By Andrew Neitlich

Why Permission Marketing doesn’t go far enough

By Andrew Neitlich

In the last blog, Steven List posted a great reply referencing Seth Godin and his views on Permission Marketing (where people opt in or choose what information they receive). Take a look.

I believe however that even Seth Godin’s stuff is outdated at this point, not necessarily in theory but in the way most people are implementing it. Most people who use permission marketing:

– Capture prospect info thanks to some good articles on their website


– Send out information and offers via email

– Wait for prospects to become customers, while building value and trust

This is all good stuff, and important. However, it is already getting old. People are getting tired of giving out their email addresses. They know that as often as not they don’t really get value from newsletters, but rather too much spam.

So we professionals are in yet another pickle. We can go back to relying on good old fashioned referral-based marketing, which never fails. But how about if you want to dominate a national market?

I think that the solution is to take Permission Marketing up a notch. For instance, Sitepoint is an outstanding example of Permission Marketing at its best. It forms great community, gives out great content, and you can access most of it for free. And, at the same time, they do a great job reminding you about their various kits, even letting you download sample chapters (with strong follow up, of course).

For those looking to get wide exposure for their services, the Sitepoint model could be a good one to follow. Yes, they sell advertising and products, but a few savvy web designers and professionals could use their approach to create an amazing site for their specific community, and get more business than they can handle.

What do you think?

  • aneitlich

    Quick addendum before someone catches my omission:

    Of course, for services, other forms of Permission Marketing beyond virtual marketing include speaking, writing, publicity, etc. so that you become the go-to expert in your target market.

    But here I’m speaking specifically about using technology to market your services for you, while you do other things.

  • I believe certain markets for permission marketing are very crowded. The question is will it ever go the way of the pop-up.

    I don’t think so. Mail order catalogs are still alive and well. I still get 10 credit card applications in the mail every week.

    Right now I subscribe to several online cigar shop’s opt-in lists. Consistantly one company has been sending me lists of great deals week after week. What started as a small order from me has grown into $100+ of orders a month. In fact, their e-mail was so successful I had to cancel it because I was spending too much! (but I still check their site regularly)

  • Kim

    Yes using technology to market your services is the way to go, but as mentioned, leg work doesnt hurt either.

    I think avoiding pop-ups at all costs is a good idea. They are invasive and annoying.

    I found this article on web design and its effects on a site.
    I hope that you find it interesting.

  • drakke

    What has sitepoint done:

    1) identified a market that is reachable and sizable
    2) identified their interests
    3) provided information to capture their attention
    4) exploited this ‘channel’ to sell products/advertising

    They look simple but these are four difficult tasks.

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