As the American economy braces for a nearly $70 trillion wealth transfer from Baby Boomers to their loved ones, many financial advisors are scrambling to get in front of the great wealth transfer but aren’t sure how to attract and educate this younger generation of investors.
Worse yet, some financial advisors don’t seem to recognize the urgency of the situation.
As Andrew Osterland from CNBC put it, “For financial advisors, the transfer of wealth from Baby Boomers to heirs over the next two decades is a bit like climate change. The consequences may eventually be huge, but it’s easy to ignore in the short-term.”
Further complicating the situation, studies have found that more than 80% of these green investors will take their business elsewhere after they inherit their loved ones’ wealth and assets.
Of course, depending on your financial advisory firm’s position in the industry, you might view this as an emergency or an opportunity (or perhaps both).
Regardless of your perspective, you need to take swift and deliberate action to position your firm as the go-to shop for young investors — those individuals and families who suddenly have a great deal of money and assets but lack the experience to grow that wealth consistently without a trusted wealth manager.
Experts agree that the biggest barrier to navigating the great wealth transfer successfully is how financial advisors are currently communicating with these youthful, tech-savvy investors versus how they want to be communicated with.
In the past, financial advisors would simply work with aging investors to bridge a relationship to their heirs through traditional word-of-mouth referrals.
Modern investors don’t want any part of that. They want to be educated and inspired along a tailored and immersive customer journey.
So, how can financial advisors begin to tackle this challenge (especially those financial advisors who don’t know how to create great digital experience)?
First, you need to ensure you have the proper infrastructure in place to speak to your target audiences. Next, develop a sound marketing strategy that caters to your strengths and promotes your brand. Lastly, and most importantly, you should research and invest in a practical, powerful marketing automation platform.
Marketing Automation Allows You to Identify and Track Potential Investors
It’s important that burgeoning investors become familiar with your brand and begin to think of your firm as a trusted resource they can come back to again and again as they become more sophisticated investors. It’s great for their parents to sing your praises, but they want to visit your site to find out for themselves and learn more about your firm’s reputation among other investors and industry experts.
And since most modern investment journeys begin with a simple Google search, financial advisors should be prioritizing content creation and distribution, as well as search engine optimization (SEO), to appear in these searches and direct organic (non-paid) traffic to their website.
But driving traffic to your site isn’t enough. You want to understand exactly who these people are so that you can continue marketing to them.
Unfortunately, 97% of website visitors are unknown.
And while tools like Google Analytics and Kissmetrics do a great job of showing you how many people are visiting your site, where they’re coming from, and which pages their viewing, they can’t tell you who they are and how to contact them.
With marketing automation, however, you can identify and track your website visitors to learn their interests and preferences and deliver targeted campaigns with more personalized messaging and relevant content.
Act-On’s Website Prospector tool helps you turn unknown visitors into known leads and then automatically alerts you when these specific prospects visit your site — down to the page or piece of content they’re viewing. You can use this information to score your leads accurately and launch targeted campaigns that speak directly to your potential investors’ interests and challenges.
Scoring your leads according to digital behavior also empowers you to gauge their likelihood of purchase. From there, you can adopt an account-based marketing approach to hone in on the best candidates.
Perhaps best of all, you can trace the data back to your content and SEO strategy and update accordingly over time!
Marketing Automation Allows You to Engage Potential Investors
Financial advisors can also use marketing automation to generate great leads by gating informative and educational content behind adaptive forms on dedicated landing pages. By creating the kind of useful content that young investors are so hungry for, you can exchange these collateral assets for invaluable contact information that allows you to nurture potential investors until they’re ready to discuss their wealth management options — and beyond.
Here’s how you can use landing pages and forms to fuel your demand generation and lead nurturing efforts.
Create Landing Pages to Spark Enthusiasm and Prompt Conversions
A conversion is the online equivalent of someone walking into a boutique and asking to try on an article of clothing. It starts a dialogue with the consumer. And when people like what they hear (or the way a pair of jeans fit), they’re far more likely to buy — and continue buying. So conversions are the lifeblood of any good marketing strategy.
And the best way to generate conversions is to create compelling landing pages that get your prospects interested and excited about what you have to say and offer.
Any platform worth purchasing will include the functionality to create intuitive and engaging landing pages with simple drag-and-drop functionality.
With Act-On, you can:
- Use one of our dozens of stock templates and easily update specific elements to incorporate your brand
- Upload a landing page built with HTML and then easily modify images, text, buttons, and custom content using our content block controls.
Try to keep your copy short, sweet, and direct. Let the reader know exactly what they will receive in exchange for sharing their contact information. And to make sure your audience remains engaged once they’re on the page, use the same keywords that you initially used to get them there in the first place (both organically and through paid efforts).
Gate Your Content Using Adaptive Forms
The most critical element of any landing page is the conversion form, which you can use to gate content, new products, or special offers.
Because conversions are so important, you want to make it as easy as possible for potential investors to complete the forms on your landing pages. First, you need to place the entire form above the fold so the user can complete each field and submit their response without scrolling. Next, you want to include a prominent call-to-action (CTA) directly above the field to draw attention to this crucial portion of the page.
Most importantly, you need to limit the amount of fields in your form. This might seem counterintuitive since gathering more information leads to executing more targeted campaigns, but including too many fields could decrease the chances of conversion.
Thankfully, using adaptive forms with progressive profiling presents an effective compromise that simultaneously allows you to collect more information with fewer fields.
An Example of Progressive Profiling
Progressive profiling helps you learn more about your leads gradually over time by presenting supplemental questions incrementally based on previous actions and what you already know about them.
Let’s say a prospective investor visits your site and downloads an FAQ 1-pager on investing for beginners. Your form only asked for their first name and email address. Easy peasy.
Two weeks later, that same prospect visits your website and completes a form to view an on-demand webinar about the basics of mutual funds. Since your marketing automation platform already knows their name and email address, the form that populates to grant access to the webinar asks for their age and profession.
Every form completion stores this information and prompts the next conversion opportunity to ask a dynamically generated set of new questions.
That means fewer questions, better conversions, and more data!
Put the Finishing Touches on Your Landing Page
Finally, once you’ve perfected the look and feel of your landing page, make sure to add quality SEO components so that you can rank well in organic search as well as paid.
(If you’re unfamiliar with the basics of SEO, please click here.)
And to ensure you’re always striving to improve, you can A/B test multiple versions of your landing page by simply splitting your distribution lists at random. Once you have a workable sample size, look for areas to optimize and repeat the process!
Marketing Automation Allows You to Nurture Leads to Grow Your Assets Under Management
Getting potential investors to visit your website is great.
Getting them to complete a form is even better.
But turning a promising lead into an eager investor is where the rubber really meets the road.
You’ve done so much work to capture the prospect’s contact information; it would be a pity to lose them to a competitor because you didn’t properly nurture the lead.
Unfortunately, lead nurturing is easier said than done, but automating these campaigns is far more efficient and far more effective than doing so manually. In fact, according to The Annuitas Group, businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.
By developing and launching automated programs with conditional logic (if a lead does this, automatically enroll them in that customer track) and dynamic content (if a lead is interested in this, automatically send them that), you can personalize the customer journey based on their actual interests and behaviors. This is especially great because new investors have so many questions and concerns, and lead nurturing is the best way to give them the answers and peace of mind they crave.
You should always be looking for new and innovative ways to speak to your audience in a way that addresses their specific challenges and answers their unique questions.
Grouping your prospects into segments based on their age, income, financial goals, line of work, online behavior, and engagement with your content and emails is a great way to accomplish this. Segmentation is an absolutely essential aspect of successful marketing because it allows you to deliver more targeted campaigns to personalize and streamline the customer journey.
Event-triggered email marketing is another vital component of lead nurturing. The instant a prospect becomes a lead (i.e., the moment of conversion), you should send an automated email acknowledging and thanking them for their action and delivering the collateral you said you would.
Also, instead of beating around the bush and making educated assumptions about their challenges and interests, why not just come right out and ask them? Include 4-5 options (stocks, bonds, retirement, etc.) in your thank you email and ask them to choose their own adventure.
From there, you can automatically send them email drip campaigns with content and messaging that reflect their goals and obstacles.
Lastly, you can also segment based on how you’re scoring your prospects. While many individuals think lead scoring is reserved for the B2B realm, modern marketers (especially in the financial sphere) are discovering that they can effectively score their B2C leads for more targeted marketing and outreach.
You can use marketing automation to develop intuitive scoring models that are unique to each persona. As your prospects’ lead scores increase (and they become more knowledgeable about their investment options), you can place them in gradually more aggressive lead nurturing programs to guide them through your sales funnel.
Act-On Is the Trusted Marketing Automation Solution for Financial Advisors and Wealth Management Firms
The pending great wealth transfer will leave a lot of money up for grabs and presents perhaps the greatest financial opportunity of the 21st century. Unfortunately, if you’re not speaking to potential investors the way they demand or creating the experiences they crave, you’ll likely miss out on most of it.
Luckily, there’s a clear path to success that is paved with outstanding marketing and messaging: marketing automation from Act-On!
At Act-On, we understand the difficulties inherent in the financial industry. We also understand how difficult it is for firms to differentiate themselves and their products from their competitors. That’s why we’re so committed to providing all wealth managers — regardless of size, skill set, or experience level — with the tools and resources they need to come out on top of the great wealth transfer and thrive in this age of digital disruption.
Our clients use Act-On each and every day to:
- Gain crystal clear insights into prospect behavior
- Remove manual processes to accelerate growth
- Acquire new clients and more assets under management
- Grow existing client assets and strengthen relationships
If you want to learn more about how we can help you financial advisory scale in tandem with the great wealth transfer, you should schedule some time to speak with one of our marketing automation experts.
Or, if we’ve piqued your interest but you’re not ready to commit to a one-on-one conversation just yet, we think you might like this eBook. It’s full of great information on how marketing automation can help financial advisors overcome their most common obstacles to success.