I have been thinking a lot lately about what makes the perfect blend of Call to Action and Permission Marketing. Call to Action marketing can often be misinterpreted by marketers and the result is never pretty. The thought of succeeding at Permission Marketing (a term coined by e-marketing guru Seth Godin) can be intimidating for the new or even seasoned marketer.I guess since Godin coined the term he can write the rules on Permission Marketing. Godin’s “rules” discouraged me because there are not many people, organizations, or companies who have my “permission”. Godin says I should be anticipating your status updates or monthly newsletters. And if for some reason I don’t see your newsletter in my inbox on the third Tuesday of May I should feel sad and seek you out on my own time. Not many marketers reach this level of Guru Permission Status.How can a non-guru like myself obtain this level of marketing Zen? Patience and creativity.I recently was informed I can block certain people’s Facebook status updates. I immediately blocked 30 of my “friends” on Facebook. They lost my permission. While most of these “friends” aren’t trying to sell me anything (a few actually are), I feel invaded by their one way networking. I don’t need an update on your feelings or what you are eating every 10 minutes. I know that is harsh but it is the truth.Call to Action Marketing is heavily used in the online poker industry. The red headed step children of this practice are banner farms. No relevant content or added value to the user. Just links and banners. And don’t get me started on pop ups. Balanced call to action marketing is essential for successful online marketers. But how far you go with it depends on the permission level you have with users/readers.I read Jeremy Schoemaker’s blog daily via my Google Reader. Sometimes I visit his site to view videos or archived articles. ShoeMoney has a large pop up on his homepage. The pop up encourages readers to subscribe to his newsletter. The first couple of times I visited his site I was annoyed by this pop up. After months of reading his blog and becoming a fan, I no longer have an issue with it. ShoeMoney has gained my permission.So what can we take from the ShoeMoney example? Don’t annoy users until they want to be annoyed. The anticipation or readiness of potential users to receive your pitch (said annoyance) is faster and of higher quality once you gain permission. Gaining permission takes time. The amount of time it takes depends on your conversion rates, monetization methods, and product time tables. If you are attempting to point users to a deal that ends in 30 days, your calls to action will need to be more aggressive.Next week I will be taking a look at how Permission and Call to Action Marketing specifically relates to the online poker industry. With any business, the game can change depending on the product being sold and the user being pitched.Tony


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