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Permission Marketing

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Permission Marketing

Turning Strangers Into Friends and Friends Into Customers

Simon & Schuster,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

How do you get consumers to pay attention to your ads? Yahoo’s head of direct marketing says, “Just ask them.”

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Imagine how effective your marketing would be if you had individual relationships with all of your customers and each had agreed to receive your company’s advertising, either because they want the information or because they’ve been tempted by an incentive. Author Seth Godin makes this connection real, with the help of technology and he says you can do it, too. Godin argues that individualized "permission marketing" can break through the increasing clutter of traditional advertising, which he dubs "interruption marketing." The Internet is ideally suited to building this one-to-one relationship, he says. His engaging book provides a powerful case for this approach to marketing, which begins with getting the customer’s consent to receive frequent messages. Godin combines a historical overview and a discussion of advertising’s principles with a description of hands-on methods. getAbstract recommends his highly accessible book to marketing executives in any industry and especially to managers of Internet-dependent businesses.


Consumer Consent

The time it takes a consumer to pay real attention to a message is an increasingly scarce resource amid the Information Age’s glut of material and the modern clutter of advertising. "Permission Marketing" has the advantage of seeking the consumer’s permission to provide marketing information directly by establishing a dialogue or "interactive relationship."

The process begins when the marketer gains the consumer’s "consent to participate in the selling process." Consumers may give you this permission because they want to learn more about your product or service, or because you offer them a bonus, payment, entertainment or some other benefit for paying attention. You gain the advantage of an attentive customer and you save money. Employing this kind of direct marketing to reach consumers is more cost effective than using the traditional broadcast approach of "Interruption Marketing." This new approach promotes customer loyalty, since your marketing helps you learn more about your consumers and makes it easier for you to give customers what they want.

Today’s interactive technology makes such a relationship possible, since a company can now carry...

About the Author

Seth Godin  is the vice-president of direct marketing for Yahoo!, which purchased Yoyodyne, the company Godin founded. Yoyodyne was the first firm that created promotional and direct mail campaigns on line. Godin’s clients included AT&T, Carter-Wallace, H&R Block, Sprint and hundreds of other companies. He previously worked as a brand manager at Spinnaker Software, which developed the first generation of multimedia products.

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