Online Permission Marketing: “Only if you say so, or say ‘no’ as the case may be”

Nobody likes spam. But in today’s developed online world, we may never have to see spam ever again. Permission marketing is an online tool that involves a consumer giving ‘permission’ for an organization to distribute promotional material and readership. One of the main elements of permission marketing is the ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’ components that allow users to voluntarily choose to view and receive emails or vise versa, from a particular organisation.

But what makes permission marketing so avant-garde is that not only are consumers ‘pre-requesting’ promotional material, it is more cost affective and relevant for an organisation trying to minimize the marketing budget while maximising the likelihood of target market message delivery. In a world where information is overloaded into our computers and our brains everyday, relevant, specific and timely marketing techniques are a rare delight.

From a marketer’s point of view, permission marketing has the ability to help target consumers with advertising material that is directed at their needs and interests, which inevitably increases customer satisfaction and thus the increase in their brand loyalty. From a customer’s point of view, they are receiving relevant information that they will mostly likely read and may even act upon!

However, like all marketing strategies it is not fool proof. Online permission marketing does significantly reduce the extent of consumers exposed to campaigns and promotional material as many people may ‘opt-out’ before realising what they will be missing. Online permission marketing focuses on a ‘depth’ strategy over a ‘breadth’ strategy but many organisations are finding this to be a more effective and efficient way or targeting consumers.

Another issue with online permission marketing is ‘privacy’. Privacy has always been an issue associated with direct marketing, and although permission marketing reduces this, it does not eliminate it completely.  Some organisations can take advantage of users inattention, misunderstanding or simply their laziness and unfairly obtain consent to market to nearly every visitor to their site.

Also, users have often complained about feeling ‘trapped’ to a database or subscription list, which is one of the main reasons, they are hesitant to ‘opt in’ in the first place. It is extremely important for consumers who do want to ‘opt in’ to a marketing campaign, that they do feel like they have the freedom to unsubscribe if need be. This simple element will not only keep consumers happy, but may even encourage more users to ‘opt in’ as they know they have an out if they should need it.

A strong online permission marketing campaign is more than just a pretty email with a nice design. The automatic nature of this techniques means organisations must track and then evaluate consumer’s responses, in order to really understand whom their target market is. Knowing this type of detailed information can help organisations track the target audience and their responses’ and assist in tailoring future campaigns to better suit consumers needs and wants, leading to an increase in success rates.

Original Source: Return On Investment (ROI), Sciverse

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~ by ceciliafabian on October 18, 2010.

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