Article first published May 2012, updated April 2019
People subscribe to emails to receive updates and information about products, services, discounts, and other happenings, but sometimes the number of incoming emails is too much for one person.
Lower Your Unsubscribe Rate: Set Up An Email Preference Center and Adjust Email Notification
To prevent this from occurring, email notifications and preference centers can be used.
What is a preference center?
Implement a preference center so email recipients can adjust their notification rings to their liking without having to miss out on the pertinent information. And, when subscribers feel like they’re not benefiting from your emails anymore, they have a chance to unsubscribe too.
Following are a few examples of how you can start using email preference centers:
Source: Campaign Monitor Subscriber Preference Center Blog
Why you have to include unsubscribe links in emails
If you do not include unsubscribe links in your emails, you’re breaking the law.
Not having an unsubscribe link in your emails is illegal according to the CAN-SPAM Act.
The CAN-SPAM Act is an act established by the US government stating, “commercial emails must provide recipients a way to opt out of receiving future emails from you.” If you don’t abide by this law, you could potentially be finel $41,484.
Tools like Campaign Monitor eliminate your ability to break this law by adding a mandatory unsubscribe link in the footer of your emails if you choose not to utilize personalized unsubscribe settings.
Source: Campaign Monitor Email Builder Article
However, personalized settings are better for optimizing subscriber engagement, so we do suggest using personalized settings in your preference centers for your recipients.
Customizing preference center and unsubscribe settings
Allowing subscribers to personalize their email experience and email notification settings with your business will enhance their engagement because they will want to interact with your emails.
When you are personalizing your preference center settings, you can customize colors to fit your brand and require subscribers to segment their subscription choices, asking if they want to receive new product updates, monthly newsletters, one-day discounts, etc.
Source: Campaign Monitor Subscriber Preference Center Article
If you’re not providing subscribers with customized experiences, 52% of your customers will unsubscribe.
Customizing your preference centers to compile information and use it
When customizing your preference centers, require subscribers to provide specific information so you can see where most subscribers are coming from, what they’re looking for, what age range they are, etc. This data will enhance your entire business.
For example, if the majority of your subscribers are from the Seattle, WA suburbs, send them custom information about their area. If you’re noticing the majority of your customers aren’t filling out this location segment, then remove it from your preference center and add another section for subscribers to provide information.
According to Salesforce, “if personalized discounts, offers, and information are given in emails 63% of Millennials, 58% of Gen Xers, and 46% of Baby Boomers are willing to provide companies with their personal information.”
Source: Campaign Monitor Subscriber Preference Centers
Custom unsubscribe confirmation messages
Unsubscribe confirmation messages can be another way to compile information or give them the option to “opt down” vs. throwing in the towel and opting out.
By giving recipients the option to adjust their subscription preferences instead of leaving altogether, they are more inclined to stay subscribed to your emails. Add in quirky one-liners, videos, and/or surveys where subscribers second-guess their unsubscribing submission.
Here are a few examples that can help customize your unsubscribe confirmation message and decrease your unsubscribe rates:
Source: Hubspot YouTube Channel
If subscribers are adamant about leaving, give them a survey asking why they’re leaving. You can use this data to adjust your email marketing tactics.
Here are a few survey unsubscribe setting options:
Allowing subscribers to edit their email notification settings and customize email experiences with preference centers is imperative to having a successful email marketing strategy.
How have you updated/implemented your email preference centers? Tell us about it in the comments below. If you need more help in creating emails that convert, you can try our free 9-part email course.