In a recent study Epsilon conducted, consumers not only were interested in content customized to their needs, but in fact wanted companies to personalize content based on their preferences. In particular, for travel and financial services e-mails, people expected content to be tailored to their interests (see chart).
Expand to Other Channels
It is equally important to note that a preference center should be part of a broader multichannel strategy with a database that houses all possible information about each customer, including every touchpoint, such as customer call centers, brick-and-mortar retail, the Web and e-mail. Personally identifiable data can be used to track and connect subscribers to individual identities and households. But consumers will not offer these details as easily if the benefit is not equally transparent. Therefore, marketers need to make it clear how the information will be used and provide clear notice and choice about the data collected—not only to satisfy privacy best practices but also to explain to users the value of providing such insight.
Once in place, e-mail preference centers allow marketers to take full advantage of available state-of-the-art e-mail marketing capabilities, such as dynamic content assembly to build highly personalized and relevant communications tailored to the expressed and observed needs and interests of customers and prospects. Building more relevant communications helps minimize complaint rates and increases valuable customer interaction. Not only will customers feel like they matter and are valued, but the communications being sent will have a greater probability of resonating with the recipient because messages contain valuable information. Maintaining a preference center conveys to customers and prospects that they are in control. In turn, this increases the comfort level both in handing over e-mail addresses and in opting out directly with the sender rather than with their mailbox providers via spam complaints.