Manage Opt-ins

Opt-ins are a type of question that allow you to record each supporters’ current subscription status (as either Y or N). They are shared components, so changing them in one place will change them everywhere else that uses them.

They are transactional, which means they store a record of each time the opt-in is set, even if the value is not changed. Transactions also store where the opt-in was set, when and various other pieces of information.

Here is an example of a mandatory radio opt-in on a page:

You can have just one opt-in to manage your supporters’ subscription status for emails, or as many as you want. Having more than one is useful when you want to create multiple subscription lists, or to manage subscriptions to different channels (email, post, and so on).

Opt-ins can be placed onto your page-builder pages, and can also be added as unsubscribe links to your campaign emails, which set the question to N when clicked. They are part of the query builder used to export and select supporters for your broadcasts.

Please be aware that your account settings affect how your supporters opt-in and out. It is important to be aware of these and ensure they are right for your organization.

We strongly recommend that you have at least one generic opt-in question in your account. It makes it easier to manage opt-in records and helps with building a recipients list for your broadcast emails. It also eliminates the need to create a new question for every single action you create.

Creating or editing opt-ins

To create or edit an opt-in to use on your page-builder pages, you must first edit an existing page. Add or edit a form block component and when the form block editor opens, click on the “Opt-ins” tab:

Click the “Manage Opt-ins” button.

When the management screen opens, you will see any existing opt-ins and the “New Opt-in” button.

To edit an existing opt-in, click the pencil icon next to it. To create a new opt-in, click on the “New Opt-in”. You’ll see a new window:

Follow the instructions below to setup your question. Fields marked with * are mandatory

Field Description
Name* This is an internal name and how you will identify your opt-in in your layout and queries
Message*
(Opt-in with confirmation only)

If you choose to make the opt-in one that requires a link to be clicked before it is set, you can set this email message here.

See below for more information

Type*

This is the type of opt-in – either standard (“Opt in”) or as an Opt-in with confirmation, which sends a message to supporters with a link to confirm they wish to opt-in.

See below for more information

Label

This is the actual question you want to ask your supporters. It appears to the left of, or above, the check-box or radio buttons.

If you click “Enable rich text editor”, you will be able to add extra formatting to your label, for example bold, or links. See below for more information.

Field Type*

There are two types of opt-in – checkbox or radio. You can set that here.

See below for more information

Default Content

The default content is a label that appears to the right of the checkbox or to both radios.

For checkboxes, this is text box in which you type the content. If you click “Enable rich text editor”, you will be able to add extra formatting to your checkbox’s label, for example bold, or links. See below for more information.

For radios, the default content is set via a button “Edit radio values”. You can set each of the two labels in that window. Note that the value (which is what is saved to the database) has to be Y or N.

Pre-check?
(Checkbox only)

For checkbox opt-ins you can choose to have them pre-checked (pre-ticked) when the supporter lands on your page.

For radios, you can set one as a default if you wish by editing the radio values

Mandatory

You can make the opt-in mandatory.

For checkboxes, this means the supporter must check it to submit the page.

For radios, it means they must choose one of the two options and not leave them unselected

Locale

(optional)

Select the locale to create the question in a different language.

NOTE: Multiple locales must be enabled in your account settings and page settings to use this option.

Click “Save” to save your opt-in.

To edit an existing question, click on the “edit” icon .

To delete an existing question, click on the “delete icon .

If you have opt-ins in the legacy tools, you can convert them from Pages > Components > Convert Legacy Opt-Ins so you can use the same ones in page-builder

Enabling the rich text editor

When you are editing or creating an opt-in question (via a Form block > ‘Opt-ins’ tab > ‘Manage opt-ins’ > click on the pencil icon), you can enable the rich text editor for an opt-in’s Label, and for a checkbox’s Default Content.

You can enable this by clicking Enable rich text editor (note: this button will change to Disable rich text editor once you have clicked on it, as shown in the image above)

You will also get a message that pops up before you enable the editor, stating that it’s likely you’ll need to update the styles in your HTML template if you are going to add formatting to your opt-in text. It also suggests that you should test this out, on a test page, before making any changes to your live pages. Some examples of what might happen to your formatting are below.

Once enabled, you will then see a toolbar with various options:

  • Source – view the HTML source of the label. If you know HTML, you can use to add more advanced formatting to your label
  • Link – select the text you want to add a link to, and click the second button (chain) to insert a link. Ensure you click the Target tab in this pop-up and set it to “New Window” so that the page is not redirected if clicked
  • Remove link – click into the link you want to remove and click this button
  • Anchor – the flag button inserts an anchor. An anchor is a bookmark within your page, which you can set other links to jump to when clicked
  • Bold, italics, underline – these three buttons add formatting to your link

Regarding the formatting (as mentioned above)

Note that when you enable the rich text editor, any current label you have in the box will automatically have paragraph tags inserted around them, e.g.

Would you like to receive texts?

. If you have styles that add formatting, e.g. margins, to paragraphs in labels, you may see that the label looks different as a result.

If you click disable rich text editor, then the toolbar is removed and the html of the label is revealed. You can then remove these tags and just insert plain text as before.

Note that the software will display the rich text editor if the label or default content begins with a tag, so you will need to remove these if you don’t want to use rich text.

Opt-in with confirmation

If you want supporters to have to confirm that they want to opt-in, then you can set the opt-in’s “Type” to “Opt-in with confirmation”. This means you need to also set a “Message” which is the email that gets sent to the supporter with a confirmation link inside. Note they will not get the thank you email until they confirm. If they have previously confirmed, then they will not need to confirm again.

Prerequisites

Before setting up a new opt-in with confirmation, make sure you have:

  1. Created a landing page for supporters to see when they click on the confirmation link, to tell them they are now subscribed. You can set these up via Pages > Components > Web pages as a page type of “Opt in”
  2. Created a sender for the confirmation message, which is taken from the list of senders of your thank you emails

Setting and creating confirmation messages

To set a message, choose a pre-existing one from the drop-down, or to edit or create a new message, click “Manage”. From this screen you can either select or edit existing messages, or create a new message by clicking “New message”. The fields you have available for messages are:

Field Description
Name This is an internal name to identify your message
Subject This is the subject of the email when it arrives in your supporters’ inboxes
Landing page

This is the landing page shown when the supporter confirms their opt-in.

Note: you need to have created the landing page first (via Pages > Components > Web pages as a type Opt in)

Sender

This is the name and email address of the person sending the email to your supporters

Note: you need to have created the sender first (they are the same as your thank you email senders)

Email body

This is where you can type in the body of your confirmation email. The rich text editor shows your email as it will be seen by supporters that can receive HTML. You can edit the HTML directly in the Advanced HTML editor. The plain text editor tab is for the plain text version of your email for supporters that do not receive HTML

You must insert a link in the email, which the supporter will click to confirm their subscription. Note that this button does not appear until you have Saved the email. To insert a link, select the text to link and click the blue paperclip button

You can also set locales of messages

Note: The opt-in status of unconfirmed opt-ins is P. When they confirm it will be set to Y

Field type: should I use checkboxes or radios?

Which one you choose to format your opt-in as is up to you and should be considered along with your account’s opt-in settings.

If your settings mean that every opt-in submission updates the supporter’s existing opt-in status, then you may be concerned that supporters will forget to re-tick the checkbox each time (if it isn’t pre-ticked) and accidentally unsubscribe themselves from email when taking action.

The radio opt-in gets around this issue because if you create it as a mandatory opt-in with no default value, then the supporter will have to make a considered decision to choose Y or N each time.

An example of a checkbox opt-in

An example of a radio opt-in

Opt-in data

Opt-ins are either Y (they are opted-in) or N. For a pending opt-in with confirmation, they will be a status P if they have not yet confirmed. If a supporter has yet to answer the question at all (or have it set by you), then they will not yet have an opt-in status. This means if you include an opt-in in the query builder, it won’t select for those yet to answer.

You can view an individual supporter’s opt-in status by the lookup supporter area.

If you wish to export a lot of statuses at once, use a supporter export.

Like questions, opt-ins are stored transactionally which means you get a backlog of all opt-in changes over time. If you export in a transaction format you will see this data. Note that imports do not create an opt-in transaction. When selecting for opt-in statuses, e.g. for an email broadcast, it will always choose the latest status.

Component Updates record

From 20 April 2018, the software now records changes to heading labels and default content labels of your opt-ins. To view changes to your opt-ins, click the icon. Note that before this date, the labels of your opt-ins are not recorded.

You can use this information to cross-check against your supporters’ opt-in transactions so you can determine what statement they signed up to (as long as the changes were saved after 20 April 2018).

If no changes have been recorded, the screen will read “There appears to be no audit trail for this component.”.

Updated on May 29, 2019

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