How to use marketing preferences

Learn how to make use of marketing preferences alongside other Dotdigital features.


Marketing preferences provide you with a flexible and straightforward way to manage data about your contacts’ interests or communication preferences.

You can use marketing preferences alongside a whole range of other Dotdigital features to empower you to take the targeting and personalisation of your marketing even further.

Send a campaign to preferences

To send a campaign to your preferences:

  1. Create your campaign in the normal way. The remaining steps start once you reach the Contacts step of the campaign creation and sending process.
    To learn more about creating a campaign, read our article Create, test, and send an email campaign.
  2. Select the Marketing preferences tab.
  3. Select the checkboxes for the preferences you want to send to.
    Select a category to choose all the preferences in that category.
  4. Continue with sending your campaign in the usual way.

Use preferences in segments

To use preferences in a segment:

  1. Go to Email > Contacts > Segments and either create a new segment or edit an existing segment.
    To learn more about segments, check out our articles on segmentation.
  2. Drag the Preferences block from the Sources section of the left hand menu to the Include or Exclude dropzone.
  3. To create your rule, select have any preferences.
  4. Expand the drop-down menu at the top of the window to select have any preferences, have specific preferences, or do not have specific preferences.
  5. Select the checkboxes for the preferences you want to use with the rule.
    If you selected the rule have any preferences the option to select specific preferences is greyed out, as this rule automatically includes all contacts who have opted in to any one or more of your preferences.
    Select a category to automatically select all preferences within that category. mceclip0.png
  6. Select OK.

Use preferences in a signup form

You can make public preferences visible when you create a signup form.

To learn more, check out the article Create a signup form.

When the generated code is applied on your site, your signups see the preferences on the form and can opt into—or out of—them.

Only preferences set as public display in the signup form.

Use preferences in your preference centre

Public preferences are automatically shown on the preference centre for contacts to opt-in and -out of. Private preferences are never shown.


Want a more customised preference centre? Check out our article on how to Set up a preference centre.

Use preferences in Pages and forms

To add public preferences to a form, drag the Preferences block into your form from the Form blocks section of the left side menu.


This allows your respondents to select the preferences they are interested in, and clear those they want to opt-out of.

To learn more, check out the article Form: Add marketing preferences checkboxes.

Use preferences with ConsentInsight

When you use preferences together with recording consent—ConsentInsight—for a contact, then the contact's preferences are recorded and added to the ConsentInsight record.

To learn more about ConsentInsight and recording consent for your contacts, check out the article Record consent for your contacts.

You can collect this data either in a survey or signup form, or you can upload contacts in a file that contains both consent and preferences.

With ConsentInsight preferences you can:

  • Have consent text that says, for example, I agree to receive communications on the preferences I have selected, and then any chosen preferences are stored in the same ConsentInsight record.
  • Perform an audit: if a member of your team changes a contact's preferences manually by using the Marketing preferences tab, then you can confirm this by comparing what the contact consented to in their ConsentInsight record.
  • Segment on preferences as part of insight data.
  • Use these preferences in advanced personalisation.
    To learn more, check out the Advanced personalisation section of our Help Centre.

Use preferences in the program builder

When building a program, there are three nodes you can use preferences with:

  • The Update contact node
    You can update a contact to be opted into or out of a preference or preferences.
  • The Decision or Multi-decision node
    You can select the condition that a contact must be opted into a selected preference in order for them to progress down a given route.

There's also a useful program template that helps you to migrate your preferences if you're already storing them in another way within the platform.

To find and use this template:

  1. Go to Email > Automation > All programs.
  2. Select NEW PROGRAM.
  3. Under Engagement select Marketing preferences migrator.
  4. If you want to, rename the program, then select CONTINUE.

The program template opens in the program builder with pre-configured nodes and instructions on how to complete the program setup.

See also

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