Getting to know the interests of your subscribers will ultimately make you a better marketer. Nowadays, it's easy for an email to fall through the cracks of a subscriber's inbox—especially if the messaging is irrelevant to their interests. When that happens, there's a much higher chance that they'll unsubscribe for good. We'd like to help you avoid that.
In this article, we'll show you how to use automation to create a simple email poll to learn more about your subscribers' interests.
In this article:
- Build the Automation
- Add Trigger Links To the Email
- Segment Subscribers Based on Preference
- Activate the Automation
The steps to building out an email poll are best accomplished using workflows and trigger links. As an example, we'll build a workflow to automate an email your subscribers asking them to reveal more about what they're most interested in. When they click on their interest, a trigger link will deploy further automation in the workflow and tag the subscriber according to their choice.
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Here's the workflow we'll help you build:
If you haven't already created a workflow for this project, go to Automation > Workflows to create a new workflow.
Follow these steps to build the workflow.
- Click Define your trigger to select the trigger event that you'd like to trigger the workflow. We've used a form submission in the example above, but you can choose any method that works best for you.
- Click the + icon directly below the entry trigger.
- Add an Action step.
- Select the Send a one-off email action and click Update Action.
Don't edit the email just yet. Keep it in mind, however, that you'll come back to it in a later step.
Next, you'll add a goal to the workflow. This is also where you'll create the trigger links that you'll use in your email. When a subscriber clicks on one of the trigger links in your email, the goal will deploy further automation that will apply a tag to them in accordance with their interest.
Follow these steps to add a goal to your workflow.
- Click the + icon directly below the one-off email.
- Add a Goal step.
- Select the Clicked a trigger link trigger.
Because trigger links are hyperlinks with additional functionality, you'll need to insert a valid URL into the Destination URL field. We recommend using a URL that will send the subscriber somewhere relevant to what they've clicked inside of the email. For example, if a subscriber clicks a link to let you know that they're more interested in dogs over cats, you'll want to send them somewhere with more information about dogs.
- Insert your Destination URL.
Take note of how we automatically generate a new, unique Auto-generated Trigger Link. The auto-generated trigger link is how Drip is able to reference a particular click event and relate it to an individual goal in the workflow. Although you won't be handling that URL directly, you can use it to set trigger links outside of your Drip account (learn more).
- Click Update Trigger to set the goal.
NOTE: When you go back to edit your email in a later section you'll learn that you can access your trigger links from within the email editor.
You can now add an automation action that will apply a tag to subscribers who pass through that goal. That tag will be used to label your subscribers with their individual interest.
Follow these steps to add a tagging step to the workflow.
- Click the + icon directly below the goal you just created.
- Add an Action step.
- Select the Apply a tag action.
- Enter the name of the tag you'd like to apply to your subscribers after they've clicked a specific trigger link in your email.
NOTE: Be sure to name your tag something relevant to the interest that is represented by the trigger link you've added to your goal.
You can think of the goal and the tag together as representative of a single preference. You'll need to add an additional goal and tag combination for however many trigger links you'll be inserting into your email.
You'll also notice an additional Exit after the first goal and tag combination in the example workflow from above.
The exit pulls subscribers out of the workflow immediately after they've been tagged with their interest. This is so that even if they go back to the email at a later time and click a different trigger link, they won't be able to be tagged with another interest. This is, of course, just one example of how you might use this functionality. Without an exit point, your subscribers will remain in the workflow and still be allowed to access further downstream goals which will result in further tagging.
Here's how you can add an exit to your workflow.
- Click the + icon wherever you'd like to insert an exit. We'd suggest including an exit after each goal/tag combination for the reasons previously outlined.
- Add an Exit step
Now we'll show you how to add the trigger links to your one-off email. Since you've built them directly into a goal, you can reference the links from within the email editor.
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- Open up your one-off email from the workflow and insert your content. You'll notice it will open up the email editor where you'll be able to draft your email.
- When adding your content, make it apparent the choices you'd like your subscribers to choose from. Here's an example of how that email might look:
NOTE: Go ahead and add your content into the email editor.
- Now you can add your trigger links to the email. To do so, highlight one of your interest keywords and click the hyperlink button in the email editor.
- Click on the Trigger Link tab when the modal appears.
- When asked which automation should be trigger by the link, look for the name of the workflow where you built your goals and trigger links.
NOTE: Keep in mind that you'll only see the workflows and rules that you've created in your own account.
- Next, select the URL that you'd like to attach to the keyword you have highlighted in the email editor. Be sure to select the correct trigger URL that lines up with the highlighted interest keyword.
NOTE: Keep in mind that subscribers will be directed to that URL when that link is clicked. As stated before, we suggest sending your subscribers somewhere relevant to their interest to better enhance their experience.
- Click Insert to finish setting up the link.
- Click Save Email to save your changes.
At this point, you can go ahead and add the rest of your trigger links to your email. And If you'd like, feel free to go back over the steps above to better internalize this process.
The trigger links you just added to the email are directly related to the goals of the workflow where you initially created them. When any of the trigger links are clicked, the relevant goal will trigger and apply a tag to the subscriber. Tagging your subscribers lets you segment them so that you can message them with better content. This will also help you cut down on sending content which is irrelevant to an individual subscriber's interest.
We recommend creating a subscriber segment once your automation is active. This is not required for your automation to run. However, we do suggest using this tool as it helps you to keep your list more manageable, especially when building your recipients list for broadcast emails.
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Follow these steps to build your segment.
- Go to Subscribers > List to create a subscriber segment.
- Select Tags from the list of filter options.
- Select the includes option from the second filter option.
- In the third filter set, select the tag that you'd like to segment your subscribers by.
- Click Refresh to perform the segmentation process.
- Click Save Segment if you'd like to save your segment.
Once you've got your workflow and email ready to go, you'll need to activate the automation so that it will begin accepting your subscribers and tagging them with their interests.
To do this, open up the workflow that we helped you build in this article and click the Start Workflow button in the top right-hand corner of the workflow editor.
It's important to note that by following this article you've ultimately reinforced your understanding of how Trigger Links work alongside Workflows. You also learned an important concept in building up your subscriber segments so that you'll be able to send your subscribers the content that piques their interests.