What Is Permission Marketing? Get your customer's stamp of approval before sending unsolicited e-mail.

By Aliza P. Sherman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Can I send you information about my upcoming book? I can? Great!I've just asked your permission, you've given it to me, andnow I can send you an e-mail with the information you'veaccepted. That's permission marketing-getting a consumer'sexpress permission to send them information, usually to theire-mail box, about your products or services.

Why ask permission? We're all getting inundated andoverwhelmed with unsolicited e-mail sales pitches from unknowncompanies. Your marketing message, when not requested, is just asunwelcome.

By allowing people to sign up to receive an e-newsletter, tocheck a box to accept your occasional promotional e-mails, to say,"Yes, I accept your offer to contact me," you'regetting the green light to be in touch with them. You'rebuilding an e-relationship.

But watch out! Don't abuse the permission you'vereceived by e-mailing more frequently than initially stated, bysending information that was not specified or by allowing othercompanies to send information to your list. Be respectful, andyou'll see positive results.

Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl:A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books).She is currently working on her next book and new company.

Wavy Line

Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, e-entrepreneur and author of eight books, including

PowerTools for Women in Business.

Her work can be found at mediaegg.com.

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