I recently received an email from Secret Escapes. After scrolling through the whole email and deciding the content wasn’t relevant for me I found myself hitting the unsubscribe link. I was pleasantly surprised when I reached this page as instead of the usual unsubscribe message or preference centre I was greeted with a different approach of trying to keep hold of my email address.

take a break

Why it works

Secret Escapes start off strong with a statement reminding you why you signed up – in this case to receive offers. This in turn reminds the recipient that if they unsubscribe they will no longer receive these special offers and deals.

Below this I was also given the chance to ‘take a break’. This is a great idea given the industry they’re in – they understand that with holidays the content may not always be relevant to people, they may have already booked their holiday or it might not be on the agenda right now. This could however become relevant in a few months’ time when they will start thinking about booking a trip away. The take a break option gives you the control to choose between having a break from 1-6 months’ time. It’s clever because it’s giving the user the opportunity to stop receiving their emails for a while but making sure they’re keeping hold of that all-important email address. We all know it’s easier and cheaper to reengage a recipient than to try and get a new one.

Secret Escapes also show off their brand personality well with the section allowing you to change your preferences. Using different singers to portray how much content you want to receive they are showing off their friendly side, making you laugh (hopefully) and in turn building a rapport with you.

How this preference centre could be improved

There is still a few ways that this preference centre could be improved. They could ask the recipient why they would like to unsubscribe from their communications, this might provide them with valuable feedback on their marketing efforts. They could also manage expectation for recipients that unsubscribe by letting them know how long they will have to wait for their unsubscribe to take place. If I know that it’s not instant and they send me another email in the meantime I’ll forgive them and just delete it, however if I don’t know this and they email me again, I’m much more likely to mark it as spam.


In summary, the page engages you right from the start and gives you many of the options you would like to see in a preference centre. The ‘take a break’ option really makes this stand out from other preference centres I’ve seen and I definitely think it could save them some valuable email addresses.