5 Reasons Subscriber Preferences Should Be Top Priority

“Relevancy,” “subscriber preferences” and “preference centers” are just a fancy way of saying you have options for email subscribers. Buzzwords aside, they’re a highly effective way to attract and retain subscribers.

You can use web forms to find your subscribers’ preferences in AWeber, and you can download the free guide at the end that explains how to set this up. But first, have you thought about how subscriber preferences can help you? In order to set up a web form that tackles this effectively, you should understand what it can do for you.

We’ll look at the top five reasons you should use your web form to learn subscriber preferences.

1. Provides More Relevant Emails

Think of how a vending machine works: you choose what snack you want and that snack pops out. If you select chips you don’t want to have candy pop out instead.

If you have several kinds of emails you want to send, offering options allows subscribers to pick what they want right at the start so you can send them the right emails. This is great for you as the sender, because now you’re not only sending them emails they’re more likely to read, but also you gain a better insight into what your subscribers want as a whole.

Look at how this form presents options:

dollar tree sale

Dollar Tree allows subscribers to check what products they want to hear about. Instead of giving everyone information about the entire store, they pick a category. Since not everyone uses Dollar Tree for the same reason, it’s good that they let subscribers choose.

2. Limits the Guess Work

Instead of using their sign up form to learn what subscribers want, some people rely on their subscribers’ click through information to determine what messages to send. While this can be effective, even trends can be misleading sometimes. You can eliminate the guess work that’s inevitable with that by asking additional questions on your web form.

For example, take a look at this form:

sign up form email

Harley Davidson may have a hard time detecting trends for owners vs. potential buyers. Asking them on the form makes it easier to send the right content out.

You’ll be able to see your subscribers’ responses in your AWeber account. The guide explains where to go to see this information.

3. Targets Local Subscribers

If you have a shop offline, you’ll want to know what subscribers are close to you. You can look at information from their IP address and send out surveys via Google. All of this works, but it’s not as fast and easy as just having a few questions in the web form to start.

Take a look at Mai Tai’s web form:

mai tai marketing

They could have used subscribers’ information from IP addresses, but instead of relying on potentially incorrect information (the subscriber was using a different computer or their server is far from their location), they learn subscribers’ location right away.

4. Improves Deliverability

Using subscriber preferences is part of the recipe for fewer spam complaints, which means better deliverability. Subscribers are receiving more relevant information and you’re able to implement the information they provided right away.

Learning subscriber preferences also give you the opportunity to make sure your subscribers CAN engage with your emails:

account email sign up

The Caribou Coffee form gives subscribers the ability to choose what format their emails are in. If they prefer text over HTML, or can’t read HTML emails in their email client, this form lets them pick. They can go in a specific list or segment depending on their answer, and we’ll go into how you can set both of those up in the guide.

5. Increases Retention

Happy subscribers will most likely stay subscribers. You are delivering content they want to receive, and you may even want to mention on your form that the information they’re entering will allow for more relevant emails.

The Betty Crocker form is very transparent in this regard:

Betty Crocker website

It’s very clear that as a subscriber you will be signed up to the list that makes the most sense for you. All the subscriber needs to do is click the button for the form they’re interested in. We’ll go into more detail on you can set this up in the guide as well.

Download the Free Guide

Check out our free guide “How to Set Subscriber Preferences” so you can get start delivering more relevant messages to your subscribers right away!

The guide will walk you through:

  • How to use custom fields to send to segments
  • How to use multiple web forms
  • How to set up list selection fields



  1. Peter Bordes

    12/13/2011 3:55 pm

    Crystal this is a great post and important topic. email subscriber crm is so incredibly important. how do we get faster adoption of this thinking so that email is driven by more relevance and less mass marketing.. we have seen meaningful lift across the board from deliverability to ecpc’s with our email marketing partners who take this crm approach to the user and their lists.

  2. MC

    12/17/2011 6:27 pm

    My experience shows that personalized and targeted emails do work in comparisson to generic emails.. good post!