Want prospects to opt-in? Call them

Want B2B prospects to opt-in? Call them

As the arrival of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gets closer, many firms are asking how to get opt-in ahead of the deadline. So what’s the most effective way of gaining B2B marketing consent?

Say opt-in to most marketing folk and they immediately visualise email, but the GDPR covers all forms of direct marketing – including direct mail, telemarketing and social media. The clue is in the title, it’s a DATA regulation, not the email marketing regulation; so direct lines, job title, full name and work email address are all included.

Getting prospects to opt-in for just email is easier than asking them to opt-in for telemarketing, direct mail AND email. But email alone in B2B is not enough. You need to call your prospects after they have opened or clicked.

So what’s the most persuasive method?

I did a B2B campaign for a well-known tech brand where they had previously relied on web forms alone to get consent. The form on their website encouraged prospects to download a report with the ubiquitous ‘tick box’ giving the brand consent to send further marketing messages. The average rate of consent was 1-3% depending on the value of the report.

However, after discussion with the client, we persuaded them to use telemarketing as part of the opt-in campaign. The results were very different. Telemarketing achieved 15% consent.

The primary reason is that a good telemarketing agent can be far more persuasive than a tick box. The agent can understand the prospect’s needs and highlight how your newsletter/marketing/knowledge can help them achieve their goals. An agent can calmly explain how you will not bombard them with spam or make irrelevant calls.

But perhaps most importantly of all, a good telemarketing agent can deal effectively with the myriad of objections that all prospects raise. A tick box just can’t do that.

The likely date for the enforcement of the GDPR is two years from now and the clock is ticking – you don’t have much time to get consent to store personal data from all your prospects. I advise making telemarketing a part of your opt-in programme.

Email marketing and a web form may be cheaper, but nobody will remember that when you have to dump 80% of your prospect data in 2018.

This post is part of a series about the General Data Protection Regulation; the full list of posts include ‘How Brexit impacts marketing data in the UK‘ | ‘3 tips: Steal my GDPR plan‘ | ‘The GDPR became law yesterday… and nobody cared‘ | ‘Get ready for Data Protection ambulance chasers‘ | ‘10 Must-know facts about the new EU data law‘ | ‘Want prospects to opt-in? Call them‘ | ‘You don’t need ‘opt-in’ to store a switchboard number‘ | ‘What can these guys teach you about opt-in marketing?‘ | ‘How content marketing will change after 2018‘ | ‘Winning Edge: Counter a direct threat

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