Permission is a fundamental element of inbound email marketing. A permission pass campaign is an effective way to confirm the opt-in status of contacts who previously provided your brand with verifiable consent to be sent marketing emails.
Please note: you should only use a permission pass campaign to reconfirm opt-in status for your contacts. You should not use a permission pass campaign to gain opt-in for a contact who hasn't yet provided it directly to your brand. HubSpot requires a verifiable opt-in record for any contact included in a marketing email send.
How a permission pass campaign works
A permission pass campaign is a one-time email campaign that requests any contacts who haven’t already used some form of double opt-in to confirm that they would still like to receive emails from you. Only the contacts who confirm their subscription status are then kept on your list. Those who don’t confirm will then be opted out of your marketing emails in HubSpot. The result is a highly engaged list of contacts who have proven that they want to continue receiving marketing emails from your company. You can see some examples of permission pass campaigns on the Community.
This article walks through the steps to implement a permission pass campaign. The steps below are meant to be followed in order, but you can click a particular step to jump straight to it if needed.
- Enable resubscription emails for forms and review forms consent information and email subscription types
- Create a list of contacts who have not interacted with your emails recently
- Create a new permission pass email to send to your list of contacts
- Review your email's post-send metrics
- Determine which contacts to opt out of your emails
- Opt out your unconfirmed contacts
- Repeat (optional)
1. Review subscription settings and confirm notification and consent information
Enable resubscription emails for forms
Before you start your permission pass campaign, enable the resubscription emails for forms feature in HubSpot. Enabling this feature will allow contacts who opted out of your emails to resubscribe if they fill out a HubSpot form.
Add notification and consent information to your forms
Make sure your forms have notification and consent information added to them so contacts know what they're opting in to when submitting a form.
Review your subscription settings
Before getting started with the next steps, ensure that you've set up email subscription types as well. If the contacts that you're emailing are subscribers to several different subscription types, you may want to use the default Marketing Information subscription type, but your legal team is the best resource to give you compliance information for your specific situation.
2. Create a list of contacts who have not interacted with your emails recently
Create an active list of contacts who have not engaged with your emails recently.
- In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Lists.
- In the upper right, click Create list.
- Name your list and make it an active list.
- Add your list criteria:
- If you want to run a permission pass campaign for all your unengaged contacts, follow these instructions to create your list.
- If you are running a permission pass campaign based on the result of a specific email campaign, add the following criteria:
- Marketing email activity | Contact received email but did not open it | [Select the campaign to be focused on] AND Contact Property | Last marketing email open date | is more than 52 weeks ago
Marketing email activity | Contact received email but did not open it | [Select the campaign to be focused on] AND Contact property | Last marketing email open date | is unknown
3. Create a new email to send to your list of contacts
Create a new email to send to your list. This email will include a CTA to encourage your recipients to confirm their subscription.
- In your HubSpot account, navigate to Marketing > Email.
- In the upper right, click Create email.
- In the dialog box, select Regular.
- Select a template, name your email, then click Create email.
- When editing your email content, include a CTA that users can click to stay opted in. You can link your CTA to a simple thank you page, where you can confirm a user's opt-in status or even present them with a new offer.
Please note: if your CTA links to a subscription preferences page, HubSpot will not be able to track the associated clicks to the page. Linking to a thank you page is the best option to accurately track the engagement of your permission pass campaign.
- When selecting your recipients, include the list that you created in step 2.
- Select a subscription type:
- The subscription type should correspond to the subscribers in the list you created in step 2. For example, if the users in your list originally subscribed to the Marketing Newsletter subscription type, you should select the same subscription type for your permission pass email.
- If the recipients in the list you created in step 2 are subscribed to several different subscription types, you may want to use the default Marketing Information subscription type, but your legal team is the best resource to give you compliance information for your specific situation.
- Use the Send or schedule tab to send your permission pass email.
4. Review your email's post-send metrics
In the post-send metrics on the Recipients tab, you can see which contacts took action on the email. Contacts who confirmed by clicking on your CTA should continue to receive additional email campaigns from you. Those who didn’t should be opted out of all future email.
5. Determine which contacts to opt out of your emails
To figure out which contacts should be opted out, create two active lists using the below criteria:
- List 1 - Marketing email activity | Contact clicked a link in [Permission pass email]
- List 2 - Marketing email activity | Contact was sent [Permission pass email] AND List membership | Contact is not member of [List 1]
6. Opt out your unconfirmed contacts
Use the second list to opt out contacts who did not engage with your permission pass email. It's recommended that you wait a week before continuing to give your recipients time to interact with your permission pass email.
- Export List 2 as a CSV.
- Re-import that same CSV file as an opt-out list.
- Going forward, these contacts will be ineligible for email sends unless they resubscribe.
You can also opt to use a workflow with the Manage Subscription Status action to manage their subscription status.
7. Repeat the process (optional)
While traditional permission pass campaigns send just one email, you can choose to send two or three emails. Use list criteria and select your previous permission pass emails to create lists for each subsequent permission pass email.
For more details about permission pass campaigns, refer to Spamhaus. As a best practice, it is recommended to enable double opt-in for your forms and conduct re-engagement campaigns on a quarterly basis.