In today’s episode, I’m going to share with you how consent in marketing actually increases connection and conversion.
I am very passionate about consent-driven and consent-based sales and marketing, so this is going to be a particularly juicy episode.
Let’s dive in…
When it comes to marketing in your business and making sales, there are so many toxic strategies that are being taught – particularly for online business.
It must be said that a lot of these strategies DO work.
They are playing on people’s emotions, they are bypassing consent, and they are using emotional manipulation in order to get sales.
When it comes to working out whether your strategies and marketing tactics are appropriate for you to use, whether they work and whether they are grounded in consent, it can be a very grey area.
A lot of marketing gurus and sales gurus will use the fact that it WORKS as a justification.
There’s a lot of justification out there for using strategies that are triggering trauma, that are bypassing consent, and that are ultimately toxic for your audience.
As far as I’m concerned, the number one rule of thumb for me and the number one driver for my decision on whether to use a marketing strategy or not, is: Would I feel confident, comfortable and happy for someone to use this strategy on me? Does it feel aligned with my values and how I want to impact the world?
Yes, I want more clients. Yes, I want to be of service for more people. And yes, I want to help as many people as possible. But I am not willing to traumatise, manipulate or in any way, shape or form damage my audience or potential clients in order to make those sales.
When I think about webinars that I run, emails that I send and strategies that I use, I don’t just think about what the impact would be for someone who does buy.
I think about what the impact would be for someone who doesn’t.
My marketing strategies and sales decisions are driven by my understanding of consent, NOT simply compliance with the law.
As far as I’m concerned, the law is a very minimum baseline level of making sure that you’re not doing anything illegal. That is NOT the guide for how I want to behave ethically and morally in my business.
Can taking a consent-driven and consent-based approach to marketing sales actually get better results for you? Yes, it can.
I want to be a beacon of that being an example for people to follow, rather than consistently over and over being told that if they want to get more conversion, they have to implement toxic marketing strategies.
I wanted to share with you four ways that having a consent-driven approach will actually increase connection and conversion.
If we can prove to the world, and in particular the online marketing world, that being consent-driven will actually get better results, then we can be the catalyst for change in our industry.
Here are the four main ways that having a consent-driven approach will increase connection and conversion…
1. We are smarter now
When it comes to the ways that we’re sold to and the ways that we’re marketed to, we’re much more savvy with picking up on toxic language or psychological tips, tools and tricks that are being used on us.
We are so much smarter.
I think that a lot of these toxic marketing strategies are treating us as though we are just blindly going through our days and not paying attention to the way that we’re being spoken to or treated.
More and more, there is pushback from audiences about toxic marketing strategies.
People are wising up to the strategies.
One of the things that I have been talking to people about online recently (a conversation that was sparked by one of my very amazing friends Zach Spuckler – he’s someone who’s very much pushing back against some of the toxic marketing strategies out there) is countdown timers.
One of my favourite things to do is ask people about their experiences with countdown timers that weren’t necessarily genuine. We were having some conversations about seeing countdown timers that are fake.
We’re starting to wise up to these fake countdown timers.
There’s a tool that you can use that automatically makes the countdown timer say that there are just 15 minutes to go until the price goes up. This timer begins the minute someone comes to a sales page. It also resets every time you come to the sales page.
It’s not true – it’s completely fake.
Sometimes it doesn’t reset if you’re using the same IP address. But if you use a virtual private network (VPN) and then go back to it, all of a sudden, the countdown timer is at 15 minutes again.
When we see things like that, we’re so much smarter these days.
Have you ever gone to sign up for a webinar that’s supposedly live and you get to choose which time of the webinar you’re going to, and one just so happens to start on the hour in the very next hour? Or one just so happens to start exactly in 15 minutes time?
Then there are six different “live” webinar times that you can choose from?
And yet, if that person was as successful and busy as they claimed they would be, there is no way they would run six webinars in a day.
When we see these things, we are so much smarter now.
I’ve been on live webinars where there’s even a questions box that I’ve typed comments and questions into, and it is so clear to me that those comments and questions are not actually being seen by anyone live on that webinar.
The person who’s running the webinar will say that they saw a question from Christy in the chatbox, and yet everyone on the webinar can see that there’s no Christy on the webinar, let alone asking questions.
We see these things now. We are smarter.
If we catch people using these strategies, it doesn’t matter how amazing your products and services are, we are starting a relationship on a lie.
You are deceiving me. You are lying to me.
How much connection, trust and conversion is that costing you by using some of those toxic strategies?
A lot of these strategies rely on what I would call a churn-and-burn approach.
I know marketers who are very comfortable with having a 25-30% unsubscribe rate when they’re in a launch because they send so many emails.
For me, I think about how much money, time and energy was invested in attracting people, getting them onto your mailing list and nurturing that relationship. Yet you are willing to burn through 25-30% of your list and of your leads because you want to use toxic marketing strategies where you spam and send 17 emails in three days because that’s going to maximise your conversion.
I think about my lead generation, list growth and audience on a much longer-term scale.
When I am engaged in launching my Take Off program, the people most likely to buy during that launch are people who joined my list last launch or the launch before.
Whilst it might reduce my conversion rate from people who joined my launch this time around, by taking that longer-term approach, I end up with more sales overall.
It requires you to take a longer-term vision of your business and to let go of the need to pressure people to buy within that first 30-day magic window that people talk about (that doesn’t actually exist in my eyes). It also requires you to think about your audience that you’re building as a community that you’re going to nurture, you want to engage with, and that may take some time to make decisions. You need to be okay with that, rather than judging and discarding them for not being quick action takers.
There are people who’ve bought my Take Off program, who had it on their list to buy the program for over two years.
If I had taken some of those toxic churn-and-burn approaches to creating, launching and selling the Take Off program, those people would have left my list long ago. Yet, I have been able to nurture a relationship with them.
By not engaging in toxic marketing strategies, and instead, creating a really strong relationship of trust, they were the first to purchase when they were ready and a launch came along.
That’s the number two reason why consent-driven marketing strategies actually increase connection and conversion – you lose the churn-and-burn approach.
When I go through a launch of the Take Off program, my unsubscribe rate is under 1%.
If I’m getting 1,000 leads in a launch, the difference between a 25% unsubscribe rate and a 1% unsubscribe rate is 250 people.
With conversion rates up in the 5% mark, that’s so many sales that I would have missed out on if I had taken that churn-and-burn approach.
That’s seven to eight sales! That’s over $15,000 of sales that I’m saying no to in the long term, in order to try and get a slightly higher conversion rate in the short term.
Would I rather make more sales over the longer term, and not burn people and have them cranky at me and unsubscribing and traumatising them? Absolutely! I would much rather look at this from a long term perspective.
People have a foundational level of trust in you, because you treat them the way that they deserve to be treated. You don’t treat them as a number, you don’t apply pressure, you don’t future pace their fear, you don’t make them feel like they won’t succeed without you.
You do what you say you’re going to do.
Behave in a way that is congruent with their values and with your values. Therefore that trust is way way bigger.
That trust can account for a significant improvement in your connection with those people, but also conversion.
Think about how many times you have unsubscribed from someone’s list or you were going to buy something but you end up not buying something because there was just something about the way they were treating you and you didn’t trust them.
Think about the launch process where you have had buyer’s remorse. The times where you’ve bought and then you wish you hadn’t ], but you bought because you just had this feeling like you had to buy and there was all this FOMO going on.
That actually brings me to the fourth reason why consent-driven marketing actually improves connection and conversion…
Rather than tricking people into buying something from you through emotional manipulation, you’re helping them to make an empowered decision based on the facts and information, and without toying with their emotions and using psychological tricks and tactics.
What that ends up doing is reducing buyer’s remorse.
Ultimately, when you are using those empowering strategies in the sales process – rather than disempowering, toxic and manipulative strategies – you end up having more and more people who are excited by their purchase. That excitement remains well beyond the seven-day refund window.
Then what happens is you have more people who:
- Give you referrals
- Finish the program
- Are shouting about your services
- Are actually engaging in your affiliate program or helping to spread the word when the next launch comes along
- Give you amazing reviews
This is because you didn’t sell to them out of fear.
You didn’t sell to them using emotional manipulation and psychological tools.
Instead, you ensured that those people had the information that they need to make an empowered decision, and you sold without having to resort to that trickery.
Now that we know that consent driven strategies are actually there to create more connection and more conversion, what are some of the strategies or things to look out for?
Here’s the thing: A lot of marketers and people who teach launch and sales funnels, will tell you that it’s not fear-based or fear-driven. But they don’t even realise that they’re using fear-based or fear-driven strategies, because they’re just teaching what they were taught by someone else.
A lot of the time, it will be dressed up as an empowering sales strategy, but it is actually built on something very toxic.
It’s very important that as marketers, we learn how to discern. Not by what it’s called or what the mentor says this marketing strategy is, but by also being able to discern, see, acknowledge and recognise toxic marketing strategies when they are presented to us.
Here are a few little ways that you can keep an eye out for some of those toxic marketing strategies…
1. Future pacing your fear
When you look at a sales page or you’re in the midst of a sales conversation with someone, and they get you to focus on what the worst-case scenario would be if a certain issue isn’t fixed, and they get you to flash forward to how bad your life will be if you don’t fix this issue, then that’s future pacing.
That is actually a neuro-linguistic programming tool (NLP) that is used to get you into a state of panic. It is used to get you into a state of fear of living your life, and future pacing as though this one decision is going to be the difference between heaven and hell.
That is what they’re doing when they ask you to imagine those things.
This one decision is the difference between that future heaven and that future hell. But we know from a logical perspective (when we’re not being driven and dragged through some of these thought processes) that there are millions of potential future scenarios.
There might be a case where I don’t purchase this from you now, but I make a change in a month’s time that means I DO achieve my heaven.
In this sales strategy, they are keeping you from understanding that from a logical perspective.
They are pushing you into two-choice theory.
You might see this used in webinars as well.
They’ll say that you have two choices:
1. Continue to struggle alone, spend lots of time trying to figure it out for yourself, waste your time, stay frustrated and everything goes wrong or
2. Join their program, buy this thing from them, figure it out together and then all of a sudden (gasp!) your life is better.
Again, at any point in time, we don’t ever have just two choices. We always have an array of choices in front of us.
ONE of those choices is to purchase. But what the sales strategy is trying to do is make you feel that there are only two choices – buy and succeed, or don’t buy and fail.
But there is a third choice… and that is don’t buy and succeed.
They do not want you to be able to logically get to that understanding in this sales process. It is a choice between success and failure, and the choice to succeed must include buying from them.
Anything that puts you in two-choice mode is a toxic marketing strategy. It is making people feel that they do not have the capacity to succeed without purchasing.
That is not consent-driven. That is not empowering.
2. Guilt-ridden email/copy
This is another one to look out for (and there are lots and lots which is why I’m going to let you know about how you can learn more about consent-driven strategy shortly).
For my VIPs, I love going through their email sequences and helping them to really make them sing, shine and be really connected to who that person is.
But someone sent me through this email sequence recently that she had created using some swipe copy that she had purchased from someone who claimed to have the highest conversion emails.
One of the emails started with, ‘Hey [first name], you did get that recording that I sent through to you, didn’t you?’
I just want us to stop and think about this for a moment… ‘Oh, you did get my last email, didn’t you?’
All of a sudden, what is the emotion or the feeling that that email is trying to put upon the person reading it? It is guilt.
It is making that person feel like they’ve missed something.
Of course, that email is going to get people reading it, but the device used to get that person to read it is actually guilt.
Is that really how you want to make people feel?
This could send me off on a very, very feminist rant right now, but I’m not going to go all the way into it.
One of the things that I DO want you to think about is the fact that a recent survey of women in the United States found that over 50% of women have experienced having sex with someone because that person made them feel guilty for not wanting to have sex with them.
I’ve been looking into a lot of rape culture, toxic strategies and toxic experiences of women. I’m a devout feminist, and I am very much into understanding abuse culture and all sorts of things at the moment. I’m really deep into some of these articles and this research.
Just reading that statistic alone, I had a conversation with some girlfriends and I said that I actually think that 100% of sexually active women have had sex because they felt bad for the other person.
It doesn’t even have to be about sex. Think about all the things that you’ve ever done that you really didn’t want to do, but you felt bad for the other person.
Think about all the things that you wished you didn’t say yes to, but that person made you feel bad for not wanting to say yes to them so you ended up saying yes to them.
Now I want you to think about the fact that as a marketer, you are playing on that understanding of how people engage with the world, and using that to make a sale.
That just makes me a little vomity in my mouth.
Yet, so much marketing advice and so many marketing strategies are built by understanding this psychological phenomenon.
I just feel like if we as women and non-binary folks don’t stand up to this behaviour and role model the alternative (which is deeply grounded consent-driven strategies), then we are doing ourselves and the world a disservice.
I want to say to you what that sentence said again, and just think about it through this lens: ‘You did get the recording that I sent to you, didn’t you?’
It is implying that I, as the reader, have done something wrong.
I’ve missed something, I haven’t replied, you’ve gone to the effort of sending me something and I haven’t even read it. I haven’t even replied. How dare I?!?
Now that you can see some of the differences and see some of the little signs to look out for, hopefully, this will help you to see where some of those strategies are being used on you.
I hope this has opened your eyes to understanding that just because something works from a numbers perspective, doesn’t mean that that is the best option for you to use as a marketing or sales strategy.
If this has got you very excited about understanding consent-driven marketing and consent-based sales, one of my upcoming Mega Masterclass Marathon topics happens to be consent-driven marketing.
It is something that I could talk about for hours and hours and hours.
I could do three hours on consent-driven emails alone.
What I have done is I’ve put together a 60-minute masterclass on the core foundations of consent driven marketing, how to tell the difference between something that is consent-driven and something that is toxic, and how to start employing consent-driven marketing strategies in your own business.
The link to that Mega Masterclass Marathon is tashcorbin.com/ceoweek.
If you’re reading this podcast episode and the marathon has passed, we will update that link to be to an evergreen consent-driven marketing workshop that I’m currently working on. It’s one that you can listen to at any time, it’s pre-recorded, and it will also walk you through those core foundational strategies and concepts when it comes to consent-driven marketing and sales.
The other thing I would love for us to do is to continue the conversation about this topic.
I think it’s something that’s not spoken about enough. It’s not understood enough.
I want us to be spreading the word, particularly within the Heart-Centred Soul-Driven Entrepreneurs community, because when people find this out, it opens up so many aha’s for them about why they resist running webinars – because the webinar structure that they’ve been taught in the past is toxic, and it makes them feel uncomfortable so they don’t do it.
It helps them to see why they resist sending out their newsletters every week – because the newsletters they receive are so triggering, that they don’t want to show up and be that kind of person.
Toxic marketing is responsible for so many women and non-binary folk disengaging from sales and marketing. But it’s not sales and marketing that’s the problem, it’s toxic sales and marketing that’s the problem.
When you can embrace consent-driven marketing, all of a sudden it feels so much more aligned and it feels so much easier. You have so much less resistance to sales and marketing because you know that you are showing up in the way that you want to show up and you’re treating people in the way that they deserve to be treated.
If this is something that you’d love to continue the conversation about, I want you to come over to the Heart-Centred Soul-Driven Entrepreneurs group, use #podcastaha and the episode number (292). I want to know what your questions are, what your thoughts are, and any lightbulb moments that you’ve had from this episode so that we can continue the conversation over there.
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode.
Don’t forget to check out the Mega Masterclass Marathon: tashcorbin.com/ceoweek
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.