How can you increase consent? Simple, offer channel choice.
13 Oct 2015
I sometimes get a warm feeling when I do the right thing, especially if there is a beneficial outcome. If you’re the same, I suggest you follow the ICO guidelines on channel choice. Specifically, the requirement to offer respondents an explicit choice of channel. Pleasingly, overall consent tends to increase, which is common sense, as you are offering your customers greater flexibility.
Figure 1. Example statement
The Proof: When channel choice was added to the statement in Figure 1, consent jumped from 33% to 49%. Not only that, but attribute scores (the objective measure of how respondents react to the statement via the Benchmark), significantly increased as well. So for example, the score for “I’m in control” more than doubled. (45% to 95%).
Figure 2. Attribute Scores, before and after channel choice
Perhaps you think I am oversimplifying the situation to look only at the overall number of respondents consenting? Maybe I should focus on which channels they have consented to. At fast.MAP we use a simple formula to do this – Channel Weighted Consent Score (CWCS)*. This formula takes account of the relative importance of every channel. For example, normally a brand will generate greater income from a respondent consenting to phone, rather than email. So, phone is typically given a higher weighting than email.
Figure 3. Channel Weighted Consent Score
Figure 3 shows that the overall winner is Statement 10, with a CWCS of 7.0. What is also interesting is that every other statement performs better for at least one channel. If your priority was email, you would select statement 9, which achieves the highest email consent of 45%. However, overall it is the worst performer, with a CWCS of only 4.5, as it generates little phone and post consent.
We also know that response differs wildly by channel. In Figure 4, statement 11 gets 78% phone consent, dropping to less than 10% in statement 14. Contrast this with statement 13, where channels are bundled together, achieving 19% for everything. That’s great if you need a database of phone prospects, normally a difficult channel to get consent for, but not so good if you need to build a database for post and email channels.
Three things that influence consent rate by channel
As well as opt-in and opt-out, which is largely driven by legislation, here are a few other factors that can effect channel consent rate.
1) Emphasising channel benefits to the consumer, such as the real-time nature of alerts from SMS, or the cost effectiveness of email can positively impact consent rate.
2) Bundling channels together can lift the performance of a less popular channel, but normally to the detriment of the popular one. A difficult compromise.
3) Whilst the position a channel appears in a list affects response, consent is also impacted by the statement structure. Some statement structures get better consent rates for a channel the higher up a list that channel appears; for other statement structures, it’s the reverse. Be careful!
Lots to consider, then. Yes, following ICO guidelines will probably give you more consent but that’s only part of the story. Your organisation must agree which channels to prioritise, because consent can vary wildly by channel, and then research as many combinations as possible…and there are scores of different combinations that can be used.
My next article will look at how you can set up a permission statement research and test programme.
Have you read my previous articles on the three pillars of consent? You may need to if you want to get a full understanding of this complex area;