Question: How do I create preference pages in Act! Marketing Automation?
- Product Family: E-marketing
- Product: Act! Marketing Automation
Often times, when marketing to your contacts, you want to give your contacts the ability to not just unsubscribe from everything, but to also be able to opt in and out of specific communication types. This is a great way to hear from your contacts on what content they want to receive from you and is a great alternative from unsubscribing from all communications altogether.
Act! Marketing Automation has a tool that allows you to create these preference centers and quickly bring them into an email. It is important to note, this tool exists in the Administration section, so only admin users will be able to set up these preference centers, but any user can bring a created preference center into an email they are building out. Let's get started.
Building your preference pages
- From within Marketing Automation, select the Admin menu item.
- From the "What would you like?" dropdown, select Subscription Management - Preference Center then click Go.
- To create a new page, click Actions > New Page.
- Select Preference Center, then click Continue.
- Give your preference page a name (this is only internally facing, and also what will be selected when pulling this page into an email), add any smart tags if needed, select a page skin (learn more about creating skins for your pages here), and finally, you can decide if you would still like to include an option for your contacts to unsubscribe from all.
- Once you have completed the setup, click Continue.
- On the next setup page is where the main functionality of this page comes in. Here, you will add the preferences options for your contacts to choose from to opt in or out of. To add your first preference, click the Add Preference Selection button.
- Give your preference selection a name, like Monthly Newsletters for example, and then select the Act! CRM field that you would like to map this selection to. This is very important, as this is how you will know what items your contacts are opting in or out of. You will be creating groups in Act! around these selections and utilizing inclusion/exclusion lists to make sure the proper contacts are receiving specific communications. You will likely need to create custom fields in Act! for these preference choices.
- Continue adding as many preferences as needed, making sure each one is mapping to the appropriate Act! field. Once done, click Create.
- You are now taken to the flow designer. You will notice this looks much like a landing page designer, and it works the same way. So, to edit your page's questions, you can click the form step > select Edit Form > Go.
- On this page, you will see a question for email address, as well as checkbox questions for all the preference selections you added in the setup stage. If you had selected to include an unsubscribe from all, that will also be there as the last question on the form. If a contact does check "unsubscribe from all", they will follow standard the unsubscribe process (they will automatically be added to your AMA global suppression list and will no longer receive any emails through AMA). You can edit any of these questions if needed or add any additional checkbox questions that you may have missed in the setup. To add a new selection from this stage, click Actions > Add Control and select a Checkbox type question from the dropdown. Be sure to map this question to an Act! field!
- It may also be a good idea to add some instructions to this page. For example, are these selections meant to opt me in or out? To add some instructions for your contacts, click Actions > Add Control > select HTML from the dropdown > Go. In the HTML editor, tell your contacts what they are doing. For example, "Please select which types of communications you no longer wish to receive." In this case, I am telling them to opt out of certain topics. You could structure it the other way around to something like, "Please select the types of communications you would like to receive." Whichever option you choose will affect how you will set up your campaigns. For example, if you are asking them to select the communications they would like to opt out of, then the groups you create around these options in Act! will be used as exclusion lists in your campaigns. Once done editing your question, click Actions > Save and Return.
- Lastly, to move this HTML to the top of the page, click the lined icon to drag and drop this question to be positioned as the first question.
- The last thing to do here is give your page a page title and edit the submit button text. The page title is the text that will appear in the browser tab when this page is opened. Once completed, your page will look something like the image below. To complete and save this page, click Actions > Save and Return. To return to your preferences library, on the designer page, click Actions > Return.
Adding a preference page to the footer of your emails and templates
- Open any existing email or template, or create a new email (campaign) or template. If you are new to campaigns or templates, check the article links below on how to build these.
- In the footer of your email/template, where you would add things like your company address and unsubscribe link, make sure you are in a text content block > place the cursor where you want your preference page link to go within the template.
- Click the Special Links button > Preferences > select the preference page that you want to add to this template/email. Once you make your selection, you will see the link added with the name of the preference page set as the hyperlinked text.
You can also include the unsubscribe link in addition to your preference page, or only include your preference page link. It is important to note, if you do not also include your unsubscribe link, that your preference page does include the unsubscribe from all selection. This is to remain in compliance with anti-spam laws.
Make sure to test out your preference page by sending a test of your template or email!
Completing setup of your Preference Center in Act! and using as an inclusion or exclusion group in your AMA campaigns
- Create a group in Act! for each preference selection. For example, using the preference center I set up in this article, I would create a group in Act! for Marketing Promos, Monthly Newsletters and Feature Updates where field value = True.
- When you next send out a campaign, make sure to associate the proper group as an inclusion or exclusion list, depending on if they were opting in or out of this topic. In this example we will continue with my page where I asked my contacts what they wanted to opt OUT of. So, when I next send one of my monthly newsletters, I will need to add my Monthly Newsletters Act! group to the exclusion list of that monthly newsletter campaign. This will make sure that my contacts who opted out of receiving my newsletters will be excluded from this campaign and will not receive the email.
Additional resources on creating templates and campaigns