Why Use a Communications Preference Centre?

Offering a way to build trust, increase engagement and reach customers more effectively, a communications preference centre is essential. Customers today have high expectations when it comes to communications. They expect to get what they want, when they want it, and how they get it on their chosen device. Personal preferences, purchase history and other data is key to giving customers what they want. Being able to provide customers with the right content is important, helping to reduce noise and provide a better overall experience for customers. When you are able to achieve this, you will be able to simplify your customers’ lives, treating them individually instead of treating them as faceless entities to mass-send emails to on a daily basis.

To help a leading retail pharmacy create a better, more personalised email experience for their customers, Grapevine Interactive helped build a preference centre offering over 30 categories. With this centre, customers now can add and remove themselves from various categories across the pharmacy’s marketing automation and CRM platforms. This solution made it easier to gather customer preferences over time to use for targeted campaigns. It also allowed opt-outs to be shared with other systems to seamlessly process and transfer business-critical information. As a result, customer engagement and retention rates were both improved, with customers receiving only highly personalised, relevant, valuable email communication.

The problem with no or minimal preferences lies in a lack of ability to reach customers in a way that actually speaks to each customer. One customer may be interested in certain communication but not another. Another customer may wish to receive every type of communication while others may only choose to receive one type of message. Communication preference centres offer a way to reach out to your customers without forcing them to see and read every single message you send.

There are numerous benefits to a communication preference centre. The biggest advantages include the following:

1. Unhappy customers have more choice.

If customers are not satisfied with products, messages or apps, you can either give them a complete out that loses them forever or you can give them choices that go beyond opt-on. The upside to giving customers more choice is reducing unsubscribe rates. The primary reason for unsubscribing is receiving too many messages or too many messages that do not offer value. Signing up for messaging and then receiving endless messages every week can very quickly drive people away.

When you only have an opt-out option, you may not be able to keep that customer. When you have other options, such as opting out of promotions but not product updates, for example, or receiving general newsletters or offers relating to products categories you frequently browse or purchase, you are far more likely to keep receiving communications. Choosing messages according to frequency is also highly effective at giving customers more choice before they unsubscribe completely. Giving customers the chance to choose emails that are tailored to their interests and preferences will help to reduce unsubscribe rates.

2. Self-personalised messaging.

A communications preference centre can help you gain insight into your customers, too. Alongside data-driven strategies to gain insight into customer behaviour and demographics, preference centres allow customers to do their own personalisation. Customers are able to make choices on the categories and products they are interested in along with other broader interests. They can decide whether they are interested in sales only or on specific events. This makes it easier to personalise your messaging, providing more tailored content according to each customer’s preferences. When used in addition to other information-gathering strategies such as purchase history, the result is a hyper-personalised experience that will have far more chance of engagement because campaigns are relevant and genuinely useful to your audience. Segmentation then becomes much easier, taking a lot of guesswork out of your personalised email campaigns by narrowing down lists according to specific customer preferences. You will then be able to deliver personalised messages that drive engagement and prompt conversion.

3. Reduced email fatigue.

Everyone will have email fatigue at some point or another. This term applies to the bombardment of messages that the average person receives every single day. Think of your own inbox. Chances are high that you receive numerous spam messages, many going straight to junk mail. Over and beyond those, you may get daily automated offers from sites you subscribed to for a content upgrade, messages from your favourite online stores, messages from local businesses you support, monthly newsletters, and many other messages. That is not counting the usual work and personal emails you also receive. Email fatigue makes it harder to achieve inbox zero, filling up your inbox and making you want to unsubscribe from everything unless it is absolutely urgent. Customers feel exactly the way you do, and as such, having options to reduce the volume of emails and only choose messages that they want to receive is vital.

4. Build customer relationships.

In any type of digital marketing, customer relationships are everything. Relationships between your brand and your customers come down to give and take.

When your customers feel that they are being listened to and respected enough to have a choice on what they want to receive from you in terms of messages, that relationship will be nurtured and grown. Customers are far more likely to be invested in your campaigns compared to those who do not feel seen or valued. When you do not offer customers a chance to choose how often you communicate and what type of communication they receive from you, they will feel like they are being marketed to rather than being part of a relationship. The quickest way to lose trust is to push messages onto customers that serve no interest or purpose.

Grapevine’s digital communications platform (cPAAS) offers a highly effective way to digitise and automate your customer communications across multiple channels. Make it easier to reach your customers at the right time, in the right way, and you will have the chance to drive engagement and reach customers on a deeper level than ever before. For more information on how our digital communications solutions can help your business, contact our team today.

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