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Data Privacy

Need to Know Series: How Preference Management Can Drive User Satisfaction

DataGrail, November 30, 2018

Unsubscribing and Upset Users: What Works and What Doesn’t

Email began with providing a simple, quick, and free way to communicate with others. However in the 21st century — with over 5.2 billion active email accounts, according to Statista — email has evolved into an overwhelming system that spans across marketing, sales, HR, customer success, and much more.

Emails come from coworkers, strangers, bots, marketing automation platforms, and transactional mailers. In turn, users are bombarded with dozens to even hundreds of emails to filter through and read every week. This has resulted in many users gravitating toward software that claims to unsubscribe them from mailing lists and clean out their inbox. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple.

Services — such as Unrollme, Unsubscriber, Unlistr, and others — claim to solve the problem of overcrowded inboxes but may fail to scrub out all unwanted mail and can potentially risk exposing personal information. In fact, due to their practices, was forced to stop serving EU residents when the GDPR became effective, according to TechCrunch.

Today, users receive more emails than ever before, as more companies have access to personal information used for email targeting. Fortunately, methods exist for companies to establish and maintain a positive relationship with users through email. To solve the problem of flooded inboxes and improve the quality of email communication, businesses must grant users control of their preferences.

In this article, you’ll discover what preference management is, why it improves communication with users, and how your business benefits from implementing it.

Why Your Business Needs Preference Management

According to research by Litmus and Fluent, 67% of users unsubscribe after receiving too many or irrelevant emails. Further, Litmus states that “consumer’s inboxes are simply becoming too clustered. And according to Deloitte, 93% of users want the right to delete personal data, and 71% have said they’re more open to sharing personal data if they have control. Simply put, it’s crucial for businesses to adopt a more user-friendly approach for email communication.

Some companies attempt to solve overstuffed inboxes by providing a service that mass-unsubscribes users from email lists. However, users continue to suffer from waves of thousands of unsolicited emails each year; this leads to upset users, unwanted spam filters, and more downsides for businesses. The modern, user-friendly solution for business clients is to utilize preference management.

Why Preference Management?

“A centrally located management system is necessary to minimize risk; integration across the whole company guarantees all business units are in-sync, listening to the customer, and communicating with them accordingly” – Eric Holtzclaw,

Multi-system preference management is a method for providing users access to their communication preferences, including marketing, sales, and product update emails. Also, preference management ensures that users are content with the communication received and may include allowing previous customers to unsubscribe from emails, providing opt-in options to product updates, or creating a clear route to subscribing to marketing content/newsletters.

The purpose of a preference management center is to allow easy access for users to control communication in one place. Preference centers can also provide users with information about the frequency of emails or what value the content will provide for them.

Why Preference Management Helps Both the User and the Business

Preference management improves the user experience from a variety of vantage points. With an effective preference center, users feel in control of their communication, leading to an increase in overall satisfaction when interacting with a company and its services.

When provided with preferences, users often choose to stay opted in to communication with the company and may even choose new lists to add themselves to — such as sales offers, marketing, or product updates. This is further enhanced by the information provided on a preference card, including the content value and frequency of emails.

After choosing their preferences and learning about the type of communication they’ll receive, users are more likely to open and interact with emails, driving an increase in conversion rates. Furthermore, users who are informed on their communication preferences are less inclined to report company emails as spam, driving an increase in the delivery rate while reducing the impact of mail filters.

“A study by InfoQuest found that a satisfied customer will contribute up to 2.6 times more revenue than an unsatisfied customer. In the case that compliance is called into question, experienced systems protect legal authority through following regulatory rules, recording data and providing businesses with a full history of each consent permission to date” –

From the perspective of the business, there’re many ways in which a preference management center can provide better results and analytics. When users gain control over communication, they’re more likely to provide positive reviews and refer a business to a friend.

In terms of analytics, consumers will have more control over which lists they’re on and will be able to optimize to suit their own needs. This, in turn, leads to a more accurate organization of users in terms of which are interested in the product or service, which are already customers, and which aren’t interested at all. Sales and marketing teams can then contact users and specifically tailor content to increase personalization for users and improve conversation rates.


Enjoy this piece? Check out our previous piece in the Need to Know SeriesWhy Tech Companies Want a National Privacy Law

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