What is Permission Marketing? Can It Really Help Your Small Business Succeed?

 In Marketing, Marketing Approaches

When marketing a small business, trying to grab everybody’s attention all at the same time is a major mistake. It’s almost as if you’re sitting in a crowded coffee shop, shouting at all the people, “Buy my product.” Doesn’t sound very effective does it? Well, it can be, if someone there was already desperately searching for what you’re selling. But, when it comes to the overall majority, you’re simply going to make people mad. Permission marketing is a much more valuable approach.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to add value to the lives of your customers? That way, your advertising and marketing approach will be more of an asset than an annoying distraction.

Permission marketing allows your customers to accept your advertising for something free in return.

Permission marketing allows your customers to accept your advertising for something free in return.
Image Source: Paula Gabin

What is Permission Marketing?

American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker Seth Godin pegged the term Permission Marketing. So, what is Permission Marketing? It’s a marketing strategy that involves offering something of value in exchange for contact information from the customer. In other words, instead of shouting “Buy my product”, you’re simply saying, “You can have this for free.”

When you use disruptive tactics to reach your potential customers, this is what Seth Godin calls Interruption Marketing. It can be quite offensive to your target market. At some point, you need to be able to capture the attention of your target audience. That means that promotional messages must still be inserted in the audience’s path. In other words, you’ll still end up having to interrupt them.

Permission marketing is a much more popular approach these days, because it actually addresses the needs of your potential and current customers. Many small businesses give out free “stuff” in exchange for phone numbers and email addresses. Nowadays, you can find about as many Permission Marketing promos as your do traditional marketing approaches.

The Problem with Permission Marketing

Yet, there is one major problem with Permission Marketing:

Many of the people who give you their email addresses aren’t really interested in anything you have to offer. They simply want the free stuff you’re offering.

So, what’s the solution?

Become the “Go-To” Resource for Answers in Your Market Niche

When consumers have problems they need to solve, many look for a business to help them solve them… printer, plumber, caterer, electrician, mechanic, etc… However, there are many times when those same consumers are seeking actual answers… not just businesses. So, why not be that business that provides actual answers?

Read What is Coffee Shop Marketing? Is It Really an Effective Networking Approach?

Do you think Coffee Shop Marketing is effective for creating new customers?

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