One Preference Center to Rule Them All: Xelerating SFMC


The Problem: You might need a customizable preference center.

So you think your organization is going to need a custom email preference center? Probably? Try, “Definitely!” Here’s why…

There can be a number of common factors that create the need to use a custom email preference center. While Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) provides a baked-in solution, it doesn’t take long to notice its limitations. On top of having technical constraints, it is not going to be very reflective of your brand, and it is not a glamorous web page. 

In addition to wanting a branded preference center that has support for design styling, there are other technical challenges that further create the need to take a customized approach.

Here’s one challenge: When you are using data extensions to deploy your emails, and not publication lists, it becomes difficult to have audience segmentation preferences within SFMC’s out of the box solution. 

Another even more complex challenge can be trying to manage preferences and opt-outs across another Salesforce cloud and SFMC while keeping opt-out data synchronized.


Does my organization need a custom preference center?  

If you aren’t quite sure, here are some considerations.

  • Are you an organization who needs to be set up quickly to remain CAN-SPAM compliant while also needing to support multiple email audience segments? 
  • Are you a team that is cross-cloud-connected between SFMC and Sales Cloud or some other Salesforce CRM product?
  • Do you not have any in-house developer resources, or are you lacking the technical capabilities to build it yourself?
  • Like many, are you short on bandwidth or time to go through a full development, testing, debugging, and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) cycle just to set up a more customized preference center page?

preference center marketing group

It’s essentially just ONE web page! Can’t I just have my web team build it?

In some cases, organizations will consider hosting a custom preference center on their website that ‘talks’ to SFMC via API. But this further enhances the complexity, compounds points of failure, and creates the need for more technically-advanced resources.

Maybe you have an ambitious web team or some really sharp SFMC people in-house that are up to the task or maybe you don’t, but either way, read on!…


OK, I know we need a preference center, so how can we do this? 

The solution? CloudPages can be so much more than just a landing page to host a Smart Capture form, and they are already ‘wired in’ to the SFMC platform. CloudPages (and Connector, if you have integrated your Salesforce CRM or other Cloud platform with SFMC) can be leveraged to do the job.

Using a SFMC CloudPage with a custom form and some AmpScript or Server-side Javascript (SSJS), you can securely display a subscriber’s email marketing preferences and allow them to opt in or out. Leveraging SFMC-hosted pages with data extensions, and a connected SFMC instance when needing to be synchronized, you can create a real-time solution for your subscribers.

Once you have your custom preference center built, you can link to it in the footer of your emails. The link to the preference center can pass your CloudPage a subscriber key, so your users, partners, or customers can manage their own communication preferences.

It’s as easy as designing, developing, testing, debugging, UAT, and deployment!

Preference Centerr

But wait, isn’t there an easier way?

Fortunately, yes, there is a pre-built solution available! With our Preference Center Xelerator you can have a clicks-not-code deployment that enables someone with SFMC data extension and basic HTML and CSS skills to create a flexible, customized, branded solution. Or if you’d prefer to have an affordable turn-key solution, we can set it up for you.

Here is an overview of Xede’s Preference Center Xelerator benefits and features:

  • Single cloud page UI that handles all page views dynamically
    • Preferences and Opt-Out
    • Success
    • Error
  • Flexible and easily brandable
  • Real-time updating of subscriber preferences
  • No coding is needed to install and set it up
  • Data-driven setup involves editing and importing in one of two ways
    • Importing CSV files
    • Using SFMC Contact Builder to create records directly into data extensions
  • Can use custom CSS to extend the branding configuration
  • Preferences are configurable to any one of the following:
    • SFMC standalone mode
      • Preferences can be managed using a single or multiple data extension(s)
    • Connected setups between Salesforce and Marketing Cloud
      • Salesforce Lead object
      • Salesforce Contact object
      • ‘Opt-out of All’ status synchronizes to both CRM and SFMC

If you are interested in our Preference Center Xelerator for SFMC, or for more information, contact us today at

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