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Are You Guilty Of Interruption Marketing?

You muted the commercials on the TV last night because you were fed up with interruption marketing. Ditto if you went through your mail to find most of it is junk. Ditto again, if a stranger phoned you (usually at dinner time) asking you to answer a survey, or give to yet another worthy cause.

Interruption marketing does just that. It interrupts you, and steals your time.

And it is the darling of mass marketing, which is the child of the mass media, which was born in the 19th century with large circulation newspapers, and thrived in the 20th with radio, TV, and the international media.

Now, it's overkill. People ignore it (can you remember any of the TV ads you saw last night), or hate it, like that dinnertime phone call.

Before mass marketing, product information was rarely thrust at you. You chose it. You initiated the whole process. It was your idea that you wanted a particular thing. So you'd stroll down the street seeking the store that sold it. Then you'd go into the store to ask a clerk about the quality, price, size, colour, etc. of its assortment of the thing you had in mind. If none suited you, off to another store.

You had control of the whole process. Now, because we're all becoming immune to interruption marketing, this old-style of marketing is back in favour.

But today it's called 'permission marketing', and you call all the shots. You permit a firm or individual to provide you with information about a service or product they offer. And it's done primarily through the Internet and e-mail.

Why am I telling you all this? Because you're probably using both types. Your website exemplifies permission marketing, while your cold-canvassing interrupts.

Interestingly, the most favored practice-building techniques of top-earning involve permission marketing. So it behooves you to increase your use of permission marketing, and reduce your use of interruption marketing.

Think about it. People hate interruption marketing, but like permission marketing. Why? Because they're in control.

Interruption marketing is hit and run. One size fits all. No distinction between individuals.

In contrast, permission marketing aims at building long-term relationships with individuals. Exactly what you want. But it takes time.

The ideal beginning of a permission-marketing process is for the prospect to phone to say she's been referred to you, and would like to set up a meeting.

Let's be honest. This rarely happens.

Next best is you get a referral from a good client. Now, do you phone or write? A letter is less intrusive than a phone call, so write.

A letter is also more impressive than a phone call, and it tells the prospect much more about you. For example, that you think she's worth a lot more than a mere phone call, that you have a letterhead, a business address, and possibly a degree or designation, or two.

And, as you don't want your letter to look like a mass mailing, write, don't type, her name and address on the envelope, and stick a real stamp on it.

But don't pitch product, or your letter's just another piece of junk mail.

Instead offer something. No, not a trip to Bermuda, but something ongoing that will help build the recipient's trust and confidence in you. Your newsletter, for example, thus:

"Your name was given to me by Mr. Paul Piper who felt you'd benefit, as he did, from utilizing my services.

"To introduce you to my areas of expertise I've included the current issue of my client newsletter, and will mail more monthly issues before contacting you directly.

"If you would prefer to meet me before that, please call, or write me."

But I've run out of space. So if you want to know more about permission marketing visit http://www.eTIP.ca/ and subscribe to my newsletter as it's also an example.

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Copyright 2005, Donald F. Pooley, Inc.

Don Pooley has shared his marketing know-how with audiences in major Canadian cities, London, Australia, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and now in his free ezine, TIP. Subscribe at http://www.eTIP.ca/, or get free article downloads, and redistribution rights info at http://www.eTIP.ca/Downloads/Publish.html

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