Permission marketing

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Permission marketing is a term coined by Seth Godin[1] used in marketing in general and e-marketing specifically. The undesirable opposite of permission marketing is interruption marketing. Marketers obtain permission before advancing to the next step in the purchasing process. For example, they ask permission to send email newsletters to prospective customers[2]. It is mostly used by online marketers, notably email marketers and search marketers, as well as certain direct marketers who send a catalog in response to a request.

This form of marketing requires that the prospective customer has either obtained explicit permission to send their promotional message (e.g. an email or catalog request) or implicit permission (e.g. querying a search engine). This can be either via an online email opt-in form or by using search engines, which implies a request for information which can include that of a commercial nature. To illustrate, consider someone who searches for "buy shoes." Online shoe stores have the searchers' permission to make an offer that solves their shoe problem.

Marketers feel that this is a more efficient use of their resources because the offers are only sent to people that are actually interested in the product. This is one technique used by marketers that has a personal marketing orientation. They feel that marketing should be done on a one-to-one basis rather than using broad aggregated concepts like market segment or target market.

In the United Kingdom, an opt-in is required for email marketing, under The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. This came into force on the 11 December 2003.


  1. Godin, Seth (1999). Permission Marketing: turning strangers into friends, and friends into customers. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-85636-0. 
  2. Scott, David Meerman (2007). The new rules of marketing and PR how to use news releases, blogs, podcasts, viral marketing and online media to reach your buyers directly. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley & Sons, Inc.. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-470-11345-5. "...if you're asking for someone's e-mail address ... you must provide something equally valuable in return." 


See also

ar:تسويق بالإذن

de:Permission Marketing fr:Permission marketing gl:Permission marketing pl:Permission marketing ru:Доверительный маркетинг sv:Permission marketing

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