Today we discuss how financial lead generation fits into your inbound marketing strategy, and find easy ways to start generating financial leads for your firm.
Allow us to set the scene.
I’m about to take a bite of a Krispy Kreme Doughnut, glazed chocolate sprinkles, the lot, my favourite. I’ve been calorie counting ALL week, and this is my Friday treat.
Just as I’m about to take the first bite, my phone rings. “Hi, am I talking to Chloe?” The financial adviser at the other end asks. “I’m calling to discuss your insurance policies and how we can save you money.”
Can you imagine the extent of my eye roll?
These annoying interruptions are why we are here to talk to you about inbound lead generation.
This will help you avoid being a disruptive cold caller, as sometimes closely linked to the financial industry.
Let’s begin with what a lead is.
Then we will discuss why lead generation is important, how to qualify leads, how to label leads, and finally how to generate them.
Financial Advice Lead Generation
So, what is a Lead?
Any person who expresses interest in a firm’s product or services in any way, shape or form, is a lead.
Leads are more likely to hear from a business after opening communication (for example filling out a lead capture form, rather than getting a random cold-call from someone who bought their contact information).
Let’s suppose you download a guide to pension transfers. You receive an email about the options available to you an hour later.
The process would be much less intrusive than if the financial firm called you randomly, without any knowledge of your financial requirements.
From a business perspective, the data the financial firm gathers from you through your guide download allows them to personalise the opening communication to address your current problems.
Instead of wasting time calling leads that aren’t interested in your financial services.
Financial leads are part of a wider life cycle that prospective clients follow when they transition from visitor to client. Not all leads are created equal (or qualified the same).
There are many types of leads that are categorised according to how they are qualified and in which phase of the lead lead-cycle they are in.
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
Marketing qualified leads are people who have engaged in your marketing efforts, but are not ready to receive a call. A contact filling out a form on a landing page for an offer is an example of a MQL.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
Sales qualified prospects are people who have taken steps to indicate interest in becoming a client. A contact filling out a form asking questions about your services is an example of an SQL.
Service Qualified Lead
A service qualified lead is a potential client interested in becoming a paying client.
At this point, the business development manager would elevate the potential client to the appropriate adviser.
These are just a few lead generation strategies that you can use to find potential clients and direct them to your services. (we will go into more detail below).
Lead generation is essentially a way to get potential clients to warm up to your business, and eventually become a paying client.
Why is financial lead generation so important?
The transition from stranger to client becomes much easier when a stranger starts a relationship by showing a natural interest.
The second stage of the Inbound Marketing methodology is lead generation. This occurs once you have attracted an audience.
Lead Generation Process
Let’s now see how lead generation fits in the Inbound Marketing methodology:
- A visitor first discovers your business via one of your marketing channels, such as your blog, website, landing pages or social media.
- The visitor clicks on your Call-to-action (CTA), an image, button, advert or message, encouraging website visitors to take action.
- The CTA will take your visitor to a landing page. This is a page that collects lead information and offers you the opportunity to download a value adding guide in exchange for your information (known as a lead magnet).
All being well, the visitor to your landing page will download the lead magnet or fill out a contact form. (forms typically reside on landing pages, but can be embedded on any page).
If they carry out either of these actions, congratulations! Now you have a lead.
Lead generation for financial services
You can also start generating leads by using your business promotional channels to get your landing pages in front of more people.
What channels can you use to promote your landing pages?
Let’s start with front-end, lead generation marketing.
This chart will help visual learners see the flow of promotional marketing channels to a lead generated.
There are many other channels that you can use to convert visitors into leads.
Let’s dig into the details and discuss a few more:
A landing page can be accessed through many content types. You create content to give visitors useful free information, but the end goal is always to convert. CTAs can be placed anywhere you like: inline, at the bottom of the post, in the hero or on the side panel.
Your content will make visitors more likely to click on your call-to-action and land on your landing page.
Email is a great way to reach people who already know about your brand or service offering.
Since they have already subscribed to your email list, it is easier to ask them for an action. Emails can be messy and cluttered.
It is important to ensure that you use CTAs with compelling copy and a catchy design to grab your subscribers’ attention.
An ad’s sole purpose is to encourage people to take action. Otherwise, it would be a waste of money.
You want people to convert to your landing page, making sure the action you want them to take is clear.
Your blog posts should ultimately promote your services, but not directly. For example, you could use a video about how to start investing in a blog post on best investment techniques.
This would make your CTA extremely relevant and more likely to be clicked.
It’s easy to direct your followers to take action on social media platforms. Your social posts can promote your services and include a call to action in the caption or a clickable link to your landing pages.
Referral marketing, also known as word-of-mouth, is a great way to generate leads in a different manner and works well in the financial industry.
It puts your brand in front of more people, which increases your chances of generating leads. Do a good job, and your clients will tell others in their network.
No matter what channel you use to generate financial leads, you will want to direct them to your landing page.
The rest will take care of itself, as long as you have a landing page that converts well.
You can take a look at our lead generation landing page here – Leads for financial advisers
Why not buy IFA leads?
Advisers want to fill their client funnel quickly, and may be tempted to buy leads.
You may think that buying leads may seem much easier and require less effort. If you’re already paying for advertising, why not buy leads?
Firstly, most financial marketing agencies sell you leads that you do not own.
These leads will have “opted in” on another site when signing up to something, and did not opt into receiving any contact from your firm.
Therefore, they may not be happy with messaging or contact from your firm.
Remember that annoying call I received while trying to eat my doughnut?
This is how people feel when they get emails or other contact from firms. They didn’t provide their information too, or at least they thought!
It is always, always better for leads to be generated organically or through your personal paid advertising channels than bought.
This is where Opulent Media Group is different.
While we offer Lead Generation and PPC as a service, we do not sell leads.
We set up PPC and lead generation strategies in your name, meaning you own everything, and the leads that come in know your company name and are ready to receive a call.
Lead scoring can be used to qualify leads.
This technique assigns leads a numerical score (or value) to help determine their position on the scale, from “interested” or “ready to commit”.
These actions can be set up by you, but must be consistent across sales and marketing departments, so everyone works on the same scale.
The score of a lead can be determined by their actions, information, engagement, and other criteria set by your sales team.
You may score someone higher if they engage regularly with you on social media, or if their demographic information matches your target audience.
A lead’s score is a measure of how close they are to becoming qualified sales leads (SQL). This is just one step away from becoming a client.
You may have to adjust the score and criteria until you find the right formula, but once you do, you will transform your lead generation into client-generation.
Financial lead generation strategies
There are many strategies, tactics, and campaigns that you can use to generate leads online. It all depends on the platform where you want to do it.
Once you have visitors to your site, we discussed lead capture best practices. But how do you get them there in the first place?
Let’s look at lead generation strategies on a few platforms:
Facebook Lead Generation
Since its creation, Facebook has been used to generate leads. In the beginning, companies could attract strangers to their sites by using outbound links and information in their bios.
In 2007, Facebook Ads launched. Its algorithm started to favour accounts using paid advertising. This led to a significant shift in the way businesses used the platform to generate leads.
Facebook also has a feature that allows you to place a simple call–to-action button on the top of your Facebook business page.
This will allow you to send your Facebook followers directly to a landing page.
LinkedIn Lead Generation
Since its beginnings, LinkedIn has increased its share of the advertising market. LinkedIn has created Lead Gen Forms to help aid lead generation.
These forms automatically populate users’ profiles when they click on a CTA. This makes it simple to capture data and generate leads.
PPC Lead Generation
Pay-per-click (PPC) refers to advertisements on search engine result pages. Google receives 3.5 million searches per day, and Microsoft advertising (Bing) is another search engine that produces great results in the financial industry.
This makes it prime real estate to advertise. Your PPC campaign’s effectiveness depends heavily on the user flow.
This includes your budget, target keywords, and other factors. The set up of PPC is no walk in the park.
We will discuss these three lead generation methods in greater detail in future blogs.
Tips for financial lead generation campaigns
There can be many evolving components in a lead generation campaign.
It can be hard to determine which parts of your campaign are working and which ones need tweaking.
What is the secret to a top-of-the-line lead generation engine?
Here are some tips for building lead generation campaigns:
Make sure you use the right lead generation tools
The best marketing teams use a formal system for organising and storing their leads. This is where lead generation tools and lead generation software are crucial.
What do you know about people who visit your website?
Are you able to identify their names and email addresses?
What about their pages visited?
How do they navigate around the site?
And what did they do before and after filling in a lead conversion form?
These questions are key to connecting with your visitors. These are questions that you should answer and identify with the right lead generation tools.
Lead generation software tools
This HubSpot tool is free and includes lead capture and contact insights.
It will scan any forms on your website to find out who they are and add them to your contact list.
You can also create hello bars, pop-ups and slide-ins that will help convert website visitors into leads.
Visitors Tracking: HOTJAR offers a heat map tool.
This virtual tool creates a colour-coded representation of how a user navigates your website.
It helps you understand what your users want, care about and do on your site. It tracks visitors and shows you where they spend most time on your website.
It can be used to collect information about your lead generation forms, feedback forms, surveys, and other online data.
Form-Scraping tool: A form scraping tool that collects submissions from your website’s forms automatically consolidates all leads into your contact list, regardless of the form they submitted.
You can use Contact Form 7 or Google Forms to create forms and embed them using HubSpot’s free collected form feature. These forms will automatically be captured and entered into a contact database.
Alternatively, if you are a Hubspot client, you have more extensive features that your Hubspot representative can help you set up.
Create value-adding content
It takes time to create content that nurtures and educates your leads.
But if you don’t have anything to provide added value to visitors who aren’t ready to commit, they might not return to your site again.
Be consistent with your message and keep your promises
Lead gen campaigns that deliver on their promises and make it easy to transition from the ad copy and design into the deliverable are the most successful.
Make sure you are consistent throughout the lead generation process, and provide value for everyone who engages with your lead capture.
Your lead generation campaign should be consistent with everything else on your site, blog, and true to the service you provide.
If they are not, you’ll struggle to get your lead to the next stage of the life cycle.
It should not be all about obtaining an email address. Your campaign should also be about shifting the potential client through the client journey.
Connect your CTA with a landing page
Although this may seem obvious, you’d be amazed at how many marketers don’t create a dedicated landing page for their individual CTA’s.
CTAs can be used to direct visitors to tailored landing pages where they can find information about a specific service.
CTAs should not point to a potential lead to your homepage.
It should direct them to a landing page relevant to their search containing a lead capture form.
Send them to a page that will convert, not a website that they can lose in.
Get your business development team involved
Do you remember when we spoke about lead scoring?
It is impossible without the input of your business development team. Without knowing whether your SQLs have been successfully engaged, how can you determine what qualifies a lead?
Before you can capture leads, your marketing and sales teams must agree on the definitions of a lead and how to move it from MQL into SQL.
Open to changing your relationship with sales and the way you lead through your funnel.
You will need to refine your definitions over time. Just make sure everyone is on the same page.
Social media can be strategically used to generate leads.
Although marketers tend to think of social media only for top-of-the-funnel marketing purposes, it can still be a low-cost and helpful source for lead generation. As discussed in the lead gen strategies below.
Add links to landing pages for high-performing posts on your social media.
You should inform visitors that they are being sent to a landing site. This will set expectations.
You can also conduct a lead generation analysis on your blog and determine which posts generate the most leads.
Then, make it a habit of linking to these posts via social media.
Be flexible and always adapt
Your lead generation strategy should be as dynamic and flexible as the people it targets. Trends change. Behaviours shift, opinions evolve… and so should your lead generation marketing.
You can use A/B split testing to determine which CTAs work best, which landing pages convert more, and which copy captures your target market.
You can experiment with layout changes, UX, content and advertising channels until your favourite design is found.
Marketing uses digital automation tools to generate leads.
By 2022, digital lead generation spending is expected to exceed 3.2 billion. Forbes predicts automation will play a significant role in this increase.
Automation will be a major part of financial lead generation strategies, especially when it comes to streamlining lead qualification and predictive scoring.
Content marketing is a great way to drive leads.
Financial Marketers report that content marketing has enabled them to generate leads and demand over 12 months.
Grow your financial firm consistently with lead generation
This is it folks.
These are only the basics we’ve provided
Create great lead magnets, landing pages, forms, and CTA’s, and keep them coming up in multi-channel settings.
Keep in touch with your sales team, so that you can hand off high-quality leads regularly. Never stop testing.
The more you tweak and test every step of your financial inbound lead generation system, the more you will enhance your lead quality while consistently increasing your revenue.
If you would like to discuss your inbound financial lead generation strategy, you can follow this link to my LinkedIn page. Send me a direct message or connect with me for regular financial lead generation content.