Using ERMS to Handle Email Opt-Out (Unsubscribe) Requests by John Burton and Vinod C
This blog describes how companies can leverage SAP CRM E-Mail Response Management System (ERMS) to handle Marketing email opt-out requests from customers. In order to implement this solution companies need to implement SAP Note 1455745 (ERMS: Unsubscribe e-mail sender for Marketing Campaigns). Please be advised that the note requires some additional manual steps.
In the time it takes you to read this sentence, 20 million email messages will be exchanged around the world. In fact, about 250 billion emails are sent and received each day. That’s a lot of email! One of the main reasons that email usage is growing so quickly is due to its low (free) cost and ease of convenience. Yet, as with anything, sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. In an ideal world, all of a company’s customers and prospects would be thrilled to stay in close and constant contact. However in reality, customers sometimes move on, lose interest, find themselves in new situations, start to get overwhelmed with emails, or just need a little break. In such situation, customers and prospects may no longer be interested in receiving Marketing emails from a particular company. In order to comply with customer wishes, companies must be able to provide a way for customers to (at least temporarily) unsubscribe from Marketing email communications.
One way that companies can accommodate customer opt-out requests using SAP CRM is by assigning a marketing attribute to customer records. Companies can then leverage this attribute when executing Marketing email campaigns. Based on the value of the flag (e.g., opt-in versus opt-out) the customer will either be included or excluded from the marketing email blast. This prevents customers who have opted out of campaigns from receiving future marketing emails.
SAP Note 1455745 introduces a new out-of-the-box ERMS action UNSUBSCRIBE and underlying action-handling service AH_UNSUBSCRIBE that can be used to dynamically update marketing attributes of a business partner master record. One obvious potential application of this ERMS action/service is to handle marketing opt-out requests from email recipients. To do so, companies will need to create a new marketing attribute set and new marketing attribute (e.g., OPT-OUT) as described in the note.
Step 1) Create a new marketing set and a new marketing attribute with values such as OPT-IN and OPT-OUT.
Step 2) Assign the newly created marketing attribute to your business partners / accounts under the Marketing Attribute assignment block of the customer record
Step 3) Make sure to create a filter to exclude business partners / accounts with the OPT-OUT marketing attribute value when creating any target groups for marketing campaigns; when creating any new campaigns be sure to use the target groups with the filter
Step 4) Edit all Marketing mail forms to include some HTML code to include an “unsubscribe” hyperlink that when clicked will open a new reply email addressed to the appropriate corporate ERMS email address with a subject line such as “please unsubscribe”
Step 5) Create ERMS rules using the new UNSUBSCRIBE action to update the marketing attribute to e.g., OPT-OUT if the subject line of the email contains “please unsubscribe”
More information and step-by-step details are available in a full length CRMExpert article (http://www.crmexpertonline.com/article.cfm?session=&id=5196). Please note however that CRMExpert requires a paid subscription.