7 Ways to Boost Email Message Relevance with Preference Center Upgrades

Silverpop‘s recent white paper, “5 Expert Tips and Tactics for Email Marketing Success in 2011,” delves into preference centers. In particular, the paper acknowledges that most marketers already are well aware that preference centers boost message relevance and lower list churn.

But with more digital communication channels and platforms competing with and/or complementing email—while more and more consumers appear to prefer different channels depending on the type of message—2011 will see preference centers become more important to email success than ever before.

Perhaps a customer wants to receive SMS flight delay notifications, email for mileage status, and a Facebook feed for airline promotions. A properly managed preference center for that customer can make sure the company communicates on those terms.

Here are seven ways to make the most of your preference center:

1. Link to it in every email message and place it in an easy-to-find location, such as the adminstration center in the lower part of your email.

2. Include explicit call-outs throughout the relationship to invite customers back to your preference center to update their preferences or answer questions relating to how they prefer to communicate.

3. Put an email opt-in form or link on your company’s Facebook page, and add a link to your preference center, too.

4. Make the email address change easy for customers.

5. Rather than automatically send all customers two or three emails per week, think about giving subscribers the option to change frequencies to once a week or even month.

6. Offer alternatives to email communications in other channels, such as direct mail, an RSS feed or SMS.

7. Because more people check email on mobile phones today, give your subscribers the option to receive text versions of your email instead of HTML.

Ethan Boldt is the chief content officer of Direct Marketing IQ, the research division of the Target Marketing Group. He can be reached at eboldt@napco.com.

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