"Can I?" vs. "Should I?"
Customer Fields is, first and foremost, a customer registration and edit account app. The app is primarily designed to create custom registration forms for your storefront to register new customers in Shopify. The app can also be used to create an edit account form to allow existing logged-in customers to edit their account details.
This means that almost every form submission will attempt to create or update a customer record in Shopify. The main exception is when using a form with the account options set to 'Require account approval' since these form submissions will not be sent to Shopify until after a pending customer has been approved.
So with this in mind, can you use Customer Fields to subscribe customers to email marketing?
Should you use Customer Fields to create newsletter signup forms?
It depends on the use case. Read on for more details!
Before we get started, there are some important things to note
If you want to allow customers to opt-in to email marketing during registration, you can easily use the email marketing consent checkbox field.
If your only purpose for using Customer Fields is newsletter signup, we strongly recommend using the native newsletter signup features offered in your store's theme, or finding another Shopify app that is specifically designed to handle newsletter signup, like Shopify's own forms app: Shopify Forms.
Installing a Customer Fields newsletter form may require a developer or someone fluent in Liquid to assist, especially if you want to display the form in a unique location on the storefront. These types of form installations may require you to use an app block or a shortcode, and theme code customizations are outside of our normal scope of support.
Currently, Customer Fields is not designed to collect SMS marketing consent, so you will not be able to use the app to collect customers' SMS marketing preferences.
Challenges with existing customer records in Shopify
If a customer's email address already exists in your store's list of customers, but that customer has yet to activate their account (usually the result of a previous newsletter signup, or an order placed using guest checkout), then submitting that customer's same email in a Customer Fields form will trigger an email verification error message. When this happens, the app's "customer account verification" email will be sent to the customer. This can create a confusing experience for what the customer thought was just a simple newsletter signup.
Things can get a little more complicated if a customer's email address already exists in your store's list of customers, and that customer has an active account. If the customer is not logged in to their account on the storefront when submitting their same email on a Customer Fields form, they will see an "Email is already taken" message, the form submission will fail, and they will not be marked as subscribed in Shopify. For that customer to successfully subscribe, they would need to log in to their account before submitting the form, which can be tedious and counter-intuitive. It is possible to edit the form's error message to something more user-friendly such as "Please login to subscribe", but requiring a customer to log in to their account before they can subscribe to email marketing is not the most ideal flow.
How to create an email subscription form
🛠️ If you’ve come this far and understand the potential downsides, here are the suggested steps for implementing a newsletter sign-up form using Customer Fields.
Step 1: Create a new form in the app admin
Launch the app admin for Customer Fields and navigate to the Forms page. Then click the green button for 'Add form' to create a new form.
Pro-tip: Since Customer Fields does not have an official newsletter form template, we suggest using the "Standard" template as a starting point.
Step 2: Configure desired fields in form builder
Within the form builder, you can remove any undesired fields (e.g. first name, last name, and password) from the form. The minimum fields you will need on this form are the "Email address" and "Email marketing consent" fields. See below:
If you are on the app's Pro plan, then you can avoid adding the "Email marketing consent" field directly to the form, and instead set this value with a conditional form rule. This helps the form look and feel more like a regular newsletter signup since the only field on the form would be the "email" field, and the form submissions from customers would enable the customer's email marketing consent in Shopify. See below for an example:
Note: You may notice in the example above that we are using the field 'Accepts marketing' instead of 'Email marketing consent'. This is intentional, and is currently the best method of creating a newsletter sign-up form using our workaround.
Step 3. Edit form buttons and error messages
We suggest customizing the form's buttons to get the desired experience for newsletter signup. This can be done by going to the Settings tab in the form builder and scrolling down to the Language section. Here are the button labels that we suggest editing:
Create account: change to "Subscribe"
Creating account: change to "Subscribing..."
Update account: change to "Update subscription"
Updating account: change to "Updating subscription..."
You should also edit any error messages to ensure they make sense in the context of newsletter signup (should the customer trigger them for some reason). At a bare minimum, these are the messages we suggest editing:
Email taken: change to "Please login to subscribe"
Verify email: how you'd like to word this message is up to you and your particular use case. Since it's not possible to disable the email or to hide this error message, it's up to you how to phrase it. Something like "Please check your email to confirm activation" usually works well.
Edit redirect settings
By default, your Customer Fields form is designed to redirect to
/account, although this won't make sense in the context of a newsletter form. Instead, you should enable the app's submission success step in the form's Settings tab. You can then edit the content on this step to display an appropriate message for your customers. For example, you can add a message that says, "You have successfully subscribed!". See below for an example:
If you have questions about whether using Customer Fields for newsletter sign-up is the best fit for your store, feel free to reach out to our customer success team via chat or email, and we'll be happy to point you in the right direction! 🤗