In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to betray the trust of your audience, whether intentionally or by mistake. It can be done by sending an email blast to an ancient email list, borrowing contact information from another business or serving ads to a targeted list that never opted in to begin with. The scenarios are endless, but those are some common oversights made by marketers regularly

If you’re unfamiliar with it, permission-based marketing is the concept that you must get permission before you contact someone and, more specifically, permission to contact them for marketing purposes. It is a philosophy of complete transparency, and it’s a great one. While it may seem like just another barrier working against you, think of it like this; you wouldn’t walk into someone’s home unannounced, and you shouldn’t try to get into their email or text inboxes either. In a way, these are the “digital homes” of your customers and future customers. They should be respected accordingly.

While it may seem innocent enough and even tempting to stretch the definition of permission by just a bit, it only harms your business in the long run and gets you further away from your goals. Here are five reasons to stick with permission-based marketing as part of an effective marketing strategy.

You will get better results: Great relationships take time, and that includes relationships between businesses and their customers. When you lay a solid foundation of trust by asking for permission and honoring processes like opt-in forms, you are reinforcing this sense of trust. When people ask to hear from you, they listen even more intently to what you have to say and that will drive long-lasting results.

Trust is fragile: Have you ever heard the quote, “It takes years to build trust, seconds to destroy it and forever to repair?” That couldn’t ring more true here. If someone hasn’t come to your business through the proper channels and you use their information before you have permission to do so, you may lose a potential customer before you ever had the chance to earn their loyalty the right way.

Align with your brand’s values: If you’re feeling uncertain about whether or not you should contact a list of people that are in the gray area, give yourself a gut check and realign with your brand’s core values. Usually, if you’re even questioning if something is a good idea or not, it’s probably a sign to hold off.

Violations are costly: Aside from the ethical issues surrounding the use of data, there are actual laws in place to prevent misuse of data. The CAN-SPAM Act regulates email specifically and some states have strict enforcements that oversee privacy practices, such as California’s California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Depending on the size of violations, they can result in hefty fines that could take a long time to recover from.

It’s the human thing to do: When you’re not wearing your business hat, you are a human, just like the people you’re contacting. More than likely, you don’t want your own inboxes cluttered up with communications from businesses that you have no interest in. It can be easy to lose sight when you’re in the trenches of a campaign but don’t forget that the faceless email addresses and phone numbers are humans just like you.

Wading through the regulations and best practices of email marketing can make even the most well-meaning of business owners feel a little unsure. Our team is here to help you market confidently and effectively. Contact us for a free one-hour consultation.

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