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Managing subscriber preferences in ConvertKit: best practices
Managing subscriber preferences in ConvertKit: best practices

Learn our recommended best practices for tailoring emails to your subscribers’ preferences.

Updated over a week ago

Keep your subscribers engaged by sending only emails they’re interested in

What if your subscribers want to:

  • Receive emails from you on certain topics but not others, or

  • Adjust the frequency of emails they receive?

By setting up the subscriber preferences feature in ConvertKit, you can give them such power.

And as your subscribers receive emails tailored to their preferences, you’ll incentivize them to stay on your email list for longer!

Just follow our recommended best practices for making the most of the subscriber preferences feature—and growing an audience of engaged subscribers:

1. Decide on your subscriber preference options

What options should subscribers have for managing their email preferences with you? Draw up a list of them.

When coming up with your subscriber preference options, it helps to think of the different categories of emails you send. Here are common ones to get you inspired:

Subscriber preference

Possible options

Types of emails received

  • Transactional emails

  • Marketing emails

  • Product update emails

Email topic

If you are a photographer, you could let subscribers choose to receive emails on topics such as:

  • Travel photography

  • Portrait photography

  • Food photography

Subscriber characteristic

If you run a paddle boarding community, you could email different groups of subscribers based on their level of paddle boarding experience:

  • No experience

  • Beginner

  • Intermediate

  • Expert

Emailing frequency

  • Daily emails

  • Weekly emails

  • Monthly emails

2. Set up your subscriber preference options

When you’ve decided on your subscriber preference options, it’s time to set them up. You’ll do so by creating what we call “topics of interest.”

These topics of interest are linked to subscriber Tags, and we’ll tag your subscribers based on the topic(s) of interest they’ve selected.

For example, you can create a Tag called “Paddle Boarding: No Experience” to be added to subscribers who have no paddle boarding experience.

3. Collect your subscribers' preferences upon sign-up

You’re now all set to start collecting your subscribers’ email preferences!

In your email Forms and Landing Pages, you can add Form fields to tag subscribers based on their email preferences when they’re signing up.

Here, we have a Form that asks subscribers for their level of paddle boarding experience upon sign-up:

For example, you can set up your email Form to tag a subscriber who selects the "I have no paddle boarding experience" option with a "Paddle Boarding: No Experience" Tag.

4. Prompt new subscribers to update their preferences

Some subscribers may not have indicated their email preferences when signing up. In this case, you can prompt them to do so.

First, create a Sequence email that asks subscribers to update their preferences by clicking the “Update your profile” link at the bottom of the email. You can add this Sequence email to an existing Sequence or create a new Sequence for it.

(When subscribers click the “Update your profile” link in your email, they’ll be directed to a page for adjusting their subscription preferences.)

After writing your Sequence email, use its Filter setting to exclude subscribers who have been tagged with any of your topic of interest Tags.

Let's say your topic of interest Tags are:

  1. "Paddle Boarding: No Experience"

  2. "Paddle Boarding: Beginner"

  3. "Paddle Boarding: Intermediate"

  4. "Paddle Boarding: Expert"

If so, your Sequence email's Filter setting should exclude subscribers who have been been tagged with any of these four Tags.

This way, only subscribers who have not indicated their preferences will receive your Sequence email.

NOTE: For a more advanced solution, you can use subscriber personalization Liquid tags to display the part of your email that asks subscribers for their preferences only if they don't have any topic of interest Tags. Learn more about advanced email personalization with Liquid tags here.

Finally, add your Sequence email to a Visual Automation that new subscribers will enter after signing up to your email list.

You can do so by clicking the + button after your Visual Automation’s entry point(s), followed by Action > Email sequence.

5. Ask existing subscribers to update their preferences

Now, you’ll get your existing subscribers’ email preferences.

Send them a Broadcast email that asks them to update their preferences by clicking the “Update your profile” link at the bottom of the email.

6. Send emails according to subscribers' preferences

As mentioned, we’ll add Tags to your subscribers based on their chosen topics of interest. You can therefore use such Tags to send emails to just select groups of email recipients.

For example, let’s say you’re sending a Broadcast to subscribers who are expert paddle boarders.

In this case, your Broadcast recipients should be subscribers who have been tagged with “Paddle Boarding: Expert”—and not subscribers who have been tagged with “Paddle Boarding: No Experience,” for example.

Be sure to respect your subscribers’ email preferences when emailing them! Because if you send them emails they aren’t interested in, they might decide to unsubscribe. 🙁

7. Keep your subscribers’ preferences up to date

Your subscribers’ email preferences may change from time to time. Hence, it’s a good practice to periodically send Broadcasts asking subscribers to update their preferences.

Opportunities for asking subscribers to update their preferences include:

  • At the start of the year, or at the end of it

  • At a time when their preferences are likely to change. For example, if you’re emailing teachers based on the subjects they teach, you could email them close to the start of a new school year to ask which subjects they’ll be teaching now.

Ready to get started?

Then start brainstorming your subscriber preference options (see step 1 above). After that, set up your subscriber preferences using the procedure in the article below (see step 2) 👇

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