As a business owner trying to grow your business you are undoubtedly working with permissions. Those permissions come in the form of every allowed or expected communication you have with your clients or potential clients. If a telemarketer asks a person to participate in a survey and they say yes, that’s a permission. If a person stops in front of a booth at a fair to watch a demonstration, that’s a form of permission too.
Online businesses succeed by getting permission and then continue to try and get more. And it’s important to acknowledge why they are always seeking more because most small businesses make the mistake of thinking they don’t need to. There isn’t really a generic or all-encompassing form of permission when it comes to online marketing. Success is created out of the sum of permissions granted by a prospective client.
I can tell you that growing your audience (and most significantly in the form of an email list) is incredibly important these days and it shows no sign of changing for a long while. There is a huge benefit to having a list of hundreds or thousands of people who are interested in what you have to say and offer, because you don’t have to buy ads to try and reach them every time. They are yours to communicate with, offer value to, and share things with. But they are yours only if they choose to stay that way, because they can always opt-out.
Building your list could have been accomplished many ways. Maybe you had an online event or a lead magnet that you pushed traffic to, they interacted with that and were added to your list. Whichever way they entered your list, you did get a permission. But this is the most important part, you only got ONE permission. Whatever it is that you offered in exchange for that email address is what you got permission to deliver. Anything more or less does not go over well.
Here is a good example.
A person signs up for a lead magnet for a free eBook (only). The transaction is completed but then they are sent emails on the latest product launch. This is a huge mistake. The terms were for the book and anything beyond that is overreaching because you really didn’t have permission.
It may seem socially acceptable, and in most areas of the world its legal. But the most successful people have always made sure they didn’t over reach without permission. If they offered a newsletter about the latest products and promotions, then they have permission to do so and it’s going to be expected. There are simple ways to overcome the problem of needing additional permissions.
One way is to make sure there is language on the opt in page or confirmation page that states what other communications they have signed up to receive from you. This way they are aware and should not be confused as to why you are sending them something. (If you’re in Europe or the UK then to be GDPR compliant you are required to have this clearly stated at the time of signup/registration to your list, in Canada and the US, this is not yet law.)
The most successful businesses take this more seriously because getting permission is about trust. And if there is one area of business that needs a lot of trust it is online business.
Successful entrepreneurs and businesses connect with their audience with ONLY what they are primarily given permission for. When they have made the mistake of marketing to their audience outside those conditions, they have elevated the risk of that person opting out. What they do to avoid all this is to create a communication plan – some people call it a funnel. But the main point of the plan to utilize you existing permission to get more permission.
If people don’t want to give you more permission, you should be ok with that too. You would not want to continue following up with a person via email marketing when they want nothing from you. Having a list of people with the correct permissions will give you much more accurate data and results. If you have the correct permissions, your results will likely look better because they are more accurate.
Here are a few points to remember when you are getting and using permissions.
- Whatever you have offered to get their permission, deliver it and only that one thing.
- If you want to add additional content over what you promised to make sure it’s not in addition to the expected delivery. In other words, put it in the body of the one email instead of sending separate ones.
- Do not promote to those who didn’t sign up for it. Get permission first, ask if they are interested.
- Take gradually steps for permissions. Don’t ask for a lot up front, people are a bit skittish with that. Start with email delivery a lead magnet, then ask if they would like to get be on your invitation list for online events, then maybe product launches. Incremental but pace yourself.
There is much more to this and it always helps to get someone to support you with this when you first start getting permissions. But if you can follow these basic points you should put yourself in a position of trust with your audience that will truly pay off in the long run.
Thanks for reading my 4th Complimentary Coaching post. I hope it shed some light on some of the finer but important points about email marketing and getting permissions.