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Improve Retention by Letting Subscribers Choose

Lynette Rambo | June 7, 2017 

Tips for a Good Preference Center:

  • Scrap the default. Brand it.
  • Make it easy to use.
  • Make it mobile friendly.
  • Allow opt-outs of individual emails.
  • Offer alternative frequency, channel and content options.
  • Make it easy to find.
  • Don’t make every field required.
  • Ask for only the data you’ll use.
  • Make them think twice before unsubscribing.

Competition for businesses everywhere is steep. Essentially, we’re all vying for a slice of the sales pie. The competitiveness of today’s marketplaces has flooded customers’ inboxes with so many emails and offers that each business needs an advantage to make sure their messages get seen.

The companies most likely to have their emails opened and read are the ones who put their subscribers in charge! Today’s email marketing is all about providing relevant, unique, and multi-channel experiences with your brand. This is fundamental to building a lasting relationship with consumers.

Catering to the Needs of the Consumer

To connect with consumers on their terms, you need to know something about them. In fact, the more you know, the better. This requires data. One way to capture the necessary information is to guide subscribers to a custom preference center. Done right, a preference center can be your staunchest ally in the quest to learn more about them and serve their needs.

A preference center provides a centralized portal for subscribers to control what they receive from you, how often they receive it, and on what channels. Integrated with your CRM or email marketing platform, a preference center also allows you to capture the details you need to provide the most relevant messages or offers.

Here are some advantages:

  • The more you cater to the needs and wants of each individual, the better your deliverability and engagement rates will be.
  • Giving subscribers a chance to update their email addresses or mobile numbers when they change will reduce the number of bounced messages.
  • Allowing subscribers to choose what messages they receive, when they receive them, and on what devices or channels encourages a higher retention rate.
  • Sending messages that are relevant to what the subscriber wants to receive will reduce the amount of spam complaints and unsubscribes.

This not only improves your Sender Reputation among ISP’s — ensuring that your messages continue to hit the targeted inboxes — but it also helps increase sales, ROI, and brand loyalty.

Give Them Only What They Want

A preference center gives you the data you need to segment subscribers so you can deliver customized messages that produce better response rates. For instance, if you know where someone lives, you can target them with promotions relevant to their locale. Knowing what age range they fall within can help you tailor graphics and messages based on generational marketing strategies. If you do business internationally, providing messages in a subscriber’s native language can increase engagement. And, letting them choose the frequency will heighten retention rates.

Ask Them Up Front

Once someone signs up to receive information from your company, use the initial Welcome email to thank them, let them know what to expect from future communications, and encourage them to update their preferences. The goal is to capture more than just their email address, so make it easy for them to tell you more about themselves. And let them know why you’re asking and what the benefits are to them.

Beyond the Preference Center

Until a consumer start interacting with your website, white papers, social pages, or shopping carts, you’re not going to know much about them beyond what’s in the preference center. So, in addition to capturing their initial data, you should also have a way to capture and integrate the following:

  • Website browsing behavior
  • Interaction with online ads
  • Engagement with social media promotions
  • Shopping cart behavior and product purchases
  • Email and mobile campaign engagement

Capturing this data allows you to further segment your lists and take subscribers on even more personalized journeys.

Provide Security Guarantees

You can have the greatest preference center in the world, but it won’t do any good if your subscribers aren’t sure their information is safe. So, be sure to provide assurances that the data you collect is secure and will never be sold or shared outside of your organization.

We at ListEngage are experts at building custom preference centers that integrate seamlessly with the Salesforce Marketing and Sales Clouds. We’d love to talk to you about your digital marketing strategies and needs. Call us today!

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Lynette Rambo | Marketing Consultant

Lynette Rambo is a Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Consultant, Administrator, Email Specialist, and Trainer. She has worked in marketing and communications for more than 20 years and with Salesforce Marketing Cloud since 2012. As a Marketing Consultant and Trainer for ListEngage, Lynette helps clients learn Marketing Cloud functionality, email marketing best practices, and effective campaign management. She also works with the Salesforce CRM and connecting Sales and Marketing initiatives. You can contact Lynette at