Permission marketing

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1995 permission marketing example outside the internet: a business reply card as the final page of a book

Permission marketing is a term popularized by Seth Godin[1] (but found earlier [2]) used in marketing in general and e-marketing specifically. The undesirable opposite of permission marketing is interruption marketing. Marketers obtain permission before advancing to the next step in the purchasing process. For example, they ask permission to send email newsletters to prospective customers.[3] It is mostly used by online marketers, notably email marketers and search marketers, as well as certain direct marketers who send a catalog in response to a request.

This form of marketing requires that the prospective customer has either given explicit permission for the marketer to send their promotional message (like an email or catalog request) or implicit permission (like querying a search engine). This can be either via an online email opt-in form or by using search engines, which implies a request for information which can include that of a commercial nature. To illustrate, consider someone who searches for "buy shoes." Online shoe stores have searchers' permission to make an offer that solves their shoe problem.[citation needed]

Marketers feel that this is a more efficient use of their resources because the offers are sent to people only if actually interested in the product.[4] This is one technique used by marketers that have a personal marketing orientation. Marketers feel that marketing should be done on a one-to-one basis rather than using broad aggregated concepts like market segment or target market.

In the United Kingdom, an opt-in has been required for email marketing, under The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 since 11 December 2003.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Godin, Seth (1999). Permission Marketing: turning strangers into friends, and friends into customers. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-85636-0. 
  2. ^ "permission marketing." OED Online. Third Edition, December 2005. Oxford University Press. Accessed 29 March 2011
  3. ^ Scott, David Meerman (2007). The new rules of marketing and PR how to use news releases, blogs, podcasts, viral marketing and online media to reach your buyers directly. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-470-11345-5. "...if you're asking for someone's e-mail address ... you must provide something equally valuable in return." 
  4. ^ A Comprehensive Analysis of Permission Marketing


  • "Seth Godin: Agent of Change". Retrieved May 5, 2009.  – official site
  • Vyas Chaitanya, and Dave Darshana, Permission Marketing: Awareness, Perceptions, and Preferences in Gujarat, (a published thesis), LAP Lambert Academic Publi., Germany, 2012, ISBN 978-3-8473-3606-8