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Taking permission

Permission is always a hot topic in email marketing. Permission is key! the experts tell us. Get permission to send email! the ISPs tell us.

Marketers have responded by setting up processes to “get” permission from recipients before adding them to mailing lists. They point to their privacy polices and signup forms and say “Look! the recipient gave us permission.”

In many cases, though, the permission isn’t given to the sender, permission is taken from the recipient.

Yes, permission is being TAKEN by the sender. At the point of address collection many senders set the default to be the recipient gets mail. These processes take any notion of giving permission out of the equation. The recipient doesn’t have to give permission, permission is assumed.

This isn’t real permission. No process that requires the user to take action to stop themselves from being opted in is real permission. A default state of yes takes the actual opt-in step away from the recipient.

Permission just isn’t about saying “well, we told the user if they gave us an email address we’d send them mail and they gave us an email address anyway.” Permission is about giving the recipients a choice in what they want to receive. All too often senders take permission from recipients instead of asking for permission to be given.

10 comments

  1. The Proverbial Barry says

    that’s what they always tell me at the sex clubs too

  2. Mickey Chandler's Spamtacular | Can I Help You? says

    […] February, Laura Atkins posted about companies who “take permission” instead of ask for it. But you have to ASK. I cannot walk up to a victim and say “My […]

  3. Mickey Chandler's Spamtacular | Can I Help You? says

    […] February, Laura Atkins posted about companies who “take permission” instead of ask for it. But you have to ASK. I cannot walk up to a victim and say “My […]

  4. Mickey Chandler's Spamtacular | Can I Help You? says

    […] February, Laura Atkins posted about companies who “take permission” instead of ask for it. But you have to ASK. I cannot walk up to a victim and say “My […]

  5. Mickey Chandler's Spamtacular | Can I Help You? says

    […] February, Laura Atkins posted about companies who “take permission” instead of ask for it. But you have to ASK. I cannot walk up to a victim and say “My […]

  6. Mickey Chandler's Spamtacular | Can I Help You? says

    […] February, Laura Atkins posted about companies who “take permission” instead of ask for it. But you have to ASK. I cannot walk up to a victim and say “My […]

  7. Mickey Chandler's Spamtacular | Can I Help You? says

    […] February, Laura Atkins posted about companies who “take permission” instead of ask for it. But you have to ASK. I cannot walk up to a victim and say “My […]

  8. Mickey Chandler's Spamtacular | Can I Help You? says

    […] February, Laura Atkins posted about companies who “take permission” instead of ask for it. But you have to ASK. I cannot walk up to a victim and say “My […]

  9. Emailpocalypse – Word to the Wise says

    […] It is falling! Recipients are going to have to actually invite marketers in! They can’t just take permission, they have to be granted […]

  10. Light blogging for a while – Word to the Wise says

    […] not the best idea. Al adds his own take on companies assuming permission. I’ve talked about taking permission in the past but haven’t touched on things like “spamming the guy who runs the […]

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