Mother may I?

7 07 2011

If you’re a certain age, you probably remember the game “Mother May I?”

Someone would play “Mother” and the others would stand a certain distance back. Each player would take a turn, asking Mother if he or she could move forward a certain amount in a certain way. For example, a player could ask, “Mother may I take six giant steps forward?” Mother could say yes, no, or offer an alternative. The winner was the one who reached Mother first.

Funny how in this highly technical age, in which we can communicate with others around the world using an assortment of devices that are getting ever smaller, permission still plays such a vital role.

Marketing guru Seth Godin touts the importance of permission marketing in his aptly titled book “Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers.”

The idea, of course, is that people will be more receptive to marketing messages if they’ve already given permission to marketers to send them. While his idea works with traditional forms of advertising, it also applies to new forms like mobile advertising.

Researchers have discovered that mobile customers tend to have more positive attitudes toward and will have more trust in a company  if it has gotten their permission first before sending them messages on their mobile device.

Makes sense, don’t you think? It’s all about getting permissions first.

When I get emails from Amazon about book recommendations or special offers, I don’t mind because I’ve given them my email address. When Tastykake tweets about a new treat or special offer, I don’t fuss because I’m one of the tweeple (I’m not sure this is really a word,but I’m trying it out) following the company. When I see a message from Lands’ End   in my news feed, I don’t fret because I’m one of the many people who “like” the retailer’s Facebook page.

What about you? Do you find you’re more willing to accept messages when you’ve already given the advertiser the OK to send them to you?  If so, which companies have your permission? Tell me. I really want to know.

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4 responses

7 07 2011
David

You’ve identified a pet peeve of mine, Pat. Why is it that businesses/people can send me unsolicited emails, and to stop them from cluttering my in box I have to “unsubscribe”. I’ve never subscribed in the first place!!!!! Sending spam to me seeking my business is a sure fire way to upset me rather than make a friend. But it is a cheap way to try to develop business and one more example of how technology is taking away the personal touch in building relationships. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest ….. to your point. Yes, I am more willing to accept email from trusted or well-know sources. My faves … Jos. Banks, Orvis, ESPN, LL Bean, Barnes & Noble. In one way or another, I’ve “subscribed” to all of these.

Love the blog …. keep the posts coming!

7 07 2011
Pat

David,

You vent anytime, my friend. What are blogs (and wives and friends) for? I get those spamming things, too, which make me just as mad. Let’s face it. I think there are many marketers (not you or me, of course) who are just lazy. They’re the ones who would metaphorically throw spaghetti against a big wall and hope something sticks. But, in this day and age, spaghetti throwiing just doesn’t work anymore. As you mentioned, it makes people mad.

Pat

9 07 2011
beaker

I just subscribed to a pile of them last night. I went ‘outlet’ shopping for some work & school clothes with the kids. Every store had a frequent customer program that got my email address in return for a few bucks off. And they turn it around fast, I already had mail from Columbia and Eddie Bauer this morning. Levis and nerdwear emporium VanHeusen are soon to follow. They don’t bother me much. I delete piles of email each day. If I have time or an upcoming purchase. I’ll look at them. Otherwise, *deleted*.

9 07 2011
Pat

I see what you mean about deleting messages. We typically get bombarded with so many messages – both from marketers we have and have not given our permission to — that we’re very adept at weeding through them.

While I find it mildly annoying when I get unwanted messages, it doesn’t take much time or effort to delete or toss in the trash.

I hope you found some great things for you and the guys. Off to college soon. That’s really exciting.

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