Subscriber preference centers

A subscriber preference center allows your email recipients to change their own subscription details. This might mean updating just their name or email address, but you can also set it up so subscribers can edit any custom field information you have stored for them.

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Benefits of using a subscriber preference center

Providing access to this form makes it easy for subscribers to modify how you interact with them, instead of choosing the option to unsubscribe completely. When someone is thinking about unsubscribing, it could be for a number of reasons. For example:

  • I wish they wouldn't send me email on this topic.
  • I have a new email address for these emails to go to.
  • I wish they'd send me less emails.
  • What am I actually signed up for?

Allowing subscribers to edit their preferences — for example, by controlling the frequency of emails and the topics they are emailed about — can help to keep them on your list. Giving people access to update their details is also a great way to reduce email churn, meaning the number of email addresses in your list that become inactive.

On average, 15-25% of all valid email addresses are discarded each year as people move to a different ISP, change jobs, or otherwise acquire a new address.

Customizing the subscriber preference center

In this section we'll show you how to modify the look and feel of the preference center page for a client. Here is an example that uses a custom header image:

You can also format the background color, write a custom welcome message and optionally change the display language, as shown here:

To get to this page, select a client account, then click Client Settings, followed by Preference Center in the right sidebar.

When you have made your customizations click Save changes. To view the changes, click Preview in the right sidebar.

Different preference centers for different subscriber lists

If the client has multiple subscriber lists you will see a dropdown menu at the top of the preview page to toggle between preference centers for each list.

Your page customizations, for example, the header image and welcome message, will be used across-the-board, but the fields displayed are unique to each list, as explained in the following section.

Setting up fields for the preference center

You can set up a preference center with nothing more than an email address field for subscribers to update, or you might have multiple fields you want people to see and edit.

To control which fields are displayed and which are not, select a client, open Lists & Subscribers, and select the relevant subscriber list. Then click Custom fields in the right sidebar to open the "Manage custom fields" page.

At the top of each page you can create new custom fields and below that are your existing fields. Next to each one is a checkbox option to make the field visible, as shown here:

When you select Visible, a second checkbox appears labeled Required. Selecting this makes the field mandatory which means the subscriber will not be able to save their preferences until they have completed the field.

You can also change the display order of fields by clicking the drag handle to move them up or down, as shown here:

The order you put them in here is how they will be displayed on the subscriber preference form, which is instantly updated for you.

Below are instructions for adding the preference center link to each of our different campaign formats.

Email builder

When using the email builder, to turn on or off the preference center link:

  1. Click the footer of your email.
  2. In the left sidebar under "Footer Settings," click Other settings.
  3. Select the Edit Subscription checkbox to toggle the "Preferences" link at the bottom of your email.

TIP: You can add a link to the preference center in your email by using the [preferences] tag as the URL.

Custom coded emails

For custom coded HTML, the <preferences> element automatically generates a link to the preference center for each recipient.

You can customize the text for the preference center link by including text between the opening and closing elements. For example:

<preferences>Show me my preferences</preferences>

If you don't provide custom text, the text will be "update your preferences."

Plain text emails

To insert a link to the preference center in a plain text campaign, use the [preferences] tag.