In an ideal world, your agent website is enhanced for both passive and active marketing activities. If there is good, SEO-rich content, your target market will naturally engage with your web collateral. And if you’ve got great calls to action and active marketing processes, you can lead consumers to your web properties, which may inspire them to take further actions (such as submitting their information or calling you directly).
Below you will find ten simple steps to optimizing your website to generate good online leads.
Appeal to Your Target Market
A clean, well-designed website is the key to making a good first impression to online consumers. Generally speaking, your site should be user-friendly, responsive, easy to navigate, and support multiple devices. It’s also important that your contact information and social media links are easy to find. Now consider what your specific target market would find appealing and adjust the content and design of your site accordingly. You want prospects to visit your site and feel like they’ve found someone who understands—and can provide solutions for—their needs and concerns.
Identify & Use Pertinent Keywords
Make a list of keywords and search terms that relate to the products and services you provide. When a consumer in your target market is searching online for information, you want them to land on your site for the answer, right? Think about what those consumers might be searching for. Are they looking for ‘top annuity rates,’ ‘how does life insurance work’ or ‘financial advisors in my area?’ Identify those keywords and layer them into the content of your site. This will better index your site, making it more likely to appear near the top of the consumer’s search results.
Say NO to Templates
You’ve seen those ads that offer quick and easy business websites. Avoid these at all costs! You want your website to be unique and stand out from the competition. What you don’t want is for the consumer to see a generic website and leave with the impression that you aren’t invested enough in your own business (or clients) to sink any resources into a quality online presence. Furthermore, template sites offer limited functionality and do not allow for proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Contact us if you’re interested in a functional, custom-built website.
Create a Call to Action
The prospect is on your site, now what? Why should they pick up the phone or submit their information? Your Call to Action should give them that answer before they ask the question. An effective CTA is concise, visually-appealing, and tailored to your target market. You could offer anything from a white paper, video or complimentary appointment; just give the prospect as many reasons as possible to contact you. See our recent post on landing pages and calls to action.
Work to minimize jargon, acronyms and complex terminology from your content. Write to the consumers, not over their heads. Jargon-heavy content can be intimidating or confusing to many consumers. If they struggle to grasp the meaning of your message, you’ve lost them. Additionally, buzzwords like “turnkey” and “cutting-edge” will likely find the prospect rolling their eyes as they exit your site. What you say, and how you say it, plays a huge role in whether or not the prospect contacts you.
Create a Blog
Fresh content drives traffic. All things being equal, the website with the freshest, most relevant content will index better. Well-written and informative blog posts can also do wonders for your credibility. Sending e-newsletters with a link to your blog is another good way to drive additional traffic to your site.
Implement Email Marketing
It’s unlikely that prospects will make visits to your website a part of their daily routine. This is why we recommend sending regularly scheduled email blasts. Keeping your prospects updated with your latest blog posts and relevant news can be a good way to convert them into clients. If you have questions about how an e-newsletter campaign can benefit your business, or if you’d like us to design one for you, call us today.
Leverage Social Media
Spreading your message across all mediums is key to generating measurable results. The average prospect has to be touched 6-9 times before they buy. Many of those prospects spend roughly one-third of their time online actively engaged in one or more social media platforms. Use your social media channels to boost your online presence, interact with consumers and build a loyal following. Additionally, sharing links to your blog, website, landing pages, etc. will boost web traffic and search engine ranking, which ultimately leads to more conversions.
Test & Track
Your website has a call to action, but how effective is it? You can’t just put it up there, walk away and expect results. Keep track of how well (or poorly) your CTA is performing and make changes as needed. Switch out different gives and see what generates the highest conversion. If you’re curious about what offers and gives typically yield the highest response rates, call us for a complimentary report.
Partner with an FMO
Work with an FMO that understands how digital marketing works and can help implement your plan. This can be the difference between having an online business card and an online marketing engine. Contact us now if you want to take your business to the next level.
Disability insurance is perhaps one of the most overlooked, yet valuable, products available to consumers. According to the Council for Disability Awareness, roughly 51 million working adults will have nothing but Social Security to rely upon should an injury or medical condition leave them unable to work for an extended period of time. To call this lack of additional coverage risky is an understatement. Without proper coverage, many people would drain their savings in less than three months. In fact, medically-related work loss accounts for around 45% of all bankruptcy filings.
So, why are so many people willing to roll the dice on their financial stability? As an agent or advisor, a better question to ask would be “what can I do to convince them otherwise?” With May designated as Disability Insurance Awareness Month, we are here to help answer that question.
A client might have a variety of reasons to decline DI coverage, but they can’t argue with facts. A straight-forward, research-backed approach can be an effective way to overcome objections. The CDA has provided several stats to help agents educate clients on the risks involved with an unprotected income.
- Nearly 50% of adults say, if disabled, they could not pay an unexpected $400 bill without taking out a loan or selling personal property.
- 6% of working Americans will experience a short-term disability of six months or less per year.
- Only 40% of US households have at least $6,275 in liquid savings.
- Most short-term disability claims are non-work related:
- Pregnancies (22%)
- Musculoskeletal disorders (20%)
- Digestive disorders (7.8%)
- Mental health issues (7%)
- The same can be said about long-term disability claims
- Musculoskeletal disorders (30%)
- Cancer (15%)
- Mental health (8.6%)
- Circulatory (8.1%)
Make an Emotional Appeal
If the cold, hard truth isn’t enough to budge the client, try the emotional approach. Ask questions that make them think about how a loss of income might impact the well-being of their family.
- How long can you be out of work and still keep your home?
- You say you can’t afford coverage, but can you afford to cover living and medical expenses while you aren’t working?
- How will your family react to a sudden and drastic lifestyle change?
- What’s your backup plan if/when your savings account runs dry?
- Does that backup plan involve dipping into your children’s college fund?
While some people might take offense at this straight-forward line of questioning, that’s no reason to avoid asking them. For many, the decision to go without adequate DI coverage stems from a lack of awareness. The DIAM campaign is your opportunity to start a conversation that, hopefully, opens their eyes.
The intent behind nearly any tactic you might use in a digital marketing campaign is to drive web traffic. For lead-gen and conversion purposes, those email blasts and targeted social media ads probably include a link directing people to a campaign-specific landing page on your website. Advisors use landing pages for a variety of reasons – seminars registration, downloadable content offers (whitepapers, fact sheets, etc.), or consultation requests. Whatever the reason, the ultimate goal here is conversion.
However, no matter how successful those emails and ads are at driving people to your landing page, it’s often the page itself that will determine whether you’ve added a new name to your list of potential clients. In other words, a bad landing page can drive consumers away just as quickly as they arrived.
While there is no secret recipe for the perfect landing page, implementing the following practices can significantly boost your chances of turning a click into a conversion. We will draw from one of our most recent landing pages to illustrate.
Like any other piece of content you put out there, the copy on your landing page needs to concise, clear, and free of any grammatical errors and typos. Use strong and compelling headlines to catch and keep their attention. And always have a fresh set of eyes check for errors you might have missed.
Avoid using too much (or any if possible) jargon and technical terms. This sort of language can easily go over a consumer’s head and bring more questions than answers. Your audience shouldn’t have to read your copy more than once to get a clear idea about the offer.
The copy on your landing page should be consistent with the copy used in your ad/email. Inconsistent messages can make people skeptical of your offer.
Your landing page will likely have a form that requires visitors to submit personal information. At a bare minimum, these forms typically ask for name, email, phone number, and the best time of day to call. Because people are often hesitant to share too many personal details, requiring more than the basics might be a deal breaker. While the average number of fields on a form is 11, cutting that down to 4 can boost conversion by as much as 120%.
Some advisors might want to weed out any unqualified leads by including fields that require additional information, such as age and income ranges. Use your own judgment here, but keep in mind that you might lose a good lead by asking them to submit information online that could easily be discussed during a follow-up phone call.
Video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by as much as 86%. Keep your video short, simple, and use it to expand upon your message. Consumers are more likely to watch a 1 -2-minute video than they are to read a 1 -2-paragraph block of text. This can also help associate your face with your brand and make you seem more trustworthy.
The video should be placed above the fold (near the top of the landing page) and embedded on the page itself. If clicking your video redirects the visitor to your YouTube channel, they will be less likely to come back and fill out your form.
Keep your call to action simple, strong, and easy to locate. The copy on your CTA should be as or more compelling than your headlines. Oftentimes, people who read a strong headline are more likely to check out the CTA as well.
Design is also an important factor with your CTA. It should stand out from the rest of the page, look professional, and be placed below the fold.
You can also increase the clicks on your CTA by keeping any secondary links that might direct visitors away from the page to a minimum. In fact, removing the navigation bar can boost conversion by 100%.
When it comes to life insurance, many agents and advisors focus most of their efforts on consumers. This can be a wide-open market that consists of young families, those nearing retirement, and everyone in between. However, it would be a mistake to overlook the equally-open territory of small businesses. Many business owners may not be aware of how life insurance can be used to enhance their operations. Marketing to these entrepreneurs often requires a different approach than you would take with the average consumer.
Use the following tips to enhance your B2B life insurance marketing efforts.
Credibility and trustworthiness are two crucial elements of any relationship. When targeting consumers, agents and advisors often rely on various content marketing tactics (educational materials, articles, etc.) to establish a sense of trust. However, converting a business owner might require extra effort on your part. Don’t be afraid to get out there, shake some hands, and do a little schmoozing. Face-to-face networking is one of the most effective B2B marketing tactics an agent or advisor can put to use.
Chamber of Commerce
Joining your local Chamber of Commerce can be a good way to get face time with a wide variety of business owners, non-profits, and economic development entities. Attend chamber meetings on a regular to build relationships with other members. Doing so will also show you have a vested interest in the local economy. This can go a long way with other entrepreneurs.
Additional Business Networks
Most communities have loosely-knit groups that exist for this exact purpose. These are usually established by other local business owners looking to establish B2B relationships of their own. In many cases, these groups consist of business owners who don’t belong to their local Chamber of Commerce but still seek networking opportunities. These casual get-togethers are great chances to exchange marketing ideas, meet local media personalities, and make new B2B connections.
Knock and Talk
There’s something to be said about the straight-forward approach. Keep an eye on new businesses opening up in your area. News outlets and your chamber of commerce can be a good resource for this. Attending ribbon-cutting ceremonies can be a great opportunity to show support and introduce yourself to the owner(s). If the business is located near your office, make it a point to stop by on occasion. Simply popping your head in the door to see how things are going can lead to a productive, professional relationship.
Small business owners know how important it is to make a first impression with customers. From physical location to digital presence, successful entrepreneurs will pore over even the smallest details to make sure they come across as professional as possible. Why would they expect any less from you?
Be Organized and Professional
It doesn’t matter who the prospect is, or what they do for a living, your overall presentation is a crucial part of the sales process. That said, you should expect a higher level of scrutiny from business owners than the average consumer. In other words, professionals expect professionalism from other professionals. Assume you will be under a microscope from the start. Even the slightest hint of disorganization or poor etiquette can hinder a potential B2B relationship. When approaching business owners, it’s crucial that you put your best foot forward and strive to make a flawless impression at every point of contact.
Bring the Right Materials
Consumer-facing materials are a necessity when presenting life insurance information. Giving the prospect a brochure, pamphlet, or one-sheet to take home will give them the chance to go over details without feeling pressured by your presence. When pitching to a business owner, make sure you have materials that pertain to their business needs. Don’t overload them with extra brochures that aren’t relevant to the business applications of life insurance. Keep things on topic until they decide they’re interested in additional products, such as a personal policy.
Request our Life Insurance Overview guide, which includes sections on:
- Types of Life Insurance
- Benefits Beyond a Death Benefit
- Business Application of Life Insurance
- Life Insurance at a Glance
Celebrity gossip columnists have been working overtime since early January when Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced via Twitter that their marriage was ending. It’s somehow fitting that one of the most publicized divorces in recent memory, involving the world’s wealthiest man, ended with the most expensive divorce settlement ever. When the dust settled, the now ex-wife of the Amazon founder and CEO revealed that she was leaving the marriage with roughly $35 billion in her pocket.
As an advisor or agent, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with retirement planning, life insurance, or anything else related to your profession. It’s safe to assume that billionaires don’t sit up at night, worried about a steady stream of retirement income. However, this is a concern that has probably resulted in sleepless nights for many of your clients. After all, that’s why they came to you, isn’t it? That’s why you worked so diligently to outline a plan that would alleviate those concerns, right? But what happens to that plan after a divorce?
When Clients Divorce
It’s been said that there are only two ways to end a marriage – death or divorce. The reality of being an advisor is that, eventually, you’ll have to help clients get through one or the other. Unless, of course, that client is worth billions of dollars. They might not need much from you in either case. For the rest of us, divorce can turn into a nightmare. Aside from the emotional impact, there are legal fees, moving expenses, and countless other loose ends to tie up. As their advisor, some of those loose ends will involve you.
Divorce laws differ from state to state. This is why it’s important that advisors are familiar with those laws before getting involved. It’s also important to decide if you even want to get involved, especially if you don’t have any specialized training financial divorce planning. There’s also the personal relationship you’ve established with both parties to consider. Beyond that, there could be conflicts of interest or other legal issues that might arise.
That said, it’s possible that a divorced client will come to seeking advice on how to move forward. Especially if they weren’t as involved in the family’s finances as the other. This situation might call for you to provide some education and guidance.
Following the divorce, the client will likely want to remove the ex-spouse as the beneficiary to any life insurance policies or retirement accounts in their name. However, this might be the furthest thing from their mind in the weeks and months after the dust settles. This would be an appropriate occasion to offer a policy review to revise how the beneficiaries are restructured.
Social Security Options
Your client might not be aware of their Social Security options. Under certain conditions, they may be able to collect benefits based on the ex-spouse’s work record. Doing so will not reduce the benefits the client’s ex-spouse is entitled to receive and could possibly be more advantageous than claiming based on their own work record. Check SSA.gov for updated rules pertaining to divorce.
If one spouse has a 401(k) or similar employer-provided pension plan, the divorce agreement may include a qualified domestic relations order. The QDRO determines how the account is split between the two parties. While the lawyers need to fight that battle, advisors should help make sure the recipient can make an informed decision on how to handle those assets. The QDRO might state that funds are transferred from the 401(k) into an IRA. Depending on the situation, this might be the better long-term option. If the divorce is causing financial hardships, the recipient needs to know that they can collect the money directly without incurring any early withdrawal penalties.
Picking Up the Pieces
Even the most amicable of divorces can leave one party with more pieces to pick up than the other. Jeff Bezos agreed to the $35 billion settlement, but still has around $110 billion more in the bank and his company. In short, MacKenzie was left with the short end of a very, very big stick.
When a recently divorced person starts to put those pieces back together, their short- and long-term financial outlook should be part of that puzzle. This is where an advisor can step in to help. A recently divorced person may need guidance with setting up a new monthly budgeting and savings plan. Or advice on how to best manage any assets or property they got in the divorce. This could also be the right time for a complete reassessment of their goals and how to achieve them.
Geo-targeting has become one of the most powerful digital marketing tools businesses have at their disposal. This game-changing tactic uses data from a consumer’s mobile device to deliver highly-targeted and relevant content. To make a broad analogy, think of geo-targeting like the tech-savvy grandson of direct mail marketing. But instead of spending good money to cover a broad area of mailboxes, geo-targeting allows you to build a customized audience of consumers based, not only on where they live but where they work, shop, eat and anywhere else they go.
Two or three years ago, geo-targeting was considered to be the “next big thing” in digital marketing. Today, it is the big thing. Businesses that have made geo-targeting a part of their digital marketing strategy are making better use of their ad budgets and enjoying a higher return on that investment. Are you geo-targeting?
Facebook, Google, and other platforms have for years allowed businesses to deliver ads to consumers within a specific geographic region. It’s effective but does little to account for relevancy. Your ad might reach a lot of people, but how many of them will actually care? Geo-targeting works to solve this problem by providing insight into the consumer’s interests and behaviors based on real-time, or historical location. For example, someone who makes daily trips to their local gym is probably going to be more interested in a health food store ad than someone who doesn’t frequent that location. While both people might live in the same zip code, the ad is only relevant to one of them. By geo-targeting the gym, the ad is more likely to hit the right target.
So how can agents and advisors put geo-targeting to use?
Consider Your Target
Think about who you’re trying to reach. Pre-retirees? High-net-worth professionals? Using generalized parameters like age or education to build your target audience is a good start, but that only tells part of the story. However, where these consumers spend their time can paint a much clearer picture. Where do these consumers work? Where do they spend their free time? That C-level executive you want to connect with can might spend their day in a nice office building downtown and Saturdays at the golf course.
Create a Geo-fence
Once you’ve determined who you want to reach and where you’re most likely to reach them, focus your ad on those locations. For more precise targeting, include any additional demographic information that might be relevant.
Use the Right Platform
The platform you use for your geo-targeted campaign can play a big role in the effectiveness of your geo-targeted campaign. Which social media channels are popular with your target? You probably won’t find too many baby boomers on Twitter, but there are plenty on Facebook. And that executive? Try LinkedIn.
Analyze and Experiment
Geo-targeted campaigns can be complicated and often call for a little tweaking as they run. Pay close attention to the analytics, measure your results, and act accordingly. If that geo-fence you drew around the downtown business district isn’t generating any new leads, try making a few changes. Maybe you need to expand your geo-fence or revise the content of your ad itself. Digital marketing is not a science, especially when it comes to a data-rich tactic like geo-fencing. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t strike gold right away. Keep experimenting until you find the strategy that works for you.
April and October are traditionally known as CD replacement months, a designation that traces back to the October 19, 1987 “Black Monday” stock market crash. Scrambling to protect their assets from the collapsing market, investors found safe harbor in Certificates of Deposit. The story behind CD replacement month (covered in the presentation above) highlights how major economic events can leave an impact still felt nearly 32 years later.
As a financial professional, you’re probably already familiar with this history lesson. The question is, are you putting it to use? CD replacement month is a good occasion to sit down with clients to discuss how CD alternatives might be a better way to achieve their retirement goals. Or maybe you have a client whose situation is more conducive to using CDs as a savings vehicle. Or, an even more likely scenario, you have clients who aren’t fully aware of their options.
The history behind CD replacement month is an opportunity to dig deeper into the client’s needs, goals, and unique situation. Rather than limit the conversation to CDs and CD alternatives, use your probing skills to gain a sense of the client’s financial know-how and educate accordingly.
If the client owns or is interested in a low-interest rate product like CDs, they:
A) are gun shy about putting their money into anything tied to the market; or
B) don’t know that other, more valuable, options out there.
Either way, they’re in your office and ready to talk.
Of course, it’s highly unlikely that they’re going to look at the calendar and think, “Hey, it’s April! I should call my advisor about these CDs.” That would almost be too easy. If you need help planting the seed, we have a wealth of marketing materials designed specifically for that reason.
Our 2019 CD Replacement Kit includes:
- Taxable Equivalent Yield Chart
- CD vs. Annuity Comparison Chart
- Split Annuity CD Beater Strategy
- CD vs. FIA Sales Strategy
- CD Prospecting Letter
- Customizable Fact Finder
- Retirement Pitfalls Presentation
- Going Broke Safely Presentation
Did we mention the kit is free? Fill out the form to request yours today.
There was a time when we thought that robots replacing human workers was little more than fodder for sci-fi. Today, that has become a reality. Over the last few years, an increasing number of jobs – ranging from cashier to data analysis – are being taken over by automation and AI-driven machines. And we all remember when Californians voted a Terminator into the Governor’s office. Well, advisors, the robots are gunning for your jobs too.
Robo-advisors are a rapidly growing trend in the financial industry. These automated portfolio management systems have been touted as a more efficient and cost-effective alternative to flesh-and-blood professionals. Many companies are using robo-advisors for clients willing to take a more “hands-off” role in their personal assets. According to one estimate, robo-advisors, which use computer algorithms to automate investments and offer financial advice, will handle more than $450 billion in assets by 2021. This might seem exaggerated but the number of carriers incorporating digital asset management systems into their structure suggests otherwise. Vanguard has been using them since 2015 and others – Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and JP Chase to name a few – are following suit.
Will Robo-Advisors Replace Real Advisors?
The answer is no; despite their popularity, it’s highly doubtful that robo-advisors will send their human counterparts scrambling for a new career. But that doesn’t mean they won’t have at least some impact on your business.
A study published in February by MDRT found that 88% of the American adults surveyed said “technology should complement, not replace,” human financial advisors. Around 88% would rather work with a human. Only 5% would be OK with their entire portfolios being managed by tech-based tools. Compare that to the 36% of those who “strongly disagree” with robo-advisors completely overtaking the role of human advisors.
If stats like this reflect the consumer base as a whole, your job is safe. However, the rise of the robo-advisor does stress a few important points. The MDRT survey also found that about 95% think that advisors should be tech-savvy and make updated tech-based tools a part of their practice.
The Human Factor
This all goes back to one thing – trust. While a robo-advisor can accurately crunch numbers in a millisecond, they can’t replace the value of face-to-face interaction. A trusted relationship with their advisor, human interaction, and ease of communication, far outweighed concerns about accuracy and cost.
This is why it’s critical that advisors keep one foot in the real world and the other in the digital landscape. As consumers, we’ve come to expect, and in many cases rely upon, tech-based tools, software, and other digital assets. Millennials (who gave split opinions on robo-advisors) have been “digital” their entire lives. For them, an advisor who still hasn’t changed with the times would likely be seen as a relic. Generally speaking, advisors who are tapped into the newest tools are more likely to convert prospects.
While you should expect some competition as robo-advisors become more commonplace, try not to lose any sleep over it. After all, even “old-schoolers” out there can learn to navigate the digital world, make use of new tools, and utilize emerging tech in order to enhance the way you do business. And even if a robo-advisor can do all that (and more) in a faster and more cost-friendly manner, they’ll never be able to reach out with a handshake and a smile. If that day comes, then we can start to worry.
When it comes to online marketing, social media is one of the most powerful tools out there. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Nextdoor all present a wealth of opportunities. We use them to boost brand awareness, generate new leads, and stay connected with clients and prospects. One of the biggest benefits of social media is the ability for entrepreneurs to actively participate in conversations with their target market.
This level of engagement is your chance to showcase your expertise to social media users looking for advice from a knowledgeable professional. The time spent scanning these platforms for opportunities can pay off big in the end. That said, social media can be a crowded and competitive space. This is why advisors may want to include alternative avenues of engagement. There is one avenue in particular that has been gaining momentum as of late – Reddit.
What is Reddit?
Reddit is a forum-styled news aggregation board that launched in 2005. By 2018, it had become one of the most highly trafficked websites in the world, with more than 542 million users logging in each month to post about an endless number of topics. The site does have somewhat of a questionable reputation due to the amount of explicit content. But there are plenty of legitimate and productive conversations taking place within the hundreds of “safe-for-work” communities hosted by the site.
Reddit communities, known as “subreddits,” cover a wide range of topics. This includes several that fall under the wheelhouse of financial professionals. These subreddits are filled with posts from users with questions and concerns over personal finance, life insurance, investments, and other relevant topics. Advisors can build and foster relationships with users by responding to these posts with credible and qualified answers.
Keep in mind that it might take a little time and effort for new users to learn how to properly navigate the site. They also set strict rules outlining what you can and can’t post. But once you become familiar with things, you’ll have access to dozens of finance-related subreddits. Some worth exploring include:
Targeting Reddit Users
Reddit’s ad platform is set up to target specific communities and users. Reddit campaigns can be used to boost brand awareness, drive website traffic, lead generation, and other methods of engagement. Advertisers can target users based on location, interest, or the subreddits they frequent. The platform also features scheduling and budget options.
The value Reddit can provide for you as an advisor is largely based on how well you use the site. Some may find it worth the effort, while others might not. But due to the number of Millennials who actively participate in the site, it deserves some exploration.
Good luck and happy Redditing!