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

By Ruben Ugarte, Sales Director of Home Services & Solar, ActiveProspect

Competition is fiercer than ever in today’s solar power industry. To stay ahead, solar companies need a bulletproof marketing strategy that brings in 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 prior express written consent to be contacted. This shouldn’t be confused with permission marketing. Permission marketing only requires the customer’s permission, which is often disclosed in a privacy policy somewhere that the prospect might not ever read. That doesn’t count as consent.

Not only is consent-based marketing the best way to ensure that your company remains compliant with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), it’s also the best channel for customer acquisition. By practicing consent-based marketing, you know that 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’ve actually opted-in to hear about your product or service.

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

Why Solar Companies Should Be Using Consent-Based Marketing

Over 900 MW of solar was installed in the united States in Q1 2021, making it the largest Q1 on record. Those numbers don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, either. Nearly 50% of all U.S. homeowners have either already installed solar panels on their homes or given serious consideration to doing so. Add in the push for renewable energy and reduced emissions by the Biden administration and you have an industry ripe for exponential growth.

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

It’s difficult to undercut the competition and still remain profitable, since equipment and labor costs remain about the same across the industry. Without being able to rely on competitive pricing to narrow down their options, the consumer’s decision usually comes down to timing.

So, how do you ensure that it’s your sales rep on the other end of the line when the customer picks up their phone, instead of the competition’s? Even more importantly, how do you make sure they’re receptive to your pitch?

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

1) Call Leads Faster with Consent-Based Marketing

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

You can autodial with confidence, knowing that you’re not opening your company up to expensive lawsuits.

2) Call Leads More Efficiently with Consent-Based Marketing

You can have the best automated dialer and the most talented sales reps in the industry, but if they’re calling junk leads, you’ll have to call an inordinate amount of leads to net the same number of conversions. That’s the opposite of efficient lead generation.

To actually practice efficient lead generation and drive your conversion rate up, you need to increase lead quality. That means not wasting time on fraudulent leads, duplicate leads or leads that don’t meet your qualifying criteria and just aren’t going to convert. Consent-based marketing helps solve this problem, too. Prospects that have opted in to hear from you are demonstrating purchase intent and are more likely to convert.

How Can Solar Companies Reliably Practice Consent-Based Marketing?

Consent-based marketing consists of five basic steps:

  1. Capture the consent of interested consumers. This should be done when the consumer provides their contact information, usually by filling out a form on your site or that of a lead vendor.
  2. Document consent for legal compliance. To protect your company from bad faith litigators, you not only need to obtain express written consent, but you need to be able to prove that you’ve done so.
  3. Qualify and enhance lead data. To keep this process fast and efficient, use a real-time data service to help you identify the high-quality prospects most likely to become your best customers.
  4. Filter and reject lead data. It’s important to have a system in place that will reject leads that don’t meet your qualifying criteria. Whether they’re fraudulent, uncontactable, duplicates, or just not qualified, these leads should be filtered out in real time.
  5. Contact the consumer promptly. Time is of the essence, especially in the hyper-competitive solar industry. You don’t want to lose a lead you’ve already paid for to a competitor that beat you to the punch.

While these steps themselves aren’t complicated, having the right tools and processes in place to streamline your consent-based marketing efforts is crucial. This is particularly true if, like many solar companies, your company purchases pre-qualified leads. Verifying compliance from and integrating with third-party vendors is a daunting task with multiple moving parts.

Fortunately, you don’t have to tackle it alone. Consent-based marketing platforms are available to handle the heavy-lifting, managing everything from compliance documentation to lead vendor integration to data optimization, so your team can go back to doing what they do best.

With consent-based marketing to help you efficiently and safely acquire customers, boost 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 making consent-based marketing the main channel for customer acquisition. Ruben has spent decades working in the home services industry and has a wealth of knowledge on all things lead gen for solar.

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