B2B email marketers in the U.S. don't have to ask permission to send an email message to a business contact as long as they allow that contact to unsubscribe. As a result, many marketers seem to bend over backwards rather than encourage someone to opt in to their email list.
However, those B2B marketers with opt-in lists have less attrition, stronger sender reputations, and better response rates.
Encouraging your contacts to opt in may seem counterintuitive if you are trying to build your list, but your goal is to focus on the quality of your subscribers rather than the quantity. Quality subscribers who want to receive your messages generate more high-quality leads.
The secret is to offer subscribers a preference center that allows them to control which of your messages they would like to receive. This week, I'll focus on what it takes to create an effective preference center and the potential repercussions of not offering this benefit.
5 Tips to Get You Started
A preference center puts your subscribers in the driver's seat when they are signing up to receive your communications or when they are deciding if they want to unsubscribe. But how do you know what information to ask for and what choices to offer to your subscribers?
The following tips will help you build a world-class preference center that offers your subscribers the control they want and gives you the information you need to deliver relevant, value-filled messages.
Don't Fail to Act
Not building a preference center can have several possible implications for your program. The most crucial are these:
The Last Word
Make it easy for your subscribers to opt in and out through your email preference center, from your sales collateral, on your website, and through your email messages. Offer multiple category-based message choices for opt-in, and include prominent links to managing email preferences in all email communications.
Successfully building a world-class preference center that lets your subscribers choose their own content will lead to a quality list that, in turn, will yield higher-quality leads.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Mike Hotz is a senior strategic consultant for Responsys, working with clients to design, develop, and execute cross-channel digital marketing strategies that contribute to their cross-channel digital marketing success. As an industry veteran, Mike has worked in e-mail marketing since 1998, designing, building, and executing e-mail and multichannel direct marketing strategies focusing on increasing customer engagement, nurturing leads, supporting sales organizations, and driving revenue for companies such as CDW, OfficeMax, Grant Thornton, and Digitalwork.com.
March 19, 2014