Financial Advisor Lead Generation: Online leads with inbound marketing
Do you have a good offer?
If you’re thinking “Huh? What does Suzanne mean?” then please read this article very thoroughly. The financial advice profession significantly lags behind other industries when it comes to using inbound marketing and enticing offers to generate leads. This article discusses financial advisor lead generation: what is NOT an offer and provides three examples of a good offer that financial firms can use in their prospecting and Inbound Marketing.
Working with advisors every day since 2004 has given me insight into their marketing challenges, what works and what doesn’t work in marketing, and how to get prospective clients to give financial advisors their contact information.
Financial Advisor Lead Generation Success
Getting new clients in the door is rarely easy unless you have a variety of marketing channels designed to work well together. The effectiveness of marketing tactics such as using postcard campaigns, landing pages with E-Books, sending out direct mail pieces, and giving public talks all have one critical success factor in common: they need an OFFER.
The offer is the cornerstone of any successful marketing tactic. Through your offer, you can get prospects excited about doing business with you, so much so, that they take the initiative, accept your offer, and willingly give you their contact information. This builds your “pipeline” or “funnel” which helps you grow your practice over the long haul.
Let’s start with what an offer is NOT.
A call to action is not an offer. So, “Contact us today” does NOT qualify as an offer.
I worked with a client years ago who was reluctant to use a valuable offer on a postcard campaign to new home buyers in his zip code. We worked on a dazzling, top quality postcard design that was sure to lead to inquires.
When it came time to discuss the offer, he was reluctant to propose anything of value. His reasoning: he was too busy to deal with an onslaught of inquires. No amount of reasoning could change his mind, so we ended up going with “Call today to set up an appointment.” It’s no surprise that the response rate for this postcard was dismal. “Call today” is NOT an offer.
A generic report written by a wholesaler or your broker/dealer does NOT qualify as an offer.
Generic reports don’t appeal to most prospects because most prospects are not generic. If advisors were using their websites effectively, they could offer up really juicy, attractive free reports to entice visitors to join their mailing list. Once on the mailing list, advisors have permission to market to prospects through a series of autoresponders (automated emails sent out on a regular basis – sign up for my own report to the right of your screen to see what I mean). So, I’m sorry but your free report has to be written by you not someone else and it has to help solve a problem that your niche target market wants to have solved.
Successful financial advisor Lead Generation:
Your marketing piece may contain several of the following
- I. Complimentary Deliverable
- E-book or printed book with value to the target client – A free report designed to help your target client solve a specific problem that they have not been able to solve on their own.
- A custom financial report such as: Mini Financial Plan; Personalized Retirement Income Plan; Tax Return Review, Social Security Timing Report.
- Value – Place a value on each item you are giving them: Valued at $2500.00
- II. Excitement – Create visual excitement through design and branding. Anticipation fuels the excitement.
- III. Contains a Call to Action (CTA) – Tells the visitor/target client what to do next.
- IV. Expiration date – Move them to take action with a deadline. Compel them to move ahead NOW.
- V. Data collection – Requires the prospect to give you their contact information at some point in the process so that you can market to them.
Here are three examples of lead generation:
1. Inbound Marketing E-Book with Offer
Your ideal client is an affluent woman who is single, whether through divorce, death of a spouse, or her own choice. You create a landing page on your website with valuable information that your visitors would find interesting . The page is optimized for keywords designed to bring in visitors searching on the topic. You use great webcopy discussing women and investing and the challenges they face. You use quality visuals on the page to show women that this page is indeed about what they were searching for.
You create an E-Book report titled “The Single Woman’s Guide to Financial Independence – 5 Simple Steps to Taking Charge of Your Finances.” The free report is in essence your offer because it is specific, not generic, and it offers a benefit: financial independence.
You place a sign up form on the right side of the page enticing women to download your free report. In exchange, the visitor only has to enter their name and email address (asking for too much information turns visitors off).
After providing their contact information, the visitor experiences immediate gratification from downloading your E-Book.
The E-Book is beautifully designed with exciting visuals and is designed to drive traffic to your website by providing links to specific pages with key information. An attention-getting section of the E-Book offers a complimentary consultation with a link to a contact form.
As part of this process, after the prospect downloads the free E-Book, they receive a series of automated emails from your firm on a weekly basis. This helps to increase engagement. Furthermore, your monthly e-newsletter deepens the relationship you have developed with these prospects.
Design plays a big role in the effectiveness of this offer as subconsciously prospects have to be excited and enticed into giving you their information. I’ve seen many advisors attempt this tactic only to fall flat because they have neglected to invest in quality design. If you are using this tactic without getting good results, look at your design components and determine if you need to invest in branding your firm.
Learn more about how I coach advisors to target the women’s niche.
2. Lead Generation Postcard to Business Owners
Financial advisor lead generation via postcards can be an effective way to grow your business. Let’s say you have a financial planning team comprised of a financial planner, an investment manager, a CPA, an estate planning attorney, and a benefits consultant. A new lead for you could mean business for everyone on your team.
Your ideal client is a mid-level business owner with gross income of 2 million to 10 million annually. Your target client more than likely pays too much income tax and values strategies to help alleviate this issue.
You design a 6×11 jumbo postcard to be sent to 2,000 business owners located in zip codes near your office. The postcard is so large and colorful that it stands out in the mailbox like a sore thumb. It can’t be missed.
One stop shop for attracting business owners
The left side of the postcard visually presents a business owner in a suit who is drenched in water with a storm cloud hovering above him. The enticing headline reads: “As a business owner, does paying too much in taxes feel like you have your own personal storm cloud?”
(click image to view)
The right side of the postcard visually presents a business owner, hands raised to the heavens, ecstatic look on his face with headline “We can clear the air.”
The offer is printed on the front of the postcard in a section designed to catch the prospect’s attention and reads “FREE Tax Return Review (for a limited time). Contact us today!”
This “problem” with “solution” format works well with many target markets. It’s necessary to do your research and determine what problems your target client runs into repeatedly and then to develop solutions to offer them.
3. Lead Generation public speaking offer
Giving talks and presentations are not as effective for financial advisor lead generation as they once were, but if you have a great offer at the end of your presentation you can be successful at generating interest. With public speaking, you present your message to multiple prospects at the same time, rather than one on one, which allows many potential leads from one talk.
The Speech handout is the crucial piece to present your offer/s. Make it easy for the prospect by offering check boxes on the handout form. Your offer should be targeted to the audience as much as possible.
Here are a few ideas:
- Free Mini Financial Plan valued at $XXXX.XX – only 5 available (create exclusivity). Appointment must be booked within 10 days (create urgency). Ask for name, email, and phone number.
- Download my Free ebook www.website.com/ebook (topic relates to your talk or target market. Requires their contact information).
- Complimentary Portfolio Review – valued at $XXX.XX – no obligation
- Free Second Opinion – valued at $XXX.XX – Find out if you’re on track with your goals and investments
The financial services industry is behind the times and could use new ways to attract clients through target market development and better prospecting using the internet. The easy way out is to use generic white papers and reports provided to you by wholesalers and broker dealers. My advice is to create custom offers as they are far more effective when they are targeted to a specific market. It’s more work, but it’s far more effective.
Hi, I’m Suzanne. I coach financial advisors like you.
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I have been coaching Financial Advisors and Investment Managers on Prospecting Coaching since 2004! I help you build a professional business where you are growing and becoming the person and firm you’ve always wanted.
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As always, I enjoy reading your posts and love the simple but often overlooked methods of connecting with perspective clients.
Thanks for the direction!!
Connecting with prospective clients effectively is the key to long-term business success. Nice to see you here and thanks for commenting!
Great information. I particularly liked the post card “Problem / Resolution” concept. Thanks for sharing.
When you get down to it, most people are really looking for an answer to their most pressing problem. So the problem/resolution approach can be very effective.
Thanks for commenting!