Learn
Learn
Close

What is 'They Ask, You Answer'?

A revolutionary approach to driving more sales from your inbound marketing.

Learn MoreLearn More

Free Courses in IMPACT+

Dozens of sales, marketing, and content courses inside IMPACT+. Start learning now.

See all coursesSee all courses
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Services
Services
Close

Services Overview

See how you can dramatically increase your inbound leads and sales.

Services Overview

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Fast track your team’s success with IMPACT's most popular service.

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Web Design

Launch a beautiful website that consistently generates leads and revenue.

Web Design

Virtual Sales Training

Equip your sales team with comprehensive training designed to help them close more deals in today's virtual-first world.

Virtual Sales Training

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Train your company to take ownership of HubSpot and get the most out of your investment.

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Case Studies

See dozens of examples of companies succeeding with Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery and They Ask, You Answer.

Case Studies
Become a Certified Coach
Become a Certified Coach
Close

Permission Marketing: Seth Godin's Guide to "Dating" Your Customer

Permission Marketing: Seth Godin's Guide to "Dating" Your Customer Blog Feature

Ramona Sukhraj

Associate Director of Content, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K

September 14th, 2015 min read

permission-marketing-seth-godin-dating-your-customerWouldn't it be nice if your customers came to you, instead of having to chase them down?

In Seth Godin's book Permission Marketing, he shows you exactly how to accomplish that.

Traditional outbound, advertising methods, sometimes called "Interruption Marketing" aim to grab our attention away from something we're already doing.

Whether it be a TV commercial or a magazine ad, it interrupts what we were doing, in hopes that we'll be interested in the offer.

Permission Marketing, on the other hand, offers an opportunity for consumers to choose whether or not to be marketed to. 

Much like Inbound Marketing, it only targeting volunteers, Permission Marketing assures that the consumers pay more attention to the Marketing message.

It encourages consumers to engage in a long-standing, cooperative Marketing campaign rather than shoving its sales pitch into their faces.

Seth Godin Describes Permission Marketing as Dating Your Customer in Five Steps

  1. Offer the prospect an incentive to volunteer their contact information. (Convert)
  2. Once you've gained their attention, offer a curriculum over time, teaching them about your product or service. (Nurture)
  3. Reinforce the incentive by consistently providing value to guarantee that the prospect maintains their permission.
  4. Offer additional incentives to get even more permission from them. 
  5. Over time, leverage the permission to change consumer behavior toward profits. (Close)

As you can see, this is essentially the process of effective Inbound Marketing.

The Five Commandments of Permission Marketing

Godin outlines a set of five principles that you must follow, as a Permission Marketer, to be effective:

  1. As a Permission Marketer, you are a farmer and constantly need to work at harvesting your crop/customers. An Interruption Marketer is just a hunter and tries to kill something once with a single bullet.
  2. Permission is a process, not a single moment.
  3. Never breach the trust of your customer once they grant you permission to speak with them by selling their data to someone else.
  4. Frequency is always better than reach.
  5. Give a prospect a reason to pay attention –- you have to offer an explicit reward, information, education, entertainment, or even cold hard cash to get the customer to opt-in to the message.

Permission Marketing requires you to understand the buying process of your customers and to adjust your Marketing efforts around that, as opposed to expecting your persona to adjust around you.

The Five Levels of Permission Marketing

With the five commandments in hand, there are five levels of Permission Marketing you can then attempt. Seth Godin ranks them from least to most effective:

1. Situational Permission

This is a scenario where a lead provides their contact information and gives a business permission to assist them further.

Examples include:

  • Getting a quote for a service
  • Registering for a free webinar
  • Subscribing up to a newsletter
  • Signing up to receive a free report

At this point, the person is interested in what you have to offer, but they likely haven't made up their mind about making a purchase from you.

Most businesses that rely on Inbound Marketing for lead generation offer an incentive for leads to opt-in to their mailing list. Once they've joined your mailing list, you have permission to communicate with them further -- and if the incentive you offered was valuable enough, they will be interested in hearing more from you.

2. Brand Trust

Establishing brand trust takes time, but once you've accomplished this your customer gives you permission to regularly contact them and you will be their go-to source for the product or service you offer most of the time.

Marketing to your persona at this level is much easier than only having situational permission because you no longer have to win them over. However, that doesn't mean you can't lose their trust either. You still have to make an effort to keep their trust, but they will be more forgiving of little mistakes at this level.

It's all about keeping your customers happy and being as loyal to them as they are to you.

Keep Going!

In our full synopsis of Permission Marketing, we continue to go through Seth's "five levels" of Permission Marketing and how they can be applied to your Inbound initiatives and also share the 10 questions you should be asking when evaluatining your program. 

To view the full summary, click "continue reading" below. 

Want to learn more about digital sales and marketing?

Master digital sales and marketing when you join IMPACT+ for FREE. Gain instant access to exclusive courses and keynotes taught by Marcus Sheridan, Brian Halligan, Liz Moorehead, Ann Handley, David Cancel, Carina Duffy, Zach Basner, and more.

Sign up for free
Take a peek

Access hundreds of FREE courses and keynotes

Free Course
Digital Sales & Marketing Framework for Today’s Buyers
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
A New Way to Compete & Win
By: Brian Halligan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
How To Genuinely Feel Confident, Be Likable, And Build Trust On Camera
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Future of Marketing is Conversational​
By: David Cancel
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
HubSpot On a Budget: Getting Started with HubSpot Starter Hubs
By: Courtney Caldwell
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Assignment Selling: Content is Your Greatest Sales Tool
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Big, Bold, Brave New World of Marketing​
By: Ann Handley
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Investing in Incredible Digital Sales and Marketing Results
By: Chris Duprey
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
How To Show Your Content Makes Money With HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
The Visual Sale
By: Marcus Sheridan & Tyler Lessard
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Marketing Tech: What’s Now, What’s Near and What’s Not Anytime Soon?​
By: Dharmesh Shah
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Inbound Lead Generation & Conversion Optimization
By: Carina Duffy
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
Fundamentals of Videography: You Can Be a Great Videographer Too
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
The Ultimate Customer Service Toolkit for Any Budget
By: Andriti Gulati
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
6 Topics Subject Matter Experts Need to Address
By: Kevin Phillips
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Fanocracy: The Power of Making Business Personal​
By: David Meerman Scott
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Power of Pillar Content
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
SEO for the Future
By: Franco Valentino
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing
By: Stephanie Baiocchi
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
A Practical Guide To Video Graphics
By: Colton Trcic
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Session
How To Get Your Community To Know, Like, And Trust You With Video
By: Marki Lemons Rhyal
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Video Sales and Marketing Strategy
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Here Are Some Related Articles You May Find Interesting

Want to Contribute Content to impactplus.com? Click Here.

IMPACT+ Sign Up
A FREE online learning community with on-demand courses, hundreds of expert-led sessions, thousands of your peers ready to support you, and much more.
Check it out
The tools, education, and community you
need to master They Ask, You Answer.
Check it out
The tools, education, and community you need to master They Ask, You Answer.