[GDPR] « LESS IS MORE »: THE PARADOX OF PREFERENCE CENTERS

6 Jun 2018
[GDPR] « LESS IS MORE »: THE PARADOX OF PREFERENCE CENTERS

With the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) effective across EU since May 25, 2018, consumer consent to the use of their personal data has become a highly sensitive issue. The double challenge of this European regulation: protection of the personal data and decreasing emails / SMS / notifications qualified as spam. 

If you have not already done so, it's time to consider setting up an Email Preferences Center (= EPC)!

Behind this technical name is a simple online module allowing your subscribers to customise their notification settings:

At least:

  • modify / update their email address (Note: 15 to 25% of email addresses become obsolete each year, as users change their professional or personal email address)

  • choose to no longer receive any newsletters i.e. Opt-out

And ideally:

  • the topic (s) on which they wish to be notified (e.g. culture, economy, sports, technology, leisure ...)

  • the type of notifications they want to receive (e.g. newsletters, special offers, personalised product recommendations, automatic alerts when a product is back in stock or available in store ...) => define a specific title so that your subscribers clearly understand what kind of emails they will receive

  • the communication channels on which they agree to be notified (email, SMS, mobile app / web push notifications ...)

  • the frequency how often they want to receive your notifications (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly), and possibly choose to take a temporary break i.e. "Opt-down" (for example get back in touch after the holiday season).

With EPC, farewell to spam and unsolicited emails *, it's your users who decide what they want to receive and when. You just send them the content they expect to receive!

But the best news is that setting up an EPC enables you to transform - for the better! - the way you communicate with your consumers and to achieve several major gains ... unsuspected at first.

(Source : Bonobos.com)

Here are 5 most common benefits of an EPC implementation:

 

1. Better performance of your newsletters

By allowing your subscribers to personalise the elements of their user experience and choose the level of marketing pressure they accept, you'll quickly notice an impact on the performance of your relationship programme.

You will see rapid improvement in:

  • The deliverability rate of your emails: having a complete freedom to easily adjust their preferences, the users have no more reason to categorise you as "spam". This will ensure better deliverability rate.

  • The opening rate: users having explicitly chosen the notifications that they wish to receive, they will more often open and view the emails or SMS received.

 

2. Fewer notifications sent

By empowering your consumers and analysing their feedback, you will no doubt:

  • reduce the number of emails sent (e.g. delete the least popular email categories)

  • reduce the volume of emails sent (e.g. send fewer emails from each category)

... and thus, focus your efforts on notifications that have the highest consumer perceived value. And savings, both in money and in time.

 

3. Decrease in unsubscribe rate and hard bounces

Studies show that implementing an EPC enables to divide by 2 the rate of newsletter unsubscribes!

It makes sense: giving the freedom of choice to your consumers improves retention, because your consumers are no longer required to select between "all or nothing" (opt-in vs. opt-out). If your consumer considers that he receives too many notifications he can simply reduce their frequency, just as he will be able to choose only the topics that interest him the most and to unsubscribe from others.

(Source: Emailmonks.com)

 

4.More knowledge of your users and their preferences

With the EPC, you empower your consumers to tell you what interests them and the frequency with which they wish to receive notifications, and so forth. This will allow you to know:

  • which topics are the most relevant to your users

  • which topics interest them the least (and in this case choose to leave them behind)

(Source: Stackoverflow.com)

Thanks to this increased customer knowledge that will enrich your database, you can segment your users and personalise your communications for a better, tailored user experience.

You will see immediate impact on:

  • subscriber engagement rates (better open rates and clickthrough rates, as mentioned above)

  • conversion rates (especially for promotional campaigns)

And more importantly: a higher consumer perceived value vis-à-vis your communications that are more relevant and better targeted.

 

5.Improving the quality of the experience and customer satisfaction

The EPC is a way for brands to apply the principle "less is more", with a focus on the quality of communications.

(Source: less is more)

Thanks to EPC, your users no longer receive unsolicited emails (often annoying due to too high frequency or irrelevant content; detrimental to your customers' perception of your brand ...), which today generate an opt-out or a "spam report ".

The EPC enables you to show your consumers that you value them and that their opinion matters. It is a real lever to improve the quality of the relationship you have with them, and to strengthen their commitment to your brand.

And finally, to go a step further, why not ask your consumers their opinion? (this article will be published soon)

 

* FYI: The reasons that today lead users to opt-out emails

(source: Emarketeer 2016)

 

Want to know more about Preference Centers ?

Contact our experts for further questions or to discuss the opportunities available.