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Abstract

Godin (1999) has proposed a new idea-permission marketing. Here, consumers provide marketers with the permission to send them certain types of promotional messages. This is seen as reducing clutter and search costs for the consumer while improving targeting precision for marketers. This paper makes three contributions: First, a critical analysis of the concept and its relationship to existing ideas in the marketing literature is discussed. Second, a taxonomy of four models used to implement permission marketing today, direct relationship maintenance, permission partnership, ad market and permission pool, is presented. Permission intensity is seen as a key differentiator among models. Finally, a comprehensive conceptual cost-benefit framework is presented that captures the consumer experience in permission marketing programs. Consumer interest is seen as the key dependent variable that influences the degree of participation. Consumer interest is positively affected by message relevance and monetary benefit and negatively affected by information entry/modification costs, message processing costs and privacy costs. Based on this framework, several empirically testable propositions are identified.