Permission Marketing. Beyond buzz word, it's clearly the status quo for email and has long been debated as the future state of direct mail, too. Already legally mandated by data laws in other countries, opt-in marketing may evolve into the preferred model within the US as well.
With marketing channels of choice proliferating and messaging devices diversifying, it's not hard to imagine an opt-in vs. opt-out future where permissions are granted not only by marketing channel (email, postal mail, phone, RSS), but also by content, device, time, and place.
All the more reason to genuinely understand permission, which in the world of email marketing alone appears relegated to subjective definitions. We'll help set the record straight by exploring the first two of six dimensions of permission in this three-part series, "The Six Cs of Permission Email Marketing."
They may seem obvious, and they may sound simplistic, but you might be surprised how often the fundamentals are dismissed.
1. Conscious Consent
There are numerous ways individuals end up on email lists, and many of those ways are unknown even to them.
Terms like "affirmative consent," "passive consent," and "third-party consent" abound. But when it comes to genuine 100% permission marketing, the only consent that matters is conscious consent.
Are your join and subscribe invitations structured in such a way that list members must voluntarily take action to receive your messages, and do they realize the action they are taking will result in email from your company, partners, or affiliates? If you can't answer "yes" to these questions, your methods are not garnering conscious consent.
Karen Talavera heads Synchronicity Marketing and writes about how to successfully use email, social, and content marketing on the Enlightened Emarketing blog. You can also follow Karen on Twitter (@SyncMarketing) and Facebook for daily tips and links to emerging email and social media marketing trends, facts, and research.