesting. You know what? Jeff, here, let me show you. Ryker, good to see. Good to have you have a good weekend. Let me show you exactly what Jeff is … That’s interesting. I didn’t think of that. I’ll verify it because I was aware if you start it, if they came through your automation with subscribes to list. If they unsubscribe whether in this automation, it’s just going to be from this [00:51:30] list.

Jeff: [crosstalk 00:51:32] If you associate the automation with the list, then you’re good in terms again subscribe. Again, while you’re checking that out, just to be clear, the reason for this was that otherwise using a campaign might be better because then, you wouldn’t have … If you sent a broadcast email to your clients. And they got annoyed by it and they unsubscribed, they would come off of my client list, which is a separate list. I would lose the ability [00:52:00] to maybe send them updates and whatever …

Chris Davis: Exactly.

Jeff: They need to know about the product or service. This is why this is important. When you segment that audience in that trigger, if your contact subscribes the acuity scheduling, if you segment and you say first name is XYZPDQ, supposedly, I haven’t totally tested this [inaudible 00:52:25]. Now, we’re going to add another trigger, which would be like a [00:52:30] tag is applied or they take some action, whatever you could have trigger. A couple of things I hadn’t appreciated. One is be careful how many triggers you add because I hadn’t appreciated that people … ActiveCampaign doesn’t keep track unless you put a trap in the automation. If people meet multiple triggers, they are going to get duplicate email.

Chris Davis: Yes, because they’ll be in … Yeah. They’ll be in an email multiple times. [crosstalk 00:53:01] [00:53:00] start trigger singular.

Jeff: The way to get around that because I do want multiple triggers frequently is to add a tag that it says you want to add a branch and say I’m tagging this person. If they ever started this automation, I’m going to put a tag on called … They’ve started this automation. Then, I’m going to branch an if/else to say if that tag is there when they come through it, through one of their triggers [crosstalk 00:53:27] email.

Chris Davis: That’s one way, but you could do this. This may [00:53:30] be a little easier for you if I do if/else and go to actions and says is in, is currently in automation.

Jeff: I thought about that, but they might have ended it.

Chris Davis: Yeah. If they ended it, they won’t be in it anymore. Currently, in it means that they’re either queued up or waiting, but if you go to has entered automation, then …

Jeff: No. That’s [00:54:00] one’s tricky because I checked this out. If they’ve entered the automation, everyone who gets to this point has entered the automation by definition. We can’t use that …

Chris Davis: You can’t use [crosstalk 00:54:13] Correct. You can’t use has not ended successfully. Well, you could.

Jeff: It just depends. It just depends on like depending on the automation, I might not ever want to send them this … I know I might want to make sure they never get it twice even if the end of [00:54:30] the automation. They want to restart it. There might be a reason why I don’t want them to get it again.

Chris Davis: You could use a tag if you wanted to do more control.

Jeff: But the really important thing in here is whether this trick works of putting in a dummy where I call a dummy trigger.

Chris Davis: What this is this will never be true, everybody, but if they come in from this tag and are in it, the fact that it is attached to a list means any unsubscribes and [00:55:00] this automation would only be for the contacts on this list. Maybe. I’ll have to double check. Now, that could be tricky because if they’re not on this list and they’re on another list and they unsubscribe, well, they’ll be taken off that list. Well, no, they’ll only be taken off this list, which they were never on. [crosstalk 00:55:21] risk of them getting emails after the unsubscribe. But no, I’ll double check on this. I knew if they came through this start trigger. [00:55:30] In fact, it’s not limited to lists. It’s also for forms.

If automation starts with subscribes to lists or submits a form, then, whatever lists the form is associated with [crosstalk 00:55:44] lists, it’s just that automation though. They’ll only be subscribed to that one.

Jeff: That’s good to know too. Check out the dummy thing.

Chris Davis: Will do.

Jeff: I should figure out a way of testing that too. [00:56:00] I just haven’t taken the time, but it made sense to me logically. I’ve been using it. Hey, I want to run one thing by you just because I don’t have any experience for this. I just launched this list of a thousand people. I’ve been just spending it during the last few weeks. I’m seeing about 20 to 25% open rates, about 5% click-through rates and about 3 to 5% unsubscribes. Are those metrics … [00:56:30] How do they fit in the spectrum of …

Chris Davis: I’m not sure. I’m not sure. It really depends on the market. That could be crushing it in some markets. Some, it could be really low. I did a podcast. It’ll come out in a couple of weeks. It was a gentleman who runs as he’s got a company that does reporting. He said, “It’s always good to measure yourself to your average.” [00:57:00] Whatever the average open rate is that you’ve been getting, if that performance is above or below, it would be the biggest indicator, but I’ve seen it … It fluctuates across the board. I have one email list where I send an email every day, every single day, Jeff. [crosstalk 00:57:20] for over a year. The open rates and an engagement rates too that are always above 40% consistently.

Now, [00:57:30] what’s the catch? They’re not sales automations. I’m not doing [crosstalk 00:57:34]. It’s more of like information, motivation things like that. Now, you look at my list where I actually do marketing. If I could get 40% consistently unlike a promotional email, that would be unheard of. I’ll probably write a blog post about it, but those emails normally are around the 25 to 35% rate for me. They hover around like a 10 to 13% [00:58:00] click-through. That’s my average. I’m the same person, but sending two different types of emails to two different audiences. I get two totally different results. That one’s tough because it really is specific to the audience.

Jeff: The good news is I’m measuring it. I’ll be able to continuously improve and whatever. We’ll see.

Chris Davis: Yeah. Always report back, man. I love to hear how things are progressing and what you’re finding. [00:58:30] I appreciate it, Jeff.

Jeff: Hey, thank you. Always good stuff.

Chris Davis: Absolutely. Thanks for jumping on twice.

Jeff: All right.

Chris Davis: All right. We are at the 11 o’clock mark, but listen. I’m just going to … Pamela, I want to answer these two questions really quick just because we have them. Pamela says, “Chris, did you say it was better to have people enter automations via a forum rather than list?” I try to. As much as possible, use a forum over a list [00:59:00] because, like I said, they could be submitting a form. if I use subscribes to lists to many places, there’s many ways somebody can subscribe to a list. I don’t want automations accidentally going off on my negligence of not keeping track of them, but a form is very specific to one thing.

You can’t get what a form is providing or giving you without filling it out. I like to use forms as much as possible. [00:59:30] There are cases where you want to use a list over a form, but for the most part, yes. I do try to use forms over lists. Then, here’s Pamela says, “Another thing I’ve done is put a contact someone in the automation when someone unsubscribes from an automation.” She puts a contact in an automation with someone unsubscribes from the automation.

She can manually review the contact to see what happens. Should I unsubscribe [01:00:00] that contact from everything and mark them as a lost lead or should I only subscribe them from certain things? That’s a tough one because I don’t know their intent. This is why your messaging and clarity in your messaging matters. One exercise, I don’t see a lot of people spend time on that they do is sitting down and writing out what are the segments in my company. Who do I email? [01:00:30] It can’t be everybody. You cannot say everybody. There has to be segments. First segment to start with is customers leads.

Which customer is in my email? Well, I want to email customers who have only purchased one product. Then, I want to email customers who have purchased more than one product. Now, we’ve got three segments. Then, I go to the prospect side or the lead side and say, “Okay. Leads who have set up a demo and leads who have it.” Yup. Good to have you, Jeff. [01:01:00] Thanks for coming on. At that point, I have four segments. Now, once I have my segments identified, I need to go and figure out what type of messaging am I sending to each segment for very reasons just like this so it makes it easy for an unsubscribe to be a true unsubscribe, but can you see how if I don’t identify those four segments and I just keep sending general what I feel is targeted, but emails to all four segments, [01:01:30] they’re unidentified and someone unsubscribes, I really don’t know their intent behind it.

Maybe, they don’t either. They’re just like, “Look. This particular email does not interest me. Don’t send me anything else.” It does harm on both ends when us as marketers business owners the ones who run our businesses don’t … We don’t determine or identify upfront what are the segments. Like I said for everybody, you can start with leads in context. That’s the easy first way to [01:02:00] start, but as you continue to grow your business, you’ll start finding other segments and each segment should have its own communication for this very reason so that when they do unsubscribe is like, oh, you’re still interested in my accessories for cars.

You just don’t want to hear about these new tires, but I am going to send you information about car cleaners, steering wheel covers, tinted windows, and all of that. You don’t want to hear about tinted windows anymore. I [01:02:30] won’t send you that. Yes. Pamela, the naming convention piece is on my desk right now waiting for me to approve it. We had to revise it a few more times. I’m hoping that it comes out today. I’m trying to get that one.

Anyways, thank you all for attending. Thank you, Pamela. I appreciate that. You’re welcome. Thank you all for attending. Yes, Sherry. Thanks for attending, everybody. Everybody on, even if you didn’t ask questions, thank you for being [01:03:00] on. Have a great weekend. Remember this is office hours. We do it twice a week Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Friday at 1:00 p.m. You can attend as many of these as possible. In fact, I recommend you attending multiple ones so you can come back report to me what’s working, what’s not working, things that you’ve observed as Jeff has done so we can all learn from it.

With that being said, I hope to see a good majority of you next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Have a great, have [01:03:30] an amazing relaxing, fruitful, joyful, whatever you need your weekend to be, have that, everybody. Come back next week nice and refresh for your business and for the world. Until then, I’ll see you on the next office hours.