Recently, many of our customers have been asking how to set up a double opt-in process for subscription management. It is a requirement for email marketing in many countries, but it is a recommended practice worldwide. It helps you to confirm interest and keep your marketing lists clean. If you require people to respond to an email before you add them to your marketing lists, it will weed out invalid email addresses. It also means less spam complaints, as everyone has signed up and confirmed that they meant to sign up.
With the addition of the Submitted Subscription trigger in the ClickDimensions campaign automation builder, you can now easily manage subscription preferences, adding and/or removing subscribers from the correct marketing lists. The great thing about campaign automation is that you can lay out the flow of actions and easily adapt them for your needs.
To set up the double opt-in process, you will need to create all the elements that you will include in your subscription management campaign automation.
- Marketing lists. You will need both contact and lead marketing lists for each subscription.
- Subscription lists. You will add your marketing lists to your subscription lists to associate them according the subscription preferences. With subscription lists, you can divide your email campaigns based on categories of interest or by frequency of emails. For example, you may have a monthly newsletter, but another subscription list could be used for special announcements, like event invitations or promotions.
- Form. The form will be embedded on a web page or ClickDimensions landing page. Include, at minimum, the following required fields: first name, last name and email address. You can also include other important fields that you would want recorded on a new visitor’s lead or contact record. This would also be a good place to include a checkbox field that requires people to accept your terms and conditions for your company to collect their personal data and for them to receive your emails. In an HTML component on the form, you can link to an article hosted on your website or a landing page, giving all the details of your terms and conditions. If you would like this checkbox to be mapped to the lead or contact record, you will need to add a field in your CRM to the lead and/or contact form.
- Subscription management page. Include all subscription lists on your subscription management page so subscribers can pick based on interests or frequency of emails.
Email template. The email template will serve as a confirmation that the recipient is interested in receiving additional emails from you. It will contain a link to the subscription management page.
Once you have all the pieces ready, you can set up your campaign automation. There are many variables that can influence the layout of your campaign automation, but we will cover a few common options.
The Double Opt-In
For a standard double opt-in process, set up your steps in this order:
1. The entry point. Use the Submitted Form trigger. The form, which is embedded on a web page accessible to visitors, will allow you to collect a bit of personal data, such as name and email address. It can also include a checkbox to accept your linked terms and conditions for collecting personal data and sending emails to subscribers.
2. The first series. This will include a Send Email action. This is where you will use the email template containing a link to the subscription management page.
3. Submitted Subscription trigger. This trigger checks to see if someone has submitted the subscription management page that was linked in the email. You can set this to wait a set amount of time before sending participants down the negative path. In my example, I set it to two days to give people plenty of time to check their email and click through to the subscription management page.
4. Positive path decision node. Here I have connected the decision node to four series. I want these series to contain actions relevant to the subscription preferences indicated on the subscription management page. Since I have two subscription options, newsletter and special announcements, I want separate series to handle adding and removing members of the corresponding marketing lists. If you have more subscription options, you will need to include additional series to include actions for those preferences.
5. Negative path series. For anyone who did not submit a subscription management page within my two-day period, they will be sent down the negative path. You can include actions in this series, such as Notify User. Since this person did not submit their preferences in time, we can assume they were not truly interested in receiving additional emails, so you may not want to add them to a marketing list or send them another email.