HOWTO: Manage unsubscribes from email subscriptions and campaigns

Johan Johannesson

When communicating by email it is important to offer the recipient a convenient way of unsubscribing. Mira offers a few different technical solutions/features for this, and this article describes best practices for using them.

Communication preference

In the person profile, there is a communication preferences field that can be set to Do not contact by email. If this field is set all mass emails will be blocked. Use this for when you have a person in your Mira system that does not want any communication whatsoever by e-mail.

To let recipients unsubscribe from a newsletter, but still be able to receive other mass emails, you can include a generic unsubscribe link in your newsletter.

When creating an email design template, we can include the generic unsubscribe link in the design template, usually in the footer.

When the recipient clicks the unsubscribe link, the person will be added to a static query Unsubscribe-General.

You can still send mass emails to this person, but when sending newsletters, make sure you exclude people in the query Unsubscribe-General. That is if you have a saved query Newsletter recipients

Multiple publications / segmented communications / subscription queries

The drawback of using a general unsubscribe link is that there are only two options for the recipient: she either subscribes to all newsletters or to no newsletters. If you have multiple publications (newsletters, topics or types of emails) that your alumni can subscribe to, you need a way to let the recipient select what publications she wants to receive.

One simple way to manage unsubscribes is to keep a saved query with the recipients for each publication. To unsubscribe a recipient, simply remove the person who wants to unsubscribe from the query you use to keep track of the  recipients for that publication / mailing list / subscription query.

Letting students and alumni manage their subscriptions

Alumni Registration Forms

If you use Mira Alumni Registration Forms, you can include checkboxes connected  to saved queries. That way an alumn can opt in and out of subscription queries.

First set up a saved query for each type of communications (“publication” or mailing list).

Then, in your Alumni Registration Form(s), add checkboxes for the different types of communications your alumni can subscribe to.

When an alumn first registers, she can opt in to each type of subscription. When she returns, she will see the current state for each subscription prefilled, and can unsubscribe and/or resubscribe.

External forms (preview)

Works as Alumni Registration Forms, but is not restricted to alumni.

My Alumni Page (legacy)

If you use Mira My Alumni Page feature, you can include a link to My Alumni Page in your emails.

Portal (legacy)

If you use the Mira portal, portal users can manage their subscriptions in the portal.

In your send outs / email communication, inform your recipients that they can unsubscribe and manage their preferences in the portal and include a link.

If you communicate with recipients who are not alumni or you do not use the Alumni Registration Forms or My Alumni Page modules, we can set up separate unsubscribe links for specific email content templates. Each content template then in effect becomes a separate mailing list. When sending emails using that template, all recipients that have unsubscribed from a link will be blocked.

MIRA will set up content templates and create and link specific unsubscribe queries. We will also verify that the relevant email design templates include a placeholder for the unsubscribe link.

You will first need to identify your different categories of communication (“mailing lists”), i.e. when a recipient unsubscribes, what is she actually unsubscribing from?

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