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Manage subscription preferences

This article provides details on the different ways you can manage the subscription preferences for the contacts in your audience.  

Giving your contacts access to edit their subscription details makes it easy for them to modify how you interact with them. For example, it might be that they are not accustomed to receiving emails as frequently as you're sending, or maybe they like your event reminders but don't want the product updates.

If you can encourage your contacts to provide these types of preferences, it will help to keep them current in your mailing list. It also means you don't have to update their contact records for them because they do it themselves. Below are a few ways you can open the door of communication with the contacts in your audience. 

Important Note: As of June 17, 2019, an exciting new feature called the Subscription Center was launched to give you a more comprehensive way to manage your contact's preferences. This means that if your account was created before June 17, 2019, your subscribers will interact with the default signup form until you choose to publish your Subscription Center. Once you publish your Subscription Center, your subscribers will then interact with the Subscription Center rather than the default signup form.

However, if you created your account on or after June 17, 2019, the Subscription Center will be the default method for your subscribers to manage their subscription preferences.

Where to find the manage preferences options 

All Emma accounts created before June 17, 2019 include a default signup form, which doubles as the "Manage your preferences" form and is linked in the footer of your email templates, as shown below. When you send a mailing, recipients can click on "Manage" to update their personal details or change subscription settings.


The form fields and options for your contacts to manage their preferences are identical to what's on your default signup form. The only thing that changes when someone clicks "Manage" is the form description in the footer, which is automatically changed to: “Update your contact information and email preferences using the options below.”

If you would like to encourage your contacts to update their preferences, there are some easy options for you to gather more detailed info about your contacts that will better customize their experience.  

Check your preference settings and subscription details

If you have not customized the signup form in any way, your manage preferences form will only include an "Email" field for contacts to update their mailing address, like this: 


While nothing more is required, not adding more options to the signup form is essentially a missed opportunity. When you provide more personalized options, you put your subscribers in charge of the relationship — which helps to show that you value their input and care about sending content they're actually interested in.

Expand your contact data by adding contact fields 

Contact fields can be used to collect all kinds of information and also provide the user with a more customized experience. The more you know about your audience, the easier it is to send more relevant and personalized messages that get results. For example, if you know your contacts' city or company name, you can use that to add personalization to a mailing, either in the body copy of the email, or the subject line.

A good starting point is to add a 'first name' option to your contact fields and then add that field to your signup form. Doing this means a new subscriber will be asked for their first name and email address upon signing up, which gives you the opportunity to then use their first name to personalize the campaigns you send out. 

Data stored in contact fields can also be used to create segments, allowing you to send more personalized content to specific groups of people, based on common traits or demographic data. We suggest putting some thought into deciding what info would create the best experience for your customers and adding a few more options to your contact fields. 

Utilize your groups

Another way to send more relevant content to your contacts is to ask them what they're interested in. You can do this by creating audience groups, then making them available for your contacts to join. Here's how to do that:

  1. Log in and open the Audience section in your account, then click Forms on the left.
  2. Go to the Signup stages section and select the Signup tab. Navigate to the column on the form titled "Add subscribers to" and click on the add or remove groups button.
  3. Your list of groups will pop up, check the Display box for the ones you would like to show, and then click Save

    * Since your group names can be used as an option for your subscribers, it's important that you do not name your groups anything you wouldn't want your subscribers to see.

The groups you selected will be displayed in the "Add subscribers to" column on the form like this:

Send a manage preferences campaign or link to the form in a campaign 

Some recipients will never scroll to the footer of an email to read its contents, so they may not know it's possible to update their subscription details. You can let them know about it by sending a "manage preferences campaign" to point people to the form. Or, you can also just link the manage preferences form in the body of any campaign via a button or hyperlinked copy. 

Doing so creates an opportunity to let your contacts know that you want to learn more about them, and their interests, so you can send the kind of emails they'll look forward to. Additionally, sending a new campaign out after someone has signed up helps to not overwhelm them with having to provide all that info right away when signing up.

To link to the manage preferences form from the body copy of an email or link it from a button, use this tag: [% manage_url %]

To create a manage preferences campaign you would build it like any other mailing with the drag and drop editor and then angle the copy to reflect that you are asking the recipient to update their preferences. Add a button to the form and then add the manage preferences tag in place of the URL on the button.   

Don't forget that your signup form doubles as your manage preferences form, so if you have multiple signup forms, make sure you select the right one when finalizing your sender and recipient details for a campaign.

When the campaign email is sent, the manage preferences tag is converted to a personalized link for the recipient. When they click it, it will open the manage preferences form pre-filled with any existing data, or subscription preferences, they've previously submitted — either when they originally subscribed, or the last time they updated their preferences. If they have never submitted extra details, it will just be their email address pre-filled in the "Email" field.

The manage preferences tag [% manage_url %] can be inserted into your email content the same way you would add a URL. For example, you can create a text link by adding the tag to the URL field, as shown here:

You can also add it as a link for an image in your email:

Or, another option is to use a button as the call-to-action. Again, just put the manage preferences tag in the URL field: