Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends and Friends Into Customers Summary

The SQUEEZE: Gaining permission from customers to offer products and services has become an art for multiple marketing companies. Companies have developed methods for obtaining permission to approach customers via email or by additional online means. It is within this context that Seth Godin’s book, “Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends and Friends Into Customers,” breaks new ground in the Information Age. In the book, Godin coins the term “permission marketing” and he relates the principle to the marketer’s ability to shape the promotional message so consumers will accept it. Godin offers a contrast to the term by highlighting the dual purpose of traditional advertising, which involves disrupting and snatching the attention of the viewer. To increase product sales, Godin urges companies to create a permission database, monitor single marketing efforts, develop a marketing curriculum, and deepen the communication link with customers.

Notable Endorsement:Advertisers are going to have to learn how to deliver messages with frequency and low cost if they are to cope with the increasing competition for the consumer's attention. Seth Godin's Permission Marketing is a big idea." --Lester Wunderman, Chairman-Emeritus of Wunderman Cato Johnson, the largest direct-marketing firm in the world, author of Being Direct.

 Common Q’s Answered by this Book:

  • What is “permission marketing”? How is the principle applied in marketing and e-marketing?
  • What is traditional advertising? How is it related to “interruption marketing”?
  • How are both explicit permission and implicit permission defined?
  • Do marketing efforts contribute to learning relationships?
  • How does the use of permission marketing increase product sales?


About the Author: Seth Godin is an American entrepreneur, public speaker, and author. Born in Mount Vernon, New York, Godin graduated from Tufts University with a degree in computer science and philosophy. Godin earned his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. His business ventures include launching online gaming (Yoyodyne) and developing the principle of “permission marketing,” a term that refers to the activities of marketing companies and their goal of requesting permission before advancing to the next step within the purchasing process. Godin later launched Squidoo, a site that allows users to create pages, or “lenses.” Godin currently manages a blog called “Seth’s Blog.” For more information about Godin’s current projects, visit:


Book Vitals:

Publisher: Simon and Schuster (May 1999)

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