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Permission Marketing with no-reply?

Yesterday Seth Godin kind of celebrated the fact his excellent book

"Permission Marketing - Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers"

saw the daylight exactly 10 years ago. With "kind of celebrating" I mean he wrote a short but interesting blog post about this fact. Between the lines you can read he is, rightly so, proud of the effect this principle has brought to the Internet:

"The biggest impact of Permission Marketing isn't that there is less spam. In fact, there's more, because it's so cheap. No, the biggest measurable impact is the growth of truly opt in marketing, from close to zero to a number big enough that we've all seen it and are part of it. Not just email lists, of course, but RSS feeds and yes, Google AdWords."

Our own business thrives on Permission Marketing, we utilise AWeber double opt-in autoresponder to grow our business in a sustainable way (and we are proud of the results of the conversations and the conversions we establish this way). The about to be launched The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses is absolute based on this principle.

Imagine my big surprise today to read a post by Justin Premick on AWeber's own blog: "Do Not Reply" Address? Don't Bother!

Noreplybeatles In his extraordinary article Justin mentions the fact that some of AWeber's account holders have the audacity (my word, to keep it nice - have other words in my head to describe the arrogance and complete ignorance on proper and sustainable marketing methods of some) to use a "Do-not-reply@" email address as sender.

How can you combine the two together: asking permission and as Angela Wills, one of the commenters on Justin's post rightly asks:

"I don’t like it. If I’ve subscribed to someone’s list and made MYSELF freely available to them whenever they feel like emailing me I think it’s common courtesy not to make me jump through hoops when I have a question to ask or a comment in reply to an email."

I left my own little rant in the comment box: using AWeber as marketing tool should be a two-way-traffic, otherwise why bother indeed to ask permission? Even if you have so many subscribers (leads, prospects all eager to hear from you, to buy from you) and you are 'afraid' you will be snowed under by emails filled with questions - or heaven forbid, enquiries to buy - why not delegate???
How can someone be so arrogant - no, make that stupid - not to understand how marketing works?

How can anyone, through your remarkable marketing messages, interested in buying your product be bothered to go the whole hog when you email from a "Do-not-reply" address? In my book that's like a: "Do-not-buy" address!

Fortunately I've never encountered such an email myself, but I guarantee you that if I ever do, the link to unsubscribe will be found and used very quickly!

(Rant over.)

Comments

Angela Wills

Hi Karin,

I'm slow to catch this but I just noticed you linked to me so thanks for that!

Yes no-reply is silly and it also annoys me when people use blogs and don't allow comments. I know Seth Godin does this but it seems to me a blog is for community and if you don't want people to comment then really you just have a website, not a blog.

Karin H.

Hi Angela

You've put it - again - extremely astute: "if you don't want people to comment then really you just have a website, not a blog".

Amen to that!
And to be honest, with no-reply or no-comment, you miss plenty of the fun of being part of the community, be it just a one-off community (like a single reply to one of your email messages or a nice comment on one of your blogs, a 'like-this' on Facebook or a retweet on Twitter) or a long term community. We ourselves receive plenty of replies to our email autorespond messages and that's where the communication takes a step further - and we love it!

Karin H

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