NOTE: This feature is available in Message Designer 2 (MD2) only. It is automatically enabled in all accounts.
You can create Message Categories that are unique to your account and then choose which messages and which Contacts to assign to them. You can use Message Categories to:
- group messages that have something in common and
- more easily manage Contacts' preferences (i.e., opting Contacts out of a Message Category's messages).
NOTE: This article provides high-level information about Message Categories. Its purpose is to introduce you to Message Categories and how they can be used across your account before you start working with them.
To manage your Message Categories and their messages and opt outs, see Manage Message Categories.
Message Categories in your account
The Message Categories feature was released in March, 2023. As of that date, the feature is automatically enabled by default in all accounts.
Admins in your account can manage the "requirement" aspect of the feature with the Message Categories setting in Admin > Settings > System Settings:
How the Message Categories requirement works
The feature's check box determines whether users are required to assign a new MD2 message to a Message Category prior to sending the message.
- When the box is checked, new messages that are created in the account must be assigned to a Message Category.
- If the message is not assigned to a Message Category, it cannot be sent.
- If the box is not checked, new messages that are created in the account do not have to be assigned to a Message Category.
Existing accounts (pre-release)
If you had a Higher Logic Thrive Marketing Professional (Thrive Marketing Professional) account prior to the March, 2023 release of the feature, then:
- By default, the box is unchecked; the Message Category requirement is NOT in effect.
- You can check the box to require Message Category-assignment.
New accounts (post-release)
If your Thrive Marketing Professional account was set up after the March, 2023 release of the feature, then:
- By default, the box is checked; the Message Category requirement IS in effect.
- You can uncheck the box to remove the Message Category-assignment requirement.
TIP: If you're unsure whether the requirement is in effect in your (existing or new) account, navigate to Admin > Settings > System Settings and view the Message Categories setting.
To learn about this and other settings, see System Settings.
Message Categories notes
As you add and manage Message Categories (and their messages and opt-outs) in your account, keep in mind the following points.
NOTE: See Manage Message Categories to learn how to access and manage your Message Categories, as well how to manage their associated messages, opt outs, and Contacts. The following bullet points are described in greater detail in that article.
- There is no dependency or connection between your Message Categories.
- Message Categories cannot be deleted; they can be:
- archived, and
- Message Categories have dedicated overlay dialogs (on the Messages > Message Categories page) that you use to view its messages and opt outs.
- Messages must be assigned to Messages Categories if the "require" box is checked in System Settings (refer to Message Categories in your account, above).
- Messages can be assigned to Message Categories as described in Manage Message Categories.
- The five Messages > List pages in the Admin interface have a Category column that indicates which Message Category a message is assigned to.
- A Sent message cannot be assigned to a different Message Category.
- Contacts can be assigned to Message Categories by editing the Contact record on the Contacts > List page (see Manage Contacts).
- Contacts can opt out or be opted out (by an Admin) of one, multiple, or all Message Categories as described in Manage Message Categories.
- A new target group containing opt-outs is automatically created for each Message Category that is created. Refer to Target groups and message targeting, below, to learn more.
Message statuses in Message Categories
The Message Categories feature groups messages into two high-level statuses for the purpose of managing opt-outs.
- Active message statuses are Sent, Scheduled, and Triggered.
- Draft message statuses are In-Progress and Review.
NOTE: An archived Message Category can have Active messages.
Message Categories on Landing Pages
Landing Pages have a Message Categories Checkbox option in the Items flyout.
Contacts are eligible to be sent messages from all Message Categories. This option makes it easier for your Contacts to self-manage their message preferences because they can:
- opt out of all messages in all Message Categories or
- "cherry pick" which Message Categories to opt out of.
IMPORTANT: Contacts cannot opt out of being sent "transactional" messages, even if they have opted out of the associated Message Category.
As an Admin, you can choose which Message Categories display on a Landing Page (for opt-out management), and "hide" those that you don't want Contacts opting out of.
To learn more about adding and configuring the Message Categories Checkbox item on a Landing Page, see Landing Pages Items.
Message Category data in Message Summary Reports
Message Category data is captured in the Message Summary Reports (MSR). You can filter the reports to isolate the Message Category-based metrics.
- Navigate to Messages > Reports > Message Summary Reports.
- In the Filter Messages panel, click Message Categories to expand the group.
Archived Message Categories are listed in red text and appended with (Archived).
- Use the check boxes to set which Message Categories' messages to include in the reports.
TIP: Click None to include all the messages that are not assigned to a Message Category.
- Click Update Results.
The grid refreshes and displays a list of the messages in the Message Categories that you selected.
- Click View Reports to access the various message-metrics reports that now focus on Message Category messages data.
Visit the Message Summary Reports section of the knowledge base to access articles on the individual reports.
Target groups and message targeting
A new target group is automatically created for each Message Category that is created. These target groups:
- house the Contacts that have opted out of the associated Message Category,
- have the same name as their associated Message Category but are appended with "Opt Outs" (e.g., Message Category "ABC" has target group "ABC Opt Outs"), and
- can be viewed by selecting the Message Categories folder on the Admin > Contacts > Groups page.
NOTE: If you change the name of a Message Category, the name of the associated "opt outs" target group is automatically updated to reflect the name change.
When a message is assigned to a Message Category, Contacts who are "opt outs" for that Message Category are automatically excluded from being sent the message.
- It's not necessary to exclude that associated target group on the Targeting tab to exclude those Contacts.
- You can exclude other target groups on the Targeting tab to exclude additional Contacts.
See Manage your Target Groups to learn about the feature.