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      Building an Email Preference Center in Marketo

      Jul 15, 2014

      4 minute read

      Email Preference Centers help you serve your subscribers much better. Why? Read this


      In fact, only 8% of the email recipients say that the email they receive is relevant, while 77% of them want to control the type of email they receive, as per Forrester research.

      Marketo provides you with an option to create an Email Preference Center that you can use to deliver highly targeted content to your email recipients as per their interests. These centers, at times are also called Email Subscription Centers or Subscription Preference Centers (SPCs).

      Types of Email Preference Centers

      Depending on the nature of your website and amount of content, you have to offer. You can build different types of email preference center. Three main types are:

      • Email Subscription/Opt-in: Created for the new visitors on your website, this preference center allows first-time subscription. Many sites use basic subscription for newsletter with just an ‘Email’ field. However, if you have content that is targeted for different job functions and industries, give your users the option to select their preference accordingly.
      • Update Email Preferences: Created for your subscribed users, this preference center allows the users to update the type of content, industry, and frequency of receiving content. This is very useful for marketers who use a single opt-in and just collect basic contact information from users, while subscribing.
      • Unsubscribe/Opt-out: Created for your subscribed users, who want to unsubscribe from your list. In many cases, this option may be on Update Preferences page itself. Where this option is given to the users to unsubscribe, a small questionnaire can be included to gain insight into why your user is leaving.

      Building Email Preference Centers in Marketo

      Within Marketo, you can build different types of Email Preference Centers, which are user friendly and let users decide the content, frequency as well as update their email. Here’s what you need to build an SPC in Marketo.

      • Marketo landing pages: You can build an SPC with landing pages built within Marketo. It is recommended that you build responsive, mobile friendly landing pages, which are easily accessible from mobile devices and allow users to update preferences instantly. Depending on the design and layout of your SPC, you have an option to use non-Marketo landing pages as well.
      • Form 2.0 with proper layout & options: For collecting information for first-time users or update details for repeat users, you would need a Marketo form with different options. Typically, the forms should have the options for updating email, select content type, industry, frequency of content, and an option to subscribe all and un-subscribe all. Depending on your needs, you can opt for standard forms in Marketo or use Form 2.0.
      • Java scripting can be very useful for creating a user-friendly SPC. Java scripting allows you to implement features like to subscribe all, un-subscribe all, subscribe all to a category, instantly validate the email, display dynamic forms based on user preferences and more.
      • Dynamic content segments: There are multiple ways to display dynamic content on your SPCs. When you showcase targeted content options in your SPC, based on existing lead values, the chances for un-subscription drop by 63%.
      • Confirmation emails: These emails reassure the users that their preferences have been updated. In case of unsubscription, while sending a confirmation email, include a re-subscribe link and allow an option to re-subscribe. This can reduce your annual list churn rate by 5-10%.
      • Campaign setup in Marketo: Here is a standard flow that you should have for your SPCs. This may vary, depending on your needs. If you have a multilingual website, the flow can be updated and you can ensure that your users land on the right language version of SPC, based on his country.

      E-mail Preference Centers

      Creating an Effective Email Preference Center

      If you want to build an effective SPC in Marketo, then these best practices can help:

      • Deploy progressive forms to gather information from your users
      • Use clean & simple opt-in to boost sign up rates, especially for your newsletter subscription
      • Set up single column designs; they let you show all the options together
      • Incorporate third party APIs, Javascript or auto-suggest, it lets you validate the email entered by your users
      • Leverage lead values, this can enable you to customize and localize content for your users
      • Put up samples of your content to give your users a taste of what’s going to come
      • Send out confirmation mails to build trust
      • Do not freeze the preferences, give your users an option to update them, whenever they want to
      • Place clear links for managing subscriptions, for unsubscribing and for changing email in the footer
      • Let users control how the user receives the notification
      • Enable users to set the frequency of the emails
      • Allow users to unsubscribe from your content
      • Ask for a reason for unsubscribing to make things clearer for you


      Building an Email Preference Center in Marketo is a great way to keep your users subscribed and nurture them with the right content at the right time. It reduces your annual list churn rate; decreases unsubscribe percentage, and engages your subscribers.

      About Grazitti Marketo Services

      At Grazitti Interactive, our team of certified Marketo professionals can build Email Preference Centers in Marketo, fully customized as per your needs. Apart from Email Preference Centers, we also provide other various Marketo services to maximize your Marketo investment. Clients like Tidemark, Appcelerator, Cloudwords and others have trusted us for their Marketo needs and continue to consult us for any Marketo related queries.

      To know more about our Marketo services, drop us a mail at [email protected]



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