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The Ins and Outs of Permission Marketing

Any savvy businessperson knows that email has become an essential method of delivering marketing messages. Permission marketing, however, is a specific type of marketing aimed at communicating with customers who have already indicated an interest in your product by opting in via your website, Facebook page, or another vehicle.

Even though you may have “permission” to send marketing messages, there are some specific steps you should take to make your marketing strategy as productive as possible.

Pinpoint “WIIFM”

One of the first things that your customers will want to know is ‘what’s in it for me?’

Nearly 15 years ago, internet marketing pioneer Seth Godin said in Fast Company , "Consumers will grant a company permission to communicate only if they know what's in it for them.” So essentially it all comes down to rewarding consumers for paying attention to your message. Whether you offer industry tips, links to helpful information, discounts on products or services, or something else, consumers are all about getting something for letting you develop a relationship with them.

Build Your Target List

Building relationships with customers requires you to both hone in on who will bring you the most profit, as well as define those who are most likely to influence other customers. You want and NEED these people on your permission marketing target list.

In addition to attracting customers via your website and social media, there are other methods of building your target list. These include free online directories, trade show attendees, industry memberships, search engines etc.

Develop Your Pitch

Finally, to build strong relationships, consider what you would want if you were the customer. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Be prepared to address your customer’s needs and provide valuable information, instead of just scoring a sale. Once you’ve done that, regularly reinforce the benefit and purpose of the relationship every time you market to them.

Permission marketing doesn’t just give you permission to court relationships with your customers. It obligates you to interact with your customers in a more relevant and personalized way.

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