“All Marketers are Liars” – Seth Godin speaks at Google
Permission marketing is a marketing strategy that was first described by Seth Godin in a book of the same title. Instead of blasting out mass advertising campaigns, marketers focus on building a relationship of trust with people who give their permission to be contacted. A typical online example of giving permission would be when someone “opts in” to a newsletter list.
There are a number of different permission marketing strategies that are currently being used and they range greatly in terms of focus. On one end of the scale is a deep-and-narrow approach and on the other is a very broad-but-shallow approach.
Here is a closer look at exactly what this means and how you can benefit from either approach.
In terms of permission marketing, some companies take an approach that emphasizes depth. With these strategies, it is more than just getting someone to sign up for a mailing list. Normally, once a person has signed up for the list, the company will send out a survey to gauge their new reader’s interests.
For example, if the list is related to health, then the survey would narrow down the interests to more tightly defined niche markets such as nutrition, supplements, exercise, losing weight, training for a marathon, etc.
On the other hand, an approach that emphasizes breadth would simply provide general newsletters and information that would cover a variety of health related topics.
Both of these strategies have proven to be effective, it is all of matter of which strategies you choose to implement.
Benefits of Depth
There are several benefits to really narrowing the focus of your promotions based upon the feedback of your list members.
The biggest benefit is that you can send hyper-targeted promotions to very tightly defined niche markets. That will not only keep your target audience happy, but it also tends to have a very high conversion rate. Because your ads are hyper-targeted, you will probably be able to be very successful with a much smaller list.
Another benefit of staying so focused in your promotions is that it is easier to build an individual relationship with each person on your list.
Benefits of Breadth
Using a strategy that focuses much more broadly has its benefits too.
The biggest benefit is that your list members don’t expect every promotion or piece of content to be a primary interest of theirs In fact, you can benefit from this because well written content can get your list members interested in other areas as well, which means that you can promote additional products that would not be well received by a hyper-targeted list.
One of the most common potential problems is that in order for these lists to generate consistent income, the total number of list members will likely need to be much higher than if you used a hyper-targeted list.
In the end, both of these strategies have proven effective time and time again. The big question is which strategy best fits your style of promotion as well as your goals.
For example, if you are building a list solely to launch your new product, then a hyper-targeted list is going to benefit you the most because they will all be interested in your specific product.
On the other hand, if you are an affiliate and want some leeway within a niche, a list with members who have broader interests within the niche would be more beneficial.