Permission-based marketing

Herman Pool

Marketing comes in many forms. The most common is interrupt marketing. Interrupt marketing is comprised of things like TV commercials, newspaper ads, or telemarketers interrupting what you are doing in order to force you to listen to their message. Today, fewer people pay attention to it as there is now so much interrupt marketing happening many minds now unconsciously filter it out. Beyond that, people have developed products to specifically avoid this kind of marketing. Things like DVRs specifically target this kind of marketing and are very effective at eliminating it.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were a form of marketing that allowed you to know who wants to hear your message? Great news! It exists and it is called permission-based marketing. It is a form of marketing in which your prospects opt to give you their permission to market to them.

Permission-BasedIt works very simply. Create an offer that encourages prospects to volunteer to receive your marketing messages. There are plenty of low cost items you can use to encourage the prospect to opt-in to your message. The most common types of offers people use today are things like special reports, whitepapers, discount club memberships, that are given to the prospect in exchange for providing you with contact information to send your marketing to.

Once you have the prospects permission to market you are no longer a stranger forcing a message on someone that might not want it, you have identified someone who has an interest in your products and services as indicated by the prospect themselves. See that? A small amount of rapport has been built.

By tracking the offer that caused the prospect to opt-in, permission-based marketing allows your message to be more relevant and personal. Not only that, but by focusing your marketing dollars on people that have actually expressed an interest in your products and services, you will save money and get a better return on your marketing investment.

By using a combination of interrupt and permission based marketing you can easily create a cost-effective one-two punch that brings in more business for less money. Let's look at an example of an IT company using a combination of interrupt and permission-based marketing in action.

Rather than running a typical newspaper ad telling people about their services, the IT company creates a newspaper ad that is a direct response type ad directing business owners to a landing page to download a report on "5 Ways Your Computers Are Costing You Money and How to Fix It". The ad is not geared to sell anyone anything. It is built to offer the prospects a free report.

call-to-actionOnce the prospects go to the website and signup for the report, they receive a PDF report delivered to their email that explains all the benefits of Managed IT Services. The report has a call to action, but it isn't a call to buy, it only asks for permission to set up a meeting. At this point the information provided in the report has helped pre-sell the service, so much so that they are asking to meet with the IT company.

Once the IT provider sits down with the prospect at the meeting, much less selling is required. The prospect has informed themselves and is much more open to a close at this point. In today's society people like to sell themselves. Permission-based marketing allows that.

Keep in mind each step in the process was built to get more permission to market. The marketing pieces allowed the prospect to educate and sell themselves making it easier for a close. Since we are only sending sales staff out to talk to people who are actually interested, time and money are saved.

How can your company implement a permission-based marketing system? Share you thoughts with us below!