Lead generation for financial firms is one of the most impactful marketing practices for your bottom line, but a lot of businesses still aren’t doing it right.
Many financial services marketing teams focus on the quantity of leads more so than quality, and on driving leads rather than converting them.
This is the basis of profitable lead generation. For financial services businesses, this can lead to significantly better marketing ROI.
Read on to find out the 5 steps to profitable lead generation for financial services organisations.
1. Offer value up front
The advent of technology has made a lot of information freely available.
The result is that, today, the average consumer expects upfront value from a business before they even think about making a purchase from them or investing in their service.
Your marketing approach should show your prospects how you want to help them. If you can offer a hands-on demonstration of the value you can provide, even better.
You could offer a consultation, a webinar, a short video course, a free eBook—use your imagination, and offer some upfront value that’s hard to turn down.
If prospects are willing to sign up for it, then congratulations, you have yourself some newly qualified leads.
2. Be in it for the long run
Once you’ve offered your prospects some value, it’s time to offer them more.
Nurturing a lead to conversion is just like any other form of relationship building. It takes time.
We’re talking anywhere from a matter of weeks to the best part of a year, depending on their needs and situation.
Let’s say a newly qualified lead has just downloaded a helpful eGuide you published.
That doesn’t mean they are ready to buy from you. It means they were interested in some information you had to offer.
You’ve got yourself on their radar, but there’s more work to be done in order to close the deal.
Your lead generation strategy needs to be aligned with the inbound marketing funnel.
From there, it’s a case of consistently providing help and support, delivering value time and again, and waiting until the time is right.
Yes you want to move them down the funnel and closer to a sale, but the average person won’t do that at a pace they’re uncomfortable with. Go too hard too soon, and you risk a drop out.
3. Score your leads
Effective lead generation in financial services isn’t just about getting your business in front of people.
It’s about getting your business in front of the right people.
Scoring your leads is the best way to do this.
The process is simple: the more interest a lead shows in your business, and the further down the sales funnel they are, the higher their score.
By developing a system for scoring your leads, you and your team can know which leads are close to the point of sale, which leads just need a bit more time and nurturing, and which leads are best left until a later date.
Target the people and organisations that are interacting with your business, downloading your content, and attending your events more than other leads.
Your conversion rates will indicate whether you’re focusing your efforts in the right places.
4. Have a conversion-ready website
In addition to strategic content and a well-defined inbound customer journey, your website is another powerful tool for generating leads.
The key here is to build your website around the intent of your customer.
Why would someone be on that particular page? What are they searching for? What is their job role? What are their interests and frustrations?
Get to know the answers to these questions and ensure the content and user journey of your website responds to them.
Focus on writing persuasive copy that speaks to the specific needs of visitors, while positioning your business or service offering as the solution to their problems.
Supplement this with a clean, clear design that emphasises these marketing messages, while guiding the visitor to that sign-up form or contact button.
5. Refine, repeat, react
Finally, like everything in financial services marketing, a lead generation strategy has to be continually adapted and refined to maximise success.
The landscape and the people you are targeting are dynamic.
Opinions, topical discussions, market conditions, moods, behaviours—all of these things will impact the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, and they are all subject to constant flux.
So, keep your ear to the ground, and stay agile in your approach.
Keep looking at your customer journey with a critical eye too.
Is there a particular point in your customer journey where your leads drop off? If so, find it, and think long and hard about what might be causing drop offs, and how you can resolve it.
A/B testing is a great way to trial out different approaches in content, design, and UX, and determine which works best.
Lead generation for financial services: final thoughts
Many businesses in the financial sector are still treating marketing like a numbers game.
But it’s not just a case of casting your net wider, the focus should be on reeling people in.
This principle is what lies at the heart of profitable lead generation. For financial services businesses, strong, well-nurtured relationships are what fuel their success.
If your core team acquires new business by building strong relationships, why wouldn’t you want your marketing to do the same?
So the key things to remember are:
- offer value up front
- be patient, and keep offering value on a long-term basis
- align your lead generation strategy with an inbound marketing funnel
- focus your efforts on the most responsive leads
- ensure your website is as conversion-focused as your other marketing
- and finally, continuously adapt and refine your processes.