How can I let contacts manage their subscriptions?

Adding a manage subscriptions link to the footer of your emails is a great way to nurture engagement and improve the customer experience for your contacts.

This setup requires you to create a form containing a custom field that asks contacts which list(s) they would like to subscribe to. You will also need to create an automation with nested “If/Else” statements. These statements will check each option a contact marked on your form. You can then add “Subscribe” and “Unsubscribe” actions under each “If/Else” statement in your automation. Then, once a contact submits your form and completes your automation, they will be subscribed to and/or unsubscribed from your lists accordingly.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through:

How to create a subscription preferences form

In this section, we're going to show you how to create a subscription preferences form. This setup requires you to create a custom field that uses the check boxes format. This custom field will also display each list name that you want to make available to your contacts to join as a custom field value.

To get started with creating your form, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the Forms overview page and click the “New Form” button.
  2. In the “Create a New Form” modal, do the following:
    Type the name of your form
    Choose “Inline” for your form type
    Use the “Add a tag” form action
    Type the tag value into the tag field
    :

    Create_new_form_modal.png

    Then, click the “Create” button.
  3. You will then be redirected to the Form Builder. Here you can decide to leave the Full Name field in your form or remove it. In this example, we’re going to keep it:
    Form_example.png
  4. Next, you’ll need to create a custom field that will ask contacts which lists they would like to subscribe to. From the Form Builder, click the “Add Custom Field” button:

    click_add_new_custom_field.png

  5. A modal pop up will appear where you can create your new custom field. Choose the “Check boxes” option then click “Next.”

    select_checkboxes.png

  6. In this custom field, we’re going to ask contacts which lists they would like to subscribe to and add each of our list names as options for them to check:

    Customize_field_with_list_names.png

    Click “Add.”
  7. Drag and drop the new field into your form:

    drag_and_drop_new_field.gif

  8. Next, we’ll want to locate the URL for that form so that we can later add it to a campaign. To do so, click the “Integrate” button:

    Click_integrate_button_for_form.png

  9. Click the “Link” tab:
    Click_link.png
  10. Copy your link for later use:
    Copy_link.png

How to add the manage subscriptions link to your emails

In this section, we’re going to show you how to add the manage subscriptions form link to the footer of your campaigns and automation emails. However, it's important to note that you do not need to add this link to your footer—you can add this link anywhere you like in your emails.

Adding this link to the footer will require you to replace the default footer we provide with your own. You'll know if your campaign is using a default footer if you cannot make any modifications to it.

In addition, we’ll show you how to edit the form link so that when a contact clicks that link from your campaign, they’ll see their own name and email address auto-filled on the form.

Finally, we'll show you how to save your own footer to your content library for future use.

To get started:

  1. Open your campaign or automation email:
  2. Drag and drop a text content block above the default footer.

    Drop_text_block_into_campaign.png

  3. Click into that content block and type the text that you want to appear for your manage subscriptions link. For example, you can type, “Click here to manage your subscriptions”:
    Type_manage_sub_text.png
  4. Highlight that text with your mouse and click the link icon in the modal toolbar:
    click_the_link_icon.png
  5. Paste the manage subscriptions form link into the link field provided:

    paste_link_into_field.png

  6. If you wish to autofill the form fields with a contact’s full name and email address, type the following at the end of the link:
    ?fullname=%FULLNAME%&email=%EMAIL%

    If you just want to autofill a contact’s email address on the form, type the following at the end of the link:
    ?email=%EMAIL%

    In this example, we’re going to autofill both the full name and email address fields for our contacts. This is how our link will look:

    https://sarahnicholaev.activehosted.com/f/166?fullname=%FULLNAME%&email=%EMAIL%

    Edited_link_in_field.png

    Then click “OK.”
  7. To complete the process of replacing the default footer, you’ll need to add the personalization tags for both the Unsubscribe link and your sender address. Click back into the content block and click “Personalize” in the modal toolbar:
    click_personalize.png
  8. In the modal pop up, click “Message” then “Unsubscribe Link”:

    Click_message_then_unsub_link.png

  9. Enter the text for your unsubscribe link and click “OK.

    Unsub_text_then_click_ok.png

  10. Next, you’ll need to add a personalization tag for your sender address. To do so, click the content block again and click the “Personalize” option in the modal toolbar.
  11. In the modal pop up, click “Message” and then choose from either “List Sender Info (multiple lines)” or “List Sender Info (single line)” by clicking it:

    Choose_sender_address_format.png

  12. Click out of that content block and the default footer should disappear. Your own footer will remain:
    new_footer.png

For more information about replacing the default footer, click here.

Pro tip: Saving your new footer for future use

You can save your new footer to your content library to use in future campaigns and automation emails. Doing so will save you time as you will not need to re-create each step above.

To save your custom footer to your content library:

  1. Hover your mouse over that content block and click the cog:
    Click_cog.png
  2. Click “Save to Content Library.”

    Save_to_content_library.png
  3. Give your content block a name and click “Save.”

    Save_block_to_content_library.png
  4. Your content block is now saved and can be located under Insert > Saved on the campaign builder:

    Content_block_in_library.png

  5. Click “Save & Exit.”

Now the next time you want to use this footer, all you need to do is drag it and drop it into your campaign or automation email.

To read more about the Content Library and how to leverage it, click here.

How to create an automation that will subscribe and unsubscribe contacts from your lists

As a last step, we’ll need to create an automation that will both subscribe contacts to and unsubscribe them from your lists based on the preferences they submitted.

To get started:

  1. Go to the Automations overview page and click the “New Automation” button.
  2. Select “Start from Scratch” and click the “Continue” button:

    Start_from_scratch_then_continue.png

  3. From the trigger modal, select your trigger by clicking it. In this example, we’re going to select the “Submits a form trigger” because we want to trigger this automation to run when our form is submitted:

    Submits_a_form_then_continue.png

    Click “Continue.”
  4. Select the name of your form from the dropdown and choose if the automation should run once or multiple times. In this example, we’re going to choose our Subscription Preferences form and “Runs multiple times.” Choosing multiple times will allow us to update a contact’s preferences each time they complete that form. However, depending on your own business needs, you can set it to run once if you only want to update a contact’s preferences the first time they submit your form.

    Action_options_then_click_add_start.png

    Click “Add Start.”
  5. Next we’re going to add an “If/Else” statement for each value listed in our custom field. This “If/Else” statement will also use the “Contains” operator. Since we used list names as values, we’re going to have each “If/Else” look for a value containing that list name.

    automation_split_contains.png

    If a contact matches that custom field value, they’ll encounter a “Subscribes to list” action and will then be subscribed to that list. They would then move to the next “If/Else” statement that would check to see if they checked the box for the next value and so on.

    Yes_branch.png

  6. Once you have added “If/Else” statements for each custom field value, it’s time to build the “No” paths of your “If/Else” statements. These paths will unsubscribe contacts from each list they did not check when they submitted your form. You can then add a “Go to” action to connect that “Unsubscribe from list” action to the next “If/Else” statement:

    Yes_and_no_paths.png

    You will want to do this for each of your “If/Else” statements.

Now, when a contact receives an email containing your manage subscription link, they can select each list they wish to subscribe to. Upon submitting that form, they will be added to your automation. This automation will then subscribe contacts to the lists they checked, and/or unsubscribe them from the lists they left unchecked.

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