Set it and forget it; some of the best financial advisor leads can be curated over time by using an email drip system, when it’s done right, of course!
The idea behind Inbound Marketing is to attract visitors to your site with compelling content that they are researching and looking for on the Internet. Once they find your site, they read your content (blogs and/or website pages) and begin learning more about you and your firm. You then present them with various free offers that are of interest and value to them. Once a visitor submits their contact information to you, your system should be set up to automatically begin nurturing those new contacts using drip emails, also known as workflows.
Step 1: Create a Lead Generation Website
Your financial advisor website is your starting point in this process. You want your website to serve as a full-time “greeter” to new visitors who are looking for information that you have to offer.
The foundation of a great investment advisor website is your buyer personas (think ideal clients). Your messaging, imagery and content should be focused on them and should address their pain points and concerns. The website should incorporate free offers that are focused around those pain points.
If your offer is compelling enough, the visitor, who up until this point has been a stranger, is willing to provide you with their contact information in order to get your free offer. Once they submit their information to you, your system should activate various email drips based on the specific offer they received and the goal(s) you want to achieve for that prospect.
If you work with the right RIA digital marketing firm to help you build a robust Inbound Marketing strategy, you should end up with a lead generation website that is focused around your buyer personas (ideal clients), and includes compelling offers; interesting, regular content; and intuitive navigation with easy-to-find contact information.
Then, behind the scenes, financial advisors should integrate automatic workflows, which follow up with activity on your website in a smart, detailed way. Leads need to be nurtured through the process of becoming actual clients, and drip campaigns are one solution.
Step 2: Nurture Your Leads
Drip campaigns are a communication strategy that sends, or “drips,” a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time. These messages often take the form of email marketing, although other media can also be used. Drip marketing is distinct from other database marketing in two ways:
- The timing of the messages follows a pre-determined course
- The messages are dripped in a series applicable to a specific behavior or status of the recipient
These email “drips” are often connected to a form embedded into the website as part of a special offer, also called a Call to Action.
Here’s an example:
A potential client clicks on your website and comes across an offer for a complimentary eBook on a topic they need help with. So, they enter their name and email address and receive the PDF. Many times, this is where the story ends. No one follows up with the lead and nothing is ever done with the information. Or, an advisor or office member spends time retrieving the contact information and following up with them manually.
But this is where the drips should start.
When Paladin Digital Marketing runs an Inbound Marketing campaign for a client, we set up what are called workflows, a funnel of actions that are carried out automatically over a specific period of time.
In this example, once the lead filled out the eBook form, it would activate one of these workflows.
Workflows are totally customizable, so maybe you set this one up to send the lead an email with a link to a recent blog article on the same topic the day after the download. The email should be brief and to-the-point – new leads do not want to be overwhelmed with promotional material. Your email should also always include another offer. Suggest a free consultation or an invitation to an upcoming event.
Workflows are so smart that if the lead does take action, it knows to stop the funnel of activity and move the lead into a different funnel. If nothing is done, a second action takes place. Maybe you want to send the lead another email three or four days later.
Always include a short blurb about your firm reminding the lead of your expertise and what makes you different from your competitors. Remember, this is another opportunity to see if the lead is ready to do business with you.
Two to three days later, if no action is taken, maybe you want to send that same client another email, this one about a related topic that they may not even know they’re interested in yet.
Three or four days later, check in with the lead one last time. Maybe send them an invite for an upcoming workshop on the topic the eBook covered.
Remember, you’ve prepared these emails ahead of time, so they will be sent automatically.
If they’re still not interested, the workflow will stop and the lead will be added to a drop list.
If at any time the lead does come back, a separate workflow can be set up to nurture them and take them down a different path.
Drip campaigns keep your firm relevant, in your leads’ minds and literally in their face.
Here are some ideas for drips:
- Blog articles
- Client success stories
- Announcements of new investment products, services or upcoming events
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Myths and facts
It’s amazing how many good leads come from this strategy.
And the best part – it’s all done automatically.
There are some best practices when it comes to drip campaigns.
Don’t set up too many actions.
If a client receives three or four emails in a week’s time, you may be on their mind but in a different, negative way. We suggest setting up three to four actions over a two- or three-week timespan before putting them into a stale-lead list. Remember, this is considered a drip campaign; not a spray-down with a fire hose.
Always include a Call to Action.
Give your clients an opportunity to do something in an email. Don’t just bother them with promotional “stuff” they may not want. This won’t leave a good impression of your business practices.
Use personalization tokens.
Using the lead’s first name and/or username gives the feeling that an email was in fact meant for the client and not just junk. With that in mind, you may also want to “sign” it. Consider using your name and email or another person’s in your company, rather than a generic “info@...”
Don’t create more work for yourself; recycle content.
Instead of writing new content for each email, forward a well-written blog post that a client may find interesting. Send a link to a video that you recently uploaded to your site. Offer another eBook or encourage them to check out a resource section on your website.
Every financial advisor needs leads. And this is yet another lead-generation technique.
Another way these drips are used is through a firm’s social media platforms, where the principles of drip marketing have been applied to schedule a series of updates.
Drip campaigns can save you time and energy, as the work is done without you having to do anything after setting it up. And if you’re working with an Inbound Marketing firm, that part should be handled for you.