How to Update D365 Marketing Lists Using Email Subscriptions

If your email marketing covers a series of topics it can be beneficial to track the content preferences of your audience to better target these messages by sharing content that is relevant.

By giving email recipients control over the type of emails they receive it'll help improve engagement rates and reduce churn caused by opt-out's.

Using ClickDimensions Subscription Management, forms can be easily created to capture these preferences and in this post we'll demonstrate how this data can be applied to automatically update Dynamics 365 marketing lists.

In this instance, an organisation has defined three content categories for: news, events and recipe ideas. Each of these will be managed in a dedicated subscription list within Dynamics.

To enable subscribers to pick and choose which topics they want to receive emails about these options are applied to a ClickDimensions form which also includes a global unsubscribe option to write these instructions back to Dynamics 365:

Like any ClickDimensions web form this can be embedded within a corporate website, or published as a standalone landing page and automated actions can be triggered when the form is posted.

One of the automated options available is a process that will add contacts to a defined marketing list when the form is posted. 

This useful in many instances, for example when a survey is posted, but in this scenario contacts will be posting different content preferences. That means a generic action which adds everyone to the same list won't be appropriate but we do need a process to add contacts to the correct lists - and have this run automatically.

In our 'Events' Subscription List we've assigned a matching 'Events' Marketing List that will contain the contacts who'll receive this type of content:

The next step is to establish how contacts will be added to this list when they post this subscription form to opt-in for this topic and in this post we've outlined a couple of different ways to achieve this.

Managing Subscriptions using Dynamic Marketing Lists

As shown in the above screenshot, one approach is to build a Marketing List for each content preference and set this as a dynamic list.

This will use rules that automatically adds a new member when a contact posts a subscription form to opt-in for this topic. 

If a contact subsequently cancels this content subscription, or makes a global opt-out instruction, the dynamic rule will also need to  update the list membership to ensure these records are removed.

ClickDimensions Subscription Lists contain Marketing List associations. The next time an email is sent to a Marketing List that is a part of a Subscription List, any recipients who have opted out of that Subscription List will be excluded.

This avoids contacts receiving messages on topics which they've opted out front but it is still good practice to make sure that Marketing Lists are updated when subscription preferences change, or if individuals unsubscribe from all marketing emails.

The advanced query shown below will dynamically update our 'Events' Marketing List with these rules: 

This will pick up all posted subscription forms where the Subscription Preference for Events is set to 'In'.

If a list member subsequently posts another form to untick this option and opt-out from event topics this Subscription Preference would be set to 'No'. In line with the above rules the contact would be removed from the 'Events' Marketing List.

To also remove contacts who globally unsubscribe from all of our emails the query also references the 'Do Not Bulk Email' field that will be automatically changed to 'Yes' if instruction is made. 

As a result, we can be sure that our 'Events' dynamic Marketing List will always contains only those contacts who've opted in to this topic at any time. 

Managing Subscriptions using Campaign Automation

For instances where marketing teams prefer not to use dynamic lists to manage email subscriptions the Campaign Automation feature will effectively handle these processes.

The example below has been configured to cover six scenarios when a subscription form is posted which reflects opt in / out instructions across our 3 subscription topics. An additional control has also been added to remove contacts from all lists when a global opt-out is posted:

In the first instance, a trigger for this process is required. 

This example uses a ClickDimensions Posted Subscription action that is aligned to the subscription web form featured earlier:

The actions for each potential subscription change are arranged as automation series with each containing one or more actions to add or remove a marketing list member.

As shown in the example below, the Events IN series will add a contact to the 'Events' Marketing List:

The next step is to use a decision node that will route actions down the appropriate paths in this process.

Within the decision node rules will cover each connected branch to connect these actions with the correct paths.

As shown below, a couple of routing rules are expanded that query actions from the associated Subscription Form. For example, when contacts opt-in to the Event subscription this process will route actions through the Events IN series. Where opt-outs are posted for Recipes subscriptions the Recipes OUT series will be followed:

As a result, any contact completing this subscription form who ticks the Events option will automatically be pushed into the Events 'Marketing List'.

For instances, where contacts untick the recipes subscription the Recipes OUT branch will be followed that includes the appropriate 'Remove from list' control.

To deal with global opt-outs the 'Unsubscribe All' clause will query the 'Do not allow Bulk Emails' contact field. When this has automatically been changed to 'Do not allow' following an unsubscribe all instruction this process will be routed to the 'Unsubscribe All' series that will remove contacts from each marketing list across these topics: 

As these examples demonstrate, ClickDimensions for Dynamics 365 simplifies the process to ensure that marketing lists are correctly updated with subscription changes through automated actions. 

Please get in touch to learn more or request a ClickDimensions demonstration. 


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