What is Permission Marketing?

Seth Godin said, “Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal, and relevant messages to people who actually want them.”

Entrepreneur Seth Godin created the term permission marketing in 1999 with his book Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends, and Friends into Customers. He presented a new idea of marketing since Godin believed traditional marketing (interruption marketing) methods were becoming less effective as information has become more prevalent and abundant in the modern world. Permission marketing is the opposite of interruption marketing; rather than interrupting the consumer from their regular activity (television commercials, internet pop-up, etc.), permission marketing is targeted to those who have given consent to receive such information from the company.

Opt-in email is an example of permission marketing, where potential consumers give their email in order to receive information about a brand or service they like. This allows companies to target interested audiences in order to better sell what they are offering. There are many other examples of permission marketing such as:

Huffington Post

Huffington Post is an American online news blog about a wide variety of topics from technology, entertainment, business, sports, and politics and so on. When first entering the site, the Huffington Post requires the reader to register through their social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). This allows them to send newsletters and better understand the reader in order to give more prevalent articles based off their previous viewing history and social media interests.

Facebook Pages

Social media is one of the largest forms of permission marketing since it is all based off interest and receiving likes and follows. Businesses of all types of sizes are recommended to make their own Facebook page in order to share updates across the largest used form of social media. People who visit your page, and have pressed the like button, are interested in what you have to offer and would like to hear more. Make sure to keep your updates regular in order to keep your followers engaged and interested.

Loyalty Cards

Consumers signing up for a loyalty card is a great way to keep consumers coming back while also sending them reminders about new deals. Many cards give discounts or perks for having one and allow customers to save money, which keeps them coming back. Starbucks allows people to sync their card with their email and birthday to get reminders on free drinks and new promotions. With this connection, Starbucks is able to remind the patron that their coffee fix is just around the corner.

These are all forms of permission marketing and main reoccurring factor is they ask for consent from their consumer. Godin’s book and his marketing strategy were based off the following fundamentals – “anticipated, personal and relevant”.

The abridged version of Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

  • Don’t be selfish.
  • You’re not in charge.
  • Make promises and keep them.
  • It’s like dating.
  • It’s an asset, it’s expensive and it’s worth it.

Permission marketing inspires consumers to engage in a long-standing, supportive marketing campaign. And if they choose, they are able to unsubscribe at any time.

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