You want your Communications Professional Landing Pages to be as effective as possible in gathering subscriber information so that you can make the most of the data that you collect. A well-designed landing page helps to ensure two things: that your subscribers understand what information you're seeking and that you collect as much accurate and useful information as possible.
Consider the following best practices and recommendations when creating a landing page.
- Give the landing page a subscriber-facing name that will really articulate its purpose to your subscribers. Be consistent with this naming of future landing pages.
- Make sure that you clearly express what you want from your subscribers in brief sentences and field labels. If you don’t, you might not get the information that you want, or you might frustrate your subscribers.
- Clearly state your questions; straightforward "Yes/No" options minimize ambiguity and confusion.
- Don’t overwhelm your subscribers with too many options; 6–12 per landing page is a good range. Carefully consider the different types of messages that you send and add your interests accordingly.
- Indicate on the landing page any mailings (such as membership news) that subscribers cannot opt out of.
- Consider the benefits of using the Auto-subscribe Interests and Auto-fill options on the Landing Page > Process tab. Learn more about Landing Pages Tabs.
- You can include an unsubscribe option on the landing page form but keep it simple and straightforward so that your subscribers know exactly what they are unsubscribing from. Consider also adding a free-form field for subscribers to indicate why they have unsubscribed.
NOTE: An additional account setting is required to allow this in Mailings 2.0.
- Last, before making it available, learn how to Test a Landing Page.
Planning your Approach
After you’ve got a basic idea of what you want to accomplish with your landing page, decide on your approach: opt in or opt out. There’s no better or worse of these approaches because each works equally well when properly designed. It's important that you decide on an approach and then design your landing page accordingly.
When you're ready to get started, check out Create a Landing Page.
Landing Pages and Integrations
If you are integrating Communications Professional with your Association Management System (AMS) database, you can use landing pages to manage your users' preferences; this is called Integrated Preference Management (IPM). The following Communications Professional integrations support IPM:
- iMIS (See IPM for iMIS)
- MemberSuite (See IPM for MemberSuite)
- netFORUM Enterprise 2014 and Later (See IPM for netFORUM Enterprise)
- Personify360 (See IPM for Personify360)
Learn more about using landing pages to maximize the connection between Communications Professional and your integration database in Landing Pages and Integrated Preference Management.
Using Communications Professional Interests to Manage Preferences
You can use Communications Professional to manage subscriber preferences by creating a landing page and populating it with Communications Professional interests. On the landing page, interests will be represented as check boxes.
- Create Interest target groups in Communications Professional and add the interests to your landing page form.
- Include a link to your landing page form in your message template.
- Create a message with that template as the basis.
Now, the link to the landing page (step 2 above) is automatically included in the message. When your subscribers click the link and complete the form, their responses (i.e., their "preferences") will be automatically recorded in Communications Professional. Learn more about Interest Target Groups.
NOTE: Refer to Opt in versus Opt out to learn more about how to design an effective landing page to help manage your subscriber preferences.
These approaches achieve the same result but come at subscribers from slightly different angles, based on your preference. Keep in mind that, with both approaches, you’re starting with the idea that "all subscribers receive all mailings," and that opt in versus opt out is more about how you design your landing page and your use of target groups.
NOTE: Make sure that you have created target groups and assigned remote interests to them in Communications Professional.
Opt In or Opt Out
This quick overview of how the interests check boxes work is a good jumping-off point as you consider the approach of your landing page. On the landing page, the check boxes are:
- Checked (opt in) - subscribers uncheck a box to indicate their preference to no longer receive a mailing. These subscribers are removed from the associated target group and the mailings.
- Unchecked (opt out) - the text indicates "Opt Out Of" and subscribers must check a box to no longer receive a mailing. These subscribers are put into an opt-out group that then must be excluded from future mailings.
NOTE: In both of these approaches, subscribers who take no action will remain in the associated target group and continue to receive the mailings.
As you can see, the objective and the result are the same; what differs is how the process is presented (i.e., the approach) to your subscribers.
TIP: Do NOT have opt in and opt out options on the same landing page because this will confuse your subscribers and result in inaccurate responses.
If the objective and the result are the same, what difference does the approach make? Read on to learn more about the behind-the-scenes differences so that you can decide which is the better approach for you.
Opt In Approach
On your landing page, make it clear that you're asking subscribers to indicate which mailings they do NOT want to receive by unchecking the box for the option (which represents an interest).
NOTE: You will have no way of tracking which subscribers have removed themselves. To track this, use the opt-out approach.
Opt In Considerations
Keep in mind that when a new subscriber record is created (in your AMS or in Communications Professional), every preference will have to be assigned to that subscriber.
Opt Out Approach
On your landing page, make it clear that you're asking subscribers to indicate which mailings they do NOT want to receive by checking the box for the option (which represents an interest).
Opt Out Considerations
It's easier to track these opt-out subscribers because they had to take an action to be removed from the group. Remember, though, that these opt-out subscribers must always be excluded—by using a compound target group or at the message level—from the messages that they indicated they do not want to receive.
TIP: If you are using the opt-out approach, you have to consistently use opt-out target groups to ensure that you are sending your messages to only those who want to receive them. Create a compound target group that includes your main target group (e.g., "All Active Members") and excludes your opt-out subscribers. This will ensure that you never "forget" to factor in the opt-out subscribers when sending.
Learn more about using Opt-Outs as Interests.