Rainmaking Recommendation #227: Permission Marketing

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

In this very brief Rainmaking Recommendation, I would like to both vent my annoyance as well as tell you how to avoid ticking off your clients and prospects.

In the past 9 months of the pandemic, I have met or reconnected with hundreds of people during virtual networking events.  As a result, I have been creating relationships that I hope will be beneficial to both the people I am meeting as well as for myself. 

However, one sure way to annoy the people you have met (including me) – whether it is virtually, via social media, or even in person when the world reopens – is to automatically put them on your email list and begin sending them newsletters or other marketing materials for which they didn’t ask.  And this is happening too often lately. 

Forget the fact that there are laws governing the internet, newsletters, SPAM, and how you can market your services to others.  This is about the negative impression that you are making when you do this.  The minute you begin to annoy your prospective clients and referral sources is the same minute you begin to lose any opportunity to work with them at all as they have so many other choices out there.

The term “permission marketing” was coined by Seth Godin in his 1999 book of the same name.  Permission marketing refers to obtaining the agreement of those to whom you want to market to be able to send them information that will be of benefit to them.  There are two things to understand here:

  • You have been told that they want to receive information from you; and
  • It is of benefit to them.

In addition to the negative impression that others will get when you market to them without their opt-in, people do not want a newsletter that is chock full of information just about you and your firm.  I have seen too many law firm newsletters that only serve to boost the egos of the firm and its attorneys. 

Yes, it is very nice that the attorneys in the firm have been selected to be on the Best Lawyers or Super Lawyers Lists but what your newsletter readers want is information – information that will help them sleep at night; information that helps them achieve their goals.  Information that is not always about you or your firm.  

Provide your newsletter readers with the information that they want and need. Remember, it’s not about you or your firm.  It’s about them.    

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