In this article, Jeanne Jennings provides some tips for setting up a successful preference center:
- Organize your newsletter choices. If your company has more than five e-mail newsletters listed, arrange them into logical groups so readers can figure out which ones might interest them.
- Ask for additional information. When visitors return to update their preferences, take that opportunity to grow your database of knowledge about them. Never ask for more than three new pieces of data at a time. In addition, prioritize and ask only for useful data. For example, ask for a ZIP code if your company offers regional workshops, so recipients can be informed of upcoming events in their areas.
- Offer incentives in exchange for more data. Some companies offer a small incentive for visitors to update their information, for example, every three to six months. Also, ask for another bit of data when they update for that incentive.
- Always send an e-mail confirmation. When visitors alter or add information, send an e-mail confirming changes made to the user profile. Provide a link to the updated page if the change wasn't anticipated.
- Think hard about requiring a password for preference centers. If that part of your Web site doesn't contain sensitive data about the visitor, such as credit card information or salary details, you run the risk of turning off people who don't have the time or inclination to remember user names or passwords.
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