What are tags in ConvertKit and what are they used for?

Tags are a distinctive feature of ConvertKit although they are a simple concept: attach one or more words to a subscriber. It really is that simple! 

OK, there’s more to it, but in essence, that’s what tags do: they allow you to ‘tag’ a subscriber with ‘something’ you want to remember about them. You can tag a subscriber if they have purchased a product you’re selling (there are some integrations for that too), if they have finished a certain sequence, you can tag them based on things that they are interested in, etc.

The power of tags then comes AFTER you’ve tagged your subscribers, by doing something with the tags - and the subscribers attached to them. 

What can you do with tags?

Organise your subscribers

Tags help keep your list of subscribers organised. Since you only record each subscriber in your account ONCE, tags help you ‘decorate’ (to use a technical term) your subscribers with various things you want to remember about them and keep your database tidy.

Keep a record of your subscriber sources

When you first start and you import your list from another platform, you might want to tag those subscribers in order to know where they came from - ie. add to each subscriber a tag ‘From Mailchimp’ or something. Keep things tidy from the get-go!

Create interest profiles

Tags help you categorise your subscribers based on their interests - you can do it manually if you know what information about them, or tag them automatically based on their interaction with your emails (or actions on your website). Read on!

Move and re-categorise subscribers

Further, using tags, you can easily migrate your subscribers from one place to another, add or remove them from sequences, stop sequences, etc. You do this with automation rules or visual automations. 

Use them in automations

In automations, tags can be a trigger (ie. perform an automation when the user is added to a tag), an event (jump to a part of the automation when a tag is added or removed), an action (add or remove a tag during the automation) or a condition (if a subscriber has a tag, do something, otherwise do something else). These features are discussed in more detail in the ‘Visual automations’ chapter.

Create segments

A more powerful use of tags that involves multiple tags as well as other parameters are segments. With segments, you can define custom audiences and specific targeting within your subscribers list.

Segmentation of subscribers using tags

In a segment, you can add more than one tag, to create a complex list of subscribers that meet certain criteria and email them with a specific offer. By grouping together related tags, you can create profile-based segmentation that is very powerful and helps you fulfil one of ConvertKit’s strongest promises: only send email to subscribers with stuff they want to hear about. And because you can create unlimited tags and unlimited segments, you have no excuse to keep sending blanket emails to the entire list with generic offers that nobody cares about! 

How can you tag subscribers?

Add tags when importing

As mentioned above, when you import subscribers from an external source, you can also add specific tags to them to help you manage them later or to record their provenance.

Add/remove tags manually for each subscriber

When you view a subscriber’s details, you can add any tags you want to them.

Add tags in bulk

There are various places in ConvertKit where you can perform bulk operations on your subscribers:

  • From the main ‘Subscribers’ page
  • On the search result page, when you search for subscribers by name or email
  • From the ‘opens’ list on a broadcast’s details page after you sent it.
  • From the list of subscribers who clicked a particular link in one of your broadcasts.

In all of these places, you can add tags to subscribers.

Note: ConvertKit doesn’t provide a function to REMOVE tags in bulk yet. I can understand the reason behind this decision. In order to remove a tag from multiple subscribers, you have to resort to quite a convoluted process involving an extra tag, an automation, etc. I describe this process in another section.

Add or remove tags automatically

As your subscribers interact with your broadcasts or they subscribe to various forms, go through sequences and automations, you can designate various events that will add (or remove) tags on a subscriber.

Using automation rules

Using simple ‘if-this-then-do-that’ automation rules, you can add or remove tags based on simple predictable ‘triggers’, such as when the user subscribes to or completes a sequence or a very useful one - link triggers. Add or remove tags when they click a link in one of your emails (easy way to create polls or to unsubscribe your users from just a sequence rather than the entire list).

Tags in automation rules in ConvertKit