Permission marketing is a term coined by marketing guru Seth Godin and describes is a marketing technique where permission is explicitly asked for to continue communication, such as to receive marketing or promotional offers.


By giving their email or other personal information, customers may consent to opt into that communication (such as newsletters, loyalty programs, Blogs, RSS feeds or SMS).

“permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal, and relevant messages to people who actually want them.”

Seth Godin

  • As the audience chooses to opt-in it is considered to be more effective because the user will be more open and receptive to the communication. This means higher engagement and conversion rates.
  • In turn, marketing to a captive audience is considered more likely to be more cost-effective and give you access to a better quality of customer data. As you are targeting those who already want to receive your marketing you can use lower-cost methods such as email for your promotional marketing. This produces a higher ROI.
  • It helps you stand out. When attention is in short supply, permission marketing can cut through the noise and allow you to create more targeted, personalized content that is less likely to be considered spam, junk, or is filtered out and ignored. It feels less invasive against the constant stream of messages that pop-up on a daily basis (see interruption marketing).
  • It allows you to build stronger, long term relationships with your customers rather than just one time sales.

How to run permission marketing campaigns

“Permission is like dating. You don’t start by asking for the sale at first impression. You earn the right, over time, bit by bit.” 

Seth Godin

A permission marketing campaign is about nurturing a long time relationship, one built on trust. It isn’t designed to create immediate results, rather its about creating repeat customers and building brand loyalty. 

1. Grab attention

Opt-in form formats tend to be a little dull and samey. By adding games and interactive elements into the sign-up process it makes it a lot more fun and exciting. 

This could be a quick game of chance such as spin the wheel or a scratch card, a game of skill such as a quiz or spot the difference, or perhaps user generated content such as a photo or video competition. 

A spin the wheel game offers a unique, and attention-grabbing way to introduce a sign-up form to your audience.

2. Give them what they want!

It is only polite that if someone is willing to part with their personal data, you offer them something in return! Consumers have shown a willingness to share personal data when there are clearly defined incentives.

  • Cash rewards — 99.6 %
  • Discounts — 89.3 %
  • Loyalty points for services and products — 65.2 %

Motivations such as a chance to win a prize, a discount against the next purchase, free postage, and packaging, or the opportunity to be the first to know about future product launches are a great way to reward your customers. The incentives offered should match the needs of your target audience. 

Consumers who purchase products through email spend 138% more than those that don’t receive email offers!

Rabbit Hill offers an incentive to play with a free case of wine and makes the sign-up process more interesting by using a quiz format.

According to GDPR rules implied consent is no longer sufficient. You must make it explicitly clear what users are signing up to, consent must be freely given, no boxes can be pre-ticked and it must be possible for customers to withdraw this consent at any time. Build consumer trust by making your process as easy and as transparent as possible.

“Consent under the GDPR must be a freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the individual’s wishes. There must be some form of clear affirmative action – or in other words, a positive opt-in – consent cannot be inferred from silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity. Consent must also be separate from other terms and conditions, and you will need to provide simple ways for people to withdraw consent. Public authorities and employers will need to take particular care to ensure that consent is freely given.” – ICO

For further information read How should we obtain, record and manage consent?

4. Send personalized, follow up campaigns and offers

Once you have secured your captive audience you can now start organizing your customer information.  Arrange your target market into segmented groups, rather than trying to target everyone individually. By matching the message to the right audience, you get people who are actively interested in what you are saying and will respond accordingly. It will be more effective as their time and energy will be spent looking at highly relevant content, rather than a generic campaign.

Click-throughs are 100.95% higher in segmented email campaigns, than non-segmented campaigns!

Use the data you have collecting to create personalized offers and relevant content. Here is a message I got today from Prezzo designed to capture my attention and make my stomach rumble!

Final thoughts

  • Permission marketing is not presumed, people have the right to ignore messages and opt-out.
  • Don’t steal time or attention, earn it!
  • Offer incentives that will attract your target audience.
  • Follow this up with personalized messages and content.
  • Don’t forget the welcome email,  on average, 320% more revenue is attributed to them on a per email basis than other promotional emails. 

About BeeLiked

BeeLiked offers companies an ever-growing portfolio of campaign types that are quick to create, with full design flexibility, performance tracking and data collection capabilities to ensure your campaign and promotion exceed all your expectations.

The BeeLiked Platform can help you engage and incentivize your audience and customers across their life-cycle and journey.

BeeLiked is on a mission to prove the ROI of interactive driven marketing. Click here to set up a no-obligation 10-minute discovery call.

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