The Minefield of Permission Marketing

How do you convert prospects to subscribers without soliciting them?

I guess this is the ethical problem every Marketer has.  It is okay if you already have a customer base, but when you start off with nothing …

Some people react badly when their personal details are indiscriminately used.   The unethical collection and use of personal data is the major argument against direct marketing and telemarketing and many report that UK and European legislation will continue to tighten.

The law now states that recipients need to opt in to receive information rather than opt out, and you also need to provide your address on each communication.

Direct marketing has evolved over the years and has 3 stages; broadcasting/spam, permission marketing and precision marketing.  Precision Marketing, at its extreme, means each customer receives a different email.

Permission Marketing is about seeking the customer’s permission before engaging them in a relationship and providing something in exchange. 

Seth Godin likens Permission Marketing to dating.  You need to –

  • Offer the prospect an incentive
  • Use the attention to give insight
  • Reinforce the incentive to maintain permission
  • Offer additional incentives to get more permission
  • Over time, leverage permission to change consumer behaviour towards profits.

You can’t just use the telephone directory and call every one; in the hope of receiving dinner or marriage proposals … likewise you can’t do it for business either.

For all the facts on Permission Marketing I recommend you refer to

What it means for me

It would be really easy for me to ignore and overlook all of this and just send emails regardless, however the law and rules are there for a reason and as I am positioning my business as one that provides Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses and so I cannot be cutting corners for my own company.

What I decided is – Business cards received, perhaps at networking events or during conversations, are added to my email marketing lists and those acquired in other ways (ie from Local Magazines and Flyers) I will tele-market to gain permission, or search and follow on social media in hope that they reciprocate and subscribe that why.

On top of that I am exploring and developing strategies and tactics that encourage subscription.

In summary it would be really easy for me to ignore the right thing to do and do what is easy, however what would a quality craftsman do?

To discuss this further or find out how Sayers Solutions can support your business then please call me on 07790705223.

4 Comments on “The Minefield of Permission Marketing

  1. Interesting article. Personally I’d be happy to go on someone mailing list if I had given them my card as long as I was emailed and told that was happening and could opt out very easily

  2. Good words here – I always add them to my list that says – can we stay in touch. So giving them the option to unsubscribe. The comments I get are ‘thanks for asking and happy for you to add me’. Always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. 🙂

  3. Good idea Michelle! If I’ve been chatting to somebody, I will offer to e mail some info on a particular aspect of coaching we’ve been talking about, then people can decide if they want to know more! Thought provoking article!

  4. Thanks Merewyn, you have explained this very clearly.
    I also like your approach Michelle, of asking if someone would like to be on your email list. I really dislike it when I receive unwanted sales phone calls and emails.

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