The New Email Approach: The Importance of Permission Marketing


We’ve talked about developing a platform of faithful followers and interested parties and how to most efficiently get the word out on your social circuit, we must know: where do you find all these fresh faces to begin with? You can find them online where they opt-in to your mailing list through your website. But to start out you must look elsewhere. Out in the real world. That’s right, time to take the laptop on the road, or unplug entirely and rub some elbows.

Seth Godin, word-of-mouth marketing guru, champions Permission Marketing: the concept that a person’s time should be of equal or greater value to you than just their money. So don’t waste their time. In this age of feeds, sound bytes and “skip ad” options where everyone and everything is clamoring for attention, it has become an earned privilege, not a right. Seth dismantles permission, or in this case, quasi-permission: “Just because I don’t complain doesn’t mean you have permission.”  When you lose someone’s interest–or worse, betray it–it’s gone forever. Permission marketing is all about giving members your list something of value that they actually want! That being said, it’s time to gather some attention, and use it wisely.

The E-Mailing List

If you thought business cards were last century (they’re not), you might also think nobody takes email seriously anymore either (they do). Social media is a hot ticket right now, but last I heard you still check your email regularly, so don’t overlook it as an important element of your platform. Have an option for visitors to your website to join an email list. All roads are your roads, remember, and they can lead the world to your door.

As an artist, the essence of your work is communication, be it visual, musical, literary…it’s time to add digital to the mix. Expand outward from your social media feeds and give your fan base something meatier, a bit more personalized. Home deliver your blog, start up a newsletter, expand your influence to the crowd that doesn’t tweet or follow you on Facebook (those people do exist!).

Sign up with or another contact management and newsletter software and strap a rocket onto your inbox. You’ll be able to create better, more engaging email, help people find and read it, track where it goes and how effective it is. Plus it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers. That’s a lot of conversations about you! So go get a latte. Go to a performance. Have a conversation. Let people know what you do, and collect names and emails. One of the easiest ways to do this is to collect business cards. All you need to know is there.

Create a sign-up sheet, tack it to a clipboard, and bring it to every performance. Don’t be afraid to ask people to sign-up. Let them know you don’t spam or send lots of junk. Ask everyone! The worst thing that could happen is that they say no! And that’s really not so bad, is it?

Go into the world and start something, and leave your mark. If you do it right, your platform will come looking for you.

One important final note, ask permission! If you, are just collecting business cards and emails off of tables without asking them to add them to your list, stop! It’s all about permission in today’s age. You do not want to become know as the irritant that does this. Create goodwill and collect fans, not opt-outs. Permission marketing is the key. Now go get some.


1)    Sign up for and link it to your website. If you have a WordPress site you can use this link to show you how: If you use a different website builder, do a simple Google search for linking your Mail Chimp to your website.

2)    Buy a clipboard to create a simple email sign-up list to use whenever you perform. Take a photo and present it on the event page.

3)    Create a quick email welcoming your new fan to your email list and letting them know what type of emails you will be sending and how often they can expect them. Let them know you respect there time and will not be sending them too much email. Then don’t! They will appreciate this. Use this email to send this message out to your new fans every time you add someone to your list. You should do this likely once a week depending on how often you get new subscribers.

Ref: Permission Marketing by Seth Godin


– Kitty Boyce

Kitty B. is on her third or fourth creative incarnation, from Subway sandwich artist to freelance illustrator, and finally writer. Her hobbies include quoting herself and paraphrasing others. She may be found bagging groceries, sassing strangers or muralizing outrageously upscale homes. Currently she takes lots of selfies and plays good cop to C.R. Cohen’s tough-lovin’ bad cop.

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