Email Preference Centres

You need to provide an experience that entices people to stay

Like me, you probably subscribe to many thought leaders and providers online. However, from time to time you discover little value in the content provided. I bought myself a Fitbit a few years ago and several months ago it fell off one day without me noticing. 

I didn’t bother buying another one when I realised my iPhone has most of that functionality built into the iOS. However, the Fitbit emails kept coming and I thought I may as well unsubscribe.

I discovered a great example from FitBit about how to keep people engaged.

From the initial click on “unsubscribe” in the footer of the email, I was greeted with the page below. A little cute perhaps, but it caught my attention. 

Fit Bit Unsubscribe Oh No 625x493pxl

I initially unsubscribed and was greeted with the page below. I was curious to see more of this experience and had to work out how to re-subscribe.

However the only way I could re-subscribe was to go through my browser history, find the appropriate page and click “Stay Subscribed”.

Fit Bit Unsubscribe We Will Miss You 625x499pxl

With those steps completed, I arrived at the end of the process where I remained engaged with the brand. I thought it would be worthwhile continuing to “experience” what Fitbit offers.

Fitbit is a consumer oriented organisation, at least in the context of my engagement with them as outlined here. Do B2B organisations need to manage this process differently?

Fit Bit Unsubscribe Yes 625x498pxl 1

Considerations for a B2B Email Preference Centre

Firstly, just a quick comment about the labels B2B and B2C. As a business we have a range of customers using Eloqua. While Eloqua is seen by some as a “B2B” platform, our customers are almost 50/50 in what you would traditionally call B2B or B2C.

The point.

The one consistent attribute of our customers, customer is that they are typically involved in a high value product or service purchase. A considered purchase. Fitbit would not be classified as a “high value or complex” purchase decision. As it happens, Fitbit is an Oracle Marketing Cloud Responsys customer – click here to learn more.

Without wanting to over simplify the idea of an Email Preference Centre, it’s really all about:

  1. Stopping people from globally opting out a.k.a. unsubscribe.
  2. Delivering people an experience where they can advise what they’d like to hear about from your organisation i.e. their “preferences”.

Managing this process manually e.g. via a CRM connected to a basic email platform or a stand alone basic email platform, is a challenge. A manual process leaves room for error and increases your companies exposure to fines from government regulatory bodies.

A best practice approach

A best practice approach would include providing people with a range of options/subscriptions that typify the type of communications they can expect from your organisation. This may include:

  1. Events – invitations and reminders
  2. Product Updates – new products, updates
  3. Thought Leadership – white papers, surveys
  4. Media – press releases, industry news
  5. Newsletters – a range of communications relevant your products and/or services.

The secret, when selecting these high level email groups, is to avoid being to granular. The more general you make the groups, the easier it is for you to communicate with people.

In addition to providing subscription types or groups to people, you want to provide them the opportunity to share basic profile details. For example:

  • First Name, Last Name, Job Title, Job Category
  • Physical Street Address, Region, Country etc

You could take it one step further and provide people the chance to “pause” for a period. For example, you could provide them with a “Give me a break for 30 days” option.

A Marketing Automation platform like Eloqua provides the ability to manage all of these processes automatically.