With a title like that and the words “Learn how your character flaws could give you some real advantages in the workplace.” right below, how could I possibly resist clicking on the link that would help me “Get the full 2006 Careers Guide, free“?
I was then met with the usual marketing tool of signing up before I actually get my hands on the goods.
While filling in my details, I noticed something strange at the bottom: I had been presented with what could be called a Hobson’s choice – I could either get the guide and then receive email from the publishers, or nothing at all.
Being the sort who generally tries to get only that which I want, I de-selected the check box and clicked “submit”.
Oh. That’s very interesting. It reads (click on the image for larger version):
The form was not submitted because of the following error(s).
Please correct these error(s) and resubmit.
- The following required field(s) are empty :
I wish to receive relevant information from New Scientist and Reed Elsevier in the future:
To cut a long story short, I was interested in the guide so I went ahead and clicked “yes” and submitted these details.
After that I was redirected to an online copy of the guide. I would’ve preferred a downloadable pdf that I could read whenever I wanted, but hey, that’s not the point.
The point is, was this permission marketing? If we check with the wikipedia, we find that
Permission marketing is a term used in e-marketing. Marketers will ask permission before they send advertisements to prospective customers. It is used by some Internet marketers, email marketers, and telephone marketers. It requires that people first “opt-in”, rather than allowing people to “opt-out” only after the advertisements have been sent.
Why would people offering me a “free” guide want to know my email address and then send me “relevant information”? I think it’d have something to do with marketing their products at a later date. If so, why wasn’t I given the opportunity to opt-out at the very beginning?
I mean, what would Seth say?