The Best Email Marketing Tool You’ve Never Used

Image result for email marketing tool

By Tom Tate, AWeber

Many marketers treat email like a religion. Write a series, stick it in an autoresponder, and pray for opens, clicks, and sales.

But what if there was a more effective way to reach conversion heaven? Enter: AWeber’s click and open automations, a new way to send targeted email.

Automations was our largest feature release of 2017, and it was met with a wave of excitement and a tsunami of questions from AWeber customers. That’s why I hosted two live training sessions to walk users through the benefits click and open automations can deliver for their businesses.

Read on for a list of the 10 most popular questions asked during my live training sessions.

What are click and open automations?

Click and open automations present an easy way to tag your subscribers based on the links they click or the emails they open within your automated campaigns. This empowers you to create dynamic segments of subscribers based on their behavior, which allows you to send more targeted emails later. Sending more relevant and personalized content can greatly increase your sales and revenue.

Click and open automations can also trigger a separate email sequence to be sent to a subscriber, or remove a subscriber from an active campaign, which creates opportunities to build more complex email marketing funnels.

What is a campaign?

A campaign is a sequence of automated emails, sometimes called an autoresponder, created in our email automation platform Campaigns. A campaign can be triggered when a new subscriber is added to your email list, or you can trigger a campaign when a specific tag is applied to a subscriber. There is no real limit to how many emails you can add to your campaign.

What’s the difference between a campaign and a follow up series?

There are quite a few differences between a campaign and a follow-up series. Campaigns is AWeber’s new automation platform. You can create multiple campaigns per list, trigger campaigns when tags are applied, and leverage click and open automations.

A follow up series, built using “legacy follow ups,” is simple and reliable, but lacks many of the features found in Campaigns. For example, you can only have one sequence of automated emails per list if using legacy follow ups, and you cannot leverage click and open automations.

To learn more about the differences between a campaign and a follow up series, read our Knowledge Base article.

How can click and open automations trigger email campaigns?

Click and open automations allow you to apply a tag when a link is clicked, or when an email is opened. Because you can trigger a Campaign based on a tag being applied, you can set up automated emails to be sent based on your automations.

For example, if you set up a click automation to apply the tag “webinar” and you have an active campaign that is triggered by the tag “webinar,” a subscriber who clicks on the link will begin to receive the campaign messages.

How do I link campaigns together?

Linking campaigns allows you to send content to subscribers as they need it. For example, if a subscriber successfully finishes a campaign, you may want to trigger a secondary campaign to occur.

Or if a subscriber clicks on a link, you may want to remove the subscriber from the campaign they are in and trigger a different campaign to be sent.

Linking campaigns can be accomplished with tags. By using the “tag applied” trigger for a campaign, you can set a campaign to send only a subscriber receives a specific tag. There are advanced options that allow you to set different inclusions and exclusions based on tags, as well.

Applying a tag using an automation, or at the end of a campaign that corresponds to a different campaign can allow you to easily link sequences together.

What’s the difference between tags and segments?

Tags and segments are quite different. In AWeber, you can search for subscribers that meet a specific criteria. For example, you can search for subscribers that were added in the past 7 days, or subscribers who opened a specific email, clicked on a specific link, or have email addresses that contain

After you execute this search, you can then save it as a segment. This segment is dynamic, meaning subscribers who are added to your list in the future who meet the search criteria will be included in the segment.

Once you have a segment, you can then send targeted one-time broadcast emails to these subscribers.

Tags themselves are not segments, but they are important building blocks to assist you in creating segments. You can search for subscribers who or do not have certain tags, allowing you to create segments based on tags. Tags have other uses, like the ability to trigger a campaign.

How do I create a segment to send one-time broadcasts to?

To create a segment, simply search for subscribers that meet your segment criteria in Subscriber Management. Save your search as a segment. Here’s a quick tutorial on creating segments.

When scheduling your broadcast, select the segment you would like to send to. Here’s a quick tutorial to send to a specific segment.

How do I create a Campaign?

Creating a campaign is simple using our drag-and-drop interface. To create a campaign, simply select Campaigns from the Messages dropdown in AWeber, and click the button “Create a Campaign.”

Name your campaign, select a trigger (the action that will prompt your campaign to start,) and begin creating using the campaign editor.

For a full tutorial on getting started with Campaigns, refer to this article.

How do I create an automation?

Using automations in AWeber’s Campaigns is simple.

When selecting a message within a Campaign, you’ll have the option to add an automation.

Add an automation.

First, select your automation trigger. (We are launching automations with a single trigger – link click triggers – but we’ll be adding more triggers in the coming months.)

Select your automation trigger.

Second, choose “Clicks a link” and then select which link you want to apply this automation to.

Select your links

Now, choose “apply a tag” as your action. Enter what tags you’d like to add or remove if a subscriber clicks this link.

Apply a tag.

Optionally, you can elect to remove a subscriber from the entire automated campaign if they click a link.

Remove a subscriber.

Repeat for other links within your message, as needed.

For more detailed instruction, please visit our Knowledge Base.

How do I copy my legacy follow up series to Campaigns?

There is a feature in AWeber to show your legacy follow up series as a Campaign. This feature does not convert your series to a Campaign, and it does not allow you to take advantage of click and open automations, or triggering the follow up series based on a tag.

To learn more about this feature, please review this article.

If you would like to copy each message from your legacy follow up series to Campaigns, you can copy the messages as drafts and built a new campaign using the copied messages.

Get started with email automation

Getting started with email automation is easier than ever. Sign up for a free trial of AWeber, or hop into your account now, and begin automating your marketing funnel with Campaigns.

Looking for a demo? Watch this recent webinar to see exactly how to set up automations.

Still have questions? Our live customer solutions team is available 4AM-8PM ET Mon-Fri and 9AM-5PM ET Sat-Sun. Contact us by phone, email, or live chat.

Note: PPRA is composed of many distinct organizations and individuals, each with different perspectives and specializations in diverse areas of public relations. Many of these members’ websites feature blogs with valuable insights and advice, and we would like to make this content available to you. Periodically, we will repost content from member blogs. If you would like to see your company’s blog considered, email Stephen Krasowski at


Four Ways Careers 101 Could Land You a Job

It is the end of February 2018, and for many college students this is a time to worry about two things:

1. Solidifying a Spring Break destination


2. Solidifying a job for after graduation


Although PPRA cannot book you a spring break cruise, it can help land you a job post-graduation through its signature event! Join PPRA Tuesday, April 10 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the PECO Energy Hall for Careers 101: From College to Career.

Now in its 12th year, Careers 101 is an event featuring a panel of professionals in the PR and communications industry who can help provide answers to the questions many grads have entering their job searches.

This year’s panelists include:

  • Amber Burns, Media Relations, Visit Philly
  • Danielle Cohn, Senior Director of Entrepreneurial Engagement, Comcast and 2014 PPRA Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Doug Oliver, Director of Communications, PECO
  • Logan Yu, Account Coordinator, Vault Communications

To register and learn more about the evening’s activities, click here. If you would like to learn how Careers 101 could help you get a job post-graduation, keep reading!

Often times, grads ask those with careers, “How did you get your first job out of college?” They are then hit with answers like this:


Or maybe they’re told “you have to have connections” but it turns out connections are not easy to find.


Although it is stressful, DO NOT FRET; Careers 101 is here to help! Here are four ways attending this event could help you land a job.

1. A panel of communication industry professionals will be available to answer burning questions


As opposed to the typical “keep searching” and “be patient” responses grads often receive when seeking advice, these panelists are prepared to take a deep dive. From personal successes and failures to do’s and don’ts learned along the way, they have all been in your position and want to help!

This Q&A session could help you snag a job by learning from those who were once in your position. Taking a panelists interview advice or learning from a cover letter faux pas could play role in landing your first job.



Everyone says it, so it must be true (and it really is)! Networking is a major key. Aside from the panel, there will be dozens of communications professionals mingling at the PECO Energy Hall there to help Y-O-U. Striking up a conversation and picking their brains could assist in your job search because you never know who you’re going to meet.

PPRA members work for a myriad of different companies and organizations in various focuses of communications. Networking with those in attendance could hWeelp open doors for you throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area. Building and maintaining relationships made during Careers 101 could give you a leg up on the competition while job hunting. Who knows, one of the communications professionals present could be looking for a mentee, which leads to the next reason Careers 101 could help you get a job.

3. A newly implemented mentorship component of the event will allow attendees to learn how PPRA can help facilitate meaningful mentor-mentee relationship


We all know this 90’s TV mentor/mentee relationship is one of the greatest of ALL TIME. Mr. Feeny provided wisdom, knowledge, advice and experience that allowed Corey and the gang to navigate life from middle school to college graduation and beyond.

Mr. Feeny will not be present at Careers 101, BUT there will be mentees and mentors in attendance that can speak to the importance of mentorship. Being new to the workforce is scary and there are a lot of situations and scenarios you may not know how to navigate. Having a mentor in the profession you are entering could provide you with valuable insight and advice and even connect you to various opportunities for career growth and development.

4. Resume critiques and free head shots will be available to make sure you’re looking your best both on paper and in photos



PPRA wants to make sure your resume gets you a call back or an interview by providing resume critiques done by professionals. Not sure if your format is the most appealing? How can you make your resume pop without 12 years of experience and a PhD? Drop your resume off at the beginning of the night to have the best in the business review it and make edits and suggestions. Some of the critics will provide their contact info for those wanting further assistance with their resume.

Philip Gabriel Photography will be onsite providing complimentary professional head shots, giving your LinkedIn that extra oomph for potential employers to see.

PPRA’s Careers 101 is a great way to network and learn from professionals that were once in your shoes. Landing your first job after graduation can be scary and stressful, but PPRA wants to help ease the process. If you have not signed up for Careers 101, it is not too late. Go to to register.







Lauren Tilghman is the Principal at PhilanthroPRy. She’s been a PPRA member for three years and serves on the Communications Committee.

Twitter: @PhilanthroPRy



PPRA: Lauren, tell us a bit about your background and your current job.

LT: Lauren is the principal of PhilanthroPRy, a public relations boutique specializing in non-profit and small business communications and branding. She is Philly transplant from Chester County, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Drexel University. Lauren is passionate about bringing out the best in others as well as community advocacy; she often volunteers her time and resources to small not-for-profit organizations in the West and North Philadelphia areas. When she’s not out publicizing the greater good, she enjoys a nice book, a strong coffee, and a 30-second dance party.

PPRA: Who are your clients and/or what projects are you working on right now?

LT: This week is all about writing for me. I’m working grants for two non-profit clients; including a pretty large federal grant that I’m excited about (is it weird that I get excited about this?!). I’m also ghostwriting press releases for a few fellow publicists; and working on a Christian-based entrepreneur blog.

PPRA: What is your favorite part about your job?

LT: My favorite part of my job is how varied my work is from a week to week basis. I feel very fortunate that I get to work in a variety of areas within the PR and communications realm. Some days I’m working on talent bookings for a myriad of speaking events for small business clients; and others I’m pitching a story for a non-profit client making a difference in the community, or working on a grant to ensure they can continue their impact. The variation keeps me on my toes; and drives my desire to want to better myself and learn as much as I can from other seasoned PR professionals, and books and blogs on best practices.

PPRA: What was your latest & greatest accomplishment at your job?

LT: To be completely candid— still being in business! Very few people are transparent about how hard it is (especially in a relatively over saturated industry such as public relations,) to maintain a small business full-time. I recently hit my three year anniversary, and I started my business when I was still considerably very young in my career. To me, it’s the greatest accomplishment I’ve achieved thus far; and to have done so in a very intentional and conscious manner. I care very deeply about bringing out the best in my clients and those I have the pleasure of partnering with.

PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?

LT: Just keep pitching, and never underestimate your own creativity.

PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?

LT: Do The KIND Thing by Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of KIND Snacks and the OneVoice Movement. It constantly motivates me; I’ll probably be reading it until I can quote all 306 pages verbatim—basically I’ll be re-reading it forever.

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly (museum, park, store, etc.)?

LT: My favorite spot is more like a favorite area, the Old City section of Philadelphia. Many of my best memories and most meaningful meetings ironically have been there; it definitely brings on quite a bit of nostalgia for me.

PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?

LT: Vegan with jalapenos, and particularly from Blackbird Pizzeria (even my carnivorous friends like it)!

PPRA: Our PPRA 2017-18 PRoactive partnership is with Tree House Books. What was your favorite childhood book and why?

LT: Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold; it taught me that your only limitations are in your mind—once you remove those you can achieve anything.




PPRA “Channel Chat” Program Recap

By Brianna Rooney, Maven Communications

Prior to a major Nor’easter hitting Philadelphia, six broadcast journalists sat on a Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA) panel to discuss the ever-changing media landscape and how to best share your client’s news. Find the panelists below:

  • Jim Donovan, Co-Anchor, CBS3
  • Berlinda Garnett, Producer, Fox 29
  • Tanya Husar, Managing Editor, 6ABC
  • Annette John-Hall, Keystone Crossroads Reporter at WHYY-FM
  • Andrew Kramer, General Assignment Reporter, KYW Newsradio
  • Melissa Signs, Assignment Editor, NBC10
  • Moderated by Susan Buehler, Chief Communications Officer at PJM Interconnection

With a room full of PR people eager to hear about what it takes to get your event covered on air, the panelists did not disappoint with insider knowledge, whether it was about the best time to call or story topics to pitch.

Some key takeaways from the panel are below:

  • Integrate social and traditional media – If you pitch the media and they can’t get your event on air, that doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause. News desks receive around 500 emails a day, so cutting through the clutter can be hard. Provide the reporter with the event hashtag and if it’s newsworthy, they can share on their own social platforms, which typically have a large reach.
  • Know your audience – With any pitch, you need to know your audience. Something you’re pitching to Good Day Philadelphia should be different than WHYY. Getting to know reporters and what their stations cover is very important.
  • Be Ready for Air! When you pitch the media, be ready for the reporter to say ‘yes!’ This means knowing your client’s schedule and when they’re available, understanding the topic you’re pitching, and be able to share why it’s news. Many reporters mentioned how often they ask for more information and the person who pitched them didn’t have answers.
  • Create Your Own Content – It’s always tough when reporters cannot make your event but sometimes, breaking news and weather win for coverage. A great shared takeaway was that NBC10 and Fox29 both accept video from your events. Make sure your video is clear, an iPhone is fine, and send the file via DropBox on the day of your event to make it easy for the reporters to download and use.

Thanks to all the media professionals who were on the panel for sharing information that will help us as PR professionals do our job better!

Make Your Media Event about People: Transcend the Photo Op with Human Stories

media event

Mikki Wiseman, whose husband of 65 years has Alzheimer’s disease, shared her story with a TV reporter.

By SPRYTE Communications

Every organization has media events, and everyone thinks theirs is special, different, or worthy of news coverage. The truth is, journalists have seen many of these happenings before, covered them ad nauseam, and maybe even ignore them altogether.

One way to entice cameras, of course, is creating a really great visual, something that they just can’t live without. But sometimes there’s nothing you can add visually, and some photo ops just don’t get reporters excited because they’ve been there, done that. That’s when it’s helpful to turn to the human story inside of your media event to generate great health system PR.

That party for underprivileged children? Not a big deal to jaded editors, but imagine if one of those kids is reunited with a military parent on leave during the party? We’ve seen these stories time and again, but there’s always interest because of the emotions involved.

Take a deep look at not only WHAT is happening at your media event, but WHO it is happening to. In any group, there’s usually one or two participants for whom the event is most meaningful. If you can find those people, and learn their backstories, you can more easily sell your event, because now it’s not merely a “photo op” but a human interest story.

A Love Story…Broken

Take our health system client’s recent “virtual dementia tour,” for example. This is a recurring opportunity for caregivers and family members to literally walk in the shoes of dementia patients, such as Alzheimer’s sufferers, seeing what they see and experiencing what they feel through special goggles, gloves, headphones and shoe inserts. The virtual dementia tour is provided by a handful of companies around the country, which contract with hospitals, hospice companies, nursing homes and other organizations to deliver the experience to those with an interest.

In our research, we found that TV stations and some newspapers have covered virtual dementia tours when they’ve occurred in other markets, and one or two even covered a prior event in this health system’s service area of Philadelphia. On the one hand, that meant there’s proven interest in the topic among the media. On the other, it’s not particularly new. So how could we excite the media for this latest tour?

Upon learning that one woman signed up for the dementia tour because her husband, a patient at our client’s assisted living facility, had Alzheimer’s and wanted to see what he was going through, we were sold, and we thought we’d be able to entice the media with it too. We were told she’d be happy to talk with a reporter, and even accompany one through the dementia experience for the cameras (within the constricts of what the tour provider allows, for proprietary reasons).

This couple had been married for 65 years, and the husband has been suffering from dementia for the past nine. This was her chance to better understand what goes on inside his head, particularly since he is no longer able to speak. A local television health reporter was intrigued, and she determined early in the process that her story about the virtual dementia tour would be focused on this woman. The reporter even requested still photos of the couple in better times, which the wife was happy to bring along.

Coverage was not only assured, but it was now a highlight of that evening’s newscast. While most photo ops might, at best, merit a 45-second voiceover, now that this was about people, rather than a high-tech, visual event, the result was a nearly three-minute feature story.

Build People into your Media Event Planning

When planning outreach for your media event, build into your plans the people who will be attending. Attempt to learn the following:

  • What motivates them to be there?
  • Why is this important to them?
  • What is their “backstory” as it relates to this event?
  • What will happen to them after the event, or how will things be different? It’s academic to say that all news is about people, but if you have a human face and a great story to complement an otherwise ordinary activity, your event becomes much more than an event.
  • Not everyone’s going to have a relevant story, let alone one that might be newsworthy, so you might have to speak with several people, or staff or organizers who know some of them personally. But you’ll find it’s usually worth the effort.

Note: PPRA is composed of many distinct organizations and individuals, each with different perspectives and specializations in diverse areas of public relations. Many of these members’ websites feature blogs with valuable insights and advice, and we would like to make this content available to you. Periodically, we will repost content from member blogs. If you would like to see your company’s blog considered, email Stephen Krasowski at