Control as an aspect of permission has everything to do with offering your audience members control and nothing to do with trying to control them.
Control as a dimension of your email program means that you put your list members in the driver's seat, allowing them control over their communication choices, access to and use of their data, and even the ultimate control to broaden, narrow, or end their relationship with you.
Your target audience will truly be in control if you not only present them options for selecting but also allow them to change their preferences regarding the following:
- The types of communications they receive from you (alerts, reminders, announcements, offers, news, legal, etc.)
- The channels by which they receive different communications
- The data they've provided about themselves
- The extent to which marketing permission as well as data (especially the email address) is shared with parent companies, sister brands, partners, and third-party advertisers
- How their data is used
- When and how they can leave a communication stream
- When and how they can opt out of previous choices
Restricting control and access to choice is a hallmark of not only spam but also poorly run affiliate-marketing programs. And while many marketers may find it operationally difficult to allow all the points of control listed above, those who offer control where they can will find that their members and customers reward them not merely with appreciation but, more valuably, with loyalty.
The final step in any permission marketing process is confirmation.
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.