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Email marketing

Why you need an email preference centre

12 Jun 2018 by Sadie Burgess


Your email list is one of your most precious items in your email armoury and keeping it up-to-date and in tip-top form is crucial to your email marketing campaign success. If, like me, you shed a little tear whenever one of your contacts unsubscribes it is time to consider a preference centre, to help mend your broken heart.

An email preference centre is a tool that helps you create a better relationship with your subscribers by giving them an easy way to control what they receive and how often they receive it, as well as keeping their details up to date.

In a survey from Hubspot the main reason, stated by 54% of respondents, was that emails came too frequently with a further 49% of respondents saying that content became repetitive or boring over time. Both of these are an easy fix if you implement a preference centre.


Benefits of an email preference centre

Email preference centres can have a positive impact on both your deliverability and on your relationship with your subscribers for a number of reasons. Here are just a few;


1. Reduce unsubscribe, spam reports and complaints
An email preference centre helps marketers by giving alternatives to their subscribers who are contemplating unsubscribing, giving them the opportunity to keep the relationship at least somewhat intact.

When someone wants to remove themselves from your list they have 3 potential options

  • Unsubscribe
  • Report you as spam
  • Manage their preferences


You really want your subscribers to manage their preference rather that disconnecting from you completely or worse flagging you as a spammer. By asking your subscribers how frequently they want to hear from you and about what content – you are putting them in control.

Check out the exclusive benefits of having an email preference centre.

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2. Showcase your email offering
Do you have multiple email lists? Your preference centre is a great place to let your subscribers know about them and better still they can self-select the lists that they are interested in. This is a great way to manage your content frequency and relevance.


3. Help you more effectively segment
Preference centres help remove some of the guesswork from your email marketing campaigns. By asking subscribers about their interests and preferences, you can deliver customized campaigns that are sure to elicit a better response.


Having an email preference centre is key to managing your email deliverability and to building a transparent, considerate relationship with your customers. If you’re able, consider asking your subscribers to set their email preferences from the start—either in your welcome email or in one of your other initial interactions with them. There’s no better way to start off on the right foot with your subscribers than by asking them how they’d prefer to be communicated with.


Some other things to consider when developing preference centre

  • Make the layout and any questions easy to understand
  • Don’t ask questions if you are not going to use the data
  • Give subscribers an easy, quick way to update their contact details
  • Explain the benefit to the subscriber of giving you more information about themselves and incentivise or reward where possible
  • Make sure there is a confirmation or thank you page after they have provided you with additional data
  • Consider collecting demographic data to help you personalise your campaigns, interest data to help you drive content and frequency to ensure you don’t overdo it. 
  • Don’t’ overlook the design – this is a valuable brand touchpoint so let your brand shine through – it doesn’t need to be boring.


Overall, preference centres provide you with:

  • Happier customers and prospects – a better user experience
  • More valuable interactions – they get what they actually wanted
  • Fewer unsubscribes – one email a month beats no emails ever


So make sure there is a preference centre link in every one of your emails.


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Tags: preference centre data

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