That was the question I was asked while presenting at Georgia College and State University about permission-based marketing and preference management. It’s a great question and one that many marketing professionals are asking as well.
In fact, 850 million Facebook users already do. You see, when you setup a Facebook account, it asks you whether you would like to be notified when someone posts on your wall, how you would like to be notified such as by email or text message and how often. Those are preferences. And, when engaged consumers provide their preferences and marketers honor them, consumers respond.
In fact, earlier this year I was in the market for a new automobile. Like most consumers, I began my research by going online to research the cars in which I have an interest. One site offered to send product announcements, promotions and information on specific automobiles. Not only did I sign up for that relevant content, I anxiously opened those emails when I received them. That’s permission marketing.
Compare that with the reaction I have when I receive 50+ unsolicited and irrelevant emails per day. Every morning I start my day by mass deleting all the irrelevant email so that I can find the relevant ones. That’s called Interruption Marketing. Not only do I not read the emails, each day I build increasing amounts of animosity toward the companies who send them. Ultimately, I opt-out of receiving any and all future communications.
How do all the irrelevant communications get started?
They start based on innocent consumers asking to receive a newsletter, or buying a product or providing profile information. Then marketers predict what products or services that consumer may be interested in and they fire up the marketing machine. It’s called predictive analytics. Their prediction is wrong 98% of the time.
For example, just because I buy a blouse for my wife on our anniversary, doesn’t mean I have any interest in receiving information on women’s clothing in the future. I’m not that kind of guy! But how would they know that if they don’t ask?
Bottom line — if you want consumers to anxiously open your emails, give them the information they want on their terms. Just Ask!