How to manage subscriptions to multiple brands

The more I interact with new marketing techniques and colleagues about the targeting of subscribers and customised experiences in email, the more I think, ‘Wow – marketers are a lot more advanced than I thought.’ There’s really great techniques coming out of ESPs, and people have a lot of great opportunities to do big things with their data and marketing.

The more I interact with businesses as a customer – the less I think this is true.

So while at work I’m thinking about the integrated marketing cloud, and all the amazing opportunities it has to offer – I prefer in the short time available to me between work and family to think about what everyone else is actually doing.

Here’s one thing that continues to strike me: businesses of all sizes don’t do the fundamentals well.

A perfect example of this is when a central marketing office manages multiple brands and doesn’t, or can’t differentiate between email subscribers under one or the other brands.

Let me show you how this often plays out.

I’ll use a recent example of an interaction I had with a couple of brands.

Maui Australia

I visited the campervan rental business Maui Australia website, I found their subscription option and put in my email address.

I successfully subscribed and went on my merry way.


A short time later, I visited an entirely different campervan brand Britz.

Being acutely interested in knowing more about their brand I of course signed up to their email list. Here’s what I got in response:

Here’s where things start to go wrong for the potential subscriber. What he or she doesn’t necessarily know (and doesn’t really care about) is that in the background you have a single company that owns these two businesses. They have likely got the same people working on the marketing and communications for both of these brands and more.

In other words the process of subscription has been built for the needs of the business, not for the needs of the subscriber.

It’s not that hard to fix

For whatever reason, the email setup has been put together with a single subscriber list across all of the web properties owned by the managing company. The most simple way of fixing this is to have discreet subscriber lists between all of the sites. In that way, any person interested in both brands or more can subscribe to both brands.