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“Unsubscribing” Can Kill Your Brand : Get an Email-Preference Center Today

Kapil Arora
Kapil Arora Jan 21, 2019

"Unsubscribing" Kill Your Brand? Get An Email-Preference Center Today:

Unsubscribed? Go Ahead, Click Here.

There is a very thin line between email marketing and spamming. As a marketer, it is critical for you to understand what happens when you click the “send” button for your next outbound email campaign. Sending content your users find relevant and are happy to receive in their inbox qualifies for email marketing; everything else is just spamming.

The inbox of your leads is already cluttered and more and more marketing emails pile up every day. While many of them may choose to ignore the emails, some would try to mark them as spams or simply choose to unsubscribe. Either way, if that happens, you are going to lose a subscriber and your reputation.


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Your leads may unsubscribe due to various reasons such as, receiving emails from you too frequently, boring or repetitive content, and other similar reasons. And to improve your email marketing campaigns, you need to know why your leads are unsubscribing and what can you do differently to prevent them from opting out. One of the best solutions available today to combat this situation is - A functional email preference centre in Marketo, which can help you:

  • Understand what type of content your leads are interested in

  • Build segmentation on the basis of that

  • Offer other pieces of content that they might find relevant

  • Reduce the number of unsubscribes by giving them an option to share their content preferences

  • Analyse why leads are unsubscribing from your email campaigns

Here (should there be a link here?) is a free responsive template for an email preference centre in Marketo, which you can easily set up to get started. But before you start, you need to do some groundwork:

1. Identify Your Audience:

 This is the initial step of every email marketing program and you should have got this done already. Define the audiences for your email marketing programs on the basis of their persona and content preferences. Once you have the criteria listed, set it up in Marketo. You can create dynamic smart lists or segmentation. We recommend using segmentation which allows you to also conduct personalisation.

2. Classify Content Offers:

Make a list of all your current and planned content assets to categorise them. See if they classify as eBooks, Whitepapers, Webinars, Cheat Sheets, etc. Once the list is defined, you can use it on your email preference centre. This will help your subscribers choose the type of content they like to receive from you, thereby, driving better engagement.

3. Define Double Opt-In Process:

Do you have leads from Canada, Germany or other EU countries? If yes, you need a robust double opt-in process of Marketo to handle subscribers. Since the spamming laws are very strict in these regions and can cause you some heavy penalty, you need  to carefully build the subscription process for these leads. The best practice is sending a confirmation email to ask for email permission right after a lead from these regions fills out your web form.

4. Set up campaigns for alternate email address:

You must let your subscribers change their email address. Leads change their jobs or email accounts, and you should allow them to have the liberty of updating their email addresses. While many of your subscribers may not be aware of this option, you should mention this in the email footer. The best way is to clearly highlight the CTAs in your email like this:

Change your email address | Update your email preferences | Unsubscribe from all email

5. Build assets for managing email frequency:

This depends on the frequency of your email marketing campaigns. If you are sending an email once a month, this may not be required. But if you are sending 2-3 emails per week, you should let your subscribers choose the frequency of receiving emails. Your leads would like to receive content from you but on a weekly or monthly basis. You can add options for selecting the email frequency on your preference centre and build supporting backend campaigns in Marketo.

6. Ask for Unsubscribe Reason:

You cannot stop someone who has decided to opt-out of your email list. However, to fix your email strategy for the future, you can always ask why they decided to unsubscribe. An “unsubscribe survey” helps you fix any cracks in your email marketing campaigns and prevent churn from your subscriber list.

7. Implement Database Clean-up Program:

Do you know how many of your leads didn’t engage with you in the last two years? Do you still want to keep them in your database? Inactive leads in your marketing database increase your Marketo subscription cost and impact the performance reporting of your email campaigns. To fix that, you can create a program in Marketo to look at your inactive leads regularly, which can help you decide whether you need to clean your lead database or not.

These are a few suggestions to help you get started with better email subscription management in Marketo. If you need any help in setting up campaigns, do reach out to our Marketo Services team. Get best b2b marketing automation consultancy here.


At TransFunnel, we help marketers with end-to-end marketing automation consulting and implementation. We have a team of Certified Marketo Experts and Certified Revenue Analysts.  As an offshore agency, we help you achieve much more with your marketing budget than you already are. To learn more about our capabilities,