Every time a new subscriber signs up to receive your email newsletter you capture their email address; but did you know you also have the option to present them with a preference panel that lets them select what content they'd like to receive that is relevant to them?
The preference panel can be used at the initial sign-up point for your new subscribers, and can also be linked to in each email, so your existing subscribers can update it at any time.
Offering content choices to your subscribers through a preference panel is a powerful tool to improve your email marketing results. Why? Because giving people the ability to tell you what they want to receive means you can send timely, targeted and relevant emails to them, in turn significantly increasing engagement.
There are a number of benefits in offering a preference panel. It can give you valuable insight into where your subscribers are in the sales cycle, or where there are opportunities for up selling and cross selling. In addition, by capturing their areas of interest, you will be able to increase the frequency of contact by being able to send them one-message flyers on that topic, because the information will be relevant to them.
Getting started with a preference panel
Care should always be taken when creating your subscribe form and preference panel. It’s important to remember that subscribers don’t expect to have to fill out a lot of fields to sign up to your newsletter – they want you to prove to them that it is of value. The more fields required the fewer new subscribers.
While many subscribers are reluctant to fill in fields that ask for detailed information about themselves, they will be very proactive when given the ability to select the content and topics of interest to them. Think about using a two-stage subscribe form, capturing only the data needed to send the newsletter in page one and a more detailed preference panel on the second page.
Creating a preference panel
Look within your organisation to identify how you can group content within your preference panel. These areas can include:
- General interest within your industry – This can be industry news, or any information that will inform your subscribers about issues in your industry.
- Within business lines – Offer a group of sectors to select from that are relevant within your business.
- Specific products, services or brands – Not only does this raise awareness of all the products, services and brands that you have to offer customers and prospects, it also gives your subscribers the ability to select only what is relevant to their interests and requirements.
- Breaking news, webinars, updates, events – Include categories here that relate to your business - these will most likely be time-sensitive. This means you’ll be able to contact the subscriber as soon as the information needs to be sent.
Once you have identified how to group content within your organisation, this should be the structure your preference panel is built on. Let your readers tell you what areas or topics are of interest to them.
Personalising based on preferences
You will now have the ability to send content that is specifically relevant to your subscribers, along with the general content that all subscribers receive. Newsweaver makes it easy to personalise your emails:
- By sections – You can create a section that will appear in your subscriber’s email if they have indicated that they wish to receive that information.
- By specific articles – You can create articles that pertain to a specific level of interest they have selected in their preferences.
- By single message flyer – You can send one-message flyers in between your regularly published newsletter based on the preferences of each subscriber. The flyer will be sent only to those who have indicated it is relevant to them.