Most financial advisors are probably already aware that seminars are like any other marketing tactic. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. If your efforts have been more “bust” than “boom” lately, it might be time to consider a different approach.
A low-to-no-cost financial Q&A session can be a more practical and casual alternative to costly seminars and workshops. The concept is simple and, in many ways, works like any other seminar would. The difference here is in the content and attendee experience. Rather than deliver the traditional presentation on one specific topic, personalize the event by covering subjects that are relevant to those in the room.
Structure for Success
A Q&A doesn’t mean attendees are welcome to bombard you with a series of random questions. That would be impossible to prepare for and could easily get out of hand. You want to keep things on topic and running smoothly. To do so, set up an online registration page that requires your guests to submit 1-3 questions when signing up for the event. This will make sure your final presentation covers a variety of topics but doesn’t go in too many directions at once. Use these questions to build a presentation customized specifically for your audience.
Obviously, you will want to leave certain details out of your final presentation and only include questions that are both relevant and appropriate for a public seminar. Use your own judgment here, but as a general rule, avoid the following:
- Personal information
- Stock / Investment Advice
- Specific scenarios (someone’s complicated situation that would require a 1-on-1 appointment to properly address)
To address the third point listed above, you should expect the majority of questions submitted to pertain to the prospect’s specific situation. That said, because the goal here is to bring people from the seminar to your office, those questions will open the door for a follow-up conversation. A good approach would be to reframe the question in a way that still addresses the prospect’s concern but is also broad enough to apply to the audience as a whole. This creates an opportunity for you to approach them afterward about setting up an appointment. And by collecting everyone’s contact information, you have a new batch of prospects to place into a drip campaign.
Preperation is the Key
As anyone who has given a seminar already knows, preparation is just one of the ingredients for success. But for a custom-tailored presentation such as this, the time and effort you spend preparing your material is probably the most important factor. Ideally, the inquiries you receive will be wide-ranging enough to deliver an hour’s worth of information on a variety of topics. However, it never hurts to have some additional content and/or topics of discussion ready to roll out just in case. And be prepared to tackle at least a handful of follow-up questions from the audience as you’re wrapping things up.
Beyond that, you can set up a Q&A session much like you would any other seminar. Take advantage of spaces that invite conversation (library room, upscale bar with a meeting room, gallery space). Just remember to keep things casual, low-pressure, and informative. Well, maybe not too informative. After all, any good performer knows that you have to leave the audience wanting more. Good luck!
“I wish email would die.”
Those five words are perhaps the most surprising (and ridiculous) I’ve ever heard come from a marketing expert. And yet they did. I was even more surprised a few minutes later when the same person went on to sing the praises of drip email campaigns. So, despite his personal disdain for the medium, as a professional, he couldn’t deny the marketing value of email. With more than 269 billion emails sent on a daily basis, his conflicted stance is understandable.
As inboxes become more inundated, email marketing efforts need to become more focused and more relevant in order to stand out. Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet for a successful email campaign, but using the following tips could very well save your messages from getting lost in the wash.
Most, if not all, email services allow you to break your contact lists into different segments. This is a great way to make sure you’re getting the right message out to the right people. Compared to emails that go out to non-segmented lists, segmented emails result in nearly 15% more opens and 100% more clicks (Mailchimp).
Demographic segmentation – age, gender, geographic location, income, etc. – is one of the most commonly seen uses of this practice. However, advisors and agents should consider digging a little deeper and segment their lists according to the needs and interests of their prospects. For example, create a “Life Insurance” segment that includes only those who have expressed interest in that specific topic. This will keep non-relevant content out of their inbox and decrease the number of people who click “unsubscribe.”
The subject line you use can make or break the email within the first few seconds of delivery. A strong and concise subject is the best way to pique the reader’s interest and get them to open the message. A good subject line will tease the content of your email, but avoid coming across as spam-y or sales-y. Subject lines that ask an open-ended question, focus on something of value, or speak to a specific need or curiosity will typically generate more opens than others. For example:
- When You Can Actually Retire Vs. When You Want To Retire
- Saving Versus Spending: Why You Might Be Doing Both Wrong
- What You Need To Know About Retirement
- Why Planning Your Legacy Now Is Important
- How You Can Save Even With Debt
- How Your Retirement May Change Next Year
- One Big Thing Missing From Your Retirement Plan
Avoid using spam filter language (loan, free, mortgage, etc.), deceptive subject lines, exclamation points, and NEVER USE ALL CAPS!!!
More than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, and the majority of those who do open their messages on a smart device will delete emails that aren’t mobile friendly. So, if your email is not optimized for mobile, it might not be worth sending in the first place.
Most email platforms offer a variety of mobile-ready and responsive templates that will make sure yours is designed with smart devices in mind. Use them. You also want to make sure you preview and test your email on as many different devices as possible (computer, smart phone, tablet) to make sure it displays properly on all of them,
If there’s one point that cannot be overstressed, it’s this – content is king. The copy you write from the body of your email should be clear-cut, well-crafted, and plainly outline your value proposition. Obviously, grammar is of the upmost importance, so make sure your proofread at least a few times. Ideally, you’ll want a fresh set of eyes to go over your content at least once or twice as well.
Aim for a good balance of text and images. Too much of the former can come across as bland and unappealing, while an image-heavy email can take longer to load, increasing the chances they’ll delete or ignore your message. You also want to direct their attention to your call-to-action and provide multiple, clickable links to the site you want your readers to land on.
Personalized emails can increase both your click-through-rates and conversions. And like the aforementioned tips, your email platform likely has a feature that will automatically include the reader’s first name in both the subject line and greeting. This sort of personal touch will not only catch the reader’s eye, but it could also increase the sense of relevancy and emotional appeal.
Measure Your Results and Act Accordingly
Spend some time looking over the results of your previous email campaigns. Try to determine what it was about your “hits” that made them more successful than your “misses.” Was it the subject line? The time and day you sent the email? Even the design and placement of your links can affect how well your email campaign performs. By carefully going over the different variables at play, you can easily incorporate those things that worked into future campaigns.
Whether or not you’re familiar with his name, as a financial professional, you owe a debt of gratitude to Jack Bogle. Born May 8, 1929, Bogle’s family was hit hard by the Great Depression. This experience would prove formative as he later went on to change the financial industry by creating the first index mutual fund available to consumers.
A Pioneer of the Financial Industry
Not long after founding the Vanguard Group in 1974, a company that now handles nearly $5 trillion in assets, Bogle established the First Index Investment Trust. This was the first to be built around the S & P500. Bogle’s creation introduced a low-cost, passive approach to investing. This leveled the playing field for the “small-time” investors of the world. Bogle frowned upon unreasonably high broker fees, non-transparency, and unethical practices. His common-sense philosophy and disdain for corporate excess sparked a revolution that allowed millions to save for retirement.
Bogle’s fierce advocacy for indexing was a dramatic break from industry tradition. While Bogle he faced criticism from Wall Street, he went on to become one of the most respected names in finance. Warren Buffet once called Jack Bogle a “hero.”
In his 1999 book, “Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor,” Jack Bogle laid out these eight basic rules for investors:
- Select low-cost funds
- Consider carefully the added costs of advice
- Do not overrate past fund performance
- Use past performance to determine consistency and risk
- Beware of stars (as in, star mutual fund managers)
- Beware of asset size
- Don’t own too many funds
- Buy your fund portfolio, and hold it
Bogle left Vanguard in 1999 and, a year later, founded the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center. He passed away on January 16, 2019, leaving behind a legacy built on philanthropy and standing up for the “little guy.”
Thanks for another great year!
Over the course of 2018, the Legacy Financial Partners team has worked to deliver a treasure trove of marketing collateral. Our guides, sales kits, and blog posts are all crafted to put agents and advisors on the fast track to success.
To say thanks for another great year, we have compiled our Top 5 Marketing Corner posts from 2018. The list below is just a sample of the valuable insights, tips, and exclusive content we provide every week.
As an added bonus, we are offering a newly updated collection of sales tips and marketing ideas that will help jumpstart 2019. Scroll down to receive our New Year Revitalization Guide and start 2019 off one step ahead of the competition.
Stay connected and keep tuning into Marketing Corner for more kits and tips throughout 2019. Thank you and Happy New Year from Legacy Financial Partners.
Two emerging trends are becoming major factors for life insurance carriers. Blockchain technology and the decriminalization of marijuana. While worlds apart, both could impact your business.
Believe it or not, Millennials are the perfect storm of opportunity for agents and advisors. Get valuable insights on the largest generation in history to help tap into this wide-open market.
Guerrilla Marketing describes any “unconventional marketing tools used in cases when financial or other resources are limited or non-existent.” Learn how agents and advisors can apply this concept to their marketing efforts.
If a picture is worth a thousand word, then a video is worth far more. Using video as part of your marketing strategy is a necessity in today’s digital landscape.
The integration of new technology into our smart devices is ushering in big changes to the underwriting process. How biometrics are laying the groundwork for tomorrow’s life insurance industry?
Get Our 2019 New Year Revitalization Guide
Learn how self-evaluation, calculated goal-setting, and solution-oriented strategies can breathe new life into your marketing plan. Click here to receive your copy today.
For many of us, the last few weeks of the year can, in some respects, be among the most challenging. Business is slowing down, and our attention begins to shift from work to the well-deserved break that comes between Christmas and the new year. The office parties, early holiday gatherings with friends, school programs, and rush to check items off your shopping list can easily throw us off our daily routine. However, there are still plenty of things left to do before we can celebrate the transition from 2018 into 2019.
The effort you put in at in the of 2018 can have a significant impact on how you start 2019. This is a good time for settling accounts, getting your books in order, and conducting holiday marketing activities. But what are you doing to prep for next year? While this can be a hectic and distracting time of year, it’s vital that you carve out time in your schedule to work on your 2019 plans now, so you aren’t scrambling when January comes. So, take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee and ask yourself, “What do I want 2019 to look like?”
Set Your Goals
Break down your various production goals into monthly or quarterly increments. This is an efficient way to track your progress and determine whether you need to make any adjustments to your plan. Set up a document that outlines your monthly/quarterly production goals and split those goals into specific categories. As the year progresses, compare those goals to your results. This will give you an organized and detailed overview of your growth. Aside from production and revenue, consider the other goals you’d like to achieve over the next year. Do you want to target new markets? Or bring on new employees? Outlining any operational, administrative, or non-specific goals is an important part of staying focused on the big picture.
Establish a Marketing Budget
Make a list of the different marketing activities you use or would like to explore in 2019; web development, seminar marketing, community events, lead gen, etc. Now, assign a dollar amount you feel comfortable spending on each. This won’t be a concrete budget, as changing trends and results will likely call for periodic adjustments. But it will give you a foundation on which to build your overall plan of attack. Plus, you can start the year off with a better idea of the returns you would like to see from each investment.
Personal & Professional Development
Your plan for a bigger and better 2019 should include more than quantifiable metrics such as goals-versus-results and revenues-versus-expenses. Think about steps you can take to grow as both a person and a professional (as the two really do go hand-in-hand). What can you do to better serve your clients? How can you build credibility? What are your strengths and weaknesses? You might be a financial guru who could fill a book with retirement advice, but need to brush up your writing skills. Or maybe you want to tap into video marketing but tend to freeze up in front of the camera. We all have those areas in which we could use some improvement, and they certainly don’t take away from our tangible job skills. However, pinpointing certain weaknesses and working to overcome them can be very beneficial to your business as a whole. Think of personal/professional development as a list of new year’s resolutions that you won’t forget about by the end of January.
- “I want to sharpen my writing skills, so I can start posting more blogs on my website.”
- “I want to read more on generational marketing, so I can more effectively target Millennials.”
The examples above may not be what you think of when drafting a marketing plan, but both can have a significant impact on how well you execute that plan.
Obviously, there is so much more you will need to consider for the year to come, but it’s important to start somewhere. And just as important to get started ASAP. Let us know if you would like a little help.
November is Long-Term Care Insurance Awareness Month. Like other “Awareness Month” campaigns (Life Insurance in September and Annuities in June), this is a great opportunity to discuss how LTC coverage can fit within your clients’ and prospects’ retirement portfolios.
The conversation about long-term care can be difficult. Many people have yet to consider the impact it can have on their retirement. Others simply don’t want to think about or accept the fact that a time may come when they can no longer live independently.
Longer life expectancies have seen the need for long-term care increase over recent years. And as the need for LTC grows, so too do the costs. The expenses associated with long-term care are staggering. Without proper planning, those costs can quickly drain one’s retirement income, leaving family members to shoulder the financial, emotional, and physical burden of providing and paying for care.
Rising Health Care Costs
Looking at Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey, the annual national median for various types of care and services are as follows:
- Adult Day Health Care – $18,720
- Assisted Living Facility – $48,000
- Homemaker Services – $48,048
- Home Health Aide – $50,336
- Nursing Home Care (Semi-Private Room) – $89,297
- Nursing Home Care (Private Room) – $100,375
These numbers are only estimated to rise, with Genworth estimating that in 2028 (just ten years from now) the annual national median for nursing home care in a semi-private room increasing to $120,008.
When you consider that the average amount families age 56-61 have saved for retirement is $163,557, you can see how a long-term care condition, even a short one, can take a huge bite out of a consumer’s retirement portfolio. And that’s just the average. When we look at the median, the numbers are more concerning – just $8,000 for those aged 50 to 55 and $17,000 for those aged 56 to 61.
Legacy Financial Partners strongly encourages agents and advisors to use the rest of November to have LTC conversations with prospects and clients. To help, we have created an exclusive LTCI Sales kit that includes:
- LTCI Pre-Approach Letters
- Key Long-Term Care Statistics
- LTCI Client Presentations
- LCTI Concept Sheets
- True Cost of LTC Guide
Fill out the form or call 1.877.614.0141 to request your complimentary copy.
November is here and with it comes the “unofficial” beginning of the holiday season. By the time you’ve finished reading this, most stores will have moved their Halloween stock to the bargain bin, bringing out any Christmas inventory that isn’t already on display. Yes, the holiday shopping blitz is underway and consumers are reacting with the typical “Uhggg, Christmas decorations already? I’ve barely started thinking about Thanksgiving!” And this is exactly why agents and advisors should be thinking about Thanksgiving.
Maybe it’s the sentiment surrounding the occasion. Or the lively, yet still-lighthearted stroll we take during the weeks before the rush that kicks off on Black Friday. Whatever the reason, there is something about Thanksgiving that presents a golden opportunity to interact, engage, and foster relationships. The overall goal of a Thanksgiving marketing campaign is more about showing appreciation than sealing a deal. You can achieve this by setting aside the sales pitches in favor of soft, subtle touches that tap into the traditional spirit of food, family, and friends. Here are a few ideas to try out over the coming weeks.
“30 Days of Thanks” Social Media Campaign
This is a simple, low-to-no-cost way to boost your social media presence and show a little personality to your audience. Spend a few minutes each day thinking of something that you are personally thankful for and share the sentiment across your social networks. Encourage your followers to reply with their own expressions of gratitude and use relevant hashtags (listed below) for improved organic reach.
A straight month of social media content can be a little taxing, so try switching gears from funny one day to heartfelt the next. Just make sure to keep things simple, genuine, and—most importantly—positive. And do your best to remain consistent throughout the entire month. Feel free to pull from the example below to get things started:
“Day One of #30DaysOfThanks – I am #ThankfulEveryday for the continued support of my #family and #friends who have stood beside me through the good times and bad times. To them, I say #ThankYou. What are you most #Thankful for this holiday season?
Thanksgiving Giveaways and Gifts
Raffles and giveaways are extremely popular during the holidays, especially when the offer involves food. Depending on your specific goal, there are a few different ways to approach a Thanksgiving giveaway.
If you simply want to give your clients a small token of appreciation, send them a gift card for a local grocery store, bakery or winery. Advisors with large client rosters can randomly select one or two to receive a free turkey or gift certificate to a local restaurant. Or consider the incentive-based approach and offer to your clients a raffle ticket for referrals, sharing your Facebook page, or scheduling an appointment for a policy review.
For prospecting and lead generation, a heavily promoted Thanksgiving contest can be a good way to draw new people into your pipeline. Whatever direction you decide to go, make sure you stay within the boundaries set by state and federal giveaway regulations.
Recipes and Holiday Cooking Tips
Do you have an old family recipe that’s too good to keep to yourself? Maybe you know the secret for the perfect turkey or have a few quick and simple appetizer ideas. Online searches for recipes and menu ideas skyrocket during November. Offering your own culinary tips, tricks, and techniques can be a great way to latch onto one of the top trending searches of the month, so you’ll definitely want to include these in a blog post and share liberally on your social media pages. Your monthly newsletter, email blasts, and direct mailers are also good delivery methods to consider. This is a subtle, yet effective form of content marketing that can not only help with brand awareness but make you come across as more personable to clients and prospects.
Legacy Financial Partners is thankful for YOU. Request our free 2018 Off-Holiday Marketing guide which provides tips for year-round engagement with prospects and clients.