Email preference centers

An email preference center is an Airship-hosted web page where your users can manage their opt-in statuses for the email subscription lists in your project.

First you create a preference center for email in the Settings section of your Airship project, then you design a web page using our drag-and-drop WYSISWYG editor and select a preference center to appear on the page. Then you can include a link to the web page when sending email, and your users access it like any other web page. How it works:

  • Design a preference center — Preference centers are made of page sections, each with an optional title and description. This page will be embedded in the web page you create.

    Add the text and sections you want in the page, and select at least one subscription list per section. You may also customize subscription list names and descriptions to override those from your project settings.

  • Design a web page — Include at least one Preference Center element in your web page, and select from your project’s email preference centers. You can customize loading and saving status text and button labels, and provide an Unsubscribe landing page URL.

  • Link — After you save the web page, copy its link and include it in emails you send from Airship. You can also test the appearance of the page in your web browser before adding it to an email.

  • Update — When a user follows the link from your email, the URL automatically inserts their Channel IDAn Airship-specific unique identifier used to address a channel instance, e.g., a smartphone, web browser, email address. and loads the web page, showing their email opt-in status for each email Subscription ListAn audience list of users who are opted in to messaging about a specific topic. Users can manage their opt-in status per list using a preference center. in your project.

    For a single-channel preference center, when a user changes their opt-in status and submits the form, the status is updated in Airship for the email address the message was sent to. For multi-channel, preferences are updated at the Named UserA customer-provided identifier used for mapping multiple devices and channels to a specific individual. level per channel type.

 Important

Airship preference centers are widgets that can be embedded in a page in an app or website. Please verify with your legal team that your full preference center page, including any web page for email preference centers, is compliant with local privacy regulations.

 Note

If you want to change the name and description of a subscription list, you must edit the list itself; you cannot edit a subscription list when creating or editing a preference center. See: Managing subscription lists.

Creating an email preference center

 Note

Only the company account owner or a team member with administrator permissions can create preference centers. See: Manage Access Levels.

First design the preference center in your project settings. For a single-channel preference center, select Email for the Type. For a multi-channel preference center, you must set up the Email channel, or the preference center will not be available to select when you create its web page. You can create a maximum of 50 preference centers per project.

  1. Go to Settings » Project configuration » Preference Centers and click Manage.

  2. Click Create preference center.

  3. Provide the preference center details:

    • Name and Description — These appear in the Airship dashboard only. The preference center ID is automatically generated based on the name.
      • An ID will not generate for a name that contains only numbers and/or special characters.
      • If the name starts with a number and/or special characters, the generated ID omits the leading numbers and/or special characters.
      • Uppercase letters in the name are converted to lowercase in the ID.
      • Special characters in the name are converted to underscores in the ID and only appear if followed by numbers or letters.
    • Type (Single-channel preference centers only) — Options: Mobile App, Web, Email.
    • ID — You can enter your own ID instead of using the auto-generated one, using letters, numbers, and underscores. The ID must start with a letter and end with a letter or number. You cannot change the ID later.
  4. Click Save and continue.

  5. (Multi-channel only) Select a layout: Group your lists by channel, or manually group lists under headings you create. After selecting Group by channel, click a channel to set up first. If a multi-channel preference center is organized by channel, Email automatically appears first.

  6. Configure the appearance of the preference center.

    Title and Description

    • For apps, these appear in the navigation bar at the top of your preference center. If you do not enter a title, the default title Notifications appears.

    • For web, your developer can control how these appear (or do not appear) in the preference center on your website.

    • For email, the title is a level-one HTML heading (<h1>), and the description is an HTML paragraph (<p>). They inherit whatever styles apply more generally from the surrounding page.


    Opt-in prompt
    Add a message that appears in the preference center on devices that have notifications disabled for your app. Clicking the button opens the settings for your app. App and Web preference centers only. See: Opt-in prompt.

    If creating a multi-channel preference center grouped by category, you must select an App and/or Web subscription list in the Page section before the opt-in prompt is available to add.

    Click Add  , customize the following defaults, then click Save. A preview updates as you make changes.

    • Title — Default text: Notifications are turned off.
    • Description — Default text: You will not receive any notifications from this app..
    • Button text — Default text: Enable notifications.
    • Button description — Provided for for accessibility. Default text: Opens the settings for your app..
    • Icon — Optional. No icon is present by default. Enter an HTTPS URL for an icon image. See also: Personalizing media URLs.

      If your Airship plan includes CDN support you can also upload media or select from previously uploaded media.
      1. Select Upload and click Insert Media.

        1. Click Choose file and select a file to upload, or select from previous uploads.

          • The default sort order is most recent upload first.
          • You can search by file name or keyword.
          • A file preview appears after upload or selection. Click   to preview audio and video files.
        2. (Optional) Add or edit keywords for the file to help organize your uploads.

          • Enter a term in the search field below the preview and select from results, or click Add keyword: [term].
          • Click   to remove a keyword.
        3. Click Insert selected media.

        Icon image may not render in preview. Open your app to review its appearance.


      Page section

      • Header and Description — Optional. These appear above the subscription lists you add to the section. You may want to group related lists under a single header for better organization of your preference center.

        • For web, your developer can control how these appear (or do not appear) in the preference center on your website.
        • For email, the header is a level-two HTML heading (<h2>), and the description is an HTML paragraph (<p>).
      • Subscription lists — Search for and select a subscription list. Repeat to add multiple lists.

        • Click   next to a list to edit the list name and description, or to remove the list from the section. Edits to the name and description appear in the preference center only.

      Click   Add another section to add multiple page sections. Click   to reorder or remove page sections.


      For multi-channel preference centers:

      • Additional channels — Click   Add, select a channel, and complete configuration. To remove a channel, select its tab, then click   in the top right corner of the configuration and select Remove channel.

      • Customize channel names — Change how channel names appear in the preference center.

        1. Click Settings   and select Channel names.
        2. Enter custom names for channels.
        3. Click Save.
    • Click Save and publish.


    While creating or editing a single-channel preference center, you can change its name and description. Multi-channel preference centers have additional options.

    • Single-channel — Click  , edit the name or description, and click Continue. The changes are saved once you click Save and publish.

    • Multi-channel — Click Settings  , select Preference center details, edit the name or description, and click Save. More options:

      • Select a different layout — Discard your current preference center and return to the layout selection step. The preference center is still discarded even if you select the same layout.
      • Archive preference center — Archiving a preference center removes it from the Airship dashboard only; it does not affect its usage in your app or website. Archived preference centers count toward the maximum of 50.

    Now design the web page and select from the email preference centers in your project.

    1. Go to Messages » Content » Web Pages and click Create web page.
    2. Enter a name and description for your preference center, and click Continue. These fields are for use within the Airship dashboard only and do not appear in your form. Description is optional.
    3. Click Add   for HTML and select a default or saved layout, or select Blank Layout to design your own; you can edit any layout after selecting. Then design your form. See the WYSIWYG Editor for details.
      • Your layout must include at least one Preference Center element.
      • Personalization is not supported.
      • A placeholder is shown within the WYSIWYG editor, not your preference center design.
      • Click Preview to see how the web page will appear on desktop and mobile devices.
    4. Click Done when you are finished designing the page.
    5. Click Save web page, and you will return to the list of all your web pages.

    Testing the appearance of an email preference center

    You can see how your preference center will appear to your users, including the actual subscription lists in your project.

    To test the full user experience, send an email to yourself that contains your preference center link. First create a Test GroupA preview group is an audience group you create for previewing personalized content in the dashboard. Wherever a personalization preview is available, you can select a preview group, and those users’ attributes will appear for any Handlebars references to attributes. You can enable any preview group as a test group so the users can receive test messages sent to the group. These messages appear as tests in Messages Overview. , adding yourself as a member using your email address, then follow these steps.

     Note

    If you intend to send the message to your users immediately, use the Send Test option in the Review step instead.

    1. Go to Messages » Content » Web Pages.
    2. Click   for a preference center to copy its URL.
    3. Click   and select the Message composer.
      • In the Audience step, enable the Email channel, then select Test Users, enter your test group name, and select from the results.
      • In the Content step, include the preference center link in the body of the email.
      • In the Delivery step, select Send Now.
    4. After sending, check your email for your test message, and click the preference center link.

    To test the form without sending a message, add a Channel IDAn Airship-specific unique identifier used to address a channel instance, e.g., a smartphone, web browser, email address. to the preference center’s URL:

     Warning

    Interacting with the form will apply changes to the channel ID you use for testing.

    1. Go to Messages » Content » Web Pages.
    2. Click   for a preference center to copy its URL.
    3. Paste the URL in your browser’s address bar, replace {{$channel.id}} with an actual channel ID, and hit Enter on your keyboard.

    You should now see your rendered preference center.

    Linking to a preference center in an email

    Add the URL for your preference center to your email messages or to Content TemplatesReusable message content that saves you the trouble of having to rewrite a message. Templates support merge fields and other logic, letting you personalize the resulting messages. for email. You must send your email using Airship; the preference center will not load for a user if sent from a system other than Airship. To get the URL:

    1. Go to Messages » Content » Web Pages.
    2. Click   for a preference center to copy its URL.

    Managing preference centers

     Note

    • Only the company account owner or a team member with administrator permissions can manage preference centers. See: Manage Access Levels.

    • App Experience Platform (AXP) customers: As of May 24, 2022, you can create multi-channel preference centers only. Your previously created single-channel preference centers:

      • Cannot be duplicated
      • Can be edited — name and description only
      • Can be archived

    Your preference centers are listed in Settings » Project configuration » Preference Centers.

    • Filter — Published preference centers are listed by default. Click Archived to see all archived preference centers.
    • Sort — The default sort order is most recently modified first. Click a column header to sort by name, ID, date created, or date modified.
    • Edit — Click  . You can edit the preference center name, description, and design. Your saved edits are published to your app, website, or email web page immediately.
    • Duplicate — Click   and enter a new name, type (required for single-channel preference centers only), ID, and description. The name field is the original web page name with copy appended. Then click Continue, complete your design, and publish the page.
    • Archive — Click  . Archiving a preference center removes it from the Airship dashboard only; it does not affect its usage in your app or website. Archived preference centers count toward the maximum of 50.

    Your email preference center web pages are listed in Messages » Content » Web Pages.

    • Search — You can search by name.
    • Sort — The default sort order is most recently modified first. Click a column header to sort by name, date created, or date modified.
    • Edit — Click  . You can change the name and description, and edit the form’s HTML.
    • Duplicate — Click   and enter a new name and description. The name field is the original web page name with " - Copy" appended. Then click Continue, complete your design, and save the web page.
    • Delete — Click  . Deleting a web page invalidates its URL. Consider editing the web page if you want to keep the link active in emails you have already sent.