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Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  13,354 ratings  ·  351 reviews
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 a
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 6th 1999 by Simon Schuster
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Mihai Rosca In my opinion, Interruption Marketing means that the seller usually comes to the consumer to say "Hey, here's what I have for you! Do you want it?" Th…moreIn my opinion, Interruption Marketing means that the seller usually comes to the consumer to say "Hey, here's what I have for you! Do you want it?" This happens all the time via ads, banners, commercials, magazines, pop-ups, etc. Usually, this tactic relies on the fact that you, the consumer, are already in an environment you chose to pay attention to for the time being.

As opposed to this tactic, Permission Marketing lets you come to the seller with some pretext, either to buy or to discover and, only then does the seller say "Hi! I might be able to help you. And if you choose to work with us, we have a nice reward for you".

The advantages to the latter approach are huge, especially that no human being wants to be sold to (at a deeper psychological level, they might feel manipulated), but rather feel good that they have found the perfect solution that solves their problem.

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Riku Sayuj
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Permission Marketing Vs. Interruption Marketing

Most marketers practice Interruption Marketing. The difference is simple. An Interruption Marketer is a hunter. A Permission Marketer is a farmer.

Hunting prospects involves loading a gun with bullets and shooting until you hit something. You can take a day or a week or a month off from this endeavor and it won’t take you long to get back into successfully bagging a few.

Farming prospects involves hoeing, planting, watering, and harvesting. It’s infin
Jamie Belanger
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I see an interesting book on business or marketing at my local library, the first thing I check after reading the jacket is the publication date. Seeing that this book was published in 1999 didn't give me much confidence in it. In computer terms, 1999 is practically the Stone Age. Granted, I remember the Internet back then, since I started using networked computer systems in the late 80s and started surfing the web in 1995. So in some ways, this book was a little bit of nostalgia.

J.Aleksandr Wootton
Nov 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: job
Reading this twenty years after publication, it's not surprising that elements of the "Permission Marketing" techniques that Godin and others were pioneering in the late 90s and early 00s have become common. What's surprising is how incompletely marketers have adopted the model.

"Interruption Marketing" - the sort pioneered in the "Mad Men" advertising era, in which a billboard or short video or audio clip interrupts what you were doing and attempts to, in a matter of seconds, present you with so
Aug 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I found it rather amusing how the book started off with the example of how you're supposed to think of marketing as asking for a date rather than attempting to propose marriage right off the bat. There's an endless supply of books and tomes out there trying to explain how you're supposed to get a date and how hard it truly is. Permission Marketing doesn't really tell you how you're supposed to get that initial attention and wowing factor although it does go into well how you should be building a ...more
Omar Halabieh
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- "As clutter has increased, advertisers have responded by increasing clutter. And as with pollution, because no one owns the problem, no one is working very hard to solve it."

2- "In addition to clutter, there's another problem facing marketers. Consumers don't need to care as much as they used to. The quality of products has increased dramatically It's increased so much, in fact, that it doesn't really matter which car y
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think one of the biggest problems facing marketers who are using social media is not learning the tools themselves but in how to use the tools. I used to say when I was teaching social media that my students did not need to be afraid of Twitter. They already have the knowledge of how to market, this was just a new tool. It was like they were building a home with a hammer, and now they have a new tool of an electric nail gun. As soon as they learn to use it they will be okay.

While I still feel
Nov 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Being an old book a lot of information is a bit outdated.
For one, AOL, AltaVista are gone, Yahoo! was replaced by Google.
Banners and pop-ups are still with us.

However the basic concept is still valid. I've read many reviews where people complain about Godin not writing anything "new", that the whole permission marketing idea is thousands years old - as he himself points out a few times in the book, it was the norm until about a 100 years ago -, and this is all intuitive, nothing new there.

But if
Mark Sylvester
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, goals-2015
Interesting read! A little outdated in parts as it was written in 1999, but a step by step strategy for turning strangers into customers using permission marketing (when people give you permission to market to them), rather than interruption marketing (TV ads,etc) . Particularly liked the portion that explained how permission needs to be 3 essential components in order to work - anticipated, personal, and relevant. Recommended as Seth was the father of this kind of marketing that's dominating In ...more
Ahmed Korayem
Sep 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Repetition, repetition, and guess what again ??? Repetition. This is my first time to rate a book with a single star. The concept of permission marketing was very well explained at the very beginning of the book, and i was fascinated by the way Seth explained the evolution of marketing from one to one approaches to mass campaigns. After that, the book gave nothing new.
Calin Biris
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Permission Marketing is to Inbound Marketing, what Darth Vader is to Luke Skywalker. A must read for starters in Online Marketing.
fun reading!

Reading a marketing book written in 1999 was an interesting experience, but reading the entire book was a waste of time. The author has a great vision and almost all his claims and predictions about these times that we have have come true.

he goes to too many repetitions to prove his idea and makes very long explanations in different areas of marketing. however, if you are someone who has already accepted these, it is really hard to read. for someone who knows marketing basis, it will
Gisela Hausmann
To get this off my chest I want to begin by saying that illustrating the statement “Frequency works” with Muhammad Ali’s fight record is simply wrong, or, at best a not well chosen example. Godin writes “Muhammad Ali did not become heavyweight champion by punching twenty people one time each. No, he became the champ by punching one guy twenty times. By applying frequency to the poor opponent’s head, Ali was able to bring his message home…”

I might have ignored this if it did not come up a secon
Gisela Hausmann
To get this off my chest I want to begin by saying that illustrating the statement “Frequency works” with Muhammad Ali’s fight record is simply wrong, or, at best a not well chosen example. Godin writes “Muhammad Ali did not become heavyweight champion by punching twenty people one time each. No, he became the champ by punching one guy twenty times. By applying frequency to the poor opponent’s head, Ali was able to bring his message home…”

I might have ignored this if it did not come up a secon
Loy Machedo
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Permission Marketing by Seth Godin.

Everyday we are bombarded with ads from literally every company, brand, product and service. Every advert uses every possible medium where the targeted ROI is hoped to reach new record levels. And if there is any strategy, science or style that would increase this level by even an iota, you can be rest assured everyone else on the planet would jump the bandwagon to slurp out the last living possibility.

In this competitive, confusin
Suyog Sonar
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
It is quite informative book about marketing. Even though it was written in 1999, it is still relevant today.

There are lot of things that we dont understand about marketing. How a product comes to us, in what form, in what credibility. We all are being manipulated by the marketing guys to buy a particular product, without too much trouble from ourself to first check overall advantages over other available products in the market. We just act on their cues and fall in prey of their game. Although
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I finished this book, I tore out the last page and posted it by my desk as a future guide. This book is a bit older at this point (1999 I believe), but some of his predictions were prescient and the principles are timeless. Basically, don't be an annoying fuck while marketing. A lot of it simply plays to people's inherent self-interest, too: "Just because someone is a professional doesn't mean he isn't selfish! Make yourself a little sign and post it on your wall. America's favorite radio s ...more
Antonius Roy Hambali
Nov 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Antonius Roy Hambali by: No one
Shelves: my-favorit
Great book. With lots of examples.
Sveta Bugrimenko
Sep 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Book genre: History of marketing.
Too old to be useful.
But it was interesting to learn how they managed without social networks or Google Ads. )

Marion Hill
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
“The marketer is not in control, the consumer is. And the consumer is selfish. Consumers care very little about you, your company, your products, your career, or your family. They’re not likely to spend time trying to discover how you can help them solve their problems. The heart of Permission Marketing is giving the stranger a reason to pay attention.”

This quote sums up Seth Godin’s main argument in his groundbreaking marketing book, Permission Marketing. Published in 1999, Godin was at the for
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
I couldn't complete it. Had to abandon around final 20% of the pages (should have done it sooner) as it just got too difficult to ingest.

There're many issues with this book.

1. The content is terribly dated. Examples are not at all relevant today. There are places where it talks about the benefits of email (duh!) and goes as far as to claim that "there will come a time when big companies will abandon the web - something I'm yet to see.

2. There's just too much repetitive and re-iterative stuff. It
Mario Russo
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: marketing
It's curious how this is aligned with Jeff Walker approach. Plus, while the book was published almost 20 years ago, by coincidente I just happened to read it a little after the Facebook mess with Cambridge analytica, proving Godin's insight were relevant far ahead of its time.Short book and fun read. Recommended. ...more
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Some of his ideas are quite interesting, other sound redundant almost 20 years past publication date. This would have been a lot more useful book, had it been republished with a fresher perspective on things.
Dominic Bellavance
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lu-en-2019, essai
This book could have been an email.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book for pick up artists and what a fantastic idea this book has :)
Kerenza Ryan
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very knowledgeable, would've appreciated more tangible steps. ...more
Berker Koccaz
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
A short book having some marketing ideas and presenting the basis about them..
Chris Hanson
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
All the tools I need to be able to sell 1 beellion pairs of eyewear. Now I just have to figure out how to use them.

High-level concepts but useful in thinking about how to market more efficiently, and not just using marketing channels as a megaphone to a lot people who might not be interested aka start hammering people who actually care with emails and discard those who don't.
T.L. Cooper
May 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Permission Marketing by Seth Godin had been on my reading list for a very long time after a couple of people recommended it to me and I'd seen it referenced as describing the "right" way to market. Perhaps I'm a bit too cynical, but reading this book made me realize why I hate so much of the marketing we see today. While this book is a how-to book about marketing strategy, I have to admit the techniques within sounded a bit manipulative to me. I'm a straightforward kind of person, and I truly do ...more
Yevgeniy Brikman
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Here's the TLDR for the book: create opt-in mailing lists, offer incentives to get people to join those lists, and then send promotional materials to those people on a regular basis.

That's honestly all there is to it. Don't get me wrong, the basic premise of the book is correct: instead of "interruption marketing", where you try to grab a prospects attention with all sorts of distractions, you should use "permission marketing", where the prospect opts in to your marketing channel, and you gradua
Dane Cobain
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Permission Marketing is the marketing book to rule all marketing books, the one book that you should be sure to read before all others and which you should re-read every year if you hope to ever sell a product. Godin revolutionised the way we think about marketing – no longer is it about getting your message out in front of people in any way possible. Now, you need to seek the permission of consumers before you contact them.

In some cases, this is actually a legal requirement – think of the CAN S
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Seth Godin is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change.

Godin is author of ten books that have been bestsellers around the world, and he is also a renowned speaker. He was recently chosen as one of 21 Speakers for the Next Century by Successful Meetings and is consistently rated among the very best speakers by the audiences he addresses.

Seth was founder and CEO of Yoyodyne, the indust

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