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May I...?

Getting permission to market to new prospects could snag you more customers.

This story appears in the December 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

One of the biggest problems with mass-market advertising is that it vies for the attention of prospects by interrupting them. That's why TV commercials have been called "dream interrupters"-the TV show is your dream; the commercials interrupt that dream. That's not so good.

On the other hand, if nobody else is interrupting the audience, the interruption is effective for you. Unfortunately, that never happens-and there are so many interruptions these days that people have learned to ignore them. Television is cluttered with commercial messages, and the Web is even worse. That's why guerrillas are rapidly warming up to "permission marketing" on the Internet.

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