Opt-In

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Opt-In

What It Is

Opt-In is the action of agreeing to receive emails from a particular company, group of companies or associated companies, by subscribing to an email list.

The Emailheads Marketing Machine uses a closed-loop opt-in process (also known as double opt-in or confirmed subscription) for verifying email addresses subscribed through the web. When an email address is added to the addresses list via an opt-in form, the Emailheads Marketing Machine sends a message to the email address to confirm that they do want to receive messages from you.

How it Works

If you would like users to be able to opt-in to your mailings, you first need to add a form on your website which collects the necessary information and communicates the information to the Emailheads Marketing Machine.

When the Emailheads Marketing Machine receives the recipient's information, an email message will be sent to the email address to confirm that they actually would like to be added to your addresses list. Once the Emailheads Marketing Machines receives the confirmation, the email address will be added to your address list and their email address will be associated with the groups that the form specified.

Read on for steps and information for setting up an opt-in form on your website.

Setting up an Opt-In Form

  1. Authorize the hostname that will be originating the opt-in information
  2. Create four pages hosted on your website
    1. The Opt-In Form page
    2. The Accepted page
    3. The Error page
    4. The Subscribed page
  3. Test the opt-in process

Authorize Opt-In

The Opt-In page of the Emailheads Marketing Machine is a text box that you can use to fill in the host name(s) separated by commas (",") that the opt-in information will be originating from.

For example, if the opt-in form were going to be on web site for www.example.com and www.example.org you would enter "www.example.com" and "www.example.org" into the Opt-in Referrers area on the Opt-In page.

Opt-In Page
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Opt-In Page

Opt-In Form

The Opt-In sample form below would collect a first name, last name and an email address for a potential recipient and begin the opt-in process to add them to the "optingroup" distrubution list and if they checked the appropriate boxes, the "News Letter" and "Announcement" distribution lists.

If you want to collect additional information about the user, it is possible by adding / removing fields with names that start with "u_" (like u_firstname and u_lastname). The data will be stored in the Emailheads Marketing Machine as custom fields. The information in the custom fields is currently not used at this time.

The email, username, okurl, badurl and doneurl form fields are all required.

Opt-In Form fields
  1. email
    • The email address that is opt-in in to your mailings
    • The address will be checked for validity and we will email a confirmation note to them to allow them to verify that they really want to be added to your lists
  2. username
    • Your username for the Emailheads Marketing Machine. The address will be added to the addresses for this account
  3. okurl
    • This is the URL that will be shown to the user after they have submitted the opt-in form and we've accepted the information
    • At this point, we will send an email message to them asking them to confirm that they do want to be subscribed
    • See Opt-In Accepted page for an example of a page suitable for use as the okurl page
  4. badurl
    • This is the URL that will be shown to the user if there is a problem processing the information from the opt-in form.
    • See Opt-In Error page for an example of a page suitable for use as the badurl page
  5. doneurl
    • This is the URL that will be shown to the user after they have confirmed that they want to be subscribed to your list(s).
    • See Opt-In Subscribed page for an example of a page suitable for use as the doneurl page
  6. group
    • The group field(s) indicate which distribution list(s) that email address would like to be subscribed
    • Multiple groups can be specified, and you can use radio buttons, check boxes and / or hidden fields to specify the distribution list(s).
    • You do not have to specify a group
  7. Custom Fields
    • You can collect additional information about the user subscribing by preceding the field name with "u_". To collect their first name, you could have a field name "u_firstname".
    • You can collect as much additional information as you would like.
Opt-In Sample Form

Note: This sample is just the form itself. To add it to your website, you'll want to include an appropriate header, footer and other web styling as necessary.

<form method="post" action="http://eh2.net/optin.cgi">
  <table border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=4 width=250>
    <tr>
      <td align="right" width="175">First Name</td>
      <td><input type="text" name="u_firstname">
      </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td align="right">Last Name</td>
      <td><input type="text" name="u_lastname">
      </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td align="right">Email</td>
      <td><input type="text" name="email">
      </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td align="right">Groups</td>
      <td><input type="checkbox" name="group" value="Newsletters">News Letters<br>
          <input type="checkbox" name="group" value="Announcements">Announcements<br>
      </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td></td>
      <td>
        <input type="hidden" name="okurl"
				value="http://www.example.com/optin/accepted.html">
        <input type="hidden" name="badurl"
				value="http://www.example.com/optin/error.html">
        <input type="hidden" name="doneurl"
				value="http://www.example.com/optin/success.html">
        <input type="hidden" name="group" value="optingroup">
        <input type="hidden" name="username" value="username">
        <input name="Submit" type="Submit" Value="Submit">
      </td>
    </tr>
  </table>
</form>

An example of an Opt-In Accepted Page (http://www.emailheads.net/optin.html) is available.

Opt-In Accepted Page

Here is a very basic example of the text to be included on the Accepted Page (okurl). As with the other pages, you'll want to include an appropriate header, footer and other web styling as necessary.

Thank you! Your information has been entered into our database. You 
should shortly receive an email message from us asking to verify 
that you want to be subscribed to our mailings. 

If you do not receive an email, please contact info@example.com.

An example of an Opt-In Accepted Page (http://www.emailheads.net/optin-ok.html) is available.

Opt-In Error Page

Here is a very basic example of the text to be included on the Error Page (badurl). As with the other pages, you'll want to include an appropriate header, footer and other web styling as necessary.

It appears there is a problem with the information you have provided. 

Please be sure to include your full email address.

If you continue to have problems, please contact info@example.com.

An example of an Opt-In Error Page (http://www.emailheads.net/optin-bad.html) is available.

Opt-In Subscribed Page

Here is a very basic example of the text to be included on the Subscribed Page (doneurl). As with the other pages, you'll want to include an appropriate header, footer and other web styling as necessary.

Welcome to our Newsletter! You have been added to our distribution 
list.  If after receiving any of our newsletters you wish to be 
removed from our list, just click on the un-subscribe link at the 
bottom of the newsletter.

Thanks for your interest in our company.

If you have any questions or comments about our mailings, please 
contact us at info@example.com.

An example of an Opt-In Subscribed Page (http://www.emailheads.net/optin-done.html) is available.

Opt-In Test

Testing is a simple matter of

  1. Filling out and submitting the form with valid information
  2. Verifying the Opt-In Accepted Page
  3. Waiting five to fifteen minutes for the confirmation email
  4. Clicking on the link in the email
  5. Verifying the Opt-In Subscribed Page
  6. Filling out and submitting the form with invalid information (leave out the email address for example)
  7. Verifying the Opt-In Error Page

Opt-Out

A link that allows recipients of your mailings to opt-out (unsubscribe) from your address list is included at the bottom of each message sent from the Emailheads Marketing Machine.

Recipients are also able to opt-out by replying to the messages sent out from the Emailheads Marketing Machine with several common phrases used to request to be removed.

If the recipients of any of the mailings contact Emailheads directly or if we receive spam complaints we will also remove their email address from users of the Emailheads Marketing Machine.

Opt-In Report

A Report is available which lists the email addresses that have completed the closed-loop opt-in process, as well as provides a monthly overview of the number of email addresses that have begun / completed the opt-in process.

See the Opt-In Report section for additional information on the Opt-In report.



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