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Table of contents

What is an email preference center?

What are the benefits of an email preference center

What can you include in the email preference center?

Email preference center best practices

Actionable tips to make users use your preference center

Conclusion

Email Preference Center to Retain Your Subscribers in 2024

Nupur Mittal
ByNupur Mittal

8 mins read

I was getting daily updates from a brand, which was becoming too overwhelming. So, I went to the unsubscribe link but saw an option to manage my preferences.

I clicked on the link, and there was an option to change the frequency from daily to weekly.

It’s a win-win for both parties - I got to reduce email frequency, and that brand got to keep me, their valuable subscribers.

So, preference centers are great in reducing unsubscribe rate, among other benefits which we will be covering in this guide. Besides email frequency, there are many options you can include in your preference center. In this guide, we will cover all that.

What is a preference center?

What are the benefits of a preference center

What can you include in the preference center?

Email preference center best practices

Actionable tips to make users use your preference center

Conclusion

What is an email preference center?

An email preference center is a page or a dashboard on a company's website that allows subscribers to customize the emails they want to receive from the organization. It enables users to opt out of certain emails and get more relevant emails.

A preference center isn’t a legal requirement like an unsubscribe link, but having one can give your organization many advantages.

What are the benefits of an email preference center

The benefits that you can get via the preference center are as follows:

• Helps in reducing unsubscribe rate

Users may unsubscribe due to many reasons, such as

  • Changes in recipient’s interests

  • Unrecognized sender’s name

  • Irrelevant email content

  • Frequent emails

A preference center can help resolve these issues by allowing users to opt-out of certain emails instead of all. It will, in turn, help in reducing your email unsubscribe rate.

• Collect deeper insights into your subscribers

You can get more insights into subscriber preferences, such as what kind of emails they prefer, whether they want daily or weekly updates, and so on. Using all this data, you can:

  • Segment your email list based on subscriber preferences.

  • Send more relevant and personalized emails.

  • Create a more targeted email automation flow.

• Improves email deliverability

If you send emails users to want, the chances of getting emails delivered to their inbox increase. It happens because the content is helpful to them, which encourages them to open and engage with the email. This, in turn, signals ISPs that you are sending the right emails.

The higher the engagement, the more positively ISPs will rank your future email, landing emails in the user’s inbox rather than the spam folder.

• A great way to collect first-party data

Getting insights into users’ behavior might become difficult as Google plans to end support for third-party cookies by the second half of 2024.

In such cases, the preference center serves an important role. You can collect first-party data given by your customer to run your email campaigns safely.

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What can you include in the email preference center?

There are many options that you can offer in your preferred center. Some of the most useful are as follows:

1. Email content preferences

One of the most basic preferences to give users is to include different emails you send. You can offer the following options regarding the email content-

• Types of email

If you offer various emails, such as newsletters, promotional emails, weekly roundups, industry news updates, etc., you can add all these options in your preference center.

For instance, Mailmodo offers three different varieties of emails subscribers can choose from:

Preference center - Options to choose email content

• Topics or interests

Knowing your users’ interests can help you develop a more segmented and personalized email campaign. Besides, if you offer different products and services, you can ask users about what product they are most interested in.

For instance, Adidas allows its users to personalize their emails based on their interests:

Adidas preference center - Interest options

• Language preferences

If your subscriber database is spread across different nations and languages, then you must give an option to change the language as per their choice.

2. Frequency and timings of the emails

Frequency and timings are highly relevant to the content of your emails. Sometimes, users like your emails but want them less often. In that case, giving them the option to reduce the number of emails or adjust the timings can be helpful.

If you send many emails, you can customize the frequency and timings in many different ways:

  • Daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly

  • Emails on specific days as MarketingProfs do in this image below

Marketingprofs giving users an option to manage frequency of emails.

• Option to snooze emails

Sometimes, users want to stop receiving emails during a specific period, say, during a family vacation. Oracle offers this option in its marketing newsletter.

Oracle preference center with snooze email option

Source - Oracle

3. User’s personal information

You can use a preference center to allow users to give and update their personal information, such as email addresses, zip codes, date of birth, etc. When collecting that information, it is wise to mention how you will use it.

For instance, the ABC widget collects the following personal information.

ABC widget preference center

4. Channel preference

Do you know the preference center need not be just email-centric?

You use them as a holistic communication hub to let users choose their preferred channel to hear from you. So, for example, it might be via SMS, push notifications, etc.

Spotify has done a great job by giving users an option to select the channel they prefer to hear from them.

Spotify preference center

Email preference center best practices

Now that you know what you can offer in your email preference centers, you must know how to design or create them. We have curated a list of best practices that you can follow:

1. Add an unsubscribe button in your preference center

If you are going to replace the unsubscribe link with a preference center link, you must provide an option to opt-out of all emails. It will help you remain compliant with various acts such as CAN-SPAM, GDPR, etc.

But, if you want to have both unsubscribe and preference center links in your emails, it’s still a good idea to have an unsubscribe option in your preference center.

Sometimes users click on the manage the preferences link but don’t like anything you offer. In such cases, having an unsubscribe link can be helpful 👇

Preference center with unsubscribe link

2. Keep everything on a single page

Ensure that everything is on a single page so that users don’t have to take more steps to manage their email preferences. The purpose is to make it possible for them to change or update their preferences.

3. Make it responsive

Your preference page, like your emails, should be responsive for different devices and screen sizes. If it isn’t, users might unsubscribe instead of managing their preferences.

4. Be transparent with your subscribers

You must tell subscribers what each selection means or what they can expect if they select a certain option. And if you are asking them about their personal information, such as their date of birth, you must inform them why and how you would use that information.

So, you have your preference center ready, but how do you make subscribers use it? Obviously, you can’t just sit and wait. You need to make users aware of it. So how do you do that?

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Actionable tips to make users use your preference center

Here are some steps that you can take to make your audience aware of the preference center:

â—Ź Send emails telling users about your email preference center

Straightforward right?

One of the easiest methods is to create an email informing subscribers that you’ve got a preference center for them and ask them to look at it.

Look at how Autotrader did it:

Autotrader welcome email -  Asking users to manage their preference

Source: Really Good Emails

â—Ź Add it to your welcome emails

So, you have got a new subscriber, and they will probably get a welcome email. You can make a better first impression by briefing them on what they signed up for and giving them an option to manage their preferences. It will help build trust and make them feel you care about their interests and preferences.

â—Ź Make it easy to locate in all your emails

One of the easiest ways to get people to notice the preference center is to add it to your email footer near the unsubscribe link. In this way, if they unsubscribe, they notice that they can manage their preferences instead of opting out entirely.

Conclusion

An email preference center is a great way to generate higher email marketing ROI and help retain users by providing them with the content they want.

How cool are your users telling you what they want from your brand?

So, start creating your preference center if you haven’t had one by following the best practices mentioned above.

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