email marketing best practices

Email Marketing Best Practices: Listen to Your Subscribers’ Preferences

In today’s world of email engagement, effective use of a preference center has to be at the top of your email marketing best practices toolbox. As early as last year, we discussed the importance of using preference centers to improve email deliverability, which by this point, we all know is of critical importance to email marketing ROI.

When you show your subscribers that their preferences are important to you, you are implementing subscriber-centered email marketing best practices. And that means your subscribers will feel more valued, which will lead to more engagement, more email deliverability, more conversions, and ultimately, more email marketing ROI.

Using a preference center effectively lets subscribers tell you exactly what they want from you and how often they want it. Interestingly, even though by now most email marketers know the value in using email preference centers, they are still not being set up to maximize the variety of choices available to subscribers. And this is where the value of email preference centers comes in. The more choices you can offer your subscribers, the more targeted and relevant your information can become to them, which leads, again, to increased relevance, engagement, email deliverability, and conversion rates.

When setting up your preference center options, ultimately you should think about these two main categories, from which a multitude of options can be selected:

1) Content: What do they want from you? Do they want coupons? Notifications of online specials and deals? The latest updates via your weekly newsletter? Notifications of monthly webinars? Specially selected partner offers?

2) Frequency: How often do they want to hear from you? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

Putting the control in the hands of your subscribers will ultimately work to enhance your overall email marketing best practices. Regardless of how many names you have on your in-house email list, each of those subscribers have different needs, and you can meet all of them when you offer up different options for your subscribers to choose among.  One generic message to everyone on your list sounds, well… generic. And over time, that will lead to unopened emails, automatic deletes, loss of interest, unsubscribes, and maybe even an increase in the dreaded spam reporting.

Keep your subscribers interested by ensuring your messages are targeted and specific to their needs: your email deliverability will go up, and so will your email marketing ROI!

For assistance with creating your custom preference center, contact us.

Published On: August 29th, 2011Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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