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3 Easy Ways to Use Preference Centers to Retain Customers

By August 24, 2017Email Marketing

I’m sure that you have heard that every aspect of email marketing is super important. But I bet you didn’t know that using Preference Centers can help you engage customers, reduce churn and most importantly, boost your sales!  

Most people only see preference centers when they are trying to unsubscribe from something right? What businesses don’t realize is that this stage is not goodbye forever. If used correctly it’s the perfect time to grab the customer’s attention with some unique content and to learn more about them.

If you want to find out the secret 3 ways to use preference centers to retain customers, then read on.

preference centers

Preference centers can help you at the most critical of all times. The termination point. The last thing we want is for our customers to click on the unsubscribe link, once they have, well isn’t that the end?

Actually the answer is not necessarily. Use your final moments to grab attention and utilize your preference center to persuade customers to stay.

Here are 3 cool things you can do with preference centers:

1. Decrease Unsubscribe Rate

You can actually stop a customer from unsubscribing from your email list, if you have content that is captivating enough. Here is a great example from Bonobos where they have a picture of their product and some nice flare in their questioning:

bonobos preference centerA more practical example is perhaps this one from Groupon. The company first asked the customer if they are trying to unsubscribe because they are receiving too many emails. In that case they are given the option to switch to weekly emails. Who could survive without a daily Groupon email?

Groupon goods preference centre

2. Learn key information about your subscriber

The preference center is also a great place to learn more about your subscriber. Of course they will want to click unsubscribe, or to change the email frequency and then leave… but you can get them interested by asking them a simple action about their interests.

You can either ask them about the type of product that they are most interested in. True Fit did this pretty successfully:

preference centreOr you can ask them about their specific interests (unrelated to your product). Maybe these will help you develop new product lines or content pieces. Check out Paul Smith’s questionnaire below:
preference centre

3. Turn on push notifications

One of the latest trends of communicating with customers is the push notifications. For people that don’t spend a lot of time on their phones (dinosaurs living among us…) push notifications look silly because they are used to seeing them on their PC. They are pretty strange on the PC, they don’t really make an impact.

On mobile however, the best way to get the attention of your customer is by sending them a push notification. It takes up their entire screen, and they have to log in to their phone to turn it off. You are making them exercise their thumbs.

How does this relate to the preference center? You can add the option of receiving push notifications to your customer, straight from the preference center.

Why is this important? Because it stops your customers forgetting about you. An inactive customer is almost as bad as an unsubscriber. Simply add a call-to-action button which gives the customer the option of purchasing a product, straight from their phone. Check out this great example from Urban Outfitters:

retention centers

You can also spice it up with a mysterious message and some emojis like Wanelo did here:

retention centers

I have yet to find out what they were trying to sell me 1 hour ago… I may never know. Curiosity will most likely make me click at some point though!


Preference centers seem boring but they are great ways to lure the customer back. You can do this in several ways but we have outlined the 3 easiest ones:

  1. Offer more subscription choices + write cool content.
  2. Ask for your subscriber’s interests and tastes.
  3. Offer push notifications and utilize them.


The next time you have something really exciting to do in your business, think back about subscription centres and choose to go upgrade them. You will get a bunch less unsubscribe requests, your sales will go through the roof, and you will find yourself on a cruise to the Caribbean. You can thank us from the boat.