Campaign Playbook: Subscription Management

  • Updated


Vertical All
Program Customer and Lead
Campaign Email

Campaign Goal: Lower the number of opt-outs and increase prospect and customer engagement. 

Executive Summary

The Challenge

Subscription Management is a core feature which Act-On recommends for all customers. By using it you will have higher engagement like opens and clicks, which in result will have a positive impact on your deliverability and have lower number of opt-outs.

The Solution

We enabled and configured the Subscription Management tool in Act-On. This allowed the email recipients to choose the email categories they would like to receive instead of completely unsubscribing to all emails.

How it works:

  1. The email recipient clicks the unsubscribe link in the footer of the email
  2. A new browser tab opens with a landing page that contains the Subscription Management form.
  3. The recipient selects the different email categories they would like to receive then submits the form.
  4. The Subscription Management list in Act-On will update the record with the selected categories. and future emails will be suppressed for the categories the recipient is unsubscribed from.

The Impact

When enabled customers have an increase in email engagement by having higher open, and click rates. They also have a lower number of complete opt-outs.

How to Enable and Set Up Subscription Management

Add Subscription Categories

In order to build the subscription form we need to define the different categories of emails we send. For this customer we looked at their emails and came up with the following categories.

  • Promotions - Information about sales promotions. 
  • Product Updates - Information about new products, and enhancements. 
  • Workshops - Interactive training sessions and webinars.
  • Announcements - Informative emails about the company. 
  • Events - Invites, and reminders for events.
  • Newsletter - Newsletter that is sent out monthly.

Once you have defined the subscription categories we can create the categories as field on the subscription Form as follows:

  1. In Act-On, go to Contacts > Subscription Management
  2. In the Subscription Management page, locate the title that says Subscription Categories.
  3. In the Category Name field enter your first subscription category. 
  4. In the Short Description field enter a brief description about the category. This will provide your contacts more detail about the category. 
  5. Click Add to enter the next Category Name and short descriptionaddSubMgmt.png
  6. Repeat step 5 until all of your categories have been added. mceclip0.png
  7. Click Save in the right hand corner to keep your changes.


Styling the Subscription Management Page

Similar to Act-On Landing Pages and emails you have the ability to style your Subscription Management form. When styling you can select the preview option in the right hand corner to preview how the subscription form will look to the end user. Below are the walk through steps on the different styling options.

Page styling

Starting at the Subscription Management settings there are four drops downs that we can utilize to change the styling of the entire page. The first drop down is the option to select a stationery. Act-on has provided stationery but you can upload your own by going to Content > Stationery (read more about stationery here).  We then can select if we would like to include our logo, font style, and font size. 


Page Introduction

The Customer Settings Page Introduction is where we will provide instructions to the end user on how the form works. By default it contains a personalization field {{VCard.Email}} which will display your contact's email address. mceclip3.png

Complete Opt-Out

The Subscription Management form offers the option to completely opt-out of all emails and add the end user to the opt-out list. You have the ability to add text instructions and a field label for the complete opt-out check box.


Page Footer

On the footer we will need to include our company name and address. By default these values are populated with the name and address we use in Act-on which you can following the instructions here


Response Format

Last we will choose the format for our response when someone submits the form. We have the option to display a confirmation message or redirect to an Act-on landing page or external web-page.


After all styling changes are made you will save the page by click Save in the top right corner.

Enabling the form

Now that the form categories and page styling are applied we can turn on Subscription Management. We will click the toggle button at the top of the page next to where it says Subscription Management. When turned on the toggle will turn blue. 



When the form is turned on the unsubscribe link in the footer of you emails will direct to the subscription management form. You do not need to make any changes to the unsubscribe link. When someone updates their subscription preferences it will update in Act-on under Contacts > Other Lists > Account Lists > Subscription Management List.


Additional Best Practices 

With Subscription Management enabled you will have the option to segment under your marketing lists by subscription category. This will allow you to know who and how many records in your marketing list are subscribed to each category. You can then feed these segments into different Automated Programs.



Another best practice is to push the subscription categories to matching fields in your CRM. This is done using a list maintenance program and injecting a value into a field. Once in your CRM your Sales team will have visibility to the categories contacts are subscribed to. This would be a one-way sync from Act-On to CRM. Any changes made to Subscription Category fields on the CRM side would not be reflected on the Act-On side.

Next Steps

Update your Email Footers

Now that you have enabled Subscription Management, you will need to distribute the preferences form. The best place to do this is in your Email Footer. Act-On provides three different options to customize your Email Footer links when using Subscription Management. See our article here for more information on each of these links and how to use them: How to Add an Opt-Out Link.

Tip! You may wish to run a one-time email campaign for your Leads/Contacts. Announce the new subscription center and ask them to respond with their preferences.

Send Messages to Each Category

Once you have contacts who have subscribed to your categories, you can send email messages based on subscriptions. See Using Subscription Management in Emails for more information.

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