Solar businesses can generate leads and increase conversions with consent-based marketing

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

Competition is fiercer than ever in today’s solar energy industry. To stay ahead, solar companies need a rock-solid marketing strategy that brings in high quality leads that convert.

Consent-based marketing can help close this gap.

What is consent-based marketing?

Consent Based Marketing It is the practice to contact only those customers who have given prior express written consent to be contacted. This should not be confused with permission marketing. Authorization marketing only requires the customer’s permission, which is often disclosed in a privacy policy somewhere the prospect might never read. It does not count as consent.

Consent-based marketing is not only the best way to ensure that your business remains in compliance with the Consumer Protection Act by Telephone (TCPA), but it is also the best channel for customer acquisition. By practicing consent-based marketing, you know you’re only reaching prospects who really want to hear from you. This means better quality prospects who are more likely to convert because they actually chose to hear about your product or service.

It sounds like a win-win for any business, but why is it a game-changer for solar companies in particular?

Why solar companies should use consent-based marketing

More than 900 MW of solar were installed in the United States in the first quarter of 2021, making it the largest T1 ever recorded. These numbers also don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Almost 50% of all U.S. homeowners have already installed solar panels on their homes or have seriously considered doing so. Add in the push for renewable energies and emissions reduced by the Biden administration and you have an industry ripe for exponential growth.

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

It is difficult to reduce competition while remaining profitable, as equipment and labor costs remain roughly the same throughout the industry. Without being able to count on competitive prices to refine their options, the consumer’s decision usually comes down to timing.

So how do you make sure it’s your sales rep on the other end of the phone when the customer picks up their phone, instead of the competition’s? 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 reaching more prospects faster and more efficiently.

1) Calls are Faster with Consent Based Marketing

Whether you’re calling cold leads or pre-qualified leads from a purchased list, increasing 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 these requirements with every lead.

You can compose with confidence, knowing that you are not opening up your business to costly lawsuits.

2) call prospects more effectively with consent-based marketing

You can have the best auto dialer and the most talented sales reps in the business, but if they are calling unwanted leads, you will have to call too many leads to get the same number of conversions. It’s the opposite of effective lead generation.

To practice effective lead generation and increase your conversion rate, you need to increase the quality of leads. This means not wasting time on fraudulent leads, duplicate leads, or leads that don’t meet your qualifying criteria and are simply not going to convert. Consent-based marketing also helps solve this problem. Prospects who have chosen to hear from you demonstrate purchase intent and are more likely to convert.

How can solar companies reliably practice consent-based marketing?

Consent-based marketing involves five basic steps:

  1. Obtain consent from 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 primary supplier.
  2. Document consent for legal compliance. To protect your business from bad faith litigants, 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 prospect data. To keep this process fast and efficient, use a real-time data service to help you identify the high-quality leads most likely to become your best customers.
  4. Filter and reject prospect data. It’s important to have a system in place that will reject prospects who don’t meet your qualifying criteria. Whether they are fraudulent, unreachable, duplicate or simply unqualified, these prospects must be filtered in real time.
  5. Quickly contact the consumer. Time is running out, especially in the hyper-competitive solar industry. You don’t want to lose a lead you’ve already paid to a competitor who has beaten you in the fist.

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 especially true if, like many solar companies, your business purchases pre-qualified leads. Verifying compliance and integrating with third-party vendors is a daunting task with many moving parts.

Fortunately, you don’t have to face it alone. Consent-based marketing platforms are available to handle the heavy lifting, from compliance documentation to key vendor onboarding and data optimization, so your team can get back to doing what they need. ‘she does the best.

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


Ruben Ugarte is the Sales Director for Home Services and Solar Power at ActiveProspect, the platform that makes consent-based marketing the primary channel for customer acquisition. Ruben has spent decades working in the home service industry and has a vast knowledge of all aspects of lead generation for solar power.

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