Speaker Tells DMDNY Attendees to Look Under the Mask

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NEW YORK -- The only way for Internet marketers to sell to customers online is to take off their masks, Seth Godin, president of Do You Zoom Inc., told direct marketers here yesterday at the DM Days New York conference. "Then, look them in the eye, shake their hands and sell them something."

Online marketers need to look to traditional direct marketers -- those who started direct mail operations from their kitchen tables -- to remember that success comes from selling to people, not lists. Successful Web marketers will learn to break through the clutter of unsolicited commercial e-mail, direct mail and mass advertising and get a consumer's permission to tell their story and make their marketing messages personal and relevant, according to Godin. "Permission is the only asset you can build online," said Godin, and that's how to get consumers to pay attention to your message.

Getting permission is not easy, said Godin. It requires patience and money, testing and measuring.

In order to turn consumers in customers, Internet marketers must approach their strategies like dating, according to Godin. Companies delving into e-commerce need to ask, "Are we organized from top to bottom to date our prospects," said Godin. It's only then that marketers can hope to marry them and make them customers.

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