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Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers [Hardcover]

Seth Godin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 6 1999
The man Business Week calls "the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age" explains "Permission Marketing"—the groundbreaking concept that enables marketers to shape their message so that consumers will willingly accept it.

Whether it is the TV commercial that breaks into our favorite program, or the telemarketing phone call that disrupts a family dinner, traditional advertising is based on the hope of snatching our attention away from whatever we are doing. Seth Godin calls this Interruption Marketing, and, as companies are discovering, it no longer works.

Instead of annoying potential customers by interrupting their most coveted commodity—time—Permission Marketing offers consumers incentives to accept advertising voluntarily. Now this Internet pioneer introduces a fundamentally different way of thinking about advertising products and services. By reaching out only to those individuals who have signaled an interest in learning more about a product, Permission Marketing enables companies to develop long-term relationships with customers, create trust, build brand awareness -- and greatly improve the chances of making a sale.

Frequently Bought Together

Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers + All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All + Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable--Includes new bonus chapter
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Product Description

From Amazon

Seth Godin, one of the world's foremost online promoters, offers his best advice for advertising in Permission Marketing. Godin argues that businesses can no longer rely solely on traditional forms of "interruption advertising" in magazines, mailings, or radio and television commercials. He writes that today consumers are bombarded by marketing messages almost everywhere they go. If you want to grab someone's attention, you first need to get his or her permission with some kind of bait--a free sample, a big discount, a contest, an 800 number, or even just an opinion survey. Once a customer volunteers his or her time, you're on your way to establishing a long-term relationship and making a sale. "By talking only to volunteers, Permission Marketing guarantees that consumers pay more attention to the marketing message," he writes. "It serves both customers and marketers in a symbiotic exchange."

Godin knows his stuff. He created Internet marketer Yoyodyne and sold it in 1998 to Yahoo!, where he is a vice president. Godin delves into the strategies of several companies that successfully practice permission marketing, including, American Airlines, Bell Atlantic, and American Express. Permission marketing works best on the Internet, he writes, because the medium eliminates costs such as envelopes, printing, and stamps. Instead of advertising with a plain banner ad on the Internet, you should focus on discovering the customer's problem and getting permission to follow up with e-mail, he writes. Permission Marketing is an important and valuable book for businesses seeking better results from their advertising. --Dan Ring

From Publishers Weekly

Godin, a business whiz kid who does direct marketing for Yahoo!, asks a provocative question: Does advertising work? He cites example after example of recent misguided campaigns, a "waste jamboree" of traditional ads aimed at consumers who no longer care. There's an "infoglut" out there, he says, of ads in myriad media whose only power is to "interrupt" people's lives. Godin's professional journey to his current status as a guru of online promotion began with his work for such industry bigs as Prodigy and AOL. Now, he specializes in direct-mail campaigns online, where he takes advantage of the interactive nature of the technology. Using traditional terms such as reach and frequency to define his efforts, he moves further, into the touchy-feely area of "permission marketing," his term for developing a personal relationship with consumers, where they actually enjoy receiving correspondence. On tape, Godin's message is winning because of his youthful attitude: self-assured, at times cocky, but always sensible. Based on the 1999 Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars OUCH! June 13 2000
Format:Audio Cassette
I read fifty or more books a year, one-third of them about marketing. That is what I do for a living. This book is, by far, the worst material I've ever slogged through. This book is 200 pages of poorly supported examples, contradictions, hyperbole, and erroneous conclusions. For example: Ivory soap, made with coconut oil, was a smashing success; coconut oil was in limited supply so Proctor and Gamble scrambled for four years to create a new product that would use MORE coconut oil as a solution to the limited supply problem! Uh, what did I miss?
The book is rife with such statements as: Cadillac buyers being "a tough to reach audience." Ever consider automobile registration data bases? The names and addresses can be had for pennies each. What's "tough to reach" about pennies?
Seth Godin proposes "interruption" marketing is destined for failure. It probably is. He says it doesn't work anymore and that's why American car-makers can't sell cars. Uh. I thought they were selling a lot of them. He says their interruption advertising doesn't work. Americans buy more American-made cars per capita than any nation buys any car per capita. The audience is hooked on new cars. That's a failure?
I am tempted to go on and on with more than one hundred examples of conclusions that are not supported by the facts. I won't. Just one more.
Seth says Internet banners don't work. Okay, I agree. How did Seth build his company, Yoyodyne?
"1. Attract target customers with banner ads promising a great prize. Interested consumers get more information by clicking on the banner, which takes them to a registration page."
And that paragraph (about interruption advertising) is in the chapter on case studies showing how permission marketing works!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dead solid wrong Oct. 3 2003
By Kit Kat
The suggestion that the old is out and the new, permission marketing, is in has been so thoroughly disproved by actual experience that it's reasonable to ask, just why does anyone believe there is anything behind that screen that a little tiny man pretending to be the Wizard?
A few marketers tried to implement these ideas and found they had offended far more people than traditional advertisers ever had. For that reason, this books ranks with books touting Day Trading as the route to riches. No, never: nonsense.
I couldn't even bear to offer this to a used bookstore. Instead, we used it as kindling for a fire. Expensive, but the result was good, and perhaps better than a PrestoLog.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No news Aug. 29 2003
By A Customer
While Godin does a good job retelling an old story about properly targeting, utilizing appropriate messaging and benefiting from modern (post-internet) media, it is not new. Some of his retelling is convoluted in endless metaphores. And, as this book was written before 9/11 and the dot-bomb, much of it is out-of-date and of reduced relevance.
There are more helpful and current books out there about internet and other direct-marketing topics.
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Mr.Godin is an excellent teacher of how to market effectively. Before reading this I thought of marketing probably like most do. I thought to be successful in marketing and advertising, that big was the way to go...big magazine ads, t.v. spots, target a large audience and you're sure to get lots of customers, etc. WRONG!
Mr. Godin hits the bull's-eye on the type of marketing that it takes to acquire and keep customers in your business. It is not mass marketing to anyone and everyone that's going to do it. But rather, Mr. Godin shows you how to set up a specific strategy, a clever method in which to acquire the type of customer you want to your particular business. If you own a sports shop, then your ideal customer wouldn't be a chef or a construction worker who just happened to walk into your would be the die-hard, sports enthusiast that you want to attract. Mr. Godin shows you how to attract your "ideal" customer; He teaches you how to get your ideal customer to come to you.
I didn't fully understand all that "Permission Marketing" was really about until Mr. Godin broke it down and explained it to a tee. If you can get a potential customer to say "yes" to you prior to the sale, your chances of acquiring them as an actual customer dramatically increases. This is what Mr. Godin shows you how to do. He is a wise marketer and you can be too! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Everyday your letterbox is full of leaflets you never read, your banker send you a new financial proposal you already have in your portfolio... All these papers will go directly to the trash can, but interrupt your customer's life: time, privacy and peace of mind. This is the waste created by the "interruption marketing", which is not using correctly customers' databases or is bombarding TV spots you do not watch during film breaks.
Is this time over? Not sure when you see all e-mails or phone calls you receive to promote products of no interest for you. How to get your Attention in the middle of this information overload? Simply by asking your permission.
Seth Godin, who created Internet marketer Yoyodyne and sold it in 1998 to Yahoo, where he is a vice president is explaining to us how to do it in "Permission Marketing". With practical examples he shows us how to start a relationship with a customer by offering added value. Main ideas are around personalization, long-term relationship and truth building. Customer then is expecting information from you focused on his own needs. The challenge is to move from market share to customer share.
But how is this possible? The use of New Information Technologies and Internet allows a one to one communication with a customer with focused information and at a low price. This is really the contribution from "New Economy" and Permission Marketing is giving the keys to understand how these New Information Technologies allow focusing on a customer more and more demanding. The traditional marketing is moving quickly to One to One marketing.
Do not read Permission Marketing if you want to lose your customers to the profit of your competitor knowing how to build long-term relationship with them. If you add One to One from Don & Martha Peppers to your readings, you will be well prepared to succeed in front of the marketing shift arriving with the "New Economy".
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Marketing 101
The mind of Seth Godin unites the core values of life with the intricacies of building relationships in the business world.
Published 7 months ago by Kyleobrien
5.0 out of 5 stars Old and still relevant
It's a basic concept that every business owner should know. Seth breaks it down nicely and explains how it applies to almost every industry.
Published 9 months ago by Kallon John
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
The book is well written and researched. But not what I expected. I expected something more on the business of internet marketing.
Published 11 months ago by Avid reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting look back... and forward.
It is interesting to see what has come true and how so much of what Godin writes about still applies more than a decade after being published.
Published on March 22 2011 by Raj Boora
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I "stumbled" in to Search Engine Marketing and now "do it" for a living with car dealerships in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by David Saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars read this review
So there are steps in every transaction. The whole point of this book is that you don't create lifelong relationships with strangers. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2003 by A. M Wall
2.0 out of 5 stars Interruptive Marketing Lives!
While Godin astutely details the need to build relationships with customers, that's been amply covered by other authors. Read more
Published on June 6 2003 by David Camp
1.0 out of 5 stars poorly written drivel
This is a poorly written book with an interesting concept but it contains minimal content and is full of repetition. I was very disappointed by this book.
Published on June 6 2003 by dan jacobs
5.0 out of 5 stars Mouthwatering....
Until now, most marketing books I've read have been filled with too much hype and over-simplified concepts, rather than concrete ideas. This book was a very welcome change !! Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2003 by Aryanne Robertson
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