How to start with interests

Adding interests in Flexmail is very simple, but how can you achieve a starting situation in which the proper contacts are divided over your new interests, and how can your start mailing on the basis of interests?

Support tipThis article primarily applies to Flexmail customers who have been using Flexmail without interests, or to new customers who worked with a different e-mail platform previously.

Step 1: Creating interests

First, you need to determine how to divide your interests. Are you only going to work with public interests, or are you going to use private interests too, here and there?

How to set it up? If you have chosen your division, you first need to create all interests in Flexmail. With public interests, you are advised to add a label and a description, as you will need these to sell your interests on your profile.

If your e-mails are in multiple languages, you want to add the translations of your public interests.

If you are still looking for a good structure of your brand, you can find some interesting approaches in this blog.

Step 2: Linking interests to your opt-in forms

Perhaps you want new contacts to end up in some interests automatically. Your opt-in forms are a good starting point for this.

If you have an opt-in form on your homepage, you should establish which interests would be logical for these new contacts. If you specifically state on your form that they subscribe to the newsletter, it will probably be a good idea that they subscribe to the ‘Newsletter’ interest.

You can do this for every opt-in form in your account. Make sure that you know on which web page you display this form and what the context of the respective page is. In other words: which interests are logical for this specific contact?

This is how you do it: When a form is created or edited, Flexmail asks which standard interests you want to link to that form. So here you make this choice. You can link up to five standard interests per form.

Remember that your contacts can still change their own interests after the opt-in has been confirmed.

Step 3: Subscribing existing contacts to specific interests

After you have completed steps 1 and 2, you are ready for new subscriptions. Of course, you want to include your existing contacts in your new approach too.

The best way to do this is by adding interests via imports. You can do this in three ways:

  1. You add the respective interests per contact to your CSV file.
  2. You add the same interests to all contacts in your import file via the interface.
  3. Specifically ask you contacts in an e-mail to update their interests themselves.

How to adjust your former approach to the use of interests? Some possible scenarios are provided below to help you.

Previously, you sent e-mails with separate mailing lists or segments.

Match their structure with the division you made in step 1 in your interests. If you match them one to one with one or multiple interests, import an export of that segment again and add the proper interests to it. Repeat this procedure per target group.

You already have profiles on another platform

If you can translate these profiles into your new interests, do the same again: export your contacts per profile and import them. In this import, you link the proper interests. Repeat this procedure per target group.

In Flexmail, we identify contacts on the basis of their (unique) e-mail address. So if there is already a contact for an e-mail address, all new information (in this case your interests) will be added to this existing contact.

You could combine option 3 (asking your contacts to act) with option 1 or 2, especially if your new interest set-up deviates from the way in which you distinguished between target groups. This is how you should do it: indicate that you are going to personalise your content further and that your contacts can indicate themselves what they want to receive. Next, you personalise the link of your call to action with #update#. This is how your contacts are led to their profile page.

Step 4: Create new segments

All contacts are in the proper interests now. To send data to the proper contacts in your future campaigns, you only need to check your segments or create any new segments. Ideally, you have set up at least one separate segment for each interest. If you send your e-mails in multiple languages, you can subdivide these segments per language.

What other things would you like to do in the future?

At this point, you have done everything necessary to start mailing on the basis of interests. Of course, you can refine your strategy in the future. You can do this in the following ways:

  • Link an interest to a link in your e-mail

Your recipients’ click behaviour reveals a lot about their interests and needs, so it would be smart to add an interest to specific links in your message. If campaign recipients click that link, they will be subscribed automatically to that specific interest. Use link tracking to link an interest to a URL in your e-mail.

  • Do not forget your interests when you add a contact manually

When you add an e-mail address to your database manually, you can also allocate interests to this new contact.

  • Use interests in your marketing automation

With your workflows, too, you take your contacts’ click behavior into account. It may be worth the effort to subscribe contacts to or unsubscribe contacts from specific interests when a scenario is ended or to start a new workflow when your contacts subscribe to an interest.

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