Most people receive a lot of emails every day.
Sifting through what’s relevant and what’s not is a big job that, for obvious reasons, has been dialed back into a rote process: Do I know this sender? Did I ask for this? No? Click delete and move on.
This method works great for culling our own personal inboxes, but when you’re trying to reach — and convert — a prospect, you don’t want to risk going straight to the trash folder.
Herein lies the beauty of permission-based selling. By getting permission first, you increase your chances of not only getting eyes on your message but of getting a positive and productive response. And this same rule of thumb applies to other modes of outreach, too, including phone calls and in-person drop-ins.
You’re probably familiar with permission-based email marketing, but what about permission-based selling? Here’s what to know, including what makes it so effective.
What is Permission-Based Selling?
Permission-based selling is a sales strategy that revolves around getting direct permission from a lead for outreach before engaging via phone, email, or other sales-driven mediums.
The principles behind this tactic are similar to those behind opt-in email marketing, with the idea being that a lead who gives their express permission to hear from you is more likely to be interested in what you have to say — and what you have to sell.
At least 50% of your prospects aren’t a good fit for what you sell, and among those who are, many don’t take well to intrusive sales techniques. Since your job is to close the deal, though, you need to find as many workarounds as possible for identifying qualified leads and turning them into customers. Permission-based selling isn’t the only way to do it, but it is one of the most effective.
The Benefits of Permission-Based Selling
So how can something as simple as asking for permission before reaching out make a difference in your ability to hit your quota? It comes down to a few simple benefits, all of which help to increase the likelihood of a sale.
1. Ensures Your Leads are Qualified
Permission-based selling is one of the best ways to separate the qualified leads from the not-so-qualified leads. Once someone has voluntarily given you the go-ahead to send them more information, they’re expressing a heightened degree of interest in your product or service, as well as a willingness to engage more deeply.
2. Makes You Seem Less Pushy
Let’s face it, there’s a certain icky feeling to reaching out to prospects when you’re not welcome to do so (telemarketers, anyone?). By asking permission first, you remove the ick factor and make it so that someone is actually expecting your call or email — and is, therefore, more likely to welcome it.
3. Builds Trust in Your Brand
You can’t fake your way to trustworthiness. Permission-based selling helps convey to your prospects that you respect their time and their privacy, which is a concrete way to establish more integrity and start your relationship off on the right foot.
4. Adds Legitimacy to Your Pitch
Presumably, nobody is giving you permission to pitch to them without having already decided that your company is worthy of their interest. This adds a base level of legitimacy to both your brand and what you’re selling, which is essential for a successful sale.
How to Ask Permission
Permission-based selling can happen in a few different ways. Sometimes it’s direct, such as sending a message on LinkedIn asking a prospect if they’d be willing to schedule a time to connect and talk about what your product or service can do for them. Other times, it may be through a more indirect but still viable method, such as having a customer opt-in to a pitch in exchange for a certain incentive.
Another great permission-based tactic is to have prompts on your website, social media accounts, or in your email signature. These prompts can simply be buttons that ask people if they’d like you to reach out to them with more information. Or, it can be a button that helps them set up a demo of your product with a sales representative.
Think of permission-based selling as a form of engagement in and of itself. Unlike cold outreach, it sets the stage for more productive relationships and ensures that you only pitch to prospects who have a baseline interest in your product or service. Just be careful not to make the act of asking permission too salesy in itself. Save the good stuff for when you actually have a prospect’s attention, and have faith in the idea that a qualified lead is a lead who is truly worth your time.
Hot tip: don’t load up on the “asks” when requesting permission. A simple “can I send you an email with more information?” is probably going to get a better response than “can I send you an email and get a follow-up call on the books?”. Remember: the goal is to decrease the sense of pushiness that can come with sales pitches and to build engagement on mutual interest and respect.
Best Email Marketing Practices to Generate Leads
Have you implemented email marketing in your digital strategy? If you answered no, now is the time to do so.
There are many new and innovative ways to market to your target audience, however, email marketing remains one of the most reliable and effective ways to generate leads. With the right strategy in place, you will be able to convert prospects into paying customers who truly value your brand.
In this guide, our expert digital team at Bold x Collective discusses everything you need to know about email marketing, as well as some of the best practices that will help your business generate leads!
To preface, you always need to ensure that you do not buy into email lists. Doing so will result in prospects moving your content into the trash or ending up in their spam folders.
This also eliminates prospects’ free will of being able to opt in to emails. This starts the brand-to-customer relationship on a bad note and will result in a higher rate of opt-outs for emails. And not to mention… it is illegal!
Once you have a curated list of prospects that were gained organically through website traffic and membership sign up’s, you can move on to the next step of optimizing your email list by lead scoring. This tactic will filter which prospects are opening your emails, and which ones are worth putting more effort into.
By putting together this new refined list of prospects, your brand will be able to obtain higher conversion rates and a greater return on investment as your efforts are being focused on where it matters most.
Now that you’ve organized an optimized list of prospects, it’s time to create the actual email. There are many tactics you can use when drafting an email, but these are some of my favorites that will really allow your email to stand out in your prospect’s inbox.
- Name the offer in the subject line, in a fun, intriguing way that will make your viewer interested!
- Keep the main message and call to action above the fold.
- Include a personalized touch by adding your name and having a sign-off; viewers love it.
- Have a clean and concise email – no one likes too much content at one time!
First off, having your offer, promotion or main announcement in the subject line is more likely to grab the attention of the reader as it gets straight to the point and gives them an immediate reason to look for more details. For example, when the subject line states “25% off the ENTIRE site”.
This line introduces an incentive that will be received if you choose to purchase with them, ultimately decreasing their opportunity cost. This will create the feeling of “FOMO”. Fear of missing out and entice readers to browse your website and shop.
Along with this strategy, it is also beneficial to keep the main message of the email and call to action so that readers can see it at first glance. This means the information they first receive upon viewing the email and upon opening it without having to scroll down.
Not everyone opens every email they get and will often only view the text that shows above the fold. If that text is intriguing enough, they will seek to learn more. So now you have your readers’ attention, the contents of the email above the fold are what is going to keep their attention and be the driving source of whether they become paying customers.
This study was done on users’ scrolling and attention spans tell them that nearly 57% of users’ page-viewing time is above the fold (information that is visible without scrolling).
Therefore, they can use this information to their advantage by making sure the most important details are included above this fold.
Now that you’ve figured out where to put the most relevant information, let’s get into elements to include in your email content that makes it effective. My personal recommendation would be to include personalized touches such as a personalized greeting and signature sign-off.
A greeting with the contact’s name helps to grab their attention right away as they are being addressed personally. In addition to a personalized greeting, having a signature sign-off that shows the reader that there is a real person on the other end, adds to the level of authenticity that it comes across.
The more of a connection the customer creates with the brand, the more purchasing power they will have. How do they create a connection? With authenticity!
My last tip, a very simple one, but crucial… is to keep your email clean and concise. No one wants to spend longer than they must, to read an email.
It’s important to keep things looking visually appealing, straight to the point, and summarized in an intriguing and digestible way.
By doing this, you are allowing prospects to gather just what they need to move forward with the buying process. So don’t overthink it, quality is always better than quantity!
To start your journey with email marketing, here are some of their favorite email marketing apps at Bold x Collective:
- Active campaign
And while you’re at it, check out Bold x Collective’s blog on how you can get email marketing started for your business! Need some extra guidance and assistance with your email marketing channels? Contact their team to receive a complimentary consultation!
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