Why Should I Update My Email Preferences?

Email preference centers – the part of an email marketing strategy that most people forget, ignore, or just don’t put enough (any?) thought into.

Yet, if you believe in sending your subscribers timely, targeted, relevant emails, manage preference pages are critical.

There are a few challenges with email preference centers.

First, if you ask for too much information during the opt-in process, you are making it more difficult for folks to subscribe. If you are looking to grow your list quickly, this may not be a great idea. However, if you don’t gather the “personalization” information upfront, how can you ask for it after someone has been added to your list?

One approach is what Norm Thompson did recently. Check out this email I received from them a few weeks ago (screenshot below).

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

Why The Norm Thompson Email Was Awesome

Here’s what I loved about it.

  1. The Subject Line: The Birthday Fairy has a question for you. Creative. Simple. Direct. And, most importantly, it got my interest piqued enough for me to open the email.
  2. The Copy & Imagery: The drawing of the birthday cake was consistent with the subject line and just popped off the page. Also, the copy was succinct, direct, and friendly. Notice how they didn’t demand that I update my preferences. Instead, they invited me to update them.
  3. The Call(s) To Action: Finally, the email included 4 – count ‘em – 4 different ways to click to update my preferences. (1) The preheader; (2); the preferences link in the header; (3) the image; and (4) the “update your profile” button. The email had a few secondary and tertiary calls to action, but for the most part it was a dedicated campaign with a goal of getting subscribers to update their preferences. Giving your subscribers multiple ways to get to the same landing page – links, images, buttons, and so on – gives you a better chance of them acting (clicking)!
  4. The Post-Click Landing Page: The best part of the email is what happened when I clicked on the call to action. Check out the screenshot below of the landing page.

Notice a few (awesome) things about this landing page:

  1. Norm Thompson logo at the top – great for consistency and branding.
  2. What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) – clear WIIFM … Stay tuned on new arrivals, latest offers, fashion trends, and more
  3. Content & frequency choices! – Everything, steals & deals, men’s only, 1 per week, 1 per month … and unsubscribe

I really only have one suggestion/tip on how to make this email and landing page a touch better. Since the main call to action was encouraging me to update my birthday month and date – so they could send me a gift – I think they could have called that out a bit more in the subscriber preferences page. Maybe highlight it somehow, block it out, put big arrows near it. Again, this is somewhat nit-picky, but hey, I had to say something, right? Ha!

What do you think about this Norm Thompson “update your preferences” email campaign? Did they get it right? What did they miss? Have you ever sent out an email similar to this? If so, what were the results (and if you are on the email marketing team from Norm Thompson, I’d love to hear how successful this was!).

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

FYI: Stephan Hovnanian wrote a great guest post here a few weeks ago, 7 Keys to Building a Successful Manage Preferences Page. Be sure to take a peek at that post too.

Cheers.
DJ Waldow

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Did you know? Jason Falls and I just wrote a new book about breaking the rules of email marketing! In the book, we talk about ways to grow your email list AND break some rules along the way. We also dedicate a section to “the anatomy of an email” – discussing the various components of an email, a few of which are discussed in this blog post. In The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win, we share with you all sorts of email marketing “best practices” individuals and companies are breaking each and every day … and still finding success.

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  1. [...] Why Should I Update My Email Preferences? – DJ Waldow talks about his favorite tactics for getting subscribers to update their preferences and information. [...]

  2. [...] What are they looking for? Give these subscribers a chance to tell you what they want. Create a survey for them to help you drive new content and products. Or encourage them to update their preferences so that you can better target your emails. DJ Waldow recently wrote a really insightful article about this. [...]

  3. [...] What are they looking for? Give these subscribers a chance to tell you what they want. Create a survey for them to help you drive new content and products. Or encourage them to update their preferences so that you can better target your emails. DJ Waldow recently wrote a really insightful article about this. [...]