|Permission Marketing |
What is permission marketing? Permission marketing is defined simply as asking your target market and Web site visitors for the authority to perform a specific action—for their permission to do, or send them, something. The key to permission marketing is to get your target market to willingly volunteer to participate and in order to do this, whatever it is you are proposing must be of value to your target market. You have to make it clear to the user by answering the question “What’s in it for me?” If your target market sees no benefit in participating, then they simply will not participate—it’s that simple.
What makes permission marketing so effective? Permission marketing is not intrusive. Your target market volunteered to receive the information you’re sending because it is of interest to them, and as a result they expect to receive it. This significantly increases the likelihood of your target market’s viewing the material that has been sent to them and their being receptive of it. When implemented correctly, permission marketing can be a valuable asset in acquiring new customers and maintaining relationships with existing ones. We discuss some of the ways in which you can use permission marketing to increase your online marketing success in the next section.
There are a few things to keep in mind when creating your permission
- studies have shown that personalized emails
receive a much higher response rate than generic emails
mail list software programs these days allow you to easily personalize the
text in the so make sure that you ask for the first name as well as the
individual's email address when asking for permission to stay in touch
check the first page of this newsletter - if the salutation just says "hi" and
not "hi <your first name>" this means that we do not have your first name in
our database...and we would really like to be able to personalize our emails
and target any communication that we have with you. Please hit reply now and
provide us with your name and state. We appreciate it. As far as privacy goes
we will not give away or sell your email address. Period.
- when asking permission
to communicate with your target market you want to make it easy - don’t
have the visitor complete a long form on which they have to provide all kinds
of information - less is better.
Sell the Benefits
have to know your target market well and know what would be enticing
enough to get that permission
- people are inundated with junk e-mail and
need to be “sold” on why they should subscribe or join your communication
- “join our weekly newsletter” just doesn’t cut it - “join
our weekly newsletter to receive our Internet only specials, coupons and
tips from our pro” will get you more subscribes
- Co-operative Permission Marketing
opportunities to form an alliance with other sites that are trying to reach
the same target market you are and then see how you can do some win-win
- if you have a monthly newsletter you can allow subscribers to sign
up to receive alliance partners’ newsletters at the same time they sign up to
receive yours - in return your alliance partners do the same - the same can be
done for many repeat traffic generators like coupons, e-specials, e-zines,
- every repeat traffic generator provides an opportunity for permission
marketing - make sure you use it
Incentive Based Permission Marketing
increase the response to any permission marketing opportunity you might consider
offering an incentive. “Sign up to receive our Internet only e-specials and
be included in draw for [something of internet to your target market].
- You can also offer a free gift to new e-members or subscribers - it could be a
sample of one of your products or an e-book on a topic of interest to
your target market.
Incorporating Permission Marketing with every Viral Marketing element
wherever you use viral marketing on your Web site ("send a copy to a
friend"...."tell a friend about"...."send this coupon to a friend"...) make sure
that you take advantage of the permission opportunity as well - for example if
the viral marketing element is "send a copy of the newsletter to a friend" make
sure that you have an opportunity for the friend to now give you permission or
to subscribe to the newsletter. For example: If you have received a copy of this
newsletter from a friend and would like to subscribe yourself click here.
I am a real proponent of squeezing every ounce of marketing oomph out of
everything that you do so make sure that you take full advantage of the landing
page. Taking the above example a step further make sure that when they "click
here" to subscribe themselves that you have made the landing page sticky -
you are encouraging the visitor to visit other pages on your Web site through
the content on the landing page.
- Privacy Concerns
never send your target market anything that they did not ask to receive, and never use their personal information for
anything other than what they were told they were signing up for.
misuse of permission marketing damages your relationship with your target
market because you have violated their trust and can also lead to bad publicity
- privacy and security
policies should be prominently displayed because people like to know how their
personal information will be handled and are very reluctant to hand over their
details to a company or organization that does not explain how their
information will be used.
Check out the following Web sites that feature permission marketing solutions.
Using the power of advanced design tools, easy-to-use interface and campaign
management features, you can create and send your personalized bulk e-mail
campaigns, newsletters, weekly specials, support tips or marketing messages
in an effective and efficient manner.
- TrueFire's Mail Dog
Mail Dog makes permission e-mail marketing easy, affordable and profitable for
businesses of all sizes. Create, send and track professional e-mail marketing
campaigns and newsletters quickly and easily from any Internet connection. Mail
Dog puts over 100 do-it-yourself pro tools at your fingertips to help you drive
sales, acquire new business and stay connected with customers.
A powerful permission marketing solution that
allows you to set up and maintain your permission marketing campaign. Worth
checking out. Some of its users include Esquire Magazine, the Dallas
Symphony and the New York Knicks
visitors if they would like to receive notification of new products, updates
to your site, relevant tips, advice, industry news, and so on—whatever might
be of interest to your target market
- integrate strategic promotional opportunities
to encourage the user to come back to your site or to take some other course
of action - people who sign up to receive your newsletter do so because they
have a clear interest in what it is you have to say.
- if your newsletter
is about recent happenings in your business or new product updates,
encourage the user to “click here” to see the updates and then, when they
do, transport them to your Web site
- Contests and Sweepstakes
directly under the e-mail address entry field should be the
option for the visitor to sign up to receive details on the latest hot deals at
ousers enter the contest, they
should be sent an e-mail confirmation stating that the entry was received - also
include in the e-mail a viral marketing call to action to tell others about the
contest as well as a call to action for the user to visit the site and shop
make sure that you notify all entrants who enter your contest when the
winner is selected
- ask visitors if they would like to be notified when new contests are added
to your site
permission marketing techniques in use:
“We change our
coupons every week! Click here to join our mail list to be
notified as soon as we update.”
- "Click here
to join our mail list and receive our bi-weekly Internet marketing tips,
tools, techniques, and resources newsletter.”
- “We have new
specials on a regular basis. Click here to be notified by
e-mail when we post our new specials."
- “We have a new
contest every three weeks. Keep checking back or Click here if
you’d like to be notified by e-mail every time we begin a new contest.”
- “We constantly update our Calendar of
Events. Keep checking back or Click here if you’d like to be
notified by e-mail every time we update.”
I have included a couple of resources for you to check out when developing
your permission marketing campaign. For additional resources on a variety of topics, I
recommend you visit the resources section of my Web site at http://www.susansweeney.com/resources.html.
There you will find additional tips, tools, techniques and resources.