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Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers Hardcover – May 6, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (May 6, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684856360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684856360
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Seth Godin, one of the world's foremost online promoters, offers his best advice for advertising in Permission Marketing. Godin argues that businesses can no longer rely solely on traditional forms of "interruption advertising" in magazines, mailings, or radio and television commercials. He writes that today consumers are bombarded by marketing messages almost everywhere they go. If you want to grab someone's attention, you first need to get his or her permission with some kind of bait--a free sample, a big discount, a contest, an 800 number, or even just an opinion survey. Once a customer volunteers his or her time, you're on your way to establishing a long-term relationship and making a sale. "By talking only to volunteers, Permission Marketing guarantees that consumers pay more attention to the marketing message," he writes. "It serves both customers and marketers in a symbiotic exchange."

Godin knows his stuff. He created Internet marketer Yoyodyne and sold it in 1998 to Yahoo!, where he is a vice president. Godin delves into the strategies of several companies that successfully practice permission marketing, including Amazon.com, American Airlines, Bell Atlantic, and American Express. Permission marketing works best on the Internet, he writes, because the medium eliminates costs such as envelopes, printing, and stamps. Instead of advertising with a plain banner ad on the Internet, you should focus on discovering the customer's problem and getting permission to follow up with e-mail, he writes. Permission Marketing is an important and valuable book for businesses seeking better results from their advertising. --Dan Ring

From Publishers Weekly

Godin, a business whiz kid who does direct marketing for Yahoo!, asks a provocative question: Does advertising work? He cites example after example of recent misguided campaigns, a "waste jamboree" of traditional ads aimed at consumers who no longer care. There's an "infoglut" out there, he says, of ads in myriad media whose only power is to "interrupt" people's lives. Godin's professional journey to his current status as a guru of online promotion began with his work for such industry bigs as Prodigy and AOL. Now, he specializes in direct-mail campaigns online, where he takes advantage of the interactive nature of the technology. Using traditional terms such as reach and frequency to define his efforts, he moves further, into the touchy-feely area of "permission marketing," his term for developing a personal relationship with consumers, where they actually enjoy receiving correspondence. On tape, Godin's message is winning because of his youthful attitude: self-assured, at times cocky, but always sensible. Based on the 1999 Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This is an easy to read and very enlightening book.
Bernadette Dimitrov
This book is 200 pages of poorly supported examples, contradictions, hyperbole, and erroneous conclusions.
Kerry Randall
Read up 'Permission Marketing' and apply the principles and practices recommended by Seth Godin.
Biswajit Dey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Internet marketing and relationship marketing are the subject of numerous books, but Seth Godin's Permission Marketing does a better job of explaining the concepts better than any other single volume.
Permission Marketing explains the differences between Interruption Marketing (old-style newspaper, TV and radio ads) and Permission Marketing--where visitors ask to be kept informed and willingly share information about themselves and their purchasing needs. It reinforces the successes I've enjoyed in over twenty years of marketing and shows how customer relationship-building techniques that were previously inefficient and, thus, unaffordable are now within the reach of all.
Permission Marketing cuts through the clutter of marketing theory and web technology and provides a highly readable, jargon-free conceptual framework for viewing web marketing in an new light. Throughout, Permission Marketing emphasizes integrity and customer respect--in contrast to books which are often subconsciously predicated on an adversarial relationship with prospects and customers.
Permission Marketing will change the way you think about advertising and marketing and suggest a whole new approach to your web site. It will inspire you to break out of the mold of price advertising.
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89 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Biswajit Dey on November 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
When traditional methods of advertising or direct mail don't work as effectively in attracting your customer's attention, what do you do? Read up 'Permission Marketing' and apply the principles and practices recommended by Seth Godin. According to Godin, an advertising message which interrupts a customer's life - her time, privacy and peace of mind - has a lower chance of persuading her to buy a specific brand. Instead, he advocates, a marketer can build a relationship with a customer over time and win her permission to market to her. In other words, make friends with the customer. The customer, then, not only becomes more receptive to the advertising message, but actually anticipates it. Godin calls this method 'permission marketing' and illustrates its strengths with success stories ranging from Amazon.com to Yahoo!. Simple? Well, not exactly. It requires a deep understanding of direct marketing and using the Internet as a direct marketing tool. But, Godin makes all this easier in his new book. Read it before your competitors do.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Thomas on January 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Overall the book raises some good points with regards to developing open dialogs with both existing and potential customers. The book definitely could have been summarized in fewer chapters. Some of the cases cited were great examples of developing interest in a product or service that definitley displayed excellent built in follow up mechanisms. However, since the jest of the book leaned towards the use of the Internet and e-mail as a marketing vehicle the case studies did not necessarily match the vehicle for outreach he was promoting. The book also left one feeling that unless games and sweepstakes were involved the Internet campaign would not necessarily be successful (I may be stretching this view point a bit but it's the impression I left with). Sweepstakes do not work within some arenas. Finally, what I was expecting was some strong advice on Intenet marketing but I felt more like I was getting a sales pitch as to why the firm I worked with should consult with Godin's firm. Perhaps an excellent method of permission marketing! But with any good book I did leave with a few good ideas I could replicate. If I increase my sales from the points of this book it will definitely be well worth the cost.
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66 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Just Bill on January 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In addition to working in the profession of advertising and marketing, I'm an adjunct professor at a nearby university. I taught Seth's principles in my course on Direct Marketing last semester, and I intend to teach his principles in my course on Fundamentals of Advertising this semester. In fact, I intend to teach his material in every class I have that's even remotely related. Frankly, I think Seth's material should be taught in every university throughout the land -- and shouted from the rooftops amongst those in my profession.
Simply put, the material in this book -- deceptively clever, succinct and, at times, humorous -- is explosive. I say deceptive because if you don't "get" what Seth's trying to tell you, I imagine it would be possible for you to dismiss the entire concept as shallow or gimmicky. However, I believe this information represents nothing less than the future of advertising and marketing. You will ignore it at your own peril.
One of the biggest thrills for me was hearing my students put into use Seth's Permission Marketing phrase "Turning strangers into friends and friends into customers" -- even months after the class ended!
Not only is that a testament to the clarity and brevity of Seth's ideas, it's also the distillation of his book's premise.
For in today's world, we're bombarded by no less than 3,000 paid advertising messages per day. There's no way we can assimilate, remember and act on that many messages. No matter how creative they may be. It's no longer a matter of breaking through the clutter with killer creative; it's now a battle for one of the most precious commodities we're left with: our attention. And advertisers lose that battle every single minute of every day.
Therefore, agencies who seek ever more creative (and expensive!
Read more ›
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