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Campaigns & Unsubscribe


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Trying to understand how campaigns and unsubscribe works and below is what I understand.
 
* Campaigns
Campaigns once created and run can not be edited or sent again.  
The dynamic or static lists become a snapshot of the records that meet their criteria when the campaign is run.
Dynamic Lists at this point can only filter based on the contact table.  Any plans to expand this?
Every email that gets sent from a campaign has an unsubscribe link.  
 
* Unsubscribe 
Database only has 2 fields related to unsubscribe
x2_list_items->unsubscribed
x2_contacts->donotemail field
 
When they click on the unsubscribe link from an email campaign it updates the x2_list_items->unsubscribed field only for that campaign.
In order to effect future campaigns or emails we would need to create a flow to update the x2_contacts->donotemail field.
It becomes an all or nothing.
Is there any mechanism now or planned to manage multiple types of unsubscribes like promotions vs any email, vs newsletters etc.?
 

Thanks

Glenn

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Campaigns once created and run can not be edited or sent again.

 

True, once they have been completed the campaign cannot be run or sent again. However, you can still update the details of the campaign (e.g. the content of the email, the assigned to field, or the privacy and visibility of the campaign). This might come up, for instance, if you have already run a campaign and sent out all the emails, but afterwards you decide you want to change the visibility of the campaign from public to private for some reason.

If you wish to reuse the content of the campaign email, I recommend creating an email template. These can be selected from the template dropdown menu, and then further modified to your liking. So, if you want you can create a baseline template for recurring marketing campaign, and then fill in the relevant details each time you want to send it out.

 

The dynamic or static lists become a snapshot of the records that meet their criteria when the campaign is run.

 

This is true.

 

Dynamic Lists at this point can only filter based on the contact table.  Any plans to expand this?

 

Currently, the dynamic listing ability does not exist for other modules and there are no present plans to include this. However, within the Accounts module, there does exist the Accounts Report feature. This allows you to generate a list of accounts that match a certain criteria, much like the dynamic list ability. The difference is that those criteria are not saved. However, you can still create a new campaign based on those matching accounts. This is covered in the user reference guide.

 

Every email that gets sent from a campaign has an unsubscribe link.

 

Yes. This cannot be changed within the app.

 

 

Database only has 2 fields related to unsubscribe
x2_list_items->unsubscribed
x2_contacts->donotemail field

 

The unsubscribed field is used in the the campaign status display to show you a record of how many and which people unsubscribed from campaign emails during that campaign. The do not email field is what is updated when someone unsubscribes. It excludes them from any future marketing campaigns but it does not prevent them from receiving emails related to other things, like bug fixes, for example.

 

 

Is there any mechanism now or planned to manage multiple types of unsubscribes like promotions vs any email, vs newsletters etc.?

 

Not currently.

 

 

-Tony

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Tony,

 

1- As most Mass Email providers, why not allow the ability to "copy" an existing campaign and make it a new one? 

 

2- Why is X2Engine forcing "Transactional" and "Relationships" email campaigns, which are exempt from the CAN-SPAM ACT to have an unsubscribe link?

When GMS said this:

 

Every email that gets sent from a campaign has an unsubscribe link.

 

Tony, you said this:

 

Yes. This cannot be changed within the app.

 

Why is this the case? It should be abled to be changed from the app! Why? Let me explain and even ask the top executives of X2Engine as well.

 

Not all campaigns sent from X2Engine are "Commercial" campaigns. Commercial campaigns, according to CAN-SPAM ACT, do indeed require visible and operable mechanisms to unsubscribe--as well as other compliance specifics--which I don't see X2Engine enforcing. 

What if campaigns are "Transactional" or "Relationships" email campaigns?

Examples:

1- Reminding all clients of something that is affecting their accounts is "Transactional" not "Commercial. Thus exempt from the unsubscribe link.

 

2- If X2Engine had a major security vulnerability and you sent an email to all your clients asking them to quickly update their X2Engine installation with the security patch. That email campaign is would be "Transactional" and not commercial. Thus exempt from the unsubscribe link. 

 

3- If Toyota was to send an email to car owner clients who the are doing a recall on? That  would be considered a "Transactional" email and not commercial. Thus exempt from the unsubscribe link. 

 

4- Sending a "Happy Holidays" greeting card e-mail to the best clients to show only that we care is considered a "Relationship" type of email, which is also exempt from the unsubscribed link.

 

5- Last example, what if a Realtor wants to send a personalized campaign to his or her extended family and friends in order to just keep the relationship warm? Some people have a lot of family members and friends. A campaign like this is "Relationship" based and also exempt from the unsubscribe link.

 

Sure you might say that X2Engine should not be used for personal relationships or messages. But I would say you're assumption is wrong, because there is industries who are based heavily on referrals, where it makes perfect sense to keep relationships warm with personalized e-mails (which are not commercial) with the most amount of family members and friend as possible in order to ignite referrals. 

 

If X2Engine's intent is to keep clients compliant than you should do the rest of the compliance specifics not just the unsubscribe link, don't you think? If not, than you should let us decide since it is the law, our responsibility, our family contacts, and/or our friends.

 

The best type of "Automation", is the type where it does not look automated, right?  When it is not "commercial", it means we don't have to use the unsubscribe link and it is not X2Engine duty, or job to force us to do so since is not your responsibility. Specially since we are not even using you guys as the "e-mail send engine", but our own.

 

What do you think Tony? 

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1- As most Mass Email providers, why not allow the ability to "copy" an existing campaign and make it a new one?

 

Analogous functionality exists in the form of email templates - you can create an email template and simply select it each time you want to run a similar campaign. However, other people have also inquired about such a copying feature, and I can see the appeal of not needing to set the Assigned To field each time you want to run essentially the same campaign, so there may be some thought about this from a development standpoint. As for now, however, I think email templates pretty much achieve what a copy mechanism would do.

 

2- Why is X2Engine forcing "Transactional" and "Relationships" email campaigns, which are exempt from the CAN-SPAM ACT to have an unsubscribe link?

 

The email campaign feature is found in the Marketing module, so I think the assumption that it will be used for marketing is fair. Emails that are sent directly to an individual contact, for instance, do not have this unsubscribe link.

Our philosophy has always been to try to fight spam and the mandatory unsubscribe link is something we hope contributes to mitigating it. Some people out there consider those other types of email you mentioned to be commercial as well, beyond what the government's official policy states. We like to leave it up to the recipient to decide whether they want to receive your email or not.

 

If X2Engine's intent is to keep clients compliant than you should do the rest of the compliance specifics not just the unsubscribe link, don't you think? If not, than you should let us decide since it is the law, our responsibility, our family contacts, and/or our friends.

 

It's unrealistic for X2Engine to include features that allow our users to comply with the other requirements of the CAN-SPAM act. This page from the Federal Trade Commission's site provides the guidelines for compliance:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information.  This is up to the user.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. This is up to the user.
  3. Identify the message as an ad. This is up to the user.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. This is up to the user.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. We include an unsubscribe link, which allows recipients to opt out.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. We include a do not email field, which updates the email recipient's contact record and allows X2Engine users to immediately and automatically honor the unsubscribe request.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. This is up to the user.

 

Sure you might say that X2Engine should not be used for personal relationships or messages. But I would say you're assumption is wrong, because there is industries who are based heavily on referrals, where it makes perfect sense to keep relationships warm with personalized e-mails (which are not commercial) with the most amount of family members and friend as possible in order to ignite referrals.

 

Fair enough. If you want to run holiday greetings or personal relationship campaigns from X2Engine you should be able to do so, unencumbered by a unsubscribe link. I'll bring that up for discussion as a potential option in future releases. However, my initial instinct is that abuse of this removal option would be problematic.

 

 

-Tony

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Hi Tony,

 

With all the points you mention above that are up to the user it seems like folly to take a stand on the unsubscribe link.

Maybe on your server I can see your concern with the spamming, however for those who host it elsewhere why limit the software?

 

Bottom line as we all agree there are times when an unsubscribe link is out of place. 

Maybe you could setup unsubscribe link as the default so it shows your preference.

 

Regards,

Glenn

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With all the points you mention above that are up to the user it seems like folly to take a stand on the unsubscribe link.

 

I describe those as being "up to the user" in the sense that it would be unrealistic for X2Engine to induce compliance with them (e.g. 1. Don’t use false or misleading header information).

 

Bottom line as we all agree there are times when an unsubscribe link is out of place.

 

As I mentioned, we like to leave it up to the recipients to decide what they do or do not consider to be unwelcome email. However, I will bring this up for discussion.

 

 

-Tony

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  • 11 months later...

Honor opt-out requests promptly. We include a do not email field, which updates the email recipient's contact record and allows X2Engine users to immediately and automatically honor the unsubscribe request.

 

One other thing.  On unsubscribe, its weird that it marks the contacts "do not email" field as true.  This is contrary to MOST email marketing software & CRM's out there.  We send a decent amount of email and we intend the unsubscribe to tell us that they don't want that "type" of information anymore.  So an unsubscribe is from a single list... not from everything.

 

That said, its very common for the unsubscribe page to allow the user to hit an additional button that lets them unsubscribe from everything.  But this allows the customer to decide. 

 

The current functionality is actually more confusing to clients b/c its not what people are used too.

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I looked at the code on this.  Definitely an easy fix for preventing doNotEmail = true..  on 5.0.2 lines 198 and 200 of x2listitem.php

 

I really think that this should be an admin setting.  Something to the effect of "Do you want unsubscribes to a list to also mark the contact as "Do Not Email".

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I looked at the code on this.  Definitely an easy fix for preventing doNotEmail = true..  on 5.0.2 lines 198 and 200 of x2listitem.php

 

I really think that this should be an admin setting.  Something to the effect of "Do you want unsubscribes to a list to also mark the contact as "Do Not Email".

 

I agree, when a user unsubscribes, it would be great to mark him as this in the contacts field as well!

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  • 6 years later...

Just a related question regarding this.  If a customer opts out of emails, the system will mark them as Do Not Email.  Let's say you met this person 6 months later and they changed their mind.  Is there a way to undo the "Do Not Email" so they can be put on campaigns again?

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