What Exactly Is Permission Marketing?

How many times you have signed up to receive an email notification and special offers from different brands and services. I know the answer, “Yes, many times.” When I open my email, I can see tons of notifications and promotions about products from Etsy and Amazon, etc.  

Since I am a member of Bealls, a local departmental store, they text me on my mobile device whenever there is a special offer. This is known as permission-based marketing.

What Exactly Is Permission Marketing?

Permission Marketing is when you give the recipient of the email/message an option, whether the audience should receive the promotional message or not, it would be their choice.

Permission marketing has become a very popular marketing strategy during the boom of digital marketing and social media marketing

Subscription emails, application updates and emails/messages- these are all very good examples of permission marketing. 

Permission marketing is where the users have chosen to receive the emails and other promotional messages of a specific company-i.e your company. 

They do this by subscribing to your website or they install your company’s applications on their device.

How Did Permission Marketing Come About?

In 1999, Seth Godin first floated the term ‘‘permission marketing’’ in his book, Permission Marketing: turning strangers into friends, and friends into customers. He discussed the concept of permission marketing as something personal, relevant, and expected. Permission Marketing is contrary to the traditional type of direct and promotional marketing where you send one email to all the customers in the database without their permission.

Permission-based Marketing Vs Traditional Marketing

Yes, there’s a difference between Permission Marketing and good ‘ol Traditional Marketing. 

Permission marketing is when you do a little research about your target customers. For example: Better Homes and Gardens uses permission marketing when doing their giveaways. 

These giveaways are usually sponsored by other businesses, such as Honda, Lumber Liquidators, etc.  which is clearly explained while you the individuals are signing up to enter the contest. 

Another page is brought up which offers free subscriptions and permissions from the sponsors. I think most people believe they’ll have a better chance of winning if these permissions are clicked yes, and way at the bottom of this list is the enter button. 

This clever type of permission marketing got the individual to sign up for other businesses newsletters and promotions- they got their permission! But, this is only one way that Permission Marketing is used in a marketing strategy- we’ll go over more strategies in a minute. 

First, let’s move onto what traditional marketing is. 

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is a type of marketing where marketers use traditional platforms such as: print, broadcast, direct mail, email and telephone/texts.

Before the popularity of digital marketing and social media marketing, traditional marketing was the choice of companies to promote their products to their customers. With the boom of digital marketing and everyone glued to their phones traditional marketing has been expanded into sub-categories in which business use to better market their products and services.

Traditional marketing falls under the type of marketing category called blind marketing. To give you a better understanding we’ll use our Better Home & Gardens example above. Better Homes and Gardens would send one (or a 4 week) blast email to all their signed up customers without mentioning their previous history with them. 

Customers receive such promotional emails all the time, and they usually avoid looking at the emails.

Benefits of Permission Marketing

Some of the benefits and advantages of the permission marketing strategy are as follows:

Cost-Effective Strategy

Sending emails and messages is much cheaper than any other kind of marketing technique. All you have to do is to research and send precise and relevant information to the customers. If the information is relevant, they won’t ignore your message and hopefully your business converts a new customer at a low cost.

Higher Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is higher in permission marketing than the traditional type of marketing because you follow the personalized approach with your target audience and develop a relationship with your targets. 

When you provide the relevant information, it makes the bond much stronger and increases the conversion rate.

Personalized

One of the most interesting features of permission marketing is the personalized approach. It means that you invoke the previous history and start things where you have left them. It makes the customers feel that you haven’t forgotten about them. By mentioning their name and the previous records/appointments/products it makes your business connect with them immediately.

Long Term Customer Relations

When you provide relevant information, you’re following the personal approach which makes them feel comfortable and valued. These types of relationships with your target customers usually last longer because they have a shared common history with your business. 

Maintain Reputation

When you follow the personal approach and ask their permission, then it makes the consumer feel under control. Because of this, when you send out an email or text blast they are less likely to ignore them and click through to your desired goal -i.e a new landing page, sale, new product, service etc. 

When people don’t avoid your messages, it means that you have maintained a good reputation in the community.

Levels of Permission in Permission Marketing

There are different levels of permission in the permission marketing strategy, which are:

Intravenous Permission

Intravenous permission is the highest level of permission a consumer can give to the consumer. The permission is in the form of a subscription.

Buying the subscription of Netflix or Hulu is a very good example of intravenous permission. When you buy the monthly package, whether you watch it or not, the channel would charge money for the whole month because it has the right.

Points Level Permission

Point- level-permission is a type of game. We mean this literally, you see this a lot in game apps. You also see this alot with credit cards and any clothing store points subscriptions. (Walgreens is another common one that uses this).

Points Level Permission is the second highest level in permission marketing. 

Points are a good way to keep a consumer’s attention, and are a good way to solve the problem. Spend more, get more points. 

Points are also a good way to reward consumers for paying attention or for buying something.

The object is- Your business would reward customers with different points if they remain attentive. In the end, customers can cash out those points. If the consumer remains more attentive, then they would earn more points, and more points means more money.

You’ll notice this with a lot of game apps. They’ll reward you with daily points or coins to get you to play. If you spend more money when you’ve used all their free points, they’ll give you a better deal and rewards.

Personal Relationships

The Personal relationship level is usually used in business relations, where you leverage the personal relation and ask something in return. It’s like word of mouth marketing.

It’s a business strategy that builds and nurtures long-term personal connections between your brand and your existing customers, increasing engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty.

For example, T-Mobile captured the elusive millennial market. They began offering consumers mobile service without contracts. This approach proved wildly successful, improving customer satisfaction, engagement, and referral business.

On top of this to build relationships they provided weekly thank-you gifts and customer rewards to participants.

In addition, they focused on their mobile app, offering reward redemption opportunities and targeted offers that captured customers’ attention and enhanced engagement. 

Brand Trust

Brand trust is often the desired level of permission marketing. However, brand trust can be lost with one misstep. For example, Coke nearly lost all of its brand trust overnight when it introduced its new formula.

But don’t let this deter your business from looking into this strategy. Brand trust is a bit lower level strategy when it comes to permission marketing- you may pay a heavier price to certain brands, but the company would provide you with a high-quality product. Starbucks coffee and Campbell’s soup are a very good example of brand trust.

Situational Permission

Situational permission is the lowest level of permission where you ask for a certain thing depending on the situation.

It requires that the contact is first initiated by the customer. Once the customer makes first contact, situational marketing can occur. 

A good example is when you go to a fast food restaurant like McDonald’s. You put in your order and they would ask “would you like to supersize your order?”. Or if you’re at a restaurant and you order a margarita and they ask you if you would like top shelf tequila. These are good examples of situational permission- upselling to the customer. 

Spam (No Permission)

Spam is the level where you don’t have permission. 

Permission Marketing Examples

Some of the examples of permission marketing are as follows:

Opt-in Emails

Opt-in-email is a very good example of permission marketing. It means that the customer has chosen to receive the promotion of certain products. The company only sends emails to those clients who have chosen the opt-in email.

RSS Feeds

An RSS feed is when a company sends a notification to all of its subscribers about the latest promotion.

Loyalty Cards

Loyalty cards are when companies encourage their customers to keep shopping for their products, and the brand provides gifts to their most loyal customers.

YouTube

YouTube is a product of Google and it’s where content creators share videos. When a channel uploads something new then all the channel’s subscribers would receive the notification.

Facebook

Facebook is a social media platform where people share and post written, pictorial, and visual content. However, marketers would like to connect with those people who are influential and many people follow them. When they endorse your product, hundreds of people then try your product because of their referral.

Conclusion

Is your business interested in using the different types, levels, and benefits of permission marketing in your marketing strategy, but still aren’t sure how to effectively implement it? 

At ModFXMedia, our team is an amazing mix of analytical and creative-minded people, each of us capitalizing on our own strengths to prop up the team as a whole. We use our strengths to scale and boost your business on all platforms. 
If you’re interested in incorporating permission marketing into your marketing strategy, click here to schedule your FREE strategy call with our award winning marketing team

Read More