Hold Onto Subscribers via Preference Center
by Marianne Cellucci
You must keep your prospects and customers in charge of the relationship and defer more and more to their communication preferences. An email preference center, also known as a subscription center, is an essential element of any successful email marketing strategy, because it’s a place where your prospects and customers can be directed to add or update information about themselves and their preferences.
Maintaining a subscription center conveys to customers and prospects that they are in control and that you value their input— from how frequently they would like to receive your emails to the type of content they desire. A preference center provides the foundation for subscriber personalization and is the best learning tool in your email marketing toolbox to reduce attrition rates and increase subscriber engagement.
For your customers and prospects there are many benefits, including:
- Message type. Let them self-select the types of content they would like to receive (i.e., topics, offers, news, new product announcements, alerts), to help you target subscribers’ personal preferences for the product/service information and promotions you send to them. You can reduce your attrition rates by sending more relevant content self-selected by your subscribers.
- Frequency options. You have the ability to save those who may opt out by enabling subscribers to determine how often they hear from you . Let them choose/reduce the frequency in which you send emails to them, such as daily, weekly, monthly, or max number of messages per week. Subscribers stay subscribed longer when they are allowed to modify frequency, without the need to completely unsubscribe from your email campaigns.
- Alternative channels. Allow subscribers to select how they would like you to communicate with them (i.e., social network, email, mobile, RSS). From an email perspective in particular, this will reduce bounces and complaints and increase engagement metrics, which translates to good sender reputation with the Internet Service Providers (ISP's) and overall inbox deliverability.
- Formatting. Email best practice is to let your subscriber select their preferred format. Allowing your subscribers to indicate their preference for HTML, mobile or text versions takes the guesswork out—and readability is essential to subscriber retention!
- Address update. There are many circumstances that can change in a subscriber’s life, such as moving to a different location or changing jobs. Give subscribers a chance to quickly and easily update their contact information (physical, email, mobile, work and home phone numbers) to avoid losing them completely.
Personalization by way of a preference center can give your customer or prospect a lot of control over what appears in his or her inbox. Whether you are selling to consumers or to businesses, leveraging a preference center is an effective best practice used by many savvy marketers to deliver strategic communications and engage their audience through relevant communications.
It comes down to giving your customers and prospects what they want–an approach that's a win-win for them, for you, and the ISPs!
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