How (not) to Do Permission Marketing

A few days ago I’ve got an email written in a friendly tone, where a company providing education services tried to sell me a seminar on Sport Law.

Ususally, I don’t answer SPAM, but this time I’ve decided to run an experiment. So I wrote back saying:

Dear Sir,
If you want to use direct marketing techniques to advertise your business, you’d better be more careful.
To offer a Sport Law seminar to a Sport Law professor shows that you use a mailing-list without actually knowing who your targets are.
The outcome is that an action that borns as “direct” marketing, dies as SPAM

I didn’t get an answer to my reply, thus confirming my initial suspect and giving me the chance to do a broader musing about the Direct Marketing idea.

To go for a friendly and personal style at the first contact implies that, first, a follow up should be taken into account by the sender and, second, the “personal” tone should be maintained. By doing so, the recipient get the feeling that the company actually wants to deliver a tailored service.

On the contrary, “playing friend” without keeping the promise produces the opposite effect: the sender, the product and the company are labelled as entities with no actual interest in building a personal rapport with the perspective customer.

Thus, if a company doesn’t give its targets the attention required by Permission Marketing techniques, it shouldn’t pursue this option, because – as in this case – such kind of companies would be immediately equaled to sellers of (various colours)pills, hair fertilizer, and miraculous investments. That, at least, don’t try to lure us into believing that they actually care about us.

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