Silverpop how-to: setting up a basic preferences center

danThis week, we welcome a guest post from one of our Senior Online Marketing Managers, Dan Caro. Dan is Silverpop Certified and is in charge of designing and optimizing email campaigns for many Whereoware clients. Here, he discusses the ins and outs of the Silverpop preferences center feature, why you should set one up for yourself, and how to go about doing just that! Let’s take a closer look.

If you’re new to the Silverpop platform, you may not know what a “preferences center” is. That’s okay! It’s simply a feature that allows your recipients to opt in and out of content lists based on their email preferences.

We’ve found that this is a great way to build trust and rapport with your recipients. Providing options demonstrates that you respect your customers’ choices; you acknowledge that they may not want to receive everything you are sending, and they appreciate that you are being mindful and respectful of their wishes. It’s a win-win situation!

The benefits are numerous, and it’s really not that hard to do. Let’s get started setting you up with a preferences center of your very own.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to create the contact lists that you want your recipients to be able to opt in and out of.

  1. Go to the Contact Lists tab of the View Data section of Engage.
  2. Click Create Contact List.

SPOP-create-contact

The client example we are using today is BabyLegs. BabyLegs has three types of emails that they send:

  1. New Products
  2. Offers and Sales
  3. Special Events

For each one of these categories we’re going to create a separate contact list. Every time you create a contact list, make sure to go into the Settings for that contact list and check Enable for Web Forms and then Save.

SPOP-enable-web-form

Once you have your contact lists set up, you’re ready to create your web form.SPOP-create-LP-site

  1. Click to the Landing Pages section of the Content tab
  2. Click Create

Now, you need to do the following:

  1. Assign a name to your site
  2. Assign a URL location
  3. Under Optional Site Settings, make sure to assign a Contact Source to your landing page.

In this case, your Contact Source should be the primary database where you created your contact lists.

SPOP-contact-source (1)

It’s time to build the web form. To do so:

  1. Click on the Manage Site tab within the Edit Site page.
  2. Hover over New Web Form and select Opt Out from the drop-down menu.

Note: it’s important to select Opt Out, since your contacts are going to have the opportunity to either opt in to your contact lists or opt out entirely.

SPOP-opt-out

The next step depends on how much design you want to build around your preferences form. Some companies go with a simple logo and description of the preferences form, whereas others choose to design a very elaborate page to go around their preferences form. This part is completely up to you and your company.

In this example, we’re going to go with a simple header and navigation:

SPOP-pref-design

Now, it’s finally time to build your form.

  1. Go to Web Form Properties and select which contact lists you want to make available on the form
  2. Click on the name of your opt out form in the left side navigation. This will take you to the Web Form Properties page.
  3. Scroll down to the Contact Lists section and select the contact lists that you want included in your preferences form
    SPOP-contact-lists
  1. Go back to the form button on the left side navigation
  2. Click on the highlighted yellow section to edit your form
  3. Email should have already been added to your form
    SPOP-email

Let’s go back to the web form and start building.On the left side navigation in the form editor, drag and drop the Subscription Group option from the menu onto your form. Here, you can update the:

  • Group Label
  • List Labels
  • Radio Button Text

You can customize the text to appear any way you want it to appear. This could even include translating it into different languages, depending on your company’s needs. In this example, we’ve also opted to design a new ‘submit’ button, to make the form appear more polished.

SPOP-button

You’re almost done! To finish up, all you need to do is create a confirmation page. This page should acknowledge that the contact’s preferences have been received. You can even create an auto-responder email as a confirmation to verify subscriber preferences.All you have to do now is save and publish, and your Engage preferences center is ready to go!

SPOP-final

Get going!

Creating a preferences center in Silverpop is a relatively simple way to ensure that your list remains fresh, healthy, and engaged with your mailings. Letting visitors choose the amount of involvement they would like to have with your company helps maintain a strong sense of trust with your customers, since they know you’re respecting their choices.

It also allows you to have more frequent contact (and hopefully increased conversions!) with those customers who actually do want to hear from you on a variety of different topics, without annoying the rest of your list or risking unsubscribes or being reported as spam. With all of these benefits, you can hardly afford to delay in setting up a preferences center of your very own, so…what are you waiting for?

Have any questions for Dan? Let us hear them!