Solar companies can drive leads and boost conversions with consent-based marketing

By Ruben Ugarte, Sales Director of Home Services & Solar, Active Prospect

Competition in today’s solar industry is fiercer than ever. To stay ahead of the curve, solar companies need a bulletproof marketing strategy that leads to high-quality leads that convert.

Consent-based marketing can help bridge that gap.

What is Consent-Based Marketing?

Consent-Based Marketing is the practice of only contacting customers who have given their prior express written consent to be contacted. This should not be confused with consent marketing. Permission marketing only requires the customer’s consent, which is often stated in a privacy policy somewhere that the prospect may never read. That doesn’t count as permission.

Consent-based marketing is not only the best way to keep your business compliant with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), it’s also the best channel for customer acquisition. By applying consent-based marketing, you know you’re only reaching leads who actually want to hear from you. That means higher quality leads that are more likely to convert because they actually signed up to hear about your product or service.

That sounds like a win-win situation for any business, but why is it a game-changer for solar companies specifically?

Why solar companies should use permission-based marketing

More than 900 MW of solar power was installed in the United States in the first quarter of 2021, making it the biggest Q1 ever recorded. Those numbers don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, either. Nearly 50% of all US homeowners have either already installed solar panels on their homes or are seriously considering doing so. Add to the push for renewable energy and reduced emissions from the Biden administration and you have an industry ripe for exponential growth.

Rapid growth is of course a good thing. But as demand grows, so does the already fierce competition.

It is difficult to undercut competition and still remain profitable, as material and labor costs remain roughly the same across the industry. Without being able to rely on competitive pricing to limit their options, the consumer’s decision usually comes down to timing.

So, how do you make sure it’s your salesperson on the other end of the line when the customer picks up their phone, rather than the competition’s? And more importantly, how do you make sure they are receptive to your pitch?

This is where consent-based marketing can make all the difference. Being competitive in the solar field means contacting more leads with more speed and greater efficiency.

1) Call leads faster with consent-based marketing

Whether you’re calling cold leads or prequalified leads from a purchased list, scaling your call volume without sacrificing speed requires automation. Unfortunately, the introduction of an automated dialer also introduces compliance risk factors. Under the TCPA, businesses are required to obtain prior express written consent before calling consumers through an automated dialing system (ATDS). Consent-based marketing ensures that you meet those requirements with every lead.

You can make automatic calls with confidence, knowing you’re not exposing your business to expensive lawsuits.

2) Call leads more efficiently with consent-based marketing

You can have the best auto-dialer and the most talented salespeople in the industry, but if they call unwanted leads, you’ll need to call an excessive number of leads to get the same number of conversions. That’s the opposite of efficient lead generation.

To effectively generate leads and increase your conversion rate, you need to increase lead quality. That means you don’t waste time on fraudulent leads, duplicate leads, or leads that don’t meet your qualification criteria and just won’t convert. Consent-based marketing also helps solve this problem. Prospects who have signed up to hear from you show purchase intent and are more likely to convert.

How can solar companies reliably conduct consent-based marketing?

Consent-based marketing consists of five basic steps:

  1. Record the consent of interested consumers. This should be done when the consumer provides their contact details, usually by filling out a form on your site or that of a lead seller.
  2. Document consent for legal compliance. To protect your business from lawyers acting in bad faith, you must not only obtain express written consent, but you must also be able to prove that you have done so.
  3. Qualify and improve lead data. To keep this process fast and efficient, use a real-time data service to help you identify the high-value prospects who are likely to become your best customers.
  4. Filter and reject lead data. It’s important to have a system that turns down leads that don’t meet your qualification criteria. Whether they’re fraudulent, unreachable, duplicates, or simply unqualified, these leads need to be filtered out in real time.
  5. Contact the consumer quickly. Time is of the essence, especially in the hyper-competitive solar industry. You don’t want to lose an edge you’ve already paid for to a competitor that beat you.

While these steps themselves aren’t complicated, it’s critical to have the right tools and processes in place to streamline your consent-based marketing efforts. This is especially true if your business, like many solar companies, buys pre-qualified leads. Verifying compliance and integration with third-party vendors is a daunting task with multiple moving parts.

Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with it alone. Consent-based marketing platforms are available to do the heavy lifting and manage everything from compliance documentation to supplier integration to data optimization, so your team can get back to doing what they do best.

With permission-based marketing to help you efficiently and securely acquire customers, increase conversion rates and drive sales, the future of solar is bright.

Ruben Ugarte is the Sales Director of Home Services & Solar at ActiveProspect, the platform that makes consent-based marketing the primary channel for customer acquisition. Having worked in the home service industry for decades, Ruben has a wealth of knowledge about all things solar lead gen.

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