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Creating Subsforce Landing Pages


Subsforce is a marketing tool that lets you set up subscription offers via a simple user interface and publish them on your web site or as bespoke landing pages for a particular campaign. The system includes a series of checks to ensure that only valid offers can be published. Customer data is held securely within the system ready to be downloaded into your fulfilment system.

The purpose of this document is to provide a step-by-step guide to setting up an offer. This document assumes that the set-up process has been completed so that your company and publication details have been created and that at least one campaign template (referred to as a piece of stationery within Subsforce) has been created.

Related user guides

Short URL Mapping Downloading Subsforce Orders

Getting started

You should by now have been provided with a URL to the Wide Area content management system (CMS) management interface. If Subsforce is the only Wide Area application feature that you have signed up to, then your home page will look like this:

If, however you have signed up to more application features, you home page will include a selection of menus illustrated below:

There are two distinct stages to setting up a subs page within Subsforce; the first stage is to set up the credentials of the offer and the second stage is to determine how you want the offer presented on your web page. The offer credentials are managed via the Offer Manager and the presentation of the offer is managed via the Campaign Manager.

Offers manager

The Offers Manager home page first lets you select the publication that you want to work on. This option will be pre-selected if you only have one title:

The next step then presents you with a list of offers that have been set up, plus an option to create a new offer.

The existing offers are displayed in the order that they were created, with the most recent offer at the top. The summary information includes the offer code, the contract type and the date created.

You can edit offer codes and delete codes that are not in use. Where a code has been assigned to a campaign, you can link straight to that campaign within the campaign manager.

Creating a new offer: step 1

This page collects the core credentials of the offer:

Offer code

The first requirement for your new offer is a unique offer code. The code can be created from any combination of alpha-numeric characters. The system will not allow you to duplicate a code that is already set up.

Offer type

The offer type relates to the type of subscription contract that you want to offer your customers. The key differences between contract type is whether or not they are a one-off or continuous contract (debit or credit card payments vs direct debit). For continuous payments the system needs to know whether the payments are equal, or whether the contract has a low start for the initial payment. For example “3 issue for £1 and then £10 per quarter”.

Valid from/to

This determines when the offer will be live and available for use within a campaign. It is not possible to set up a campaign to run beyond the expiry date of the offer code.

Stock level: unlimited/limited to

This option lets you restrict the number of orders taken against this offer code. The most common reason for wanting to do this is when a free gift is associated with the offer, of which you have limited stock. Alternatively you may have entered into a commercial agreement with a third-party company to sell a certain number of subscriptions.


When you choose “Yes”, orders will be batched and sent to the fulfilment channel to be uploaded into your fulfilment system. 

The “No” option lets you set up an offer and publish a campaign within Subsforce before the offer has been set up on your fulfilment system. Subsforce will collect the orders and hold them until you edit the offer code and switch the Sendable setting to “Yes”.

Once the campaign is live and Subsforce is collecting orders, you will receive a daily email to notify you that there are orders waiting to be sent to be fulfilled. This will stop once the Sendable option within the offer code has been changed to “Yes”.

Creating a new offer: step 2

Step two of the offer set-up process assigns prices to the new contract. When you arrive on this page you will be presented with the first contract type for you to populate. If the offer that you are setting up has more than one price point or contract type, you should select “Add price” to set up the next option. You can keep adding prices until all of the variables related to your offer have been set up.

Below is an example of a simple gift offer code:

Below is an example of an offer that includes multiple contract types, each with a different price associated with it. Each contract option requires you to specify:

  • The price
  • The currency that the offer should be sold in
  • The payment method
  • The term (this can be described in terms of time or in terms of issues delivered)
  • The description/duration display lets you enter the words that you want to display on the web form to describe the contract that is on offer. For example, for 12 issues, per year, per annum, are different ways of describing the same thing.
  • The delivery zone or region (UK/Euro/World…). The regions that are available to you will reflect the way that the system has been set up for your publication. The countries included in the zone that you have selected are displayed under Countries.

To follow is an example of a more complex offer. This screen shot was taken via the edit mode that lets you go back into codes that you have previously set up, which is why the heading says “update offer” and a summary of offer information is presented at the top of the page. 

As well as the “edit” button, you will notice a “campaign” button. This tells you that your offer is linked to a campaign before you go changing the variables! Clicking button will take you to the relevant campaign.

For low-start direct debit offers, the system will populate the offer description for you, but you can edit this text to use your own words.

Deleting a price

You can delete any of the price options that you have set up by clicking on the blue cross icon within the blue header of the relevant price block. The “Delete” option at the bottom of the page will delete the whole offer.

Display order 

When you go on to build a campaign using this offer code, the prices will be displayed in the order that you have set them up in the Offer Manager. If you want to change the order you can click on the > icon in the left corner of the relevant block and drag it into a new position. 

Once you have finished setting up your prices your offer is complete.

Campaign manager

The Subsforce Campaign Manager lets you select a subscription offer that you have set up in the Offer Manager and present that offer in a campaign. The campaign parameters set the look and feel of the offer on your web page. 

Creating a new campaign: step 1

 Campaign creation is a four-step process. Step one lets you name the campaign, link it to a publication and offer code, and select the stationery that you want to use to display the offer.

Creating a new campaign: step 2

Step two lets you set the run dates for the campaign. The system will not let you select date parameters that are outside of the active dates for the offer code that you have associated with the campaign.

Step two also provides another opportunity to limit the number of orders accepted against the campaign. If you select the “limited to” option you will see a default value of -1, this is the default setting which means unlimited orders. You can change this value to create your desired restriction, for example, if you change this value to 100, the system will only accept 100 orders against this campaign.

When a campaign reaches its expiry date or order quota, a campaign closed page is displayed. This page can include a link to an alternative campaign.

Creating a new campaign: step 3

Step three of the campaign set-up lets you manage the display order of the page that will display on the web.

This screen is divided into two columns; the “Campaign structure” column on the right is pre-loaded with the essential elements of the offer that have been defined by linking the offer code to your campaign and have a pre-determined location.

The first column containing “Available elements” presents a range of elements that you can drag into the “Campaign structure” column to the position that you want each block to appear on the final page. 

There are three types of elements or blocks; Mandatory, Optional, Duplicable. Each element type is represented by a different colour:

Mandatory elements

The mandatory elements are essential to the campaign as they collect information that you need in order to deliver the product, however you can choose where in the page that you want to collect this information.

Optional elements

Optional elements are just that, you can choose to collect the information that is contained within these blocks, but the order can be delivered without including them. For example, you can choose whether to include the option for an alternative delivery address to the payment address.

Duplicable elements 

These elements are also optional and they can be added to your form more than once, in different places on the form. For example, you can add blocks of text in different places or duplicate the data protection block so that you can collect different elements of the question in different places on the page.

Add new page

You can choose whether you want to display your offer on a single page or over multiple pages by adding a new page wherever you want the page to break.

The “Campaign structure” section is pre-loaded with mandatory pages such as a direct debit confirmation page and an order receipt page.

Most of the elements can be customised in some way, either by letting you add free text or selecting which options to display and which options you want to be mandatory. Here is an example of the options within the delivery address block:

And below is an example of the options within the data protection block; this is an optional block, so if you want to ask different DP questions in different parts of the form, simply replicate the block in two or more locations and display the relevant questions. The system will not let you repeat the same question.

Creating a new campaign: step 4

Step four provides you with a confirmation of the credentials relating to the offer you have set up. You can then preview your offer or return to the Campaign manager home page to set up a new campaign.

View campaign 

This option lets you preview the campaign that you have set up. The preview will open in a new window so it is easy for you to switch between the preview and the management screens. If you want to make changes to your campaign once you have viewed it, simply select the “Return to campaign manager” option and select “Edit” from the options offered against the campaign name. 

Below is a preview of a three-page form using an image-based stationery design:

Page one summarises the offer and collects payee details… 

Page two collects delivery details…

Page Three collects payment information…

The confirmation page summarises all purchase details…

Duplicating an existing campaign

If you want to create a new campaign that shares the credentials of an existing one, you can select the “copy” option from the campaign manager. 

You will be presented with a short menu where you will need to give the campaign a new name and assign an offer code to it. The menu will list the offer codes that are available to use. 

From there on you can edit the elements of the campaign that you want to change and leave those that should remain the same.

Adding articles and questionnaires

There are occasions when you will want to add more than a few simple words to your order page, and you can do this in Subsforce by linking in the contents of a standard CMS article. 

To follow are a couple of examples of forms that include article content. The first is for the Southern Daily Echo where an image that matches the look and feel of promotional banners and printed flyers has been uploaded into an article …

To add articles and questionnaires to a Subsforce page, you simply drag in the relevant element, expand the box and select the article or questionnaire name from the drop-down menu. Below is an illustration of the Tatler Xmas Gift article as displayed in Subsforce: 

CMS articles

The Wide Area CMS stores all content within a series of areas and folders. We use areas to control access to content for different users, and we use folders to organise the content - rather like the folders that you use every to store your documents on your Mac/PC. Simply select Manage Articles from the CMS home page (see page 3) to create and edit content..

In the example blow, Demo Publisher is the area that we have selected from the drop-down menu, and the sections and sub-sections are represented by the yellow folders: 

To follow is a view of the article in the CMS that we created to store the main image for the Tatler offer illustrated earlier in this document; a new article was created and the image was uploaded using the Images tab from the row of icons at the top of the page. You will notice that this image does not include the bit Tatler logo, this is because the logo is included in the Subsforce stationery so that it will appear each time a new offer is created using this stationery set:

A questionnaire is a particular type of article in the CMS, it is created in exactly the same way as an article that just contains words and/or pictures, it’s just that the article itself has more structure. You can control the structure of the questions by dragging in question elements from the palette into the article body in the same way that we build forms in Subsforce. And just like Subsforce, each element can be modified by expanding the box and adding text or selection preferences: 

Downloading questionnaire results

If you want the responses to the questions that you have included in your campaign to be added to your order download file then you need to do two things when setting up your questionnaire: Firstly you must check the box at the bottom of the questionnaire that says “create response articles?” and give it a name. Secondly, we recommend that you set the question name for each question (Edit Properties).

The first requirement is essential if you want the output of the questionnaire to appear in your download file, the second step is optional but it lets you label the   column heading of your download file so that the data is easy for you to interpret. 

This functionality can be used to capture any tracking data you may have added to a standard Subsforce campaign URL. To capture this data you should create a questionnaire with a question type set to ‘hidden’, and each tracking parameter should be set up as a question as illustrated below. You should then add the questionnaire to your campaign in the usual way.

Managing email 

Subsforce will send an email to your customers to confirm the details of the order that they have placed with you. You can control the words that go in this message via the CMS article that contains the order credentials.

You can compose a message, add images and add links to other offers or articles by using the standard article editing tools that you can see in the editing tool-bar below:


Subsforce uses Google Analytics as the default reporting tool. We can add and/or replace Google tags with those from an alternative analytics package if you use something different within your organisation, the those reports will be delivered via the standard reporting interface.

 We have created a series of customised Google Analytics reports and delivered them via the Subsforce management interface so that you have all of the information you need in one place.  

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