Asking for Preferences – Yes, You Can Do It Too!

Posted by Bonnie Malone on

We talk a lot about the importance of gleaning subscriber feedback, providing various choices with your mailstream, and essentially giving the subscriber control over the communications they receive in their inbox.  But, sometimes, it’s helpful to see how others are successfully gathering this information.  Let’s take a look at some recent campaigns focused on gathering preferences from subscribers:


Key Learning: Be upfront in asking about relevance.  Chili’s recognizes that all subscribers may not also be parents, so by asking “Was this offer relevant to you?” Chili’s can quickly gather insight that helps them tailor future promotions to individual subscribers.

Inspiration: Don’t be afraid to ask!  Where can you test adding in a survey question to your email template?  And, what information would be helpful for you to receive from subscribers?


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Key Learning:  Peppering in a consistent reminder that preferences are available may seem unnessacery.  But, regular content that educates subscribers on the preference options they have is a good way to promote the preference center and prompt subscribers to use it.

Inspiration:  Make it easy for subscribers to update their selections.  Think about including a regular “update your preferences” feature within message content, as well as in header/footer links.


Key Learning:  Use the information you receive!  Sephora includes “personalized” product picks based on information the subscriber provided in their profile.  Leveraging data to inform the email program shifts the communication from a mass blast to a one-on-one conversation, which is much more engaging, don’t you think?

Inspiration:  Be personal!  Dedicating just one small space in your email for a “personalized” content section can help evolve the tone of the email and engage with subscribers on a more personal level.

Tell us how you ask subscribers for their preference selections, and share your examples with us of how you incorporate that information in your email program!

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About Bonnie Malone

Bonnie is passionate about excellent customer experience. With a background in marketing, merchandise buying, and retail management, she helps companies stay relevant amid the changing digital landscape. Bonnie leads the knowledge and consulting teams at Return Path, the global leader in email deliverability. She is an active Email Experience Council committee member, featured speaker for events, and writes monthly for the Return Path blog and TotalRetail.

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