Permission Marketing

Permission marketing is a type of advertising in which the people who are supposed to see the ads can choose whether or not to get them. This marketing type is becoming quite popular in digital marketing these days. Seth Godin first introduced the concept of permission marketing in his book “Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends, And Friends Into Customers.”


Permission marketing allows consumers to choose whether or not to be subjected to marketing. This choice can result in better engagement. For example, consumers are more likely to open an email marketing message if they “Double opt-in” than a regular “single opt-in.” By targeting volunteers, permission marketing improves the odds that consumers pay more attention to the marketing message. Permission marketing thus encourages consumers to engage in a long-standing, cooperative marketing campaign.

  • Cost-efficiency: Permission marketing employs low cost online tools – social media, search engine optimization, e-mails, etc. Furthermore, businesses can lower their marketing costs by only marketing to consumers who have expressed an interest.
  • High conversion rate: As the targeting audience has expressed an interest in the product, it is easier to convert the leads into sales.
  • Personalization: Permission marketing allows businesses to run personalized campaigns; it allows them to target specific audiences according to their age, gender, geographical location, etc.
  • Long-term relationships with customers: Through the usage of social media and e-mails, businesses can interact and build long-term relationships with customers.
  • Marketing reputation: Permission marketing only sends information to those anticipating the information. Therefore, prospects who receive the information feel less discomfort.


There are five levels of permission in permission marketing. These “levels” measure the degree of permission a consumer has granted to a specific business. At each successive level of the permission framework, the business achieves a higher efficiency state, with a decrease in marketing cost. Thus, businesses usually aim to achieve the “intravenous permission” level. However, the five levels of permission should not be considered a necessary sequential process, as more than one level could apply simultaneously depending on the nature of the business.

  • Situational permission: The prospect permits the business to come into contact by providing their personal information.
  • Brand trust: The prospect permits the business to continue supplying its needs.
  • Personal relationship: The prospect’s permission is granted because of a personal relationship that he/she has with someone in the provider organization.
  • Point’s permission: At this stage, the customer has agreed to receive goods or services and has allowed the business to collect their personal data. This is usually because they are given incentives, such as exchangeable points or an opportunity to earn a prize.
  • Intravenous permission: The supplier has now taken over the supply function for a specific good or a service; the customer is completely dependent on the business. This is the highest level of permission. The marketer who has taken over the intravenous permission will be making the buying decisions on behalf of their Customers.

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