Episode 17: A Method to Managing Unsubscribes with Meg Curth

There's a method to avoiding universal unsubscribes; learn how to keep your contacts engaged by empowering them to manage preferences and get the content they want.

Listen to Episode (40:00)


Unsubscribes are a tricky topic. Learn to avoid unsubscribes by using ActiveCampaign to ask your contacts about what type of communication they want to receive. In this week’s episode, Customer Success Manager Meg Curth shares her tips and tricks with Host and Director of Education, Chris Davis.

Note: This episode is best if you follow along in your ActiveCampaign account! There are lots of mentions of settings that can help you get started.

Resources: The following automations were mentioned in this week’s podcast. Download them here!

Related Materials:


Chris Davis: Welcome to another episode of the Activate Campaign Podcast. [00:00:30] Today I have with me someone who needs no introduction, partly because of how great she is, but the other part is because she’s already been on the podcast.

Today, I wanted to take the time and bring Meg Curth, master of automation building on the success team, to help break down a fairly complex idea or a fairly complex strategy that has been a hot topic [00:01:00] in the ActiveCampaign community. And internal to the ActiveCampaign company actually, and that is how to handle unsubscribes.

Today’s podcast, we’re going to give you two strategies, we’re going to equip you with two strategies that should answer this question for good. I’ve been toying around with the effectiveness and kind of playing with it myself, and I just recently presented it in our office hours … [00:01:30] We have office hour every Tuesday and Friday, Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Central, Friday at 1:00 p.m. Central, and you can register for free at, and on these office hours, I’m able to take questions and really dive deep into some strategy for your business and ActiveCampaign.

And I used one of the sessions to really break down this strategy, and it has been well-received. However, [00:02:00] Meg has been training on a very similar strategy, so I figured we’d sit down, in a room, two microphones, one topic, and nail this one for good.

Meg, how are you doing?

Meg Curth: I’m great! I’m really excited to be here.

Chris Davis: Yes. Yes. Great to have you back Meg. Just so everybody knows, Meg loves, well, you were the podcast “Building Automations”, “Building Better Automations”, so if you [00:02:30] haven’t listen to that one, please go back and listen to it, because Meg drops some gems on how to build automations the most effective way. We want to build better automations, we don’t want to just build automations, so I want to recommend that you all go and listen to that.

And I am not the subject matter expert here today. It is Meg. It is Meg. She’s the master of this strategy. So I’m going to be bouncing ideas off of her or talking through this, and she’s going to help me really clarify [00:03:00] my thoughts, and all the listeners get to benefit from it all.

Meg Curth: Yay!

Chris Davis: So to really understand unsubscribes, we have to understand the internal functionality, right? What’s happening in two cases? One, what happens when we send a campaign, e-mail, across multiple lists and multiple segments, and two is what happens when we send an email within [00:03:30] an automation and someone unsubscribes.

So let’s start with the first one, Meg. When someone sends a campaign, they’re an active, they click on the campaign’s tab or a navigation item, menu item in the top, and they go to the screen where you can select whether you want to send an auto-responder one time or whatnot.

So they select one time, click next, and they’re taken to a screen, and for this example, let’s say we have five lists, and the contact is on all five [00:04:00] lists. However, we just select three lists. And maybe a segment, right? We’ll throw a segment in there, okay?

Meg Curth: Yeah.

Chris Davis: Now when I hit send, or they hit send, it will go to everbody that’s in those three lists, and they receive the email, they click unsubscribe, what happens at that point?

Meg Curth: When I click unsubscribe?

Chris Davis: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Meg Curth: I will be removed from all the lists the campaign was sent to.

Chris Davis: Yes. So if I was on all five lists, and three were checked, I hit unsubscribe, [00:04:30] it would remain on two lists?

Meg Curth: Yes. The two lists that were not sent to.

Chris Davis: Great, great, great. So actually, the unsubscribe, so when you describe it like that, the unsubscribe link in an email is kind of like a unsubscribe from all, but not really, right? Like, it will unsubscribe you from all lists that I’ve checked, but we also have a unsubscribe all link?

Meg Curth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Davis: [00:05:00] Now, correct me if I’m wrong. Everybody, Meg is here to keep me honest. Correct me if I’m wrong. If include the unsubscribe from all link, even if the list is not checked, it will remove me from it if I click the link.

Meg Curth: Correct.

Chris Davis: All right. So let’s recap that. We’re talking about a one-time email. A campaign, you’re sending this out, you’re selecting your list [00:05:30] or your lists, multiple, plural, and whatever list has a checkbox next to it is the list that that contact will be removed from when they click unsubscribe, all right?

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: So that’s one. That’s our first foundational block. Next, let’s move to automations, all right?

Meg Curth: Huh-huh.

Chris Davis: Now …

Meg Curth: Let’s move to automations.

Chris Davis: Let’s go. This is where the magic happens, everyone. And you know why this is important Meg, [00:06:00] because there are certain, I feel like the more advanced users, they actually prefer to send their campaigns via an automation, right?

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: Like, they’ll put the campaign in an automation, and then have some logic, like if they’ve opened or not, and they can send reminders and do all kind of other stuff. Tag them.

So this is going to be very important for you advanced users and you beginner users that will potentially, or eventually, I should say, get here.

[00:06:30] Now, we have an automation. The same campaign. Let’s use the same exact campaign.

Meg Curth: All right.

Chris Davis: We have the same campaign, but instead, we’re sending it in an automation. Just for the sake of simplification, there’s no start trigger, no start trigger. Because honestly, the start trigger doesn’t matter.

Meg Curth: Exactly.

Chris Davis: It doesn’t matter if it’s a tag. It doesn’t matter if it’s a custom field. It doesn’t mater if it’s a deal stage change. It could be anything, [00:07:00] right?

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: As long as they are in this automation, so for this example, I’m going to say you’re using the bulk editor, and we’re using the option that says “add to automation”.

Meg Curth: Yep.

Chris Davis: All right? But again, everybody. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tag or anything else. Now the same exact email, all right? Watch what happens everybody. I think. Watch what I think is about to happen. Meg is keeping me honest.

We send this email in the automation, [00:07:30] all the contacts, you know, all the contacts receive it, and then a contact clicks unsubscribe from an email that was sent within an automation. Now what happens, Meg?

Meg Curth: They are globally unsubscribed, meaning, no matter what list they’re on, they’re unsubscribed from all lists.

Chris Davis: So this functionality is really equivalent to unsubscribe all.

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: Okay. So if you’re sending emails [00:08:00] within an automation, just know whenever someone unsubscribes, they’re taken off every list.

Meg Curth: Every list.

Chris Davis: A unsubscribe link click within an automation, but you know what, Meg? They’re not removed from the automation.

Meg Curth: They are not removed from the automation.

Chris Davis: They will still progress through the automation, so if you have deals, if you’re updating contact information, they will very much still get that, those [00:08:30] action will still execute.

Meg Curth: Yeah, the workflow is behind you. Right.

Chris Davis: Because what I saw when I tested it was, when it came to the action where we send an email, there was a X.

Meg Curth: I was just going to say that. You finished my sentence. Yes.

So when you’re looking at the actual contact flow, so if you wanted to see their pathway in that VO, you will see a little X by the email. But if they had a deal, or our tag is being applied or removed, all of that will still [00:09:00] happen. They just won’t receive the emails and the automation.

Chris Davis: Okay. Yeah. And everybody, the contact view that Meg is talking about is when you go to contacts and you pull up a individual contact by clicking on their name, and you scroll towards the bottom past all their custom fields, you can see every automation that they’re currently in, and if you click that, a pop-up box will come, and you can either end their progress in that automation or view.

If you click view, it will show the customer journey or the contact journey. [00:09:30] And you will, you’ll see where they skipped an email.

Meg Curth: Yep.

Chris Davis: And even more, Meg, so I tested this out. I didn’t remove the contact from the automation. I unsubscribed. I didn’t receive email number two, and then I resubscribed, and I did receive email number three.

So I think this is very powerful everybody, because it shows you … I think this is a clear differentiator between email marketing and marketing automation.

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: [00:10:00] When you hit unsubscribe in email marketing or email marketing based platforms, they’re gone. They’re dead. They’re out of there.

Here, they can still exist and have actually, they could still have a deal right?

Meg Curth: Yeah.

Chris Davis: Because even though I can’t email them, I can still call them. I can still progress them through stages. So I found that to be very powerful.

Now, with that being said, I virtually, I just heard somebody gasp, like, “Oh my god! [00:10:30] I don’t want to remove them from every list!” You know. I heard it. I heard it, Meg.

We have two strategies for you all. That’s really the core of this podcast. Now that understand how unsubscribes work with campaigns and how unsubscribes work within automations, let’s talk about saving, salvaging those unsubscribes, all right?

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: Because let’s be honest, Meg. [00:11:00] A lot of times, people may not want to leave all of your communication, but since they don’t necessarily have a way of choosing what they want, they’re just gone.

Meg Curth: They have to. Right? They don’t have an option.

Chris Davis: Yeah. And I’ve heard this be, I’ve heard this be a concern within the community, because they’re like, this is why you use multiple lists, right? So that if they unsubscribe from one, they’re not removed from the next. Whereas, listen everybody. That’s not necessarily true, because if they unsubscribe [00:11:30] within an automation email, they are removed. So a lot of people are like, “That’s why I keep a separate customer list and a prospect list.”

Well, if you’re emailing both lists or both contacts, groups are going through an automation and they click unsubscribe, well, you’ll no longer be able to send that customer customer-related emails unless we implement a couple strategies.

What I want to do is I want to go backwards, though. You have a more flexible, more advanced and robust [00:12:00] method. I want to present your method, Meg, and then I’ll present my more, I guess it’s a simplified version.

But yeah. Let’s talk about your method. How do you propose to the people that you train, how do you propose to them how to provide this preferences page.

Meg Curth: Preferences page. Yes, so, little tidbit trick, I don’t know if you guys ever looked, but on all, if you go [00:12:30] to lists, and you select public facing pages, there’s an option to, on the unsubscribe page, to redirect to a new URL. So that’s step one.

Step two is create your own form in ActiveCampaign to sit on that redirect URL page. So it’s going to be your own page. It’s not going to be our form. It’s not going to be our distinct default page.

But instead you’re using our forms to put them into another automation because [00:13:00] now they can reselect what messages you want to hear.

Chris Davis: Yes. So at this point, Meg, they’ve gone into Lists, and it’s a dropdown arrow to the right of the list, and they’ve selected advanced settings. And then there’s a tab that says public pages. They’ve gone to subscription page, I think that’s what it’s called, or unsubscribes page.

Meg Curth: Either-or. Yeah.

Chris Davis: Yep. They’ve clicked that, and in their URL we’ll see our default page, but at the top right, somewhere in there, you can click a link [00:13:30] that says redirect to our URL. This is the page Meg is talking about. You’re creating this page on your website, and the form that she’s about to explain how to create, you’re embedding this form on the website, and what that does now is it changes every single unsubscribe link to go to that page when it’s clicked.

Meg Curth: Yep. Exactly.

So now, this is an ActiveCampaign form, so you can use this form for a start trigger for a, I guess, [00:14:00] a subscription update automation is like what I like to call it.

Chris Davis: Yes. Yes.

Meg Curth: Of course, there’s formal need to have the email address associated, and then from there, you’re going to have a custom field. It could be a checkbox, a radio button, multi-list selector, whatever you choose. I personally like the checkbox or the radio buttons, and then from there, you can have the different types of messages you send out that correlate [00:14:30] with your marketing strategy.

Now, this could be different lists, or it could be one main list with different tags, depending on how you segment. So for example, if you said Marketing Updates, it could have a selection that says marketing updates. If you have product feature updates, where it’s like, “Hey,” it’s not exactly saying, “Check out our blog post,” but it’s saying, “We just launched new features, look at this.” That would be a different type of message.

[00:15:00] Then there’s educational content, where maybe you’re training people or there’s a help center or you’re providing tricks of the trade, but it’s not exactly a marketing specific type of message. That could be another way.

Whatever your different list strategies are, those are the different types of selections you can provide your contact. So they can select education, and maybe product updates, but they don’t want to hear about your marketing stuff.

Chris Davis: Yep. You know what, Meg? You’re saying something, [00:15:30] and I think since we’re used to doing this, we’re kind of glossing over it, and you said the term “message types.” I think it’s very important for people to understand, or be clear, on what type of messaging they’re sending out, because here’s what I found, Meg. Just because you have multiple offerings doesn’t mean you have multiple message types. Right?

Meg Curth: Yes. Yeah.

Chris Davis: You could have three offerings, but essentially, you’re sending them the same [00:16:00] type of messaging. So this works well, what you’re saying, it works well when you have different types of messaging everybody.

So like Meg said, event-type reminders, that’s very different than education and product updates. Those are two totally different message types.

Meg Curth: Yup.

Chris Davis: So this is not specific to the opt-in offer. This is specific to the type of communication they will be receiving afterwards.

Meg Curth: Yup.

Chris Davis: [00:16:30] All right.

Meg Curth: Exactly that.

So from there, whatever choices they have, you can use if/elses to branch off.

Chris Davis: Yes, and Meg has a really, really sharp sorting or preferences management automation, and what I’ll do is I’ll share it. We’ll include it in the show notes, a link where you could just import it right in, and just I guess kind of briefly explain what it does.

Meg Curth: Absolutely. So [00:17:00] I don’t want to take all the credit. Tony did a one-on-one training about this, or I’m sorry, office … What was it called? I’m sorry.

Chris Davis: Success hours. Okay.

Meg Curth: Success hours. So I kind of took that as a backbone, but I did make some tweaks, so we’ll show the finalized version on yours, but essentially what it does is it … They fill out the form, and the next action is an if/else checking to see what selection they did on that custom field about the message types.

So the first if/else will say something like, “Did the update subscriptions field [00:17:30] include or contain marketing updates? If yes, add them to the marketing updates list, or if you’re using tags, add the tag marketing updates, or whatever tag you use for your marketing.”

Then, instead of saying, “End this automation,” you’re going to have a go to, because if they select more, you don’t want them to get out of the automation, so they go to back into your other selector.

So down the next path you go. So example, again, was product updates. Did your subscription [00:18:00] selection include or contain product updates? If yes, again, that associated, that list or tag, again go to. And then so forth and so forth.

What I want to note, and it will be right in the automation that we’re sharing, but I’ve seen it happen with just previous experience, you want to use the “segment contains” and not “is,” and the reason why is is is just looking to see is it only marketing [00:18:30] updates and nothing else.

Chris Davis: Oh, interesting.

Meg Curth: So if it is, so say I had marketing update and product updates, that’s not just one. There’s two of them there, so that’s going to flag them as a no in our ActiveCampaign process.

Contains opens up that door. So, little tidbit, another thing that I just learned from personal experience, so I wanted to share that with you.

Chris Davis: Yeah. Great. Great. And the bonus is, everybody, the automation will be built and ready to go.

Meg Curth: Right.

Chris Davis: [00:19:00] So you’ll be able, like I said, you’ll be able to import it right in, and you know what? As you were talking, I was seeing something else. When we have these nested if/else conditions, if you’re using a checkbox, this automation will be a bit different than if you’re using a radio button, right?

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: So we’ll provide both for you all, but remember, the functionality of a radio button is only one can be selected.

Meg Curth: Selected. Yep.

Chris Davis: A checkbox, [00:19:30] many can be selected. All or just one can be selected.

Meg Curth: Yeah.

Chris Davis: So when you heard Meg say there’s a go to action after the yes branches, that’s because it’s a check box, and we need to check the next condition. We need to check and see if every box is clicked. Right?

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: If it’s just a radio button, the first yes we get, we’re done.

Meg Curth: Exactly. Yep. That’s so true. Very good for catching that.

Another question I have with the radio buttons I receive a lot with my clients is, “Well, what if I have marketing updates, where there’s [00:20:00] four different lists that go to that marketing updates that I use?” Like, maybe there’s, I don’t know, they just have four different lists.

On that yes path, instead of just saying, “Add to that one list,” you can include everything that you need for your marketing. So you can still include different lists or different tags. Just whatever falls under that realm of the message type that you use when you send your emails.

Chris Davis: Yeah. I love that because, everybody, if you can imagine, once you have this automation in place, at any point, you can go and add whatever you want [00:20:30] to the yes branches.

Meg Curth: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Davis: So you can subscribe them to lists. You could tag them, you could remove tags, and the reason why I called this strategy advanced is because it really leverages the master list approach.

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: Right? People who are using one list to manage their entire contact database, and you’re using tags and custom fields to further segment. Now this strategy will go right in line with what you’re doing.

Meg Curth: Yep.

Chris Davis: You know, you [00:21:00] may have a customer tag, and when you send your customer communication, you’re sending to that segment on your master list, and if they opt-out to marketing information, and they hit the unsubscribe, they go now to this custom page, and they see a checkbox that says, “Customer only communication.”

They select that box. Now, even though they have unsubscribed, you will resubscribe them to that specific type of communication.

Meg Curth: [00:21:30] Yes, exactly.

Chris Davis: Because here’s what’s happening, everybody. And I guess we just kind of … I don’t think we mentioned this, so this is what’s happening everybody, and this is why the master list works really well in this approach.

That form that you created, the action on that form is subscribe to master list. So here’s another thing that you all need to understand. If someone within an automation, or anywhere, clicks unsubscribe, you [00:22:00] cannot resubscribe them. Even though we have that action that says subscribe to list, they will not be subscribed to a list without submitting a form again.

Okay, so let me repeat that. When someone unsubscribes from any email, any email in our database, they cannot be added to the list again unless they fill out a form with their email.

So do you see the magic in Megan’s method?

Meg Curth: The form is opting [00:22:30] in again.

Chris Davis: There it is. The form is opting them in again, and now the radio button or checkbox is adding the tag. So there’s two things that are happening there: opting in again, and then they’re getting the appropriate tag using your beautiful automation.

Meg Curth: Yes. Exactly.

Chris Davis: All right. We’re going to entitle this “Meg’s Magic Method.” That’s what we’ll call it.

All right. So that is the advanced way, okay? If you’re using a master list, [00:23:00] hands down that is the approach, okay? That’s the way to go.

Create that page. I recommend it being at like, right? You’re not really worried if somebody stumbles across it because it’s really and opt-in page. It’s like a landing page, right?

Meg Curth: Yeah.

Chris Davis: So remember, this is what I call an additive approach. When people come to this page, it’s not like they’ll be able to remove themselves, because by [00:23:30] the time they’ve reached this page, they’ve already been removed. So we’re just giving them the ability to be added again, you know, back onto a list or a specific tag within a master list.

So now that Meg has laid the advanced foundation, my simplified version should really work, and the reason I created this simplified version is because a lot of our users like to use lists. And [00:24:00] I totally get it. Lists are very easy to imagine. If you have three lists, one is general marketing material, another one is your monthly newsletter, and another one is live events.

When you go to send a campaign, how much easier is it just to select that list and not worry about a segment, right?

Meg Curth: Right.

Chris Davis: So for a lot of people migrating from email marketing platforms and everything, the list approach is something that’s a little [00:24:30] easier for them to get their mind around in the beginning.

But again, your list should only be respective to the type of messaging. We’re not … So when we were using email marketing, everybody raise your hand who’s using email marketing. Yes, I see you all virtually. So what happens is you have lists, and you have all these lists, that’s your only means of segmenting is just another list.

So even though the message type may be [00:25:00] the same, you’re using the list to further segment. You don’t have that limitation in ActiveCampaign, so I do not recommend bringing that approach here, right?

Meg Curth: No.

Chris Davis: It’s, in fact, this is a good reason why you all should have a plus account or a higher, because you get one-on-ones with a success manager, like Meg, and they can walk you through thinking about your message types, and you’ll be shocked that [00:25:30] most people who think they need to send 10 different types or 10 different lists, it’s really only three, right?

Meg Curth: Right.

Chris Davis: So my strategy, the simplified strategy, is really dependent on you using list as message types, okay? And guess what? We still have a master list.

I don’t think you’ll ever hear me talk about not having a master list. You have to have the master list. And what I’m proposing is that people exist on your master [00:26:00] list because the unsubscribe form is going to put them on the master list and the message type list. Don’t be worried about this, because they’re not a duplicate contact, right? They could be on the master list and another list, and it still counts as one active contact for you, all right?

So now that we have that foundation laid, all I’m going to change, everybody, all I’m changing is, on that form that Meg had you build, I’m saying delete your custom field that [00:26:30] has either your radio button or your check boxes, click on standard fields. In the form builder, you’ll see my fields, and then right next to it, you’ll see a tab called standard fields.

Click on standard fields, scroll to the bottom, if my memory serves me correct, it’s the second option from the bottom. It’s called list selector. Okay? Drag that list selector onto your form. For most of you, only one list is going to show. You’re like, “Chris, what’s going on here?” Well, there’s a couple [00:27:00] steps we have to take, all right?

The lists that show from the list selector are the lists that show under the form action. All right? You can access your form actions two ways. When you’re first creating the list, you know that popup that comes up where you can name your list? If you go right to the bottom, it says, “Add an Action.” When this form is submitting, do the following. You can subscribe to a list.

Well, you can subscribe to multiple lists with one form. A lot of people didn’t know that. You [00:27:30] can literally subscribe to like four lists with one form.

Now, if you’re already in the build, and you’re like, “Dang it, Chris! Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” Don’t worry. You could still access the form action by clicking on the … You have tabs at the top right. The middle one is style, and the last one, I believe, is options.

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: If you click on options, you’ll see where you can determine the show thank you message or redirect to a URL. What [00:28:00] you’ll want to do is, right under that is form actions.

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: You’ll want to add ever list that you want them to subscribe or be able to subscribe to.

Now, this works, and when you do that, you’ll see all of the lists populate on your form as you add them. I recommend, remember, turn off double-opt-in. Please turn off double-opt-in. When you turn it off for one action, it will automatically turn it off for all of the list actions, [00:28:30] all right?

And now you’ll look at your form, and you’ll be like, “Okay, all of my lists are there, but it looks ugly,” because it will probably say something like, “Master List,” and it’ll be your internal names. So this strategy also requires that you name your lists. So if you have to go back out, go click on lists, and you have to name your lists, contact-facing safe names.

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: So when the contact [00:29:00] sees it, they know exactly what type of communication. So you no longer will have a master list. You know it’s a master list, but it’s going to be called like, general communication and updates, right?

Meg Curth: Yes.

Chris Davis: Then you’ll have another one that says, like, let’s say I send out the automated monthly newsletter, that’s going to be the name of that list. It’s going to say, “the automated monthly newsletter,” because this is what is going to display to the contacts when they click the unsubscribe.

[00:29:30] Now check this out. When they go and click unsubscribe, they’ll hit a page, and it will look identical to the one that Meg set up, because the list selector is a check box. So they’ll be able to see, you know the page reads something like, “You’ve been unsubscribed. If this is a mistake, update your preferences below.” And then they could say, “Oh yeah, I still want to receive this, this, and that,” right? And they hit the button to save their preferences, and what’s happening is every [00:30:00] box that was checked, they’re now subscribed to that list, right?

So now, we’ve effectively done the same thing using lists, and Meg has showed you how to do it using custom fields or tags, right?

So with that, I want to give you one last little nugget. This makes the process that much more seamless, and it works with both methods, actually, Meg.

Meg Curth: It does.

Chris Davis: It works with both methods. If you go [00:30:30] into your advanced settings on the list. Remember, we’re clicking on lists, we’re selecting our lists, we’re doing the dropdown to the right, and we’re clicking advanced settings. We’re going to public pages, and we’ve accessed our unsubscribe page. And we see our URL.

What I want you to do is, at the end of the URL, type this exactly as I’m about to spell it out. I want you to go to the end and put a forward slash, or backslash. You know the slash that’s on the bottom to the top.

Chris Davis: It [00:31:00] tilts to the right. That one. /?email=%email%. All of you who have been using ActiveCampaign know that’s our email personalization tag. If we use this URL, and by the way, we need to place this URL in every list. This should be every list’s redirect URL, okay?

When they get [00:31:30] to this form on your page, you’ll see on the URL that their email address has been placed instead of the percentage email percentage. And what ActiveCampaign forms do is, when they see a personalization tag in the URL, they pull it down and automatically populate that field.

So imagine now someone’s going to this preferences page, their email is already filled out, and all they have to do is select a checkbox. [00:32:00] So that-

Meg Curth: More personalization.

Chris Davis: More personalization. Meg, I don’t … Listen, I know there are some platforms out there that, you know, they’re like, “Well, why can’t my preferences page just precheck what lists they’re on?” That is actually some feedback that we received, and we’re working on it. We’re really working on how we want to handle preferences, but I’ve found that, in my time using this strategy, it works really well.

Now for the [00:32:30] customers that you help, what is their feedback when you give them this strategy?

Meg Curth: They love it. I mean, sometimes they ask for it. How I first discovered this is they’re asking me for it, I just figured it out for them. The personalization, I want to know, the personalization tag, that can work for any type of form that you have a link to in email, and it can work for any personalization tag too.

Chris Davis: This is true.

Meg Curth: You could also prefill it with more fields if you want to. So I don’t want [00:33:00] to overboard you with that, but yes, this is a great strategy that I think a lot of people don’t know about, and I think it makes your marketing that much stronger once you utilize it.

Chris Davis: I think you’re right. In fact, know you’re right. The more personalized you can get with all of this. You know, my personal belief is you should never ask for information you already have, right?

Meg Curth: Right, especially if you’re unsubscribing, and we don’t know your email. Well.

Chris Davis: Yes.

Meg Curth: Yeah. Definitely, that’s one thing where I’m like, “Woah, they don’t even know my email? Then I’m done.”

Chris Davis: [00:33:30] Yes. Exactly.

Meg Curth: So great. That’s a power move.

Chris Davis: Yes.

Meg Curth: Of course, Chris I told you this already, but just want to reiterate. I love if you’re a beginner and you used the list selector idea that Chris talks about. I think it’s a great segway to start thinking about your message types. It gets you off of that list per list per list mentality that email … I’ve had it before I came here … That email-marketers have, and it makes you think big picture in your marketing strategy longterm, so I love [00:34:00] the list selector as you’re starting. It’s really easy to use, and it makes you think, and it lines you up for more advanced usage down the line.

Chris Davis: Yep. Absolutely. So now remember, all of these strategies, both of these strategies that we’ve provided you all, they don’t replace what you’re doing. They’re just a layer right on top. You do not have to go back and, like, change everything, like, “Oh no! I’ve got to switch to list! Oh no! I’ve got to switch to master list !”

You know. This will work. That’s why we gave you two.

Meg Curth: Yep.

Chris Davis: [00:34:30] This will work with whatever you’re currently doing, so just stick with what you’re doing, download the automation that works best for you. In fact, I guess what I would have to say is I can include an automation that goes with my … It’s a really simple one, though, Meg. Like, it’s super simple because-

Meg Curth: Simple is better.

Chris Davis: Right? Right? And powerful.

Meg Curth: Yeah.

Chris Davis: It’s like, the simplest rooms are the most powerful ones.

What this does is, since I’m going to have customer [00:35:00] only communication as a list, they can select that. Now what happens if they’re not a customer? I definitely don’t want them to get that communication. So there’s a simple automation, everybody, that says once they’ve subscribed to the customer list, and then have, you know you how you can put a start trigger, and the start trigger subscribes to lists. And then I click on advanced, all right? And then I say, “And does not have the customer tag.”

So now the only people who [00:35:30] are going to enter this automation are non-customers who try to select getting customer communication.

Meg Curth: Trying to get the goods, you know? Without buying the product.

Chris Davis: They’re trying to get the goods. See? See? Trying to get the milk without buying the cow.

Meg Curth: That’s it, there ya go.

Chris Davis: There it is. No milk. No milk. We’re lactose intolerant here. So what we do is, once that, Meg, one action, unsubscribe from customer list.

Meg Curth: Exactly.

Chris Davis: That’s it.

Meg Curth: That’s it.

Chris Davis: Right? So you know what? We can call this automation lactose [00:36:00] intolerant.

Meg Curth: Let’s do it.

Chris Davis: We can call this the lactaid automation. This is how about that?

Meg Curth: Yes. I love it.

Chris Davis: No stealing the milk without buying the cow, everybody. So when they, remember, they’re going to subscribe to the customer list because they checked it. You can’t stop that. Right?

Meg Curth: Right.

Chris Davis: But we can determine if they’re a customer, and if they’re not, we’re just going to remove them. We’re just going to remove them from the list. So I’ll add that.

Meg Curth: Yeah.

Chris Davis: It’s harmless. We’ll put that automation in there as well, and in [00:36:30] closing, I just wanted to mention one more thing. Along with public pages, you can also determine your updates preferences page. You can do this exact same thing with your update preferences page, and one thing you’ll have to do is, some of our templates in our template library come with links that say unsubscribe and update at the bottom of the email. If you’re using a template that does not have update, feel free to go down [00:37:00] there, right in the footer, right next to unsubscribe, put OR, and then click “update your preferences” and use our personalization tag that says update. Then when they click that, they can also go to a page on your site that has the ability for them to update their preferences.

So for that form, maybe you want to add first name, you know, email. Maybe you don’t want to prepopulate their email because they want to change their email. I know I do that a lot of times, and I get frustrated. I don’t necessarily want to unsubscribe. I just want to start getting these emails [00:37:30] at another email address, getting your communication at another email address.

So most definitely use the update link as well. Every email that you send should have an unsubscribe link and an update preferences link.

Meg Curth: Absolutely.

Chris Davis: You do those two things, everybody, and you will be a master at managing your unsubscribes in ActiveCampaign.

So, Meg, we’re finishing up here. Any last words, any parting words for our listeners?

Meg Curth: [00:38:00] No. I think that covers it all.

Chris Davis: All right. Okay.

Meg Curth: So far.

Chris Davis: I will say, everybody who’s listening, implement Meg’s Magic Method immediately. Meg’s Magic Method immediately. Meg Curth, everybody. Thanks, Meg.

Meg Curth: Thank you.

Chris Davis: Today’s podcast was an example of the flexibility of our platform, and if you enjoyed hearing about how to really unlock some [00:38:30] of the more advanced features and most helpful features to benefit you, as a user to ActiveCampaign and a potential customer of ActiveCampaign, please ensure that you’re subscribed to this podcast. You can subscribe via iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher Radio, which means you can pull the RSS feed for this podcast in any main podcasting application that you can access on your mobile phone or desktop.

We are dedicated to providing you [00:39:00] the best and most understandable content and strategies around marketing automation to demystify and clear the clouds, for when you go to implement and scale your business, it is as easy and straight-forward as possible.

I’m Chris Davis, the Director of Education, and I am so glad to have you as a listener. Please, go to iTunes, or your podcasting app, and leave us a 5-star rating and review. Spread the word. [00:39:30] Tell your friends to listen to this podcast. The more, the merrier. Provide the feedback. I am so thankful for the feedback that I’ve been receiving from you all, as far as suggestions, as well as topics. Please keep doing that.

This is the ActiveCampaign podcast. The small business podcast to help you scale and propel your business with marketing automation. I’ll see you on the next episode.

Follow & Subscribe