The Unsubscribe Solution: Best Practices for a B2B Email Preference Center


According to a 2020 study by the Content Marketing Institute, over 80 percent of B2B marketers responded that their most common content marketing tactic involves email newsletters. But despite email marketing’s impressive ROI, B2B companies struggle with higher unsubscribe rates and lower click-to-open rates. B2B customers are more likely to receive ‘too many emails,’ and to cut through the noise, so they may choose to unsubscribe.

So what’s a B2B company to do? Email preference centers are a measure to establish effective communication with subscribers. Here’s how they can benefit your email marketing strategy.

B2B Email Preference Center Benefits

1- Reduces Your Unsubscribe Rates

For B2B companies, a high unsubscribe rate is a symptom of a broader issue rather than the cause. People who subscribe to your email list may decide to hit the unsubscribe button for several reasons. Perhaps they find your content useful and relevant, but the frequency is too high. It can also be the other way around: a large chunk of the emails you send are irrelevant to their niche, which may be why some people unsubscribe.
In this situation, an email preference center puts control back into the hands of the subscriber. It gives them an opportunity to decide how frequently they want to receive your content and what type of content they want to receive. Therefore, unsubscribing becomes a last resort instead of a first impulse.

2- Builds Trust with Businesses by Valuing Their Opinion

B2B relationships are built upon trust. Behind every B2B customer is a business looking for a long-lasting relationship to ensure success. When you add new contacts to your mailing list, providing an option to manage email preferences makes a favorable impression.
It communicates to readers that you value their preferences and respect their time. It proves that you took the time to understand them and that they weren’t just another lead. This, in turn, builds trust.
But for your email preference center to have the desired effect, it should deliver an improved experience. After all, it’s an extension of your brand, so it needs to have the same defining elements as the content in your email on your website. For a targeted approach, we can customize your preference center to make it easier to use and offer a consistent experience.

3- Tells You What Email Content Readers Are Interested In

Among the different reasons why people tend to unsubscribe, the most common is that they receive ‘too many emails.’ But this isn’t entirely true. Their main concern is that they’re receiving too many irrelevant emails. And when B2B customers feel like they’re not getting what they want, they cut back on email subscriptions. Building an email preference center is an effective way to start learning about their interests.
Using this data, your company can create more content that aligns with the target audience’s needs. However, to get useful data, you need to provide options relevant to your company, i.e., your preference center needs to be well-branded. If your company is looking to develop a customized email preference center, we can customize it to display groups of topics your audience can understand. This way, your Marketo preference center is branded according to your current email marketing strategy.

4- Improves Audience Segmentation

Email segmentation is essential when sending B2B emails because it helps you target the audience with useful content. This data is essential to identify the different groups of B2B customers who are considering hiring your services.
Let’s say you’re a SaaS company with delivery management software for logistics companies. Now, you’ve recently added three new people to your contact list.
The first is a small business with a fleet of 10 temperature-controlled trucks offering city-wide same-day delivery. The second is a logistics company with a large fleet that provides cross-town deliveries. Lastly, the third is a developer that signed up for your email list while looking for employment opportunities.
As you can see, each contact has different needs.
Even the two companies joining your email list operate at different scales, so you need to communicate with them the right way. With an email preference center in place, each of these contacts will be able to fine-tune the emails they receive from you. This allows you to segment them into different groups and send them emails accordingly.

5- Increases Email Engagement

Ultimately, email marketing aims to increase open and clickthrough rates: you want the subscriber to engage with the content you send instead of simply receiving it. But when a subscriber is receiving too many emails from you, content that may have been relevant gets lost in an overcrowded inbox.
Let’s say that one subscriber signed up for your mailing list to receive a monthly market report that includes key insights. They don’t, however, want updates for your daily blog. If you send the report at the end of the month, that means they’ll receive over twenty emails updating them on your latest blog post (something they didn’t want) before they actually receive the report. Consequently, they’ll likely hit the unsubscribe button after the fifth or sixth irrelevant email.
With a customized email preference center in place, they can opt to receive only monthly emails of important reports. Now, they only receive one email per month, but the clickthrough rate of that email increases tenfold.

B2B Email Preference Center Best Practices

By allowing subscribers to tailor their email experience to their preferences, you enhance their engagement and strengthen your relationship with them. To optimize your preference center, consider implementing these five best practices.

1- Clear and Concise Options

Provide a straightforward and easy-to-understand selection of email preferences. Clearly outline the types of emails subscribers can choose to receive, such as newsletters, product updates, industry insights, or event invitations. Avoid overwhelming them with too many options, focusing on the most relevant categories for your audience. Don’t forget to include a clear and easy-to-find unsubscribe link.

2- Granular Preference Selection

Offer granular preference options to cater to diverse subscriber interests. Allow subscribers to select the email frequency they prefer, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Additionally, provide options to customize the content they receive based on specific topics, industries, or job roles. This level of customization ensures that subscribers receive relevant and targeted content, increasing their engagement and satisfaction.

3- Seamless User Experience

Ensure that your preference center provides a seamless and user-friendly experience. Make it easily accessible by including a link in every email communication. Design the preference center with a clean layout and intuitive navigation, guiding subscribers through the process effortlessly. Keep the form fields simple and concise, minimizing the required information to encourage participation.

4- Preference Center Promotion

Actively promote your preference center to encourage subscribers to utilize it. Include a call-to-action in your email communications inviting recipients to update their preferences. Highlight the benefits of personalized content and emphasize that their preferences matter. Additionally, leverage other channels, such as social media or blog posts, to raise awareness about the preference center and its advantages.

5- Ongoing Management and Optimization

Regularly review and update your email preference center based on subscriber feedback and evolving preferences. Monitor engagement metrics to identify trends and areas for improvement. Continuously test and optimize the preference center’s usability, layout, and options to ensure it remains user-friendly and effective.
By implementing these email preference center best practices, you empower your subscribers to shape their email experience. This level of personalization fosters stronger connections, increases engagement, and ultimately leads to better business outcomes. Embrace these practices to optimize your email marketing efforts and provide a tailored experience that resonates with your audience.

Level Up Your Email Strategy

To sum it up, a B2B email preference center can allow subscribers to choose the type and frequency of content they receive from you. It allows you to generate information about what readers are interested in and provides data that makes customer segmentation much easier. Your company can make a better impression on prospects and earn their trust, all while ensuring that subscribers open emails and engage with them. These benefits help reduce the unsubscribe rate and make your email marketing strategy much more focused.

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Posted ago by Charles

Charles is the co-founder of Otowui and is responsible for marketing strategy and business development. He is a web enthusiast and digital marketing expert, with over 15 years of experience in the field. He enjoys creating unique and personalized user experiences for Otowui customers. He is also a developer and is passionate about the latest technologies to improve the performance and quality of Otowui's products.

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