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In today's blog post, we'll explore the importance of organization in the context of email marketing automation. Our journey begins with the first of the five email automation pillars: organization. While it can be the most tedious part of the process, it's also the most important as you set up your email marketing to grow with your business. We'll cover why getting your tags and segments organized is important and some specific actions you can take.

Chaos, clutter, and the quest for order

Baskets with sheets, towels, and blankets organized by type on a bed.

This essay is part of the series, Fix Your Flow: Get the Right Emails to the Right People. Want to listen to the entire series in your favorite podcast player? Sign up for the private podcast feed here. Looking for the transcript? Access it here.

Have you ever walked into a cluttered room and felt overwhelmed by the chaos? Or looked at your email marketing software and thought it looked like a storage unit filled with boxes that are either junk or gold, but you have no way of knowing which is which?

Many of us can relate to this experience, whether it’s in our physical spaces or our digital lives.

The Overwhelm and Chaos

For months, I’ve been feeling this mixture of overwhelm and rage every time I step out of my bedroom and into our family room.

This, which serves as a laundry area, a play zone, an art studio, and an entryway, has essentially become an oversize closet.

That’s due in large part to the fact that I have just one Harry Potter-esque under-the-stairs closet that is very tiny and basically useless.

I’ve become pretty much one stray shoe away from just totally erupting. This room holds so much promise. It has amazing light during the day, and it seamlessly connects to our back patio, what one friend has dubbed our Urban Oasis. However, its potential has been drowned out in constant clutter.

The Transformation Begins

I recently enlisted my friend Samantha, a talented interior designer, to rescue me and my family from this mess.

The goal: to transform the space from feeling like a hot mess into a room that feels cozy, warm, inviting, and organized— which means cabinets.

(Yay, can you sense the excitement? Ah, to be middle-aged.)

But getting to that destination first means dealing with some temporary upheaval.

For a number of weeks, half of the room’s contents were heaped together as we prepped the room for the installation of cabinets. I went from having a pretty messy room to an extraordinarily messy room where everything that had been in bookshelves and cabinets was now piled to the side of this room.

Family room with clutter on left side and uncluttered cabinets on the right
The current state of the room. Cabinets are in, but we can’t put anything in them yet. My bedroom door is immediately to the left of that table of stuff on the left.

But up next is a complete overhaul.

Up next is a complete overhaul. Out with the obsolete, stray toys back with the rest of their sets, and a system to finally restore order.

A system has to be put in place to finally restore order.

Without this system, everything would still be a hot mess. (Just now all boxed up behind closed doors.) I could just take everything that’s already out and shove it into these cabinets, but that would just create a lot of frustration down the line for me.

Without this system, everything will still be a hot mess (just behind cabinet doors), a future of frustration beckoning me.

And it’s the same thing when it comes to automating your email marketing.

Organize Your Email Marketing

You need to have an organized system that allows you to Automated with Heart – to automate your email while also maintaining a human connection.

In order to automate your email marketing with heart, have to Organize, the first of the five Email Automation Pillars.

Specifically, we’re looking at your tags and segments.

In my opinion, this step is the worst because it is super tedious, particularly in ConvertKit. But while it’s super tedious, it’s also the most important step.

What does it look like in practice? When I do an Email Automation Audit, I look for the following:

  1. Identifying Purchase or Client Tags: Do you have tags that identify if someone’s a customer, client, or their interests? This prevents you from emailing people about offers they’ve already purchased or promoting things that aren’t a good fit for them right now.
  2. Naming Convention: Do you have a clear naming convention for your tags? Make sure you can easily identify what each tag means. Avoid vague tags like “Interest.”
  3. Tag Usage: Where are your tags being used in your automation rules? Ensure that your tags trigger the right automated actions and nothing unintended.
  4. Segmentation: How are you using tags to segment your audience? Not everyone on your email list has the same needs. Segment your subscribers based on relevant criteria to send targeted emails.

The Benefits of Organization

The organized pillar is what allows the other four email automation pillars to work. When the organized pillar is done right, the following happens:

  1. Your subscribers receive the right emails at the right time, preventing overwhelm or being accidentally ignored.
  2. Your team members or virtual assistants are on the same page about what everything means.
  3. You can customize the subscriber journey, increasing opportunities to make sales.

So how can you put this into practice? Well, I have a couple options for you:

Read the next post in the Fix Your Flow series, Navigating the Opt-In Journey: Building Connections through Automated Email Marketing.

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