In short, an email preference centre is much like a membership page on your website that allows your subscribers to manage their subscriptions. After signing up and when they login, they’re given the opportunity to update their profile and also specify what information they’d like to receive from you and how often. This works best and is necessary if you have a variety of email campaigns that you send out, such as newsletters, sales alerts, product information, industry updates and more. In the preference centre, your subscriber can opt in for as many of the campaigns as they wish, and subsequently make changes whenever they want. They should also be able to specify how often they receive correspondence from you, the format of the emails (html or text versions) and whether they want to subscribe to RSS, mobile or SMS updates.
If you supply products such as books, music, DVD’s or clothes then you should definitely look at incorporating an email preference centre to manage your subscriptions effectively. If however, you only offer a single product or service it’s not necessary.
The real value of a preference centre is that it gives subscribers complete control over what lands in their inbox, and this helps build trust and loyalty, which is one of the main objectives of email marketing. By giving them what they want when they want and honouring their preferences, they’ll have less reason to unsubscribe from your email campaigns.
Keep in mind that customers are voluntarily offering private information about themselves at a time and pace that suites them. Therefore, it’s important that your preference centre is friendly and welcoming and the questions aren’t overly complex, in depth or personal. You want them to feel like they can come back at any time to make changes and when they do, it’s a painless process.
Contrary to popular belief, an email preference centre is pretty easy to implement and to begin with many people simply store data on their email platform or CRM, which is perfectly acceptable.