Permission Marketing Chapter 11 – Evaluating a Permission Marketing Program
By Optism Team, Dec 8, 2011
Optism provides permission-based, mobile marketing services. Providing the opportunity for mobile subscribers to opt-in to advertising messages based on their preferences is the core tenant of our service. Our blog series Permission Marketing in the News has been highlighting mobile and other permission marketing news for the past year. The leading proponent of permission marketing is Seth Godin who coined the term in his book Permission Marketing in 1999. To celebrate our one year anniversary, we are running a series of blog posts summarizing his book chapter by chapter and analyzing how changes in the mobile and advertising marketplace have impacted the recommendations in his book.
In Chapter 11, Seth looks at the “ten questions to ask when evaluating any marketing program:
- What’s the bait?
- What does an incremental permission cost?
- How deep is the permission that is granted?
- How much does incremental frequency cost?
- What’s the active response rate to communications?
- What are the issues regarding compression?
- Is the company treating the permission as an asset?
- How is the permission being leveraged?
- How is the permission level being increased?
- What is the expected lifetime of one permission?
All of these questions merit attention, but we’re going to focus in on a few key ones that are highly relevant for a permission-based mobile marketing campaign.
What’s the bait?
Seth makes it very clear that you must offer people a reward in exchange for raising their hands and providing you with their permission. After all, they are giving you something very valuable – their attention. This is one area where creativity can really pay off. Seth tells us, “marketers that offer better bait with a more obvious benefit will always attract more consumers that their competition.” He also advises marketers to choose a bait that “resonates with the product or service you offer.” That way, you’ll be more likely to attract people who will be genuinely interested in your offering.
We’ve written in the past about offering compelling bait as part of our blog on opt-in best practices. We’ve also provided advice on incentives in our blog on getting down to business with conversational advertising.
We agree wholeheartedly with Seth, the bait doesn’t have to be a prize. “It could be a coupon, information about an interesting subject, entertainment, or membership to a privileged group.” At Optism, we often discourage brands from using flashy prizes for opt-ins. That strategy tends to attract people who aren’t really interested in your messages, they’re simply interested in the prize. You want to invest your time and energy with people who are genuinely interested in the kind of products and services you offer.
Honor the permission being granted
Seth warns marketers to respect the level of permission granted. “If someone gives you the right to send him a catalog, that’s all he’s given you. Being overt about exactly what the consumer can expect ensures that there will be no misunderstandings and no canceled permissions.”
At Optism, we fully endorse this sentiment. Mobiles are very personal. People must feel confident that they are in control of what they experience on their mobiles and transparency about what you are doing with their permission or information is paramount.
Increasing permission levels by building trust
Seth writes, “Without proper care, the permission will fade. But by focusing on how to earn more and more trust…the marketer can increase the permission, making it a more valuable asset over time.” This is very true with mobile marketing as well. It’s important to stay engaged with people over time. Mobile marketing is ideally suited to a conversational style of engagement with people, one in which you keep in contact and gradually learn more about each other and build trust over time.
People have a very personal relationship with their mobiles, so you need to approach them in a very human way. In a recent Mobile Marketing Association webinar, “Thinking Human: How to Optimize and Sustain Consumer Engagement” Optism’s Mihai Vlad explores how you can use a human touch to demonstrate that your content is worth paying attention to. You can access the archive of this webinar through the MMA’s website and a copy of the presentation on Slideshare.
Aiming for longevity
As Seth points out, the level of effort that goes into getting someone’s permission should be tempered by the anticipated lifespan of the permission. “If permission is transient…the amount the marketer is willing to invest should be less than it would be when the permission can last for a very long time.”
With permission mobile marketing, you can open a communication channel that stays open indefinitely. If you keep up your end of the bargain, there’s no reason for the permission to end. Deliver content that is relevant and of value to your message recipients. Listen to what people tell you and pay close attention to their feedback, so you can continually refine your offerings to suit their preferences. Respect their wishes in terms of how you communicate, the frequency of messages, preferred language, and so on. Make sure you continue to merit their trust by safeguarding the information they have shared with you and – by now it should go without saying – never, ever sell, trade or in any other way abuse the permission you have been granted. For more advice on how to stay engaged with people, check out “Keeping the conversation going in permission mobile marketing.”
In Chapter 12, we’ll take a final look at permission marketing by considering the FAQs Seth has listed.