The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Citizens of Illinois Most Picky About Market Permission

Citizens of Illinois felt 16% stronger than the rest of the United States that their permission is needed before they can be marketed to on their mobile device.

Source:  Determining Perceptions of Marketing Permission Impact Marketing Success

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Personal Income Affects Sensitivity to Marketing Permission

Consumers with higher incomes ($75K - $99K) are more insistent that marketers gain their permission than consumers with lower incomes ($0-$25K).  

 

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Consumers Demand Permission on Mobile

59% of consumers feel very strongly or strongly that they give their permission before they can be marketed to on their mobile device. 18% said no permission is needed.  

 

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Determining Perceptions of Marketing Permission Impact Marketing Success

 

Permission marketing infographicRegReady has released a survey and infographic on the four types of marketing permission: implicit, secondary, explicit and none.  The study surved 1,125 consumers and marketers about their perceptions and feelings about different marketing practices and how they related to permission.  The practice of permission marketing continues to be complex and elusive for one simple reason: How do you get consumer permission in the first place?  The four types of consumer permission outlined in the infographic ultimately determine the degree to which marketing efforts are most successful. 

The RegReady survey is revealing in its ability to differentiate the areas where consumers and marketers are communicating, and who/how consumers are willing to accept in their inboxes and mobile devices.  RegReady believes that in order for marketers to be successful, they have to understand what consumers expect.  Government regulations and easy to use filters that remove unwanted messages are making permission based marketing essential.

EXPLICIT Permission (Request Information, Special Deals, Newsletter, Alerts)

Explicit is the best and purest level of permission a customer or prospect can give, and provides the greatest results but is usually the most complex to acquire.  Mid-sized and growth companies are concerned the most with marketing permission, while small and large companies are least concerned. 

Based on the results of this RegReady study, consumers (70%) feel very strongly or somewhat strongly that they give permission before they can be marketed via email.  Some agreement between the groups was found as consumers (59%) and marketers (61%) are in agreement that explicit permission is required for direct marketing on mobile devices.  

Marketers (57%) feel very strongly or strongly that customers and prospects must give their permission before being marketed to.   Interestingly, citizens of Illinois felt the strongest that permission is needed before they can be marketed to on their mobile device.

IMPLICIT Permission (Purchases, Contests, Product Demos, Registrations)

Marketers consider implied permission sufficient to start engagement, while the vast majority of consumers disagree. One of the greatest differences between marketers and consumers is that 77% of marketers feel that a purchase does constitute marketing permission.  Consumers (80%) disagree that making a purchase doesn't constitute permission to market to them via email. 

Urban consumers (25%) in particular, feel more strongly than suburban ones that making a purchase does not constitute permission to market to them.  While certain marketing trends were confirmed, it is interesting to note consumer perceptions based on age and location.  

In its purest form, traditional marketing channels such as television, radio and periodical advertising are based on implied permission. However, with digital channels, marketers need to be more aware of some of the negative repercussions of implied permission.  Implied permission tends to deliver relatively good results as long as marketers align content and offers closely with the customer or prospect’s implied action. An important thing marketers need to be acutely aware of with implied permission is that when it’s acquired using incentives, its effectiveness is extremely diluted.

SECONDARY (Purchasing opt-in lists, list rental, affiliate marketing, lead mills)

Secondary permission is usually incentivized by intermediaries, opaque to the prospect or customer, and is often abused by marketers.  This type of permission is relatively easy to acquire but yields marginal results compared to explicit and implicit permission.  However, it has proven effective when reserved for unique markets and demographics. 

In an effort to increase lead generation, 58% of marketers feel very strongly or strongly that purchasing an opt-in email list is an acceptable practice, while 51% feel very strongly or strongly that purchasing any type of opt-in list is an acceptable marketing practice.

Marketers who chose to purchase opt-in email lists run the risk of having their messages marked as spam, as consumers are more apt to mark an email as spam over deleting the message.  The extremely strong desire for permission, as revealed in the RegReady study, demonstrates that explicit permission based leads will be more trusted.

The youngest consumers felt the strongest about companies not sharing their personal information. Contrary to popular belief consumers 55+ feel less strongly about companies sharing their personal information for marketing purposes. 

NONE (purchasing lists and data, mobile and web tracking)

Marketers should keep in mind that 80% of consumers feel strongly or somewhat strongly that email should not be used as a prospecting medium.  Marketers (60%) feel strongly or very strongly that mobile should not be used as a prospect medium. When asked about tracking digital behavior, 85% of consumers feel very strongly or somewhat strongly that companies should not track. Marketers are split on tracking of any kind without permission: 41% feel it is acceptable, 40% feel it is not acceptable, and 19% feel neutral.

Marketers need to group allotted budget to be spent according to the activities that match the permission descriptions.  From there, marketers can compare the ROI of each activity.  Marketing results, by the type of permission required for each marketing activity, should align with effectiveness. The higher the level of acquisition (eg: explicit) the more effective, as demonstrated in the RegReady Permission Curve graph.  By applying information from the RegReady study, marketers will have another data point in their arsenal to better understanding the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.  More importantly, marketers now have a framework to find new and creative ways to acquire customers’ and prospects’ permission.

 
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Why Every Marketer Should Understand the Permission Curve

 

The concept of permission marketing has been around since commerce met the Guttenberg Press, but wasn't defined as such until Seth Godin penned his famous book 14 years ago, encapsulating the concept in its title. Ever since, marketers have flexed the meaning to accommodate their ideologies and justify budgets. However, the practice of permission marketing continues to be complex and elusive for one simple reason: the challenge of getting consumer permission in the first place.

In an age where the proliferation of digital marketing channels has helped to tear down permission acquisition barriers, new technologies continue to emerge that enable consumers to better filter marketing messages than ever before. The RegReady Permission Curve (chart below) is a framework marketers can use to better understand the tradeoffs between consumer permission and marketing effectiveness.

This dichotomy between direct channel access and filtering is demonstrated best in mobile use, and SMS marketing budgets in particular. The average U.S. consumer spends roughly 4.4% more time using their smartphone than reading and writing email (3 hours/day smartphone vs. 41 minutes/day email). However, in 2011 (2012 statistics are not available yet) U.S. companies spent 3.6 times more money on email marketing than SMS marketing ($443M vs. $1.6B).  

Considering the ubiquity of both SMS and email features on mobile phones, why is there such a disparity between their respective budgets given their usage times? There are many arguments to this question, such as cost differences and the overlap of usage time of email on smartphones. Although most of these arguments have merit, they lack the simple explanation of marketer access. Unlike SMS, email's permission system is murky at best where marketers define permission that best suits existing needs. With SMS, permission is distinct, federally regulated, and controlled by mobile carriers. Simply put, the smartphone, hyped as a bleeding-edge direct marketing channel, also affords consumers unprecedented control of message filtering resulting in permission as a natural starting point for marketers.

Even though technological filtering started with direct channels such as SMS and email, it would be unwise for marketers to think it will stop there. Other channels typically reserved for display and branding such as television, apps, and websites will one day become vulnerable, as well, and will force the industries to rethink their long-term business models. Consumers are starting to adopt filtering technologies for these channels, such as browser plugins that block ad tracking to Dish Network's AutoHop ad skipping feature. Even grassroots efforts are springing up through the likes of Kickstarter, where a group of engineers effortlessly raised $213,392 to manufacture a product called AdTrap, billing itself as “a small, zero-configuration device that removes ads from your Internet connection before they reach any of your home devices.”

Since new filtering technology and techniques help to preclude channel access for marketers, the RegReady Permission Curve can help to better understand the different types of permission marketers engage in and their overall effectiveness versus the complexity of access. Based on research from RegReady, a new startup that helps companies acquire marketing permission through community efforts, the “Permission Curve” they coined has four types of consumer permission that ultimately determine the degree to which marketing efforts are most successful.

Explicit Permission: When a customer or prospect directly and explicitly gives a company permission to market to them. Examples of this include when customers or prospects request product and service information, registration for special deals and incentives, newsletters, and alerts. This is the best and purest level of permission a customer or prospect can give. Explicit permission provides the greatest results but is usually the most complex to acquire.

Implied Permission: When a customer or prospect gives a company permission to market to them by their actions, such as completing a sweepstakes form, making a purchase, or through general website and product registrations. In its purest form, traditional marketing channels such as television, radio, and periodical advertising are based on implied permission. However, with digital channels, marketers need to be more aware of some of the negative repercussions of implied permission. Implied permission tends to deliver relatively good results as long as marketers align content and offers closely with the customer or prospect's implied action. An important thing marketers need to be acutely aware of with implied permission is that when it's acquired using incentives, its effectiveness is extremely diluted.

Secondary Permission: When a company, a customer, or prospect gives their permission to sell or rent their information for marketing purposes. Secondary permission is often included in list and data purchasing, lead mills, affiliate marketing, and list rentals. Secondary permission is usually incentivized by intermediaries, opaque to the prospect or customer, and is often abused by marketers. Secondary permission is relatively easy to acquire but yields marginal results compared to explicit and implicit permission. However, it has proven effective when reserved for unique markets and demographics.

No Permission: When a company tries to engage prospective customers without a prior relationship or affiliation. No permission is the premise of most direct mail, telemarketing, Web and mobile tracking, and is existent in some email marketing and list and data purchasing.

Applying the Permission Curve framework to one's marketing budget is a relatively easy exercise. Simply group the dollars to be spent according to the activities that match the permission descriptions. From there, compare the ROI of each activity. Your results, by the type of permission required for each marketing activity, should come close to the curve. By applying the RegReady Permission Curve, marketers will have another data point in their arsenal to better understand the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. More important, marketers now have a framework to find new and creative ways to acquire customers and prospects' permission.

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The Email Monetization Playbook
Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!

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Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!