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Creating an Email Preference Center using Marketo

Online users receive several emails per day! However, most of these users admit that they seldom read all their emails. These non-readers unsubscribe from your emails, causing low outreach. While most marketers typically focus on engagement metrics like click rate, open rate, and conversion rates, they tend to overlook the unsubscribe percentage, which results in lesser leads at the month-end. 

This gradual but harmful increase in unsubscribe rate affects your marketing ROI in multiple ways. These include:

Low email conversion: The % increase in email unsubscribes decreases the conversion rate of your future campaigns. You risk losing potential business since your database of active subscribers has shrunk.

Poor email reputation: Many email clients like Yahoo and Gmail check your reputation score before delivering the email to your users’ inboxes. A high unsubscribe rate affects the reputation of the domain and the sender’s email IP that is used for your email marketing campaigns.

Slow list growth: To ensure list growth, forwarding to a friend remains a significant channel for many businesses. The future development of your subscriber base slows down, with more users unsubscribing from your list.

Degrades brand equity: High unsubscribe % increases your email or domain’s risk of being labeled as a spammer, which affects your overall brand reputation.

Email Preference Centers

Every marketer wants to control the high unsubscribe as it is a universal challenge to all. One of the most viable solutions to respond to this is an Email Preference Center. 

Marketo offers you an option to make an Email Preference Center that you can use for delivering highly targeted content to your email recipients as per their needs. These facilities are sometimes referred to as Subscription Preference Centers (SPCs) or Email Subscription Centers.

The Types of Email Preference Centers

You can build several types of email preference centers, depending on the amount of content and your website’s nature. Three main types are:

Email Opt-in/ Subscription: this preference center allows the first-time subscription and is created for new visitors to your website. Several sites use basic subscriptions for newsletters with merely an ‘Email’ field. However, you must give your users the option to select their preferences accordingly if you have content targeted for different industries and job functions.

Updating Email Preferences: This preference center allows users to modify their industry preferences, content preferences, and frequency of content delivery. It is created for your subscribed users and helps marketers who use a single opt-in to gather basic contact information from users while subscribing.

Opt-out/Unsubscribe: it is created for subscribed users who want to unsubscribe from your list. In several cases, this option is available on the Update Preferences page itself. A small questionnaire can be included where the option to unsubscribe is given to the users. It will help gain insight into why a particular user is leaving.

Create Email Preference Centers in Marketo

You can create different types of Email Preference Centers within Marketo. It must be user-friendly and should help users decide on the content and its frequency, and update their email. Here’s how you can do it:

Marketo landing pages: You can create an SPC with landing pages built within Marketo. You should build mobile-friendly, responsive landing pages that can be easily accessed from mobile devices. They must also permit users to update preferences instantly. You have the viable option to use non-Marketo landing pages, depending on the layout and design of your SPC.

Form 2.0 with options and proper layout: You will need a Marketo form with different options like updating details for repeat users or collecting information for first-time users. Typically, the forms must have the chance to update email, select industry, content type, frequency of content, and an opportunity to unsubscribe and subscribe to all. You can opt for standard forms in Marketo or use Form 2.0, depending on your needs.

Java scripting can be very helpful for creating a user-friendly SPC. It allows you to instantly implement features like validating the email, unsubscribing, subscribing all, or subscribing all to a category, and displaying dynamic forms based on user needs and more.

Dynamic content segments: There are several ways to display dynamic content on your SPCs. The chances for the un-subscription drop when you showcase targeted content options in your SPC, based on existing lead values.

Confirmation emails: These emails assure the users that their preferences have been updated. While sending a confirmation email, include a re-subscribe link and allow an option to re-subscribe in case of unsubscription. 

Campaign setup in Marketo: It is a standard flow that you must have for your SPCs. This may differ, depending on your needs and aspirations. You can update the flow, update and ensure that your users land on the correct language version of SPC, depending on their country, if you have a multilingual website.


Establishing an Email Preference Center within Marketo proves to be an excellent method for nurturing users by delivering appropriate content at the right moment, while also maintaining their subscription. It decreases unsubscribe percentage, reduces your annual list churn rate, and engages your subscribers more.

Our Marketo-certified experts at Marrina Decisions can help you get started with your next Marketo campaign. You can simply write to us via our Contact Us page, email us at info@marrinadecisions.com, or get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
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