August 2, 2011
In email marketing a preference center is a page where subscribers can customize their interactions with you – the most basic example being frequency AKA opting down or subject matter and then being able to change those settings at their will.
Preference centers were put forward under the rationale that it’s better to offer someone the opportunity to opt-down or change their content choices and such, rather than risk them unsubscribing, and of course, good email marketers want to offer people choice and flexibility!
Preference centers are a best practice (even though few marketers employ them at opt-in or opt-out), but what this really means is that they are the best practice traditional email marketers have to offer.
Up until Sailthru came along, the best option email marketers could provide was a preference center. But when you think about it, the idea of offering them really is an admission that we just aren’t that consistent at delivering relevant and engaging content to our subscribers.
“Oh, by the way, we might not always send you content that you find useful, so if we start doing that, please feel free to go to the trouble of using this long form to correct our shortcomings.”
Really? Shouldn’t you make the effort to get to know the subscriber and not force them to tell you?
Now, why would people bother to go to that trouble when a simple click of the unsubscribe or (heaven forbid) the spam button, will deal with irrelevant content which is not adding any value to their lives?
The only person most people will bother to create a list for containing their wants and preferences is Santa and most of us stop doing that when we hit 10.
It just doesn’t make much sense to ask people to go to even more effort and trouble in order to make sure email marketers do what they naturally expect them to do: deliver timely information they can actually use.
The biggest contradiction about promoting preference centers is that people using email marketing are consistently told to keep their subscription forms short – most people could care less after the third checkbox and they may even be annoyed if you insist on too much information. So, why is it that we think people will go to all the effort of ensuring they get relevant content at a frequency that suits them?
At Sailthru, we think the better, simpler solution is technology that delivers engaging, relevant and timely content consistently to your subscribers with no effort on their part. That’s why we’ve worked hard to create a revolutionary solution which takes this kind of drudgery out of the hands of email marketers and puts quality, timely and relevant content in the inbox of your subscribers.
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