Preference Centers: Boost Retention and Increase Engagement

  • Posted: 24th May 2018
  • Written by:

    Koren Betty, Senior Manager, Campaign Services

Let Customers Manage Their Messaging Preferences to Boost Retention and Increase Engagement

In a world where consumers are constantly bombarded by marketing messages, it is critical to tailor your communications to your customer’s preferences in order to have a positive impact on both your customer relationships as well as your overall deliverability. By giving your customers control over what reaches their inbox and when, you can build brand trust and increase retention as well as engagement as a result.

There are several reasons customers may opt out of marketing communications – they didn’t realize they signed up in the first place, they are receiving too many communications, the content of the communications is not relevant to them, etc. An email preference center is a tool that provides an easy way for customers to manage their marketing communication preferences by giving them the opportunity to control what they receive and how often they receive it.

When Building a Preference Center, There are Several Best Practices to Consider

  1. Don’t opt for a one-click unsubscribe. By using a one click unsubscribe, you risk losing customers who may not have even meant to opt out in the first place. At a minimum, require a confirmation from the customer once they click the unsubscribe link. This ensures that you are losing only the people who truly intended to opt out in the first place.
  2. Incorporate channel. Customers may prefer different channels of communication, so it is important that your preference center gives the option to indicate their channel of preference.
  3. Incorporate frequency and time-based options. The primary reason consumers opt out of marketing communications is because they feel they are receiving too many. Giving your customers the option to choose how often they receive emails from you helps decrease the chances that they will experience communication fatigue and opt out altogether.
  4. Avoid showing every list you have in your email program. Customers can be easily overwhelmed and simply choose to opt out altogether if there are too many requirements or options within the preference center. Start simple and use progressive profiling where possible.
  5. Collect only the data you plan to use. This feeds back into the idea that your customers can easily be overwhelmed if they are asked to provide too much information in order to manage their preferences.
  6. Employ prepopulated or progressive forms to make the process easier for the customer. Many companies force subscribers to enter basic information they’ve collected before. You already have this information, so don’t make customers do unnecessary work. Instead, prepopulate forms when users click through from your emails. Even better, use progressive forms and set up related rules so you show only the information needed.
  7. Include a global unsubscribe. In order to comply with CAN-SPAM requirements, always include a global unsubscribe.

GDPR and How Preference Centers Can Help

GDPR applies specifically to companies with customer data in the EU, but given the fact that many companies are now marketing globally, it is more efficient in a lot of cases for companies to take a blanket approach towards GDPR for their marketing activities. So, how can preference centers help?  With GDPR in place, it will be essential for marketers to foster strong customer relationships if they want to earn the consent required by GDPR. A preference page is an easy way to allow your customers to manage the communications they receive from you. By empowering your users to opt in and personalize their email communications, you can stay GDPR-compliant while increasing customer retention and engagement.

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