Managing Contact Preferences
Correctly store information on how you are permitted to contact supporters
Updated over a week ago

Contact Preferences are an essential part of managing your users data - especially given the large fines that can be charged for breaches of the GDPR. But how best to manage contact preferences in Beacon?

Contact Preferences on the Person Record

The Contact Preferences field stores the above options, but it's easy to add more as needed - you'll have to be an admin, and click into customisation mode in order to update it. Remember that the GDPR requires people to 'opt-in', and not to 'opt-out' - so remember that when setting your contact preferences up.

You can also use Contact Preferences in conjunction with the 'Interest' field on the Person record in order to get very specific information about what people would like to be contacted on. As per the Contact Preferences field, the 'Interest' field is fully customisable, and should help you ensure that you're contacting people about things they've requested to hear more on.

Importing Contact Preferences

When importing contact preferences to Beacon, it's important to ensure that each person's preferences are clear on your spreadsheet - for example, ensure that different preferences (e.g. yes to email, no to phone etc.) are stored on separate cells to allow Beacon to identify them when you run the import.

Map these to 'Contact Preferences' in Beacon, and choose the matching options from the dropdown that will appear - then you should be fine to import them!

Filtering your Contact Preferences

With Contact Preferences pulled into Beacon, you may want to filter them when viewing your records, in order to see who has opted in, and who has not. To do this, go to your Person view, and go to the Filter button on the right hand side of the screen. Once there, scroll down to Contact Preferences. You can then choose to see people who have a specific contact preference, people who have chosen a range of the options you've made available, and, if you click 'Blank', people who have not-opted in to any contact at all.

You can then, if you're using the 'Interests' field, set a filter on this too - so you can see very specific groups of people. For example - all people who have opted into emails, and have an interest in receiving newsletters.

Collecting Contact Preferences

Now you've imported historic contact preferences into Beacon, you'll want to manage contact preferences going forwards, and ask all new supporters of your company to clearly state their contact preferences. These are easy to store in Beacon, but people can often be confused about how they should be asking the right questions around Contact Preferences

To Opt-In or not to Opt-In?

That is the question... 2018's GDPR states that all consent to contact from a company, must be opt-in. Consent to be contacted must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous and given by a clear affirmative action. As such, asking people to opt-out of predefined settings contradicts the GDPR.

Beacon Contact Preferences are set up to be opt-in only, and we recommend leaving these as is - although you can of course add more options for people to opt-in to!

Collecting Contact Preferences in Forms

Collecting Contact Preferences on Forms is nice and straightforward - and we guide you the process of how to set this up here:

Mailchimp Contact Preferences

If you are using Beacon's handy integration with Mailchimp (and if not, why not! Read about it here! )

You'll be glad to know that Beacon works well with Mailchimp to manage contact preferences. If one of your supporters updates their contact preferences in Mailchimp, Beacon will be notified and the user will have their contact preferences in Beacon. And vice versa! This way we can ensure that you'll never send any communications to users who haven't opted in, ensuring that you never breach the GDPR.

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