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Get and Keep Customer Attention with Permission Marketing

Get and Keep Customer Attention with Permission Marketing

1999 is forever ago in internet years. But, I need you to take a trip with me back to that time to rediscover something that far too many businesses have forgotten. 1999 is when the book, Permission Marketing, came out. Back then, Seth Godin popularized the idea of using the internet for good. He opined about how we could deliver messages that mattered to customers. Instead of interrupting them with a TV commercial, you could send them an email that they asked for. One is ignored. The other is read end to end. Marketers were hooked. Everyone started using permission marketing. Over time, however, people started taking shortcuts. Permission became “permission”, and messages that mattered became the email version of a TV commercial interrupting your inbox. Today, many businesses are as dismayed as they were in 1999. How do you get customers to pay attention? The answer is as simple as it was back then. But, permission marketing is actually hard. If you’ve heard of permission marketing, odds are you think that you’ve tried it or are even doing it right now. Let’s take a look at what permission marketing really is and see how retailers can use it to great success.

Anticipated, Personal, and Relevant

That’s it in a nutshell. Seth Godin taught us that when you send a message to a customer that’s anticipated, personal, and relevant you get to keep their attention. Here’s a practical application of this principle.


Let’s say I’m a 20 something in a serious relationship and entering the market for engagement rings. I check out my local jeweler’s engagement rings page and see this message: “Getting engaged? We’ve got you covered. Sign up for our 5 part email series, and find out the top tips from our customers.” I put in my name and email address and sign up. I get the emails. After that, I get a message thanking me and asking if I’d like to sign up for their weekly newsletter for discounts and store updates. I’ve enjoyed the series. Any discount on a ring is good for me. I’ll sign up.

Opportunity Squandered

You may be wondering why the jeweler would ask me to sign up for their newsletter. They already have my email address. The reason is that I didn’t sign up for their newsletter. I signed up for five emails about tips from their customers. Even if I expected them to just send me their marketing emails anyway, it’s not something that I’m anticipating. Cutting corners in permission marketing has turned it into a less effective way of keeping your customers’ attention. This makes true permission marketing much, much harder, but also much more rewarding.

The Road Less Traveled

You don’t need permission marketing to be successful. You can provide ads with good targeting on both traditional media and Facebook. That’s relevant marketing. You can even get them right when they’re looking for your engagement rings by targeting keywords on Google. That’s relevant also. But, if you want your message to be anticipated and personal in addition to being relevant, permission marketing through email is your best bet. Building a list of people who look forward to your emails takes a lot of time and effort and is particularly difficult in today’s world. But, it’s a flywheel. Once it gets going and working well, your email list becomes a powerful place to sell products because people are paying attention. That’s why here at Fruchtman Marketing we’ve been developing new approaches for our clients to send more personal and relevant emails. We’ve been working on everything from great content emails to informative and useful guides for people entering the engagement ring market. This “road less traveled” is the perfect supplement to any jeweler’s marketing plan and we’re excited to dive deeper into it in the coming months and into 2018. Interested in joining our clients in the adventure? Let us know at
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