How to Send a Single Mailing that Gives Subscribers the Option to Subscribe to New Category-Based Automated Mailings

If you have an existing readership but want to begin to niche down into more category-based mailings, you can allow your current subscriber base to self-select what they would like to receive by offering them a chance to choose.

In this tutorial, we will show you everything you need to do.

  1. Create Thank You for Subscribing Pages 
  2. Clone Your Automated Mailing
  3. Filter Your Cloned Mailing to Create Category or Tag-Based Automated Mailings
  4. Create Triggers to Remove the Subscriber from the Original List when they Subscribe to the Filtered Mailings
  5. Create Your Single Mailing Campaign Up to Adding All of Your Content
  6. Add the Buttons (Calls to Action) for Each Option You Want to Offer and Send

Let's get started

1. Thank You For Subscribing Pages

Before you build anything within FeedBlitz, create a generic Thank You for Subscribing page or multiple pages, individualized to each category or tag-based automated mailing you wish to offer. These pages do not need to be elaborate, but they should reassure your subscriber that they have been added to a list and offer them something to do next on your site so they aren't left wondering what to do next. Always give your subscriber clear guidance so they don't click away in frustration.

2. Clone Your Automated Mailing

From your original list dashboard, select New List.

On the next screen, select either Just copy my selection or Copy and also change the schedule. In the example, we chose Copy and also change the schedule to reduce the pace to weekly.

Confirm your choice by clicking Create a Duplicate List. We will adjust the category and/or tag filters later.

On the next screen, edit the name of the list to remind yourself of what category you wish to offer.

Click Save Settings.

Repeat for each tag or category you wish to offer your subscribers.

3. Filter Your New Automated Mailings

Start at the list dashboard and click Settings > Edit Campaign

Click the plus sign to the right of Filtering to access the tags and category options.

Enter the tag you wish to include. This will be the only content that the mailing sends. If you have a post tagged with both an include and an exclude tag and want to ensure that the excluded will override the include, use the toggle and turn on Mixed tag priority. 

To apply changes to your campaign, you must finish the two-step process.

  1. Click Next Step: Campaign summary
  2. Click Finish: Save this campaign

4. Create Triggers to Unsubscribe from the Original List

If you want to learn about triggers, you can read about them in this helpful article: What Are Triggers?

In turn, navigate to each of your new lists.

Click Automation > Activity-Based Triggers.

On the next screen, you will see two drop-down boxes. Choose Subscribe in the first box and Unsubscribe from your original list in the second. Repeat for each of the tag or category lists you created.

After creating the rule, click Save Rule Change >>.

This will prevent your subscribers from becoming overwhelmed with repetitive emails.

5. Create Your Single Mailing Up to the Point of Adding All of Your Content

Start at your site dashboard. 

From your FeedBlitz dashboard, you'll find two places to create a new email campaign. Choose Campaign, New Campaign in the Left Sidebar.

Choose Single Mailing.

Your first step is selecting the list you’d like to work with:

The next step will then take you to edit your envelope settings, adjust tracking if you’d like, and add tags for future sorting and segmentation before continuing on to edit your Content.

Choose Start From Scratch

Edit your template and add your content.

Start with one of your saved templates, work with one of our ready-made templates, or work from a previous mailing below. 

In our example, we'll select the 1-Column Newsletter blank template to get started.

Entering our drag-and-drop Visual Mailing Editor, the VME, you have total control over the colors, design, content and settings of your email. Your work automatically saves itself as you edit and make changes.

If you haven't worked in the VME before, check out the guided quick tour in the bottom right corner for more tips.

Once you have things in place, you can preview this email on desktop and mobile at any time as well as send a test email.

6. Add Call to Action Buttons to Offer Your Subscription Options

In the Content Tab of the right sidebar, select the button arrangement that makes the most sense for what you will offer in your mailing. In our example, we are offering two options: Apples and Oranges, so we will drag the two button set into our mailing template.

Edit the button(s) to match your design preferences using the properties tab.

The color of the button is controlled by the Background Color tab, and the color of the text is controlled by the Link Formatting tab.

Edit the text of each button by clicking the existing text and inserting your own.

Select the Destination Link tab.
Choose Custom URL

Enter the Thank You URL you created in step one.

Warning: If you use a single URL, this can cause tracking issues.

Depending on your platform, you may be able to add a unique string of characters to the end of your URL to make the URLs unique. 

Otherwise, FeedBlitz will treat each button's link as the same URL, and the metrics for each button will match in your mailing report and heatmap. 

For example: In WordPress, you can add ? after the final / in the URL and additional characters. 

In our example, we might use ?apples and ?oranges to easily track the clicks. Test your links before mailing to ensure they do not result in a 404 error on your site.

Send a test email. Click the Test option in the bottom email. You can send it to any address on your list.

Test the button links. You do not want to send your subscribers to an error page. Don't worry. In a test email, the list actions are not performed. You are only testing the link itself to make sure the link is correct.

It is finally time to send or schedule.

Click Next Step: Review in the bottom right-hand corner.

Important note:

If you haven't sent a test email, this pop-up will appear. We're sticklers for always testing your emails before sending or scheduling, and we won't let you carry on and move forward without making sure you send a test since the last edit was made. Trust us, it's important.

After sending your test, you can move on to the Campaign Summary page. Check to ensure every detail is correct.

When you are satisfied, click Finish: Send this Campaign.

And that is how to create category-filtered automated campaigns and send a single campaign for your subscribers to opt in. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let us know. You can find all of our great support resources and how to get in touch with us via email, chat or phone on our Support Page.

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