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I have never been a huge fan of preference centers and while some serve a good purpose, a good many of them languish with old data that is never updated by the subscriber. I truly believe that preference centers fail not because they don’t do what they are supposed to do, but that they are not marketed regularly to the subscribers already on the list. They are often put in 4pt font at the bottom of the email next the unsubscribe button or they are touted as preference centers during the unsubscribe process (what is normally referred to as the opt-down center BKA the save-the-subscriber center).
If you have spent a fair amount of time and money in you preference center and actually use the data that comes in when people update their “stuff” then you as a marketer need to shout it from the rooftop on each and every email that this sort of thing is important to the subscriber and to you. Doing anything less and you might as well throw money down the drain.
Take at look at how Need Supply Co. accentuates their preference center in the example below. They clearly call it out at the footer and as users scan the email, the subscriber would naturally gravitate towards the preference beacon. The Need Supply Co. preference center is simply a communication center, but I am not here to judge that experience. I am simply calling out the fact that the mere capture of preferences is visually appealing and obviously important to them. They have this in each of their email and it makes for excellent brand consistency.
Preferences Are A Part Of The Lifecycle
Capturing preference data in your preference center should be a part of the customer lifecycle. Don’t settle for complacency either in the front end or the backend of the relationship. If you have been neglecting your preference center for years and are looking for ways to revive it rather than scrap it, consider a new treatment in your current template or test a once a quarter update to your dormant subscribers or previous purchasers.
If you have a preference center and its not doing what it was meant to be doing, you have a choice: ditch it or optimize it. Start with something manageable like the treatment in email and gauge its effectiveness. Make it stand out and most of all, make it memorable.