Preference Center

  • Updated

The Preference Center lets recipients set their own preferences and update personal information. Do this through a form that you incorporate into your web presence as a standalone element, or integrate into a template using an iFrame.

Recipients can access the page via a website link or in a mailing, then edit their personal information. The information is transferred by REST API, SOAP API or HTTP API to Optimizely Campaign and stored in the recipient data. You can use the generated data to create lifecycle marketing campaigns and tailor-made mailings.

For example, mailing recipients can make the following settings in the Preference Center:

  • Updating personal information (email address, name, postal address)
  • Specifying interests
  • Selecting topics (channels)
  • Setting up the frequency of receiving mailings (for example, bi-weekly, monthly)

Requested data

Data that a recipient enters in his/her profile is considered voluntarily disclosed personal information. As long as this information is submitted voluntarily and not disclosed to third parties, there is no limit on the type of data you can request.

Ensure data minimization and transparency:

  • The recipient should readily understand the purpose of the data request.
  • Only request information that you need and that serves to optimize the service you are providing to the recipient.
  • Indicate which information is mandatory and which is voluntary. See Legal compliance.

If you are already conducting email marketing through Optimizely Campaign, you can use the recipient lists in your client to see what recipient-based data is currently available. Users can edit this data in the Preference Center.

To optimize the content of your mailings, recipients should be provided with additional options. For example, you may want to furnish a listing of various areas of interest and allow the recipient to select one or more. Alternatively, you could offer several channels for the recipient to subscribe to. Through dynamic marketing, you can place specific content in mailings associated with each channel, content that only subscribers to those channels receive, while withholding content from channels to which the recipient has not subscribed.

Legal compliance

The data protection notice must contain information about the collection, storage, use and transfer of data. It must also reference the user's right to have data deleted and the obligation of the party collecting the data to provide information about that data. The text of a data protection notice need not be included on the form page itself. You can include a link to the appropriate page.

Although not mandatory, you should emphasize that none of the information collected is disclosed to third parties. The same applies to notifications about data security protection.

In email marketing, collect data from required email address fields only if it is essential for the purpose of distributing mailings; other fields, like Recipient name, should not be required. You should indicate the purpose for which personal information collected through the Preference Center is used. For example, you should emphasize that names are collected solely for the purpose of personalizing mailings. If you request address information, indicate that it is collected to provide news about offers limited to a specific geographic area and so on. There are no limits on the information you can collect except for email addresses and information must be provided voluntarily.

Exchanging data

The exchange of data between the Preference Center and Optimizely Campaign is carried out via REST API or SOAP API. When a recipient opens the Preference Center through a mailing, the recipient ID is transmitted and the recipient data contained in the Optimizely Campaign database is imported. When the recipient edits his/her profile, the updated data is transmitted back to Optimizely Campaign.

You can also use HTTP API for the Preference Center except that you cannot import recipient data into a web form. For example, you can forward the mailing ID and recipient ID (usually the email address) from a mailing, and record the recipient data in the database, but the recipient cannot view his/her old data.

If you link to the Preference Center from your website, you cannot identify the recipient ID. In this case, the recipient must first enter a recipient ID (usually the email address). The same rule applies: If you are using REST API or SOAP API, you can import recipient data, which you cannot do using HTTP API.

Form fields

Depending on the type of fields used, you can configure the Preference Center form fields in different ways. Fields into which text is entered are set up as text fields. These include the fields Email Address and Name. You can set up fields with fixed values as lists or check boxes. Fields that list interests or topics should allow for multiple selections. If only a single item may be selected (such as frequency of mailings), use either a drop-down list or a radio button. The available fields are:

Caption Type Required field Standard
Email address(required) single-line text field
Last name single-line text field
First name single-line text field
Salutation radio button, drop-down list
Date of birth data field with selection window
Age drop-down list (for example, B. 20-30, 30-40)
Interests list with check boxes
Mailing frequency(standard) radio buttons (for example, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) yes
Other fields, as requested radio buttons, text fields, drop-down lists, check boxes

Displaying error messages

Error messages should appear as text directly above/alongside/beneath the applicable form. Alternatively, these messages may also appear at the top of the page, referencing the applicable field. The field being referenced should be highlighted in color. The following provides several sample error messages:

Error Error message
No email address entered Please enter an email address.
Consent not provided You must indicate that you want to receive this newsletter.
Required information not entered Please complete all required fields.

Design/templates tips

Keep form pages simple and clearly arranged. Ideally, the user should not have to scroll to reach the bottom of a page. Fields in a form and the Send button should be arranged to display on standard screens and in commonly used font sizes without using the scroll bar.

If Optimizely creates and integrates a Preference Center for you, it is set up as a separate page. You can link directly to this page or integrate it into a template using an iframe. If you choose the latter option, you need to coordinate page width and height with customer support to make sure the content displays correctly.

To create a web form, provide Optimizely with a template in HTML format or a layout template and the accompanying error messages.

Security tips

Password protection

To protect recipient data from misuse, access to the Preference Center must be password protected. Make sure that users can only access the Preference Center (their data) after they verify authorization.

Changing email addresses

To prevent misuse, users should not be able to freely change their email address. The procedure used for changing email addresses could look like the following:

  1. The recipient enters a new email address, which is saved temporarily.
  2. A double opt-in process is initiated for the new email address.
  3. The address is changed only after the recipient confirms the change. If not confirmed, the original email address is restored.