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Subscription practices in the wild

It’s always interesting to look at what other email marketers are doing and how closely their practices align with what I am recommending to clients.
Today’s example is a welcome message I received from Marriott. During my recent trip to visit a client, I gave Marriott my email address. They sent me a welcome message, primarily text that looked good even with images turned off. The text of the email told me why I was receiving the email and what I could expect.

Since you recently supplied your email address to Marriott, you’ll now receive advance notice of new hotels, services to save you time and money, and hotel specials and packages.
You’ll also receive eBreaks – 20% or more off last-minute weekend travel, promoted nowhere else! See a sample.
We’ll keep our messages brief, fast and fun. To ensure our email reaches your inbox, add us to your address book now.
Should you decide to unsubscribe, simply click on the link at the bottom of any email you receive.
Welcome to service above and beyond.

I clicked through the unsubscribe link to my preferences page. There they told me what I was subscribed to, what the emails would give me and how frequently I would receive mail. They also provided links to sample emails so I could see what it was I would be receiving.

Screenshot of Subscription page

Screenshot of subscription page with sample emails opened


How many good practices did Marriott get in this email?

  • I received a clear welcome message
  • I was able to read the email without images turned on
  • I had a clear unsubscription link that led me directly to a subscription center
  • The subscription center shows which emails I am subscribed to
  • I was not subscribed to all available emails by default
  • I was told the frequency of messages
  • I was able to preview messages I would receive

The end result? I stayed on the Marriott list instead of unsubscribing immediately.

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