Both the regulatory environment and technology advancements have made "Permission base Marketing" as a prerequisite for email marketing communication. While the compliance requirements increase the costs, technology advances have helped the users and the service providers designate the emails as SPAM or junk. Even if the emails are delivered to the email boxes, the users many not open or read the same.
The term 'Permission Marketing' was popularized by the modern marketing guru Seth Godin. The concept is applicable not only to e-marketing but also for traditional marketing. However it is the most important factor in email based marketing because of the regulations and low cost of communication (per piece). His concepts of 'Viral Marketing' works in tandem with the permission marketing.
While sending emails, the marketer has to make sure that the permission was obtained "explicitly" and not derived. The following approaches are used in email marketing for obtaining permission (from the subscribers, users or prospects).
- Opt-out - In this approach when a subscriber's permission taken as granted, unless he / she explicitly opts-out of the list. This is the least preferred approach. However the list volume may be high.
- Opt-in - In this approach, the subscriber has to opt-in explicitly. By default, opt-out is assumed.
- Confirmed Opt-in or Double Opt-in - In this case, when the user opts-in (using a sign up form), an email is sent to the email address specified and a rely confirmation is solicited to confirm the participation. This is the safe and preferred approach. However the list volume may be low because of the long process involved.
- Unsubscribe Provision - When there is provision for easy and quick Unsubscribing from the list, there is a fair chance that the user will feel comfortable while opting into the email list. Also, this process helps maintain the lists clean, live and up-to-date.
Also refer the List Management Practices section on related discussion.
Please note that the "permission" handling may be different in B2C (Business to Consumer) and B2B (Business to Business) scenarios. In the case of B2B, generally there is a long term relation between the sender and recipient. Even in these cases, it is essential to make the permission rules clear to the prospects / customers upfront.
Another gray area in the B2B segment is the "extent of permission" granted by the users. If a prospect signup with a division of the corporation (which provide one particular service or product line), can the company assume that the permission is granted for the entire organization? Hence it is essential to segregate the permissions to the business unit or product line level, though the database could be maintained in a centralized application. This would be very helpful if the customer requests an unsubscribe from one particular news letter or service offered by one division.
LeadPro 24|7 solution can be configured to handle the permissions and unsubscribes (opt outs) at global level or campaign (local) level depending on the specific business requirements.
Please download a copy of LeadPro 24|7 Email Marketing and Lead Management solution data sheet in PDF format.