The Permission Marketing Proviso

The prevalence of permission marketing is rising--do you know how to play by the rules?

Why does permission marketing work? You can use e-mail tocommunicate with people frequently, quickly and unobtrusively-ifthey've given you permission. The name of this new game is toget people to point to themselves as hot prospects. With permissionmarketing, people agree to learn more about your company and itsbenefits, usually by registering their e-mail addresses on yourcompany's or a related organization's Web site.

Your challenge is to persuade consumers to volunteer theirattention. Tell them about your company and how your offerings canbenefit them. Then let them tell you a bit about themselves. Overtime, you create a mutually beneficial relationship. They want toknow what you have to say. Once they know more and trust you, theycan buy what you sell. There are four rules of permissionmarketing:

1. Permission must be granted. Buying names and addressesand then sending direct mail to these prospects is not permission.It's spamming, and guerrillas know spamming litters themarketing scene and is usually ignored.
2. Permission is selfish. Your prospects will grant youpermission only if they clearly see there's something in it forthem. You've got about three seconds to tell them what thatsomething is.
3. Permission can be revoked. As easily as permission isgranted, it can be withdrawn. On the other hand, it can alsointensify over time. The intensity depends on the quality of theinteraction between you and your customers.
4. Permission can't be transferred. Think of marketingas dating. You can't give a friend authority to go out on adate in your place.

Once people give you permission to market to them, then what?They want to get to know you better. They want you to solve theirproblems. This is your chance to show and tell them how yourcompany can do that.

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