According to a report published by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), using a lead generation strategy is one of the top marketing approaches for 2017. Approximately 80% of B2B and 66% of B2C organizations surveyed by CMI put the employment of a lead generation strategy at the top of the marketing checklist. For financial advisory firms who want to reach out to potential clients online, this method of generating new leads can form the basis of a marketing system for forward-thinking financial advisors.
In marketing, lead generation is the process of making a list of potential, qualified buyers, also known as leads, who show interest in your product or service. Generating leads has an even greater purpose: Namely, it is the first step of the sales cycle to identify prospects who may be interested in your offer.
There are two, main approaches in a lead generation strategy:
The problem with buying leads is that it puts the organization at risk. Unsolicited emails may be flagged for spam or worse, blacklisted. Once a domain email is blocked from a server, it’s a major headache to unravel. Yes, it can still be removed from the blacklist, but you’ll most likely have to pick up a phone and speak to your email’s hosting company to do so. It can be a monumental waste of time, and even money.
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A better process for lead generation is to build it organically. The marketer’s job is to begin with the end goal in mind and design a system for that specific goal; building an audience or email list is the most common approach. Most successful digital marketers have used this lead generation strategy to build their own subscriber lists, then sell products or courses.
The process for lead generation for financial advisors should be formulaic, scalable and repeatable. Below is a brief explanation of such an approach.
The first and most essential step to the lead generation strategy is defining the ideal client, also called a customer avatar. Creating a firm’s customer avatar begins with defining your demographic. These are facts based on the following subsets, for example:
This information can be usually be gleaned from a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Lifestyle factors such as hobbies, interests and personality types should also be used to build the avatar. When complete, a customer avatar will help you focus in on and target the right type of clients.
Now that you have defined our ideal client, you’ll need to guide them to your offer using a single web page, known as a landing page. A landing page is also referred to as a lead capture page, since this page usually contains a form that needs to be filled out in exchange for the offer presented on the landing page. The offer might be, for example, a free report or guide. The goal for the landing page is to capture as much information about the visitor as possible — usually the first and last name, and an email address — in the hopes of converting him or her into an actual client in the future.
Generating leads…is the first step of the sales cycle to identify prospects who may be interested in your offer.
Landing page creation begins with deciding what action or behavior we want to happen. What is your end goal? What do you want your prospects to do? The answer varies: register for a webinar, sign up for your email newsletter, download a PDF, watch a video or schedule a demo.
Each landing page has a specific purpose. A squeeze page is a type of landing page designed to capture an opt-in email address from a potential subscriber. It is the most common type of landing page, since email is one of the most coveted pieces of lead data. Squeeze pages are successful when they “squeeze,” or get the website visitor to enter their email address into a form field and opt in to receive emails.
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Now that the landing page and form is in place, you must offer something of value, known as a lead magnet, in exchange for this information.
A lead magnet is exactly how it sounds: something that attracts. Stated another way, a lead “magnet” is an incentive (some call it an ethical bribe) used by marketers designed to capture interest. Magnets may take many forms:
To receive the magnet, a lead must fill out a form. This captures identifiable data. This information is then automatically fed into a CRM system, like Redtail or Salesforce, or to an email service, like Constant Contact or MailChimp. Think about the mindset of your consumer and why should they become a lead in the first place. Give them something of value in exchange for becoming a lead.
Most prospects are searching for information that will help them save time or money, and make them more productive
Usually, a magnet’s main purpose is to build an opt-in email subscriber list in hopes of nurturing the relationship over time so it eventually converts to a sale. If a lead magnet is going to succeed, it must provide exceptional value and be relevant to your ideal client.
Most prospects are searching for information that will help them save time or money; make them more productive; or in the case of most financial advisors, help them make good financial, investment and life decisions. The key is to figure out what problems your prospect is trying to solve and create a lead magnet that addresses it.
Here are some examples of magnets to get your own ideas flowing:
Lead Magnet Description
|eBook||An electronic version of a printed book, usually about 10,000 words||Investing in Cryptocurrencies eBook|
|Case Study||A several-page report about a person, group or situation||Retired Corporate Executive Case Study|
|Cheat Sheet||A concise set of notes used for quick reference, usually 1-2 pages||Buy or Lease Your Next Car – A Cheat Sheet for Busy Commuters|
|Checklist||A list of items required, usually 1 page||Value Investor Checklist|
|Guide||A several-page guidebook of directions, advice and information||The Ultimate Guide to Tax-Efficient Investing for Medical Professionals|
|Template||A standard document with a pre-developed page layout, usually 1-2 pages||Budget Template Worksheet for Newly Married Couples|
|Tool||A device that aids in accomplishing a task||Extra Payment Mortgage Calculator for First-Time Housing Buyers|
|Whitepaper||An authoritative several-page report giving information||Annual Generational Wealth Management Report|
|Spreadsheet||An electronic document where data is arranged in rows and columns||Loan Amortization Table Spreadsheet|
|Webinar||A live or recorded seminar conducted over the internet, usually 1 hour||Social Security Benefits for Widows and Widowers|
Almost any lead generation strategy you’ll use will involve a form of this above process to create brand awareness and growth for drawing leads via content marketing, blogs and social media. Financial advisors can take a page out of the digital marketer’s playbook and use this strategy to expand their client base. This assumes an email campaign system such as Constant Contact or MailChimp and compliance-approved materials are already in place.
Once a landing page and lead magnet are set up, your lead generation strategy can then do some of the heavy lifting for financial advisory firms.
Tina Powell is CEO of C-Suite Social Media, a digital marketing and social media consultancy for the financial services industry. A dynamic leader with more than 20 years of experience, Tina works with leaders and thought-leaders to help them build strong brands and find their voice via social media.
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