Of all the marketing tools businesses use to promote brand awareness and increase sales revenue, email marketing still remains among the most important. It not only sends valuable information to your audience, but also drives traffic  to your other tactics such as events, social media, and website visits.  The most important  thing to keep in mind is that the best customer relationships are built on trust.

This is where an effective subscription center can help bridge that trust between the customer and the business.  Whether you call it a ‘preference center’, ‘subscription management’, or ‘subscription center’, there are lots of questions and tactics surrounding it. We’ve outlined a list of the most  frequently asked questions regarding subscription centers, and tips on how build a killer program to execute it.

Why is a Subscription Center Important?

Email marketing is the cornerstone of marketing automation.  It is a powerful tool we use in order to customize and reach out to targeted audiences great and small.  Building a subscription management system will increase your active and marketable database.  The subscription center, as opposed to an unsubscribe page, will provide people the opportunity to subscribe to the communications that are most relevant to them. This will also respect the consent of the users while keeping in compliance of the CAN-SPAM laws.

What’s in it for me?

Key benefits of building an automated subscription management center includes:

  • Decrease abandonment rate from users
  • Automatic and real time database updates
  • Allows you to focus on core business
  • Strengthen customer trust
  • Ensure compliance with CAN-SPAM policies
  • Fast and Simple to Set Up
  • Create different communication channels to target multiple audiences
  • Create meaningful segmentation in your database

What are leads interested in?

Your content strategy should be made up of what you know about the lead and what your lead actively subscribes to. The more you know about your leads, the better you can tailor your messages and promotions to maintain their interest and gain their business.  We will show you how understanding your lead’s communication preferences and profiling will help you achieve your goals.

What are the different channels that I have?

A program is one specific marketing initiative. The channel is intended to be the delivery mechanism, like Webinar or Sponsorship or Online Ad.

In the Admin section of your Marketo instance, you will find a list of your current channels. This can give you an idea on how to categorize your subscription options. This will heavily depend on your marketing operations and objectives. For example, your business may invest a lot in road shows and trade shows so you will have a separate categories of newsletters dedicated to promote events.  Other companies may not have events at all.

Items To Consider:

  • Subscription centers are like other forms, so you do not want to have too many categories, making the form too long and tiresome for leads.  Ask yourself; ‘which kinds of leads are interested in which communications?’ You can then group them together to make your subscription form more concise. For example, if the same leads attend both road shows and trade shows, you can have just one category called “Events.”
  • If you have a CRM, make sure that any new fields you create for the subscription center (ex. Premium Content, Events Opt-in) are  checkbox fields created in the CRM first. Same goes for the Unsubscribe Reason; make sure that the picklist options are exactly the same as what is in the CRM. The Unsubscribe from All button is a default field “Unsubscribe.”
  • You can insert a hidden field in the subscription form for source. This is especially helpful if your business allows manual subscriptions as well as web source.
  • With Forms 2.0, you can create a field like ‘unsubscribe reason’, and have it appear only if the lead decides to unsubscribe from your communications. This is a good way to track why your leads want to unsubscribe from all and provide you the opportunity to adjust and improve your strategy. Remember the key is to always be listening to your leads!
  • You can add more creativity and style to your landing page such as borders and boxes, and your team uses Marketo Forms 2.0, custom CSS.
  • Naming the all custom fields starting with subscription will make it easier to find the filters for this smart list.
  • Keep in mind that, for security purposes, Marketo stores unsubscribe information for leads separately from the rest of their data. That means that, if a lead unsubscribes and you delete them from your Marketo database, if they re-enter your database later with the same email, they will be automatically unsubscribed
  • Marketo does allow you to create a multi-language subscription center. When creating the form in a second language, the fields in that form should stay the same and you can change the field label to the respective language.

With all these tips and tricks, you are well on your way to building an excellent subscription center. If leveraged correctly, it will support your email marketing initiatives, maintain a trusting relationship with your customers, and optimize your overall business. What subscription practices have worked for your business?