Permission Marketing: When They Click ‘Yes’

14 July 2013, by A. Cedilla

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Odds are good that at least once in your life you joined someone’s mailing list when you signed up for a particular online service or wanted to find out more about a subject you find interesting. Many online forums, research institutes and some online newspapers need a valid email address to send your initial log-in details and passwords. A lot of sites nowadays also require some sort of log-in to comment. All these little exchanges of access for your email information falls under the banner of permission marketing.

Permission marketing is asking your target market and site visitors for their permission and getting them to agree to certain actions:

  • That you can include them in your mailing list to send them newsletters and other relevant bits of information and news.
  • That you can email them about updates, topic-relevant tips and promos, coupons, upcoming special events etc.

Basically, that you can send them information and invite them to do stuff. It’s as easy as setting up a Click here! link or an opt-in box for capturing your visitor’s email addresses.

Permission marketing works so well because it isn’t spam. You don’t flood people’s in-boxes with unsolicited invites to whatever it it you’re selling or sharing. You were invited to, and as such there are rules to remember or else risk losing prospects through unsubscribing.

  • Give good value – don’t bug people with every little thing that goes on in your business
  • Unless they also sign up to your company’s Facebook page, and then it’s their choice to check your Facebook updates or not.
  • Give relevant information on your niche — unless it’s related to what you’re trying to tell them, don’t throw random details to fill up your word quota.

What do you get?
People’s permission for you to send them information.

What do you give?
Surveys, newsletters, contest openings, promotional updates and informative articles, etc.


  • Because the updates are relevant, of value and interest to the members of your niche market.
  • Because you want your market, your subscribers and your customers to remember you.
  • Because you want to direct visitors to keep coming back to your site.
  • Because you have an upcoming contest or promo that you want them to know of .

What are the rules?
Don’t send your subscribers anything they didn’t ask for, or other than what you specified during the sign up process. Don’t ever use their personal details for anything else other than the subscription they signed up for.

In essence, have good PRIVACY and SECURITY policies clearly in place and uphold them stringently. When people sign up they are trusting you to stick to the agreement and not take advantage of their sensitive data. They TRUST you. Don’t let them down.

How do you get them to sign up?

Make the process short and simple — there are many automated newsletter management services that just need a first name and a valid email address to capture a prospect, and their system takes over the rest of the process, from putting in the proper name to quickly unsubscribing those who want to do so. The issue then on your part is positioning your opt-in to be in the most advantageous spot to get them to sign up. For example:

  • Pop-up boxes on the first visit to your site, or halfway down reading an article on your site.
  • An opt-in field on the side bar
  • A line of text at the bottom of each article inviting them to sign up with an embedded link leading to a sign-up page or pop-up

Tell Them What They Can Expect
Sell them on the high points of getting updates or newsletters to your website. Tutorials, discussions on hot topics, etc.
“Sign up for our newsletter!” Why? “…to get the latest industry updates, sneak peeks, etc.”
“Answer this survey in just 5 minutes…” Why? ” …so you can tell us how to serve you better!”

Permission marketing leverages your online presence and boosts your campaigns. When you’ve been given the leave and trust of your subscribers to communicate with them directly, you build on that trust by not taking advantage of it and continuing to give the best, most helpful and relevant information you can.

By engaging in this type of marketing, you can boost your brand recognition in the minds of your subscribers, power up your sales and grow a strong, lasting relationship with your target niche.

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