Preference Centres vs. One-click Unsubscribe

So you’ve been working on your email campaigns long enough to establish relationships with your subscribers. Some of these relationships are engaging, some not so much, and others contain recipients that have been inactive for some time. And then this question arises: how do we manage all the subscribers who are in different stages of the sales cycle? How do we ensure that all of our recipients are happy with our level of engagement and what should we do with those that want to unsubscribe completely?

According to the Silverpop Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study, the average unsubscribe rate is 0.25% for a range of small to medium-sized organisations. While this isn’t too high, the figure still matters. Simply put, subscribers need to have the option of opting-out of our emails. The reasons why they want to might vary, but the option needs to be there. And while you may be worried about your subscribers opting-out of receiving your communications once you present them with that option, don’t fret – it can actually work to your advantage. Why? Because you can immediately send them to a preference centre.

What is a preference centre?

A preference centre is a form which enables your recipients to change their subscription details. The page may include a simple update of their name or email address, but it can also be a place where subscribers edit the information they have stored – in particular, the engagement level they are interested in.

It is often the case that subscribers don’t want to opt out of receiving our emails, they simply want to change the nature of the relationship. But when someone truly wants to leave your list, they should be able to do so quickly and easily. So what’s the difference between a preference centre and a one-click unsubscribe? A one-click unsubscribe is an opt-out, while a preference centre is a form for managing email preferences. Here’s an example of preference centre options:

  • I wish to not receive emails on this topic
  • I have a new email address for which these emails can go
  • I wish to reduce the frequency of emails

Give your audience the option to check off any one they choose (or multiple). Let them change their preferences without opting-out.

Email preference centres take the guesswork out of marketing campaigns. When asking your subscribers about their interests and preferences, you can deliver customised and better targeted campaigns that will work to elicit a better response.

Tip: Add a link from your unsubscribe button to a preference centre. This way you can reduce your unsubscribe rate by offering flexibility to recipients rather than a total opt-out option.

Recipients are actually helping you when they change their preferences. They are inadvertently segmenting themselves into appropriate groups that make your messages even more targeted and customised. By combining an unsubscribe option with a preference centre, you can really work at better understanding the needs of your buyers.

For more email marketing best practices, get started with our guide on email marketing.


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