In an era when consumers are constantly bombarded by marketing messages, leaning on permission in your marketing can completely set you apart. Here's how it works.
The power of permission marketing is the ability to turn strangers into friends and friends into customers. It does this by finding connections, shared history and other points of relatability among disparate people and brought them together. The commonality between you and your customer (turned friend) fundamentally changes the relationship and enables you to amplify your marketing strategy.
The key to inbound and permission marketing is to understand the psychology behind it and how you can leverage those human impulses to benefit your business.
Numbers Don’t Lie
According to a study by ExactTarget, 77 percent of customers prefer permission-based marketing communications via email. Permission marketing converts leads because it operates by privilege, rather than outbound “assaults.” Inbound marketing connects with your customers and brings them to you, rather than outbound marketing which takes a scattershot approach in the hopes that it will catch some people.
Inbound marketing works because it understands that the modern (and new) consumer can actually shut out most marketing tactics. Thus, the best way to earn a potential customers trust is by securing their respect and therefore, their attention.
For example, in 2012, Adestra, a digital marketing provider, found that personalized subject lines were 22.2 percent more likely to be opened. Additionally, when you send marketing information that customers request, they are far more liable to open it and, indeed, be grateful for it.
The manner in which you execute an inbound marketing campaign depends on the nature of your business and the content it generates. Inbound marketing endeavors to answer questions that are relevant to the customer's concerns and issues. The old strategies of keyword optimization and blind mailers, spot ads, and spam are over. Inbound marketing is designed to look and feel personalized to the needs of your client, to ensure that you earn the right to communicate with them.
That is how inbound marketing succeeds. Your customers don’t feel like you are trying to convert them, they feel like you are helping them. Your business is filling an actual need with its marketing content. You are thus more likely to get them to subscribe to your email list, follow your blog, and purchase your products or services.
Permission Marketing Generates Leads
Permission marketing works by raising awareness of your brand and generating leads through that awareness. Thus, blogging is critical in inbound marketing. The more relevant blog posts you push out there, the more pages are indexed by search engines and the more visible your website becomes.
Additionally, lead generation allows you track a new metric to measure the ROI of your new strategy. Once you begin seeing more monthly top-of-the-funnel leads, you will know that your inbound marketing campaign is succeeding.
Adding in Marketing Automation
Inbound marketing also allows you to take advantage of automation. Automation is the cheapest and most efficient tactic to reduce costs and magnify the marketing influence of your company. For instance, HubSpot and Buffer both offer tools that allow you to automate social media posts. You can only queue up your Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Tumblr posts and these services will automatically share them on the date and time of your selection. You don’t need to monitor every aspect of inbound marketing, you just create the content and assign it to a vehicle to post.
Additionally, don’t forget that for your content to be relevant it must answer a question or solve a problem. Which leads to the next issue, how do you identify these challenges and issues? There are a few techniques; you can send out a survey to your customers and simply ask them. You can also use Google’s Keyword Planner to identify the keywords that people are searching. When you answer a question or solve a problem, your content will naturally generate the necessary keywords and will thus optimize your post for the search engines.
Enhances Traditional Marketing
Dollar for dollar, inbound marketing is cheaper and easier to implement and manage than outbound marketing methods. For instance, Hubspot reports,
- Inbound marketing techniques cost 62 percent less than traditional outbound marketing strategies;
- 3 out of 4 inbound marketing channels are cheaper than comparable outbound channel;
- 47 percent of companies that have a social media marketing strategy report “below average” costs to generate leads;
- Finally, 39 percent of companies who utilize SEO techniques, say that their lead generation costs were “below average.”
The one thing to remember is that inbound marketing takes time and effort to develop. But once you have that relationship with your customers and reputation in the marketplace, the benefits begin to multiply.