Permission Marketing

I apologize for the long lapse between postings, but I’ve been on vacation in Williamsburg, VA & Washington, DC with my family.  Lots of history, lots of walking, and little time for the internet!  Everyone needs a little break from technology once in a while – despite the avalanche of email I’m now having to plow through.  Sigh…

Oh well. It’s back to work now, so let’s get to it.   While I was away, I did use the downtime while my husband was driving the interstate to finish reading Seth Godin’s “Permission Marketing.”  For anyone who wants to succeed online, this is a must-read!  Granted, the book is ten years old, but the content is still relevant today.   (If you want to read the first four chapters for free, click here.)

As we all know, time is a precious commodity.  There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done.  And as I discovered on vacation, e-mail inboxes can get mighty clogged when you’re away!   What if a marketer wanted to sell me something, and his email got lost in all my clutter?  A very real possibility.

The key is getting permission to market to me.  If I knew someone was trying to send me a newsletter related to a product I purchased, I could always search through the barrage of e-mail to find exactly what I was looking for.

So, how do you go about getting permission?  Online, you should make sure that your website is geared toward signing up strangers to give you permission to market to them.  Don’t trick anybody.  Just be clear that you’d like their email address in order to share something of value with them.

Then, you engage in a dialogue.  Don’t try to sell them something right away.  Send useful information, a newsletter, a birthday greeting, if possible.  Only after you’ve gained a little trust, should you try to sell something.  You’ll be much more successful in the long run, by taking the time to cultivate a relationship.