Email Marketing:
Permission Before Promotion

Let's talk about email marketing and seeking permission before promotion... 

Having an ethical approach toward your audience helps you build trust and confidence.  Not taking them for granted, shows respect.

Maybe one of the first things your audience will see is an opt-in box when they arrive on your website. 

If that opt-in box asks for an email and nothing else. They may not notice there's no radio button asking for consent for their email to be used for promotions... For instance.

Although, GDPR in Europe (And CCPA in California) requires you to seek that permission now.

Some email marketers thought these regulations would impact their business, in a bad way. They add friction to the process, after all. And for those who were up to no good, it did.

But for those who realize their greatest asset is their audience, it has not made any difference.

For them, these regulations are a good thing.

They treat their audience with respect.
They seek permission to send promotional emails.

They have never taken their audience for granted. They have never carpet bombed them with promotional emails... Until they either buy or unsubscribe.

The latter was the old way of doing things.

When each person on your email list was worth a dollar. So if you had 10,000 people on your list, you could reckon on making $10000 every month.

In those days, marketers never asked. They took their audience for granted. They were just a source of income. Nothing else. The fact that someone had joined their email list was enough. It was open season. 

So let's go back to something I repeat over and over again.

Dean Jackson said...  

"In the first 90 days, 15 percent of your connections may do business with you. The rest, that's a full 85 percent, may do business with you over the next 18 months."

So four times the income comes after the first 90 days.

Attention is the most valuable asset that someone can give you. Treat it with due care and attention. If you do decide to play fast-and-loose with it, don't be surprised when folks leave you.

Your email sequences must be set up in a way that seeks permission before you send a promotion. They have to put their hands up and say, yes, I'm interested in this.

If you do, your open rates soar. They go from 2 or 3 percent to 70 or 80 percent because they want to know more about your promotion. They are far more likely to do business with you.

Here's what a client of mine, Dan, has to say...

"When I 'met' you back in October 2020, you were the only person who I had ever come across doing this.  You asked me, if  I was interested in a promotion you were running, the following week.

You said, I'm promoting the Story Inception Marketing Group. I'm going to send five e-mails next week talking about this. If you're interested, click here. 

You're the only person who's ever done that. I remember thinking...  That's a good way of doing it.

So I think people self-select and say they're interested.  You narrow your email list down to the people who are genuinely interested."

Dan's Right...

When you ask, you respect. You handle their attention with care. And you do not take advantage of them if they're not ready. You do not bother them about it, which is a good thing.

They are far more likely to stay on your list until they are ready to buy from you.

And if they don't, wait two months. Then send them an email out of courtesy to say I'm going to remove you from your email list.

They may never open it, but at least you know that you have handled the process in an ethical manner.

Ethically, remove them from your email list altogether.

I removed 100 people from m newsletter list last week because they hadn't opened a single one of them.

It may have made me feel good to have 10,000 people on my list but if they're not opening my emails, why keep them on my list?

You can extend the idea of permission before promotion into your thinking, your marketing strategy, and your social media...

I don't know whether it's happening to you, but it's happening to me almost every day on Facebook.

And it's increasingly annoying

People appear in my inbox...

"Blah blah blah. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about your business?"

They're asking for permission, in some way, but they are not being open about their motives.

You know what's going to happen.
They are going to pitch you on a 'Clarity Call', for sure.

If I was interested, I would be sending them a message saying...

 "Hey, I read this wonderful post on your timeline. What you said is amazing. Can you tell me more about how I can find out more about your business and what you do and how it works and so on?"

Waiting for somebody to come to you is a much more respectful way of working.  They come to you because they see you as an authority. They are attracted to you.

Being patient is key...

This is why I hate the conventional way of finding clients on Facebook.

The same tactics apply on LinkedIn and it is the wrong way round.

It's taught by so many conventional marketers, that there is now a movement against what is called 'Connect and Pitch'.

People are wise to it. It's just another of those marketing tactics that's got to die. 

They presume to appear in your inbox on Facebook or LinkedIn or even in your email inbox and start pitching you. They've now found it's a short-term win. That it is contrary to their long-term goals.

They require you to work every day. Do your best to improve performance incrementally. Not by taking shortcuts, hacks, and learning secret ways that last two minutes or three at best... 

But by marketing WITH their audience not AT them.

They haven't thought about the one question they should ask...

Which is...

"If I was treated this way, how would I feel?"

If the answer is NO. Don't do it.

Seek permission before you promote, then wait for a positive response.

If it doesn't come, it doesn't come.

Be happy that they still remain on your email list.

They will still open your emails and they still respond when you ask them because you took the trouble to ask. They are part of the 85% who may work with you one day. 

Maybe only a few people will opt-in

At least those people have said...

"I'm ready for it. Give me what you what you've got."

The others remain quiet and carry on with whatever they're doing, safe in the knowledge that they're not going to get carpet-bombed by emails they don't want.

The same thing applies to advertising.

If you're advertising on Facebook (or you're advertising on Google) and somebody clicks a link, they've shown some interest.

So you create a re-marketing audience and you start carpet bombing them with conversion Ads. That is disrespectful.

It is conventional marketing best practice but is disrespectful... Because you are not doing anything to nurture that person, to explain more to that person, to give them more insights. 

You're not trying to build a relationship with them.

You are just carpet bombing them.

And the more you do that, the more you burn the possible buyers in your small niche.

And the more likely it becomes that you will have to pivot some time soon and find another audience. 

Remember, the more expensive the product, the more they will want to know about you before they buy.  

That is what your Welcome series is for...

It should set out your values and beliefs so your new subscriber can get to know who they are dealing with.

That's what your nurturing sequence of Ads is for.

When it comes to advertising, they should receive one conversion Ad for every 3 to 5 nurturing Ads. 

Value-driven  Ads Show up in their News Feed looking as close to a natural post as possible.  They are going to read that and understand more about you and you. You are doing your best to build that relationship. 

Sometimes No call to action is more powerful than a call to action.  

So thank you for reading thus far. 

If you want to find out more about me, please check out this page


You don't need another secret tactic or hack that promises much but delivers little -- You need a clear people-focused digital marketing strategy which gives you the mindset and vision you need to succeed. Let's get started.


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