Why You Should Leverage the Power of a Custom Preference Center in Marketing Cloud
Why You Should Leverage the Power of a Custom Preference Center in Marketing Cloud

Why You Should Leverage the Power of a Custom Preference Center in Marketing Cloud

06/16/2023 by Katrina Donarski
While you can use a standard preference center, you will miss out on many of these advanced functionalities.

Did you know 57% of people unsubscribe from communications because they receive emails more frequently than they want? Usually, it is the content or lack of personalization from these emails that drive them to leave. So, when people complain about getting too many emails, they’re really complaining about too many irrelevant emails. People may also unsubscribe because their situation, needs, or interests have changed. What’s worse, when subscribers are especially frustrated with your emails, they may go straight to marking your emails as spam instead of unsubscribing, which hurts your overall email deliverability.

Fortunately, you can help prevent unsubscribes and spam complaints with a customized preference center that addresses your specific audience and keeps them engaged longer. 

What is a Preference Center?

An email preference center is a landing page that provides a way to gain subscriber consent by allowing subscribers to choose what types of email communications they want to receive from your organization. For example, a subscriber may choose to only receive your monthly newsletter and opt out of receiving communications about upcoming events. 

Email preference centers are not the same as an unsubscribe page which confirms an opt-out, asks for feedback, and provides people with the option to resubscribe. 

Profile Center vs Preference Center Page

If you are familiar with Marketing Cloud, you may have noticed the options to manage your profile center and preference center in Email Studio. The profile center is a page where subscribers can enter or update personal information such as their name or email address, while a preference center is a page where subscribers can update their subscription preferences and identify the types of messages they would like to receive from your organization. While you can use the standard preference center in Marketing Cloud, this version does not include advanced functionalities such as: 

  •   Custom branding
  •   Custom domain
  •   Dynamic personalized content
  •   Two-Click Unsubscribe

However, you can leverage all the above functionalities by creating a custom preference center in Marketing Cloud. 

Why should I set up a Custom Preference Center Page for Subscribers?

A custom and branded preference center not only allows your subscribers to control their email experience, it also helps you to improve your overall email strategy and gain invaluable insight into your subscriber’s communication preferences. This information is especially beneficial because your organization can earn the trust and loyalty of your subscribers when they are given the power to control the content they receive. A curated preference center also ensures your emails are sent to the appropriate target audience, leading to an overall lower number of unsubscribes while boosting email engagement and ROI metrics. Examples of subscriber data that you may find beneficial include: 

  •   Location
  •   Age
  •   Gender Pronouns
  •   Birthday

 If this seems like a lot of work — don’t panic! Luckily, a custom preference center does not need to be complicated. In its most basic form, a preference center should allow a subscriber two options: content type and messaging frequency. For example,

  •   Weekly or monthly newsletters
  •   Blog posts
  •   Webinar invitations

 After you have established the basics of your custom preference center, you may also choose to provide preferences for interests or topics that may appeal to your subscribers such as volunteer opportunities. 

What are some Preference Center Best Practices?

It’s no surprise that not all preference centers are good preference centers and unfortunately this has given preference centers a bad reputation.  However, it’s typically not the overall preference center that is seen as bad, it is how it is executed.  A good preference center page gives your subscribers the opportunity to get more emails they love and fewer emails they don’t, so as to prevent them from opting out anonymously and simply disappearing. Below are a few best practices to motivate subscribers to stay or reconnect with your organization in the future.

Always include the email frequency option

Give subscribers frequency options for each type of email. This gives them a clear idea of what they are signing up for and how often they can expect to get it. The option also allows them to update their subscription as needed. 

And make sure to keep your promise! If a subscriber opts in for a monthly email, don’t spam them with daily alerts or weekly newsletters.

Give the option to “pause” emails

Giving subscribers the choice to pause communications can help reduce your total amount of unsubscribes as this lets people take a break from hearing from you if they need to. When they are ready to come back, you can send a “welcome back” email after they opt back in to ease them into the regular email send journey.

Define a cap on monthly sends

It’s a good idea to set a monthly cap on the number of emails you send. The cap will reduce brand fatigue and increase the chances that subscribers will stay subscribed for longer.

Provide a universal Unsubscribe option

A universal Unsubscribe option makes it easy for people to unsubscribe from all your emails if that’s what they would prefer. It will also help you stay compliant with CAN-SPAM requirements.

Ready to create a custom preference center? Our Marketing Cloud Experts can help!  Or if you have created a custom preference center and would like to share your experience, talk about it on the Salesforce Trailblazer Community or connect with us on the Arkus LinkedIn.