Segmenting in Aweber - Follow up is not possible!?

by Tris
21 replies
I was just implementing an in depth (and I think very impressive) email marketing plan into an old list of mine. Setting it up, I see Aweber has no option to create a follow up series (or just one) to a specific segment?

What the...?

Seriously? Why would they not allow this? Broadcasting is not automated enough for my marketing plan. Does anybody know some clever alternative strategies to acheive the same result? Or even just - why Aweber chooses to not implement this?

I can't figure out either...
#aweber #follow #segmenting
  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    It's a surprising ommission from the usually smart folks
    at AWeber.

    In some other autoresponders I use, I'm able to send
    autoresponder sequences to specific segments of the
    same list.

    How many segments do you intend to have and what
    are the criteria for the segments based on?

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
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    • Profile picture of the author Tris
      Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

      It's a surprising ommission from the usually smart folks
      at AWeber.

      In some other autoresponders I use, I'm able to send
      autoresponder sequences to specific segments of the
      same list.

      How many segments do you intend to have and what
      are the criteria for the segments based on?

      Dedicated to mutual success,

      Shaun
      Thanks Shaun, how are you able to do that? What software are you using?

      Surprising indeed. It must save Aweber money somehow because I don't see why else they would overlook this feature

      So in the end I plan to have my list segmented into certain levels of "action taking". So basically, a subscriber can't get to level 2's emails without clicking something in level 1's first - and level 1 is only newly branded emails at a slightly different angle to achieve the same click

      That way I can work out who the clicking subscribers are, and which offer converts the highest CTR at the same time, you know?

      Still can't work out how to do this without creating a whole new list per level tho...
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      • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
        Originally Posted by Tris View Post

        Thanks Shaun, how are you able to do that? What software are you using?

        Surprising indeed. It must save Aweber money somehow because I don't see why else they would overlook this feature

        So in the end I plan to have my list segmented into certain levels of "action taking". So basically, a subscriber can't get to level 2's emails without clicking something in level 1's first - and level 1 is only newly branded emails at a slightly different angle to achieve the same click

        That way I can work out who the clicking subscribers are, and which offer converts the highest CTR at the same time, you know?

        Still can't work out how to do this without creating a whole new list per level tho...
        If you're talking about segmenting your lists automatically
        based on the click behavior of your subscriber then you'll
        need a more advanced solution.

        I used to use Infusionsoft which is excellent for segmenting
        subscribers based on their behavior in your sales funnel. You
        can use their actions to trigger very specific and therefore
        more relevant follow-up sequences to get higher conversions.

        I do use AWeber for some lists but for more advanced stuff
        like segmenting based upon actions, I use ActiveCampaign:

        ActiveCampaign - Email Marketing Services - Free Sign Up (no affil.)

        You can either have them host it or host it yourself (that's
        the 'download' version).

        Here's a link to their list segmentation capabilities:

        Email Marketing Automation - Triggers - Automate (no affil.)

        With ActiveCampaign, you can use the click of the subscriber
        to trigger a follow-up sequence, update their subscriber record,
        or even add them to a new list automatically.

        Dedicated to mutual success,

        Shaun
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        • Profile picture of the author Rashell
          Shaun,

          Quick question, if you don't mind.

          Would you say ActiveCampaign is as reliable with deliverability etc. as aWeber?

          Thanks much,

          Rashell
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          • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
            Originally Posted by Rashell View Post

            Would you say ActiveCampaign is as reliable with deliverability etc. as aWeber?
            Hi Rashell,

            I use the downloaded version of ActiveCampaign so
            it's hosted on my own server rather than using the
            third-party version hosted on their servers.

            Therefore, I can't really comment on the deliverability
            of their e-mail servers because I've not had to use that
            side of their service.

            Like any responsible third-party autoresponder service
            provider, they do have controls in place to maintain the
            reputation and deliverability of their servers:

            Email Delivery & Deliverability (no affil.)

            Dedicated to mutual success,

            Shaun
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        • Profile picture of the author Tris
          Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

          If you're talking about segmenting your lists automatically
          based on the click behavior of your subscriber then you'll
          need a more advanced solution.

          I used to use Infusionsoft which is excellent for segmenting
          subscribers based on their behavior in your sales funnel. You
          can use their actions to trigger very specific and therefore
          more relevant follow-up sequences to get higher conversions.
          Thanks Shaun that is exactly what I am talking about here. Can't Aweber just do it? Anyway I am also curios what it was that caused you to pack up from Infusionsoft, and head down to the ActiveCampaign? What makes these people any better? Infusionsoft are the go to guys, no?
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  • Profile picture of the author AdwordsMogul
    Shaun,

    Why did you stop using Infusionsoft?

    Do you have integrated campaigns (direct mail + email + phone etc.) or do you use only email?
    Signature
    "Those who can - DO IT. Those who can't, say it's impossible."
    Jean Paul a.k.a AdwordsMogul
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    I asked Aweber about adding this feature over a year ago and they gave me an answer at the time. I can't for the life of me remember what their reasoning was.

    I think it has a lot to do with it all getting a little too complicated when you have different autoresponder sequences under the same list.

    The problem with doing things this way would be if you segment someone and they don't like those emails, if they unsubscribe they are unsubscribing from that list and you have lost that subscriber forever. They can't just unsubscribe from a segment.

    The better way to do things is to use separate lists.

    If you use different lists for your different segment followups then a user can unsubscribe from just one list they do not like, whilst remaining on your main list.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rashell
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      The problem with doing things this way would be if you segment someone and they don't like those emails, if they unsubscribe they are unsubscribing from that list and you have lost that subscriber forever. They can't just unsubscribe from a segment.
      Hmmm, why not?

      I would think if you used an action (say a "click") to trigger a "subscription to a segment" you can use a similar action to unsubscribe from the segment while remaining on the general list.

      An unsubscribe page could look like
      • click here to unsubscribe from segment 1
      • click here to unsubscribe from segment 2
      • click here to unsubscribe from all lists
      Rashell
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by Rashell View Post

        Hmmm, why not?

        I would think if you used an action (say a "click") to trigger a "subscription to a segment" you can use a similar action to unsubscribe from the segment while remaining on the general list.

        An unsubscribe page could look like
        • click here to unsubscribe from segment 1
        • click here to unsubscribe from segment 2
        • click here to unsubscribe from all lists
        Rashell
        Yes, exactly. Thus getting WAYYY too complicated for the subscribers and thus why they would never do it.

        A subscriber signs up to your list to receive certain information. I believe Aweber feels people could too easily start setting up additional autoresponder sequences that are not related to the original reason the person signed up to the list.

        Thus why if you want to put them on another autoresponder sequence you need to put them on a new list which requires them confirming that. I think Aweber are right in what they are doing. They are trying to protect their reputation and deliverability rate.
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        • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
          Originally Posted by AdwordsMogul View Post

          Why did you stop using Infusionsoft?
          Originally Posted by Tris View Post

          I am also curios what it was that caused you to pack up from Infusionsoft, and head down to the ActiveCampaign? What makes these people any better? Infusionsoft are the go to guys, no?
          I initially started using Infusionsoft back in 2009 to have
          everything under one roof (autoresponder, shopping cart
          and affiliate program).

          Back then, I noticed that guys like Frank Kern, Ryan Deiss
          Lee McIntyre, etc., all had Infusionsoft accounts but at
          that time they were NOT using Infusionsoft to handle the
          heavy lifting for their e-mail broadcasts.

          At that time, many were using Infusionsoft for their
          shopping cart and affiliate program but using other
          providers like iContact, AWeber, etc., for their main
          autoresponder requirements.

          I found that baffling, especially considering the more
          advanced autoresponder capabilities that Infusionsoft
          offered, so I enquired privately.

          It turns out that back then the deliverability of e-mails
          via Infusionsoft was not as good as the other providers.

          (It's different now though as I've noticed that guys like
          Frank Kern have started to use Infusionsoft for their main
          broadcasts again).

          The main reason for me choosing Infusionsoft in the first
          place was to get the benefits of using their action-based
          follow-up capabilities.

          Another reason for moving was the 'dream' of having an
          all-in-one solution for the autoresponder, shopping cart
          and affiliate program.

          Whilst an all-in-one solution sounds like nirvana, it's not
          and here's why...

          You end up being tied to one provider and usually at least
          one of the trio sucks.

          For example, back in 2003 I was using the all-in-one
          solution of 1ShoppingCart. Their shopping cart was
          good but their autoresponder functionality sucked and
          their affiliate tracking wasn't much better.

          Similarly, with Infusionsoft, IMO their shopping cart is
          still their weakest link.

          The lesson I learned is to choose the best provider for
          each element (autoresponder, shopping cart and the
          affiliate program) and then integrate them yourself.

          Sure, that's a pain in the patootie too, but it gives you
          more flexibility in the systems you can use for each site.

          That way, you get a decent solution for your autoresponder,
          shopping cart and affiliate program and you're not dependent
          upon any one provider for them all.

          For me, ActiveCampaign does what I want it to do as an
          autoresponder and because I'm pretty technical, I can
          integrate it with my shopping cart and affiliate program
          pretty easily.

          I hope that helps.

          Dedicated to mutual success,

          Shaun
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          • Profile picture of the author Tris
            Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

            Another reason for moving was the dream of having an all-in-one solution for the autoresponder, shopping cart
            and affiliate program.

            Whilst an all-in-one solution sounds like nirvana, it's not
            and here's why...

            You end up being tied to one provider and usually at least
            one of the trio sucks.
            True... Like traffic. Not all eggs in one basket - Share the wealth - Spread the love. I'll be moving to Infusionsoft but I might hang around with Aweber too for some testing over the next few weeks - thanks for responding!

            A pain for sure but also healthier and safer. If something goes down suddenly you only have that one leg to fix, not your entire business. Lesson learned and implemented, that is until the rules all change again in a few days or so...
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        • Profile picture of the author Tris
          Originally Posted by WillR View Post

          Thus why if you want to put them on another autoresponder sequence you need to put them on a new list which requires them confirming that. I think Aweber are right in what they are doing. They are trying to protect their reputation and deliverability rate.
          I see what you're saying, and fair enough I guess - for Aweber.

          Bad marketers would try to take advantage of this and that could complicate things for subscribers in general, damaging Awebers reputation. But there is still no benefit to the list owner in doing this in the wrong way, right? If the subscriber doesn't like the new emails in your new segment - that just means you're doing it wrong!

          Segmenting should only increase the relevancy, and value to the subscriber. If they unsubscribe from a segment they are gone from the whole thing - no problem. I think it gets complicated because a subscriber could potentially be in many different segments - and then what? Sounds like opening a can of worms to Aweber!

          Making all these segments little "lists" of their own sounds unpleasant too. I've seen a few marketers doing that. In fact the same crowd that completely make up "Successful Internet Marketers" out of thin air to endorse themselves with this fictional character - somehow with assumed authority! Haha!

          Funny things people do for a dolla' :rolleyes:
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        • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
          Originally Posted by WillR View Post

          A subscriber signs up to your list to receive certain information. I believe Aweber feels people could too easily start setting up additional autoresponder sequences that are not related to the original reason the person signed up to the list.

          Thus why if you want to put them on another autoresponder sequence you need to put them on a new list which requires them confirming that. I think Aweber are right in what they are doing. They are trying to protect their reputation and deliverability rate.
          The whole idea of using list segmentation is to send the
          subscriber MORE relevant information, not LESS.

          As with most things, it comes down to the quality of
          the execution.

          The fact is that by having intra-list segmentation, I
          increase my chances of sending the right message to
          the right person at the right time.

          The net result of this is fewer complaints, a better
          server reputation and thus higher deliverability.

          Dedicated to mutual success,

          Shaun
          Signature

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          • Profile picture of the author WillR
            Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

            The whole idea of using list segmentation is to send the
            subscriber MORE relevant information, not LESS.

            As with most things, it comes down to the quality of
            the execution.
            Exactly. It all comes down to how the end-user decides to implement the segmentation... but that's where the problem lies. There are a lot of people out there who like to take advantage of every little thing they can and that's why Aweber needs to cover their backsides.
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        • Profile picture of the author Rashell
          Originally Posted by WillR View Post

          Yes, exactly. Thus getting WAYYY too complicated for the subscribers and thus why they would never do it.

          A subscriber signs up to your list to receive certain information. I believe Aweber feels people could too easily start setting up additional autoresponder sequences that are not related to the original reason the person signed up to the list.

          Thus why if you want to put them on another autoresponder sequence you need to put them on a new list which requires them confirming that. I think Aweber are right in what they are doing. They are trying to protect their reputation and deliverability rate.
          I can't see why that would be more confusing to the subscriber. It's the same as landing on an aWeber page that gives you the options to choose if you want to stay on more than one list (if you're on multiple lists of the same marketer).

          It would look the same to the subscriber. It's just programmed by the marketer to unsubscribe to segments rather than individual lists.

          Of course I wouldn't think list segmentation should be used in the same manner as multiple lists.

          For instance, let's say I own a gift shop and ask users for important birthdays. I could send messages just a few days before the birthday occurred.

          I would think trying to create individual lists for that would be a logistical nightmare. But being able to set up triggers based on the dates they've supplied, not so much.

          So, back to my example, I could give them the option to unsubscribe from the birthday reminders list or from the overall site list. I could even set it up to automatically unsubscribe them from the segment if they remove their contacts.

          Rashell
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          • Profile picture of the author WillR
            Originally Posted by Rashell View Post

            I can't see why that would be more confusing to the subscriber. It's the same as landing on an aWeber page that gives you the options to choose if you want to stay on more than one list (if you're on multiple lists of the same marketer).

            It would look the same to the subscriber. It's just programmed by the marketer to unsubscribe to segments rather than individual lists.

            Of course I wouldn't think list segmentation should be used in the same manner as multiple lists.

            For instance, let's say I own a gift shop and ask users for important birthdays. I could send messages just a few days before the birthday occurred.

            I would think trying to create individual lists for that would be a logistical nightmare. But being able to set up triggers based on the dates they've supplied, not so much.

            So, back to my example, I could give them the option to unsubscribe from the birthday reminders list or from the overall site list. I could even set it up to automatically unsubscribe them from the segment if they remove their contacts.

            Rashell
            The reason I stated above is the main one. People would abuse it and send people messages not in line with what they signed up for -- that's why Aweber won't touch it.
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            • Profile picture of the author Rashell
              Originally Posted by WillR View Post

              The reason I stated above is the main one. People would abuse it and send people messages not in line with what they signed up for -- that's why Aweber won't touch it.
              Yeah, that makes sense. It's odd but people will do the strangest/skeeziest things and call it "marketing".

              Rashell
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  • Profile picture of the author jessiepadgal
    Very interesting discussing going on here. I have noticed, too, that I was going to need to manually segment my list if I wanted to stick with Aweber for my list-building efforts.

    I really appreciate you guys that shared what you used to segment your lists, you thoughts on this, etc...

    Now, to figure out how much work I wanna do versus how much I would pay to outsource with a newer service!
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Thompson
    Tris,

    Segmenting your list is not complicated at all. You start with your regular autoresponder followup sequence. On a certain message, you start with some information that might be of interest only to a segment. So you drive that traffic to a squeeze page.

    It sounds complicated, but it is not. Build a relationship with your readers and let them know the reason for the squeeze page. Example, "I don't want to bother you with more information on this topic unless it's something you care about".

    TRICK: Aweber lets you embed variables such as the person's name and email address. So establish a squeeze page where the lead's name is AUTOMATICALLY filled out (along with email address). So if they want to be segmented, it's two clicks. First click is from your email (to the squeeze page). Second click is the submit button. No entry of info required.

    Super easy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tris
      Originally Posted by Chris Thompson View Post

      TRICK: Aweber lets you embed variables such as the person's name and email address. So establish a squeeze page where the lead's name is AUTOMATICALLY filled out (along with email address). So if they want to be segmented, it's two clicks. First click is from your email (to the squeeze page). Second click is the submit button. No entry of info required.

      Super easy.
      I appreciate that, thanks Chris. It defuses the need for the double/triple opt in - hey it would be nice to then "cover" that whole form with a custom image saying "click here for this series" or something like that, but we getting into farting blue territory there - even though it isn't - and I would be sure to explain the function of that button... Aweber would hate it. And that's enough micro management for one problem - good enough!

      Cheers everyone this was helpful
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