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Ads that Wait for Permission

Updated on January 29, 2014

Good Manners Pay Off

Unwanted Ads Get Nowhere

Advertising has never been better, but it's changing. Agencies are abandoning traditional ads, embracing mobile campaigns, and getting very personal in their approach.

Privacy and consent are now at center stage. Particularly in the field of consumer marketing, clients don't want customers getting pop up ads on their mobile devices at inopportune times when a brilliant ad campaign will backfire into a disaster.

The way around this is child's play. It's just plain common sense to ask the customer how, when, where, and if, he or she wants to be contacted regarding deals, sales, and promotions.

Abiding by the customer's wishes will result in a successful campaign on behalf of the business client. Statistics have borne this out. Real increases in sales revenue are proof that asking permission is not only polite, it's good business.

Call it permissive advertising. Call it opt-in advertising. It works. Agencies are receiving client feedback indicating 2 to 4 times the response rate of non-consensual ads. Instead of 20% of the people on an email marketing list opening a client's email, interested opt-in customers are opening at an 80% or higher rate.

Instead of 10% of walk in customers responding to a digital campaign targeting only the general public, mobile marketing campaigns personally directed to consensual loyal shoppers are overwhelming business clients who report that one in three people walking into their stores are responding to those messages on their mobile device screens.

Opt-in email campaigns have tracked Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to tabulate promotional ads forwarded from client emails over to friends on these social networks, with one in six customers typically relaying the news to their many chatty friends as well.

Significant increases in sales revenue is really all that counts in the final analysis, however. But real-life sales also testify very loudly in favor of the polite, while aggressively intelligent, permission-first approach to marketing.

Whether in stores or online website sales, there has been a consistent success rate in revenue connected to opt-in advertising. Conservatively, sales revenues in a median range of at least 15% increase across the board have been reported by a cross-sampling of clients in opt-in ad campaigns.

There have been many outlying spectacular successes documented as well, including 1,000% increases and many sales peaks in the 500% range.

One client, a book sales company, has publicized a 34% increase in its sales revenue as a direct result of an opt-in email campaign. This is remarkable for a print book company in this era of e-reading competitors laying to rest such giants as Borders.

Many other companies, losing ground and sinking quickly, have been rescued by wisely implementing the elementary principle of gaining a customer's consent before spamming him or her to death with ads.

Expert marketing assistance demands paying close attention to preferences expressed by people who read advertising messages.

The return on investment in a good ad campaign is well worth the effort to make sure that the client's customers and potential customers are interested enough in the promotional messages to act upon them and make purchases.

Permissive or opt-in advertising is not like the horrible spam we keep getting in our emails. It comes to people when they really are interested in the subject matter of the ad.

Most people resent ads. Even when we go to the movies now, we are shown ads. An interesting article on the Internet might be saturated with ads that have to build up and load onto the screen before we can start to read down through the article. Ads, in a word, are obnoxious.

But "permissive" advertising not only works well, it's polite.

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