I came across a suggestion to read Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers by Seth Godin when perusing a list of 25 marketing books recommended by fellow marketer Neil Patel. Written in 1999, parts of this book read like a time capsule when Amazon only sold books, and AOL was the portal to the entirety of the web. However, despite being written decades ago, the concepts presented in the book are just as relevant today, if not more so.
Overall, Permission Marketing is an excellent resource for those looking to gain a better understanding of how to market their product or service effectively. With the right strategies and tactics in place, it can help you create stronger lead-nurturing campaigns that will increase conversions and customer loyalty. Seth Godin has provided an insightful guide that includes seven tips for improving your marketing skills, which can help you get more customers to say yes to your products or services.
A key metaphor within Permission Marketing is to treat your customers like someone you would date. You wouldn’t rush into the first date and propose marriage, would you? Of course not; you might not even consider the “date” as the place to start any relationship. Let’s go back all the way up to the initial interaction, the first impression, and the kickoff conversation; how did that go?
You have to slowly build a relationship with your customers. Just like someone you would date, there is a subconscious demonstration of value and the building of trust. In terms of marketing, Seth Godin feels that many marketers rush the ask for a sale and should focus more on small steps that build trust over time, ultimately leading to a more profitable and sustainable relationship between the marketer and the audience.
Who is Seth Godin?
Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker. He is the founder of Yoyodyne Entertainment, a company that pioneered the concept of Permission Marketing over 20 years ago. Permission Marketing is a term that Seth Godin coined to describe a new way of marketing that focuses on getting people to say yes to you and your product or service.
Since writing Permission Marketing, Seth has become a well-known, respected thought leader in the digital marketing space. His books and articles have been widely read, and his speaking engagements cover topics such as Permission Marketing, lead-nurturing campaigns, and more. Seth Godin has written some of the bestselling books in marketing and is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to succeed in today’s digital marketing landscape.
What Is Permission Marketing and Why Is It Important?
“Permission Marketing” is a phrase that Seth Godin coined to describe a new way of marketing that focuses on getting people to say yes to you and your product or service. It’s important because it allows businesses to focus on building relationships with their customers, rather than chasing them down. Permission marketing requires a shift in thinking, as it relies on trust and credibility rather than traditional advertising methods.
“Creating value through interaction is far more important than solving a consumer’s problem in thirty seconds.”Seth Godin, Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers
What does this mean in practical terms? It means that you should be focused primarily on giving something of value to the customer, and asking for a little bit back. For example, you can create educational content on a blog and then ask for the reader’s email address in exchange for receiving similar posts in the future, delivered to their inbox. Already we’re assuming that your blog post is high-quality to build trust for that second step, signing up for the newsletter.
Now you have the opportunity to continue to demonstrate value to the target audience. Eventually, you will be positioned to recommend a purchase, and you will already be a trusted authority in the customer’s mind, making the transaction an easier decision for them.
It’s Not About the Close
As I read Permission Marketing, I started thinking that the old model of thinking of a transaction as a deal that leads up to a definitive close, and how it might be a bit single-minded. Even the term close gives a sense of finality, of the transaction being complete…time to move on. With permission marketing, the goal is to build trust one step at a time, so in a way, you lead the customer through various “asks”:
- To click on your article in the search results
- To read the article enough to gain value
- To trust the author with a bit of personal information in exchange for more value (email address for a newsletter, etc.)
- To continue to engage with your content as you email it out
- To make a small purchase, sign up for a free trial, or subscribe to the “starter” package
Suppose your product offering is set up to upsell your customer. In that case, your requests continue and include encouraging ongoing use of your product and purchasing other products or higher tiers of your service.
The Seven Tips for Permission Marketing Success
In Permission Marketing, Seth Godin provides seven tips for success:
- Give something away for free: This can be a helpful way to introduce people to your product or service and get them interested in what you offer.
- Offer something of value: When you give people something of value, they’re more likely to want to learn more about what you offer.
- Connect with people one-on-one: Personal connections are essential for building trust and credibility with potential customers.
- Use the power of words: Words are a powerful tool for getting people interested in what you offer.
- Segment your audience: It’s essential to target your marketing efforts towards specific groups of people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
- Nurture leads over time: Lead nurturing is an essential part of Permission Marketing – it helps you build relationships with potential customers and increase conversions.
- Measure results and adjust your strategy: It’s essential to track the results of your Permission Marketing campaigns and make adjustments based on what you learn.
The final step is perhaps the most important because marketing strategies rarely smash hits on their first iteration. With A/B testing or running multiple experiments at a time, the process of lead nurturing is honed and maximized for optimal results.
How Permission Marketing can help your business
Permission marketing is a great way to build relationships with potential customers and increase conversions. It allows you to target specific groups of people who are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer, and it also helps establish trust and credibility with those customers. Permission marketing also requires less upfront investment than traditional advertising methods, as it’s generally more cost-effective to focus on building relationships with a smaller group of people. Once you have built up a loyal fan base, you can continue to sell products to them over a longer period.
“Frequency led to awareness, awareness to familiarity, and familiarity to trust. And trust, almost without exception, leads to profit.”Seth Godin, Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers
Case Studies of Permission Marketing in Action
To demonstrate the effectiveness of permission marketing, Seth Godin provides case studies from successful companies such as MailChimp, Square, and Dropbox. These case studies showcase how permission marketing can help businesses generate more leads, increase conversions, and build relationships with customers.
Though the examples are from company scenarios that might no longer be relevant, it is surprising how applicable the case studies are to today’s internet landscape.
“The most trusted brand is also the most profitable.”Seth Godin, Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers
Permission Marketing was a relatively novel concept at the time of publication, but the book has clearly gained traction in the digital marketing space and has influenced some of the most successful digital marketing campaigns to date. As technology continues to evolve and businesses become more customer-focused, Permission Marketing will continue to be even more relevant. It’s important for businesses to understand the principles behind permission marketing and how it can help them succeed in today’s competitive digital landscape.
Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to succeed in today’s digital marketing landscape. Permission marketing allows businesses to build relationships with potential customers and increase conversions, and the seven tips Seth provides are a great starting point for any business wanting to incorporate permission marketing into their strategy. With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, permission marketing will likely become even more important in the future. Businesses that are able to leverage this strategy now will be well-positioned for success in the years to come.