Playing Tag in Online Marketing: You’re It!

By Robert Brady
Director of PPC Conversion, Trafficado


While growing up I would often play tag. We would play buddy tag in my grandma’s yard when the cousins were visiting. We would play freeze tag in the house when the weather was cold or rainy (which my Mom didn’t appreciate).

Tag is the perfect game because it’s adaptable to any situation. You can play with 2 players or 200 players. It doesn’t matter where you are. It doesn’t matter how long you have. You can play freeze tag or buddy tag or any other kind of tag you make up. The only thing that remains constant is an understanding of who is “it” and how that person tags someone else as “it”. Simple, right?

An Online Game of Tag

Online marketing is very much like a game of tag. It starts with two players: you (the site owner/marketer) and a potential customer. As the owner/marketer of a website you are “it” because it’s your responsibility to tag the potential customer. They navigate your website and, if your offer is compelling, convert. Now you’re “it” again and need to look at your conversion data to determine how to tag the customer and make them “it”. Rinse. Repeat.

Rules of the Game

As I mentioned before, there are two fundamental rules in a game of tag.

  1. Who is “it”?You’re “it” at the beginning of the game. You’re using email marketing, paid search marketing, inbound marketing, direct mail marketing, television, radio, events, billboards and who know how many other methods to get people to your website. When they arrive you have the chance to tag them as “it”.When they convert, they tag you back and you’re “it” again.
  2. How does the person who is “it” tag someone else as “it”?As the site owner/marketer, you define how you’re tagging potential customers. Since a majority of my clients are using Google Analytics, I’ll share an example of how you can tag potential customers in Google Analytics. (see below)You also define how potential customers tag you back. Some suggestions: cart abandon, contact form, phone call, purchase, social media interaction, etc. Just know when you’re “it” or the game is over.

Tagging with Google Analytics

This isn’t new and it isn’t rocket science. It’s more like farming. You plow. You plant. You water. You weed. You harvest. No one of those actions is new or difficult, but amazing results are accomplished by these small and simple actions when done consistently and in the right order.

I digress. Let’s get back to tagging in Google Analytics. Start with this handy little tool – the Google Analytics URL Builder. As you can see in the screenshot below, it’s not that hard:

Thus, for my Halloween Specials campaign I’m running in AdWords, I would use the following URL:

Now all you need to do is log in to your Google Analytics and look at your various campaigns, all in one place.


Develop a Plan of Action

Now that you’ve successfully tagged your potential customers and defined when they’ve tagged you back, the last step is to develop a plan of action. Some examples:

  • Cart Abandon – Send an auto-responder email immediately and another 24 hours later with a link to their cart (with items still in it). Start a remarketing campaign after X days.
  • Form Fill – Sales team calls promptly (this could mean 2 minutes or 2 business days). Start auto-responder campaign. Send any information promised.
  • Purchase – Thank them for purchase. Offer related products they may be interested in. Ask for social media follows.


Go Play

With clear rules established about who is “it” and how someone gets tagged you’re now free to start playing. And remember, playing tag is fun!

About the Author

Robert Brady picRobert is a Google AdWords Certified Partner, Microsoft adExcellence member and is certified with Marketing Experiments for Online Testing and Landing Page Optimization. He has worked with a variety of different companies ranging from a small grass-fed beef grower in Idaho to a large B2B data storage provider.

He currently resides in Provo, Utah and can often be found skiing the greatest snow on earth, mountain biking through the Wasatch mountains or playing ultimate Frisbee at the park on a Saturday morning.

See Robert Live!

Robert is sharing advanced strategies in paid search optimization at Conversion Conference Fort Lauderdale 2012 on October 9th and 10th in Florida. Join him in his session on “Leaky Funnel Forensics: Advanced Strategies for Optimizing Paid Search.” See the full agenda or read more about this session. You can also follow Robert on Twitter for some pre-conference networking.

Save $100 when you register with Robert’s discount code FL12510.  Only 28 days to go – get your Conversion Conference pass now!


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