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The Double Opt-In Process: Existing Leads and Contacts

In my last blog post, I showed you how we can put together CRM functions to identify ClickDimensions sources of our contacts and leads. With our sources identified, we can start looking at how we want to use these. Today, we’re going to look at utilizing what we know from our Source field to help reach compliance with anti-spam laws for existing contacts and leads. Our compliance goal will be accomplished via a double opt-in process.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it yet, a double opt-in means that you have given those on your marketing lists two opportunities to opt-in. A good example would be an opt-in form with a checkbox that has explicit information about how you will use the customer’s consented information, which is then followed by retrieving their subscription preferences before you can email them. This is particularly important with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to take effect in May 2018. You can read more about the GDPR here.

Now many of you may already have a process in place for double opt-ins, say something like the campaign automation set up in this blog post. If that’s the case, then you should be in a spot where new contacts and leads are double opted-in. That process is similar to what I will go through here, but the big difference is that we will be looking at your existing leads and contacts.

With existing contacts and leads, their source gives us insight into ways to tailor the double opt-in process to them. In this post, my scenario will focus on contacts and I will go through two campaign automation examples where the automations will be targeting contacts from two types of sources.

The story here is that I have a good number of contacts that were added to my CRM before I set up a full-fledged double opt-in process. The good news is that by utilizing what we made in my first blog post, contacts from ClickDimensions content in my CRM have the Source field filled out, letting me know more specifically where I acquired them. So, I’m going to utilize that Source field in addition to the contextual data I used in building it to sort them into groups and get them into the correct campaign automation.

One campaign automation will be focused on getting contacts to fill out a ClickDimensions form and the other, a ClickDimensions subscription page, as both groups of the contacts we will locate within our CRM have only completed one half or the other of the double-opt in process.

For each automation, a static marketing list will be created using the Source field and it will serve as the starting point. The main goal of each automation is nurturing contacts so they become double opted-in, while keeping the customer experience in mind. By only having contacts of a certain source included in the automation, we’re able to tailor the interactions with them. How we interact with contacts from one source could be different with how we’ll interact with a contact from a different source, right? We want to make sure the contacts are double opted-in without making them feel bombarded.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

This first marketing list is going to be for those who, based on my source, came from my subscription management page, but haven’t submitted my form for opt-ins. I know that there will be contacts that fit these criteria as I haven’t always had a double opt-in process in place, though my subscription management page has been published for quite some time. In my new marketing list, I will want to add members via an advanced find.

Once there, by utilizing my Source field as the foundation for my search, I’ll be able to locate these contacts efficiently. So, by setting the Source to equal the name of the subscription page’s value in the Source field, I’ve narrowed my list down quite a bit; in fact, we’re halfway there. What’s missing is a way to sort it a little further to make sure who we’re going to add to our marketing list HAS NOT finished the form yet.

*Note: Because the static marketing list members who met your criteria at the time it was queried won’t change dynamically, new people meeting your criteria will not be added automatically. So, until you have a double opt-in process set up for newly created contacts and leads from ClickDimensions sources like forms and subscription pages, you will need to add them manually to the marketing list, so they can go through the automation for the double opt-in.

So, to filter a little more, I’m adding the Form Does Not Equal and selecting my form, so I will get everyone who hasn’t filled out the form before.

Let’s make the second marketing list for contacts who were sourced via the form, indicating that they would like to be contacted, but have not necessarily filled out a subscription management page as we weren’t using a double opt-in process at that time (though we did have a link to the subscription management page in all our emails). We will want the other half of the opt-in, so let’s get that set up. This is set up in the same way as we began on the other list, but we’ll change the Source option to equal the form value instead, and then we’re good to go.

With our marketing lists out of the way, let’s make our campaign automations. Same order as before, so here’s the first one that utilizes the list of those who haven’t filled out the form. I’ve numbered each step and have corresponding descriptions below.

Let’s break it down piece by piece:

1. Start off with the marketing list we made. Using the Added To List trigger and making sure Run on Entire List is selected, we get everyone on that list running through.

2. Then, we send an email with a link to my form. In the example below, I’ve hyperlinked that in the body as Click Here. You can put what you like here regarding text explaining what you’re doing, though you will probably want to consult with your legal team for suggestions before sending it.

And just in case, I’ve made the bottom link in this particular email a little special. When clicked, it goes to a different subscription management page than the one used for my source. This different version has a redirect rule that sends you to the registration form so, even if someone clicks the bottom subscription link instead of the Click Here form link, they will still have an opportunity to fill out the form.

3. Now we have the Submitted Form trigger. This goes into effect once the recipients fill out the registration form. We want this here so we can continue into our next step which will start sorting people down different paths depending on how they interact with the form.

Let’s talk about that form a little more. A good, compliant double opt-in process form has a statement informing the potential recipient exactly what they’re signing up for. Note: You may want to consult your legal team regarding exactly what your form needs to say, as each organization is different and so are their marketing strategies.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at my version of a form made in the ClickDimensions form designer with text specific to my company and what I will do with the customer’s data:

4. Decision node. Depending on how each participant interacts with the form can determine which of the three paths they go down: two to the decision node and one as the negative path. Below is a look at what the decision node looks like on the inside:

The Ideal Participant (Accepted Terms): They have submitted the form and accepted the terms I have in the form about wanting emails and clicked the “Yes” checkbox. The decision node puts them through a campaign automation series that removes them from the original marketing list via a Remove From List action. I want them removed from this original list because if they accept, they have completed the full double opt-in process now and I can now email them normally.

The Non-Ideal Participant (Declined Terms): The good news is that they filled out the form, but decided to decline terms. It’s unfortunate, but it was their choice. So, they are removed from the first list just like the ideal participant was, but afterwards, I put them on a different marketing list. This list is static and I made it for the sole purpose of holding everyone who either declines terms, unsubscribes or does not respond before May 25. I’ll refer to it as my Declined list. This way I have all those records compiled in one place for use as a suppressed marketing list or simply for deletion if I want to remove them from my CRM.

The Inactive Participant (Did Not Respond): This bottom negative path is for those who get the email, but don’t respond, fill out the form or really do anything. I’ve set my form trigger to advance any participant who hasn’t filled out the form into this step on May 25, 2018. From there, just like the last one, they are removed from the first marketing list and added to my Declined marketing list. I’ve labeled it here as Suppression.

5. For recording purposes, my automation ends with a Workflow actionThis runs an on-demand workflow I made that updates a custom CRM field on the contact record to show if someone completed this portion of the process. The positive path workflow action sets the field value to Yes and the negative path workflow action sets the field value to No.

Now let’s go over the automation for those who haven’t filled out subscription preferences, though you may have noticed that the first two steps are very similar:

1. Added to Marketing List trigger with Run on Entire List checked.

2. Send Email action (I’m using the same email as before, though you could change it if you wanted it to start differently).

3. The next step is now a Submitted Subscription trigger. And just like our other campaign automation, I have set the negative path to enable itself for those who don’t respond by May 25, 2018 that then removes them from the original list and puts them on the same Declined list that I mentioned earlier. After that, I have another Workflow action that runs another on-demand workflow just like in the first campaign automation that marks a custom CRM field for me, indicating that the contact did not fill out a subscription management page.

4. Decision node. The next part may look a little weird if you haven’t done this before, but it isn’t difficult. By dragging the same positive path multiple times to each series (four in this case), I get a decision node. This allows me to send people into different series based on their submitted subscription preferences. Here’s how the decision node looks on the inside with two of the options expanded so you can see how I have it all set:

Based on what they pick, they get added to the correct marketing lists and subsequently tied to the appropriate subscription lists. I also have a Send Email action in the series for opt-ins that sends an email confirming subscription status for each topic. Here’s what one of the opt-in series looks like on the inside:

For the opt-out series, I only included remove actions. In this case, Remove from List actions, where appropriate.

5. After the decision node, no matter what the participants filled out, they are removed from the original marketing list via the Remove From List action. They have completed what we needed them to do, so there is no reason for them to be on that list anymore.

6. Finally, just as before, for recording purposes, I have a separate on-demand workflow that will run and update a custom CRM field for me to ‘Yes’ when they complete it.

I do want to note that if for any reason, when participants are filling out the subscription management page from the email they receive in the campaign automation, they decide to check the Unsubscribe All box, they will globally unsubscribe, meaning they won’t receive any further ClickDimensions emails from my CRM. As for their progressing through the rest of the campaign automation, their participant timeline will continue to flow to the end of the automation through the opt-out paths, completing their timeline.

With all of this in place, we will get our contacts in our double-opt in process according to their source. And for those who do complete the process, each one will have an associated posted form and posted subscription record, meaning that if we need to look back to verify their opt-in at any point, we can see exactly when they finished the process. This means we will have a fresh record of expressed consent from our existing contacts that will allow us to email them confidently and in a compliant, permission-based manner.

Happy Marketing!

About the Author:

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Gia Gianakas is a ClickDimensions Product Consultant.

2 Comments

  1. Daniel Feldman April 4, 2018 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    How about the ability to forget a contact/lead completely? Is this a built-in feature in your forms? It is a feature needed for GDPR-compliance.

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