Why Marketing Automation Has To Count On Permission Marketing To Be Effective

Why Marketing Automation Has To Count On Permission Marketing To Be Effective

18 years back in the year 1999, when Google, Amazon were taking baby steps to become the giant companies they are today, Seth Godin coined the term ‘Permission Marketing’.

As opposed to traditional approach of ‘Interruption Marketing’ (recall the adverts during TV shows or YouTube ads you just can’t wait to Skip) Permission Marketing is a privilege to send anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.

In Seth’s own words, real Permission works like this: if you stop showing up, people complain, they ask where you went. That’s the epitome of marketing by using Permissions.

A fairly recent term, Marketing Automation refers to marketing technology tools that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. It includes automating repetitive tasks such as sending emails, social media, other website actions.

The interest over time in Permission Marketing dwindled to stagnate in recent times whereas interest in Marketing Automation has picked up:
google trends marketing automation and permission marketing
And you might also point that in this rapidly evolving, more and more digitally driven world why’s an 18 years old concept still relevant?

Here’s why Permission Marketing is still relevant:

Interestingly, the highly acclaimed Amazon’s Recommendation Emails are enhanced version of the unwarranted advice to Amazon given by Seth Godin in 1998 with a reference to Permission Marketing.

Look around, it is the Permission Driven world of opt-ins and subscriptions:
Facebook – When users like a Brand Page on Facebook, they’re giving the brand permission to show up in their Facebook News Feed. Same goes with following Twitter handle or Instagram account of brands.
Email – When users create an account or sign-up they explicitly agree to receive communication through email.
Push Notifications & Browser Push – The opt-in for Push Notifications (mandatory in iOS) and opt-in for Browser Push are Permission driven.
YouTube – The predominant call to action at the end of videos on YouTube is Subscribe to this YouTube Channel.
Newsletter Subscription: News websites or content based websites thrive on newsletter subscribers to reach their audience.

Here’s how Permission Marketing and Marketing Automation should coexist:

Capturing permissions:

It begins with intriguing users to give Permission by filling up the Signup form or subscribing to newsletter or giving personal details to unlock the next level in a game. Marketing automation platforms capture Permissions with forms and maintain user profile data along with user behavior data.

Managing permissions:

One user can opt-in for more than one type of communication. Consider a prospect interested in just one product category, she should only receive communication pertaining to that category.

Moreover, usually sending transactional message is a priority over sending promotional message. Through means of user segmentation, triggered communication, MAP’s are equipped to set priorities to manage all such conflicts.

Using permissions:

This is where the magic happens, where value is delivered, where relationships are fostered that turns strangers into friends and friends into customers.

Here’s a list of industry specific marketing automation use-cases:

IndustryCapturing PermissionsMarketing Automation Use-Case
EcommerceSignupMulti-channel campaign for Cart Recovery,
Product Recommendations,
Upsell & Cross-sell campaigns,
Feedback campaigns.
Content/BlogNewsletter SubscriptionRecommended reading emails
Latest Posts
Fare Alert Register
Search Abandoned campaigns
Cart recovery emails/push notifications
Price drop, fare alert messages
Financial ServicesRFQ,
Lead generation,
Timely Reminders for policy renewal,
Cross-sell & upsell campaigns,
Nurturing campaigns
Ed TechSignup,
Course Enrollment
Course recommendation,
Exam reminders,
Nurturing campaigns.

Based on Permissions available across channels, these are the common campaigns rendered through marketing automation platforms:

ChannelPermissionCampaigns using Marketing Automation
EmailEmail Subscription,
Personalized Emails
Transactional Emails (triggered)
Cart Recovery Emails
Recommendation/Reminder Emails
PushOpt-inEvent Triggered Notifications
Cart Recovery Notifications
Reminder Notifications
(contact number)
Targeted SMS
Behavior based offers
Browser PushOpt-inTime Sensitive offers,
Transactional messages,
Cart recovery offers

Here’s how not to misuse permissions:

Sending too many push notifications leads to app uninstalls.

[6-10 Push Notifications per week causes 32% of users to stop using the App altogether]

Sending too

frequent/irrelevant emails often makes users to unsubscribe or even report Spam.

Given a reason, users can revoke Permission at any time. For the very same reason, marketers must aim to use Permissions in a way that customers value their decision to opt-in and miss the communication when it doesn’t reach them.
marketoonist email marketing spam cartoon
With MAP[marketing automation platform] the communication is automated, and marketers tend to exploit it to bombard users with deluge of marketing communication offering little or no value to customers.

The key is to stay relevant to customers by using personalization, contextual triggers and delivering seamless communication across channels. Along with these, you need to use MAP to optimize the communication with respect to time, choice of channel, amongst others.

How To Choose The Right Mix Of Marketing Channels

  • Created: 11 May 2017
  • Last Updated: 12 Jan 2022



Shafique GajdharContent Marketer, Webengage

Shafique is a Content Strategist at WebEngage. He keeps abreast of SaaS industry, startup ecosystem and writes about digital marketing, on-site engagement and more. He is a marketing graduate from IMT Nagpur.

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