Marketing Corner – 6 Reasons Your Direct Mail Campaign Goes Bust

Marketing Corner – Wednesday January 25th, 2017

6 Reasons Your Direct Mail Campaign Goes Bust

We’ve said it before: even in our digitally-driven world, direct mail is still an effective marketing tool. From holiday cards, to promoting a seminar, to marketing your services, direct mail has a power and impact that some other solutions don’t have. Many advisors dipped their toes into direct mail and have been disappointed with their returns. Here are six reasons your direct mail campaign goes bust.

Your Targeting Isn’t Dialed In

Most mail houses offer targeting with their services, included in a base package or for additional costs. You provide them a set of filters—age, income, topic, etc.—and they build a list. A weak direct mail response rate can be due to improper filters and a misunderstanding of your target market demographics. It may be that you need to expand a radius or you need to adjust your age ranges. It will all depend. The more dialed in—the more you understand your target consumer profile—the more likely that your message will reach the right people.

Your Message Is Unclear

Your message should speak directly and uniquely to your target market, with design elements that compliment your overall goal. Many mail houses will have proven standard templates that can be adjusted for your campaigns. However, a too generic message may not work for all target markets. Make adjustments appropriately and judiciously. Be as direct as possible with regards to what you are offering and why consumers should reach out to you.

You Need More Due Diligence With The Direct Mail Vendor

When you first inquire about counts and pricing, make sure to ask detailed questions. If you simply ask for an average response rate on a particular mailer, the vendor may provide you national averages—when what you are really interested in are the local averages. The more detailed you are with your questions—whether about pricing, averages, customization, etc.—the more the vendor can work with you to build the best campaign possible.

You Don’t Incorporate Additional Marketing Activities

It’s important to remember that while direct mail can be effective for attracting certain consumer types, it is only one marketing activity. A good marketing mix will include several platforms that all point to the same direction. You can enhance your direct mail campaign with any number of simple marketing activities, like e-blasts, flyering, or digital display advertising. Structured and executed correctly, these additional marketing activities can reach many of the same individuals in your direct mail target list. This is what Legacy Financial Partners has developed with our Enhanced Tactical Marketing program.

You Don’t Consider The Timing Of The Mail Drop

Timing is very important when issuing pieces of direct mail. In general, you’ll want to avoid weekends and high-profile holidays. But timing goes beyond this. You should be aware of the events happening in your community that might eat into your responses.

Your Campaign Isn’t Being Done At A High Enough Volume Or Frequency

You may think that you can try a thousand or two-thousand piece mail campaign and get a proportionate result of a five-thousand or ten-thousand campaign. But you have to conduct campaigns in large enough volumes or with enough frequency that the law of averages has a chance to play out.

So if a mail house reports that a mailer typically gets a 2% response rate and you purchase 1000 pieces, you may think that you can expect 20 individuals (or buying units) to make an appointment or come to your seminar. 20 people or households is not a bad audience if you think you can get a hold of every single one, can make appointments with every single one, and can clear business with every single one.

But the reality is that from response to conversion, your pool of buying units will dwindle. In this scenario, if your pool reduces by half each step, you are left with 2.5 buying units. (20 responses, able to contact 10, get 5 to come to seminar or make appointments, clear 2.5 units worth of casework.) This scenario uses consistent numbers for the sake of simple illustration—the attrition from your pool of respondents can be higher or lower and won’t likely be a perfect percentage reduction.

Most mail houses won’t recommend campaigns below 2,500 pieces and will caution you to hedge your expectations should you choose to do a low number. You could hope that additional marketing activities can boost the impact of a low-piece mailer, but even this will have a threshold of effectiveness. And sometimes mail campaigns go sideways for factors outside any one’s control—which is why frequency comes in to play.

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Marketing Corner – Overcoming Prospecting Pitfalls

Marketing Corner – Wednesday January 18th, 2017

Overcoming Prospecting Pitfalls

Let’s begin with a less-than-controversial statement: prospecting is hard business. This is true even if you are lucky enough to convert a sale on the first interaction because after you have satisfied that client, you have to think about where the next one will come from. Prospecting, especially within the financial services industry, is never-ending, with very few fish that jump into the boat.

The problem that many advisors and agents have with prospecting is a somewhat unrealistic attitude of instant conversion. Many of the advisors we work with have an immediate need. They may not be getting the same amount of leads they used to or they may have a harder than usual time converting prospects into clients. While there are things in the immediate that advisors and agents can do to work through these challenges—such as purchasing leads, boosting web presence, and repositioning overall marketing strategies—you should also work to manage your prospecting expectations, and understand better payoffs often come with time.

Here are some prospecting pitfalls, followed by some thoughts on how to overcome prospecting challenges:

Prospecting Pitfalls

Your net is too wide, too narrow, or too unvaried.

As we’ve discussed before good marketing comes down to understanding your target market and understanding the consumer profiles within your broader target market. So is the answer to become niche? Not exactly. Be both broad and niche. Have varied and dynamic marketing strategies, ones that are rooted in what works and allows for experimentation.

The natural inclination is to try to convert the sale immediately

This can create tunnel vision. Obviously, when interacting when with prospects, you should make the best case for your services and solutions, but turning away from a consumer once it becomes clear they aren’t ready can waste an opportunity that occurs once they are ready.

You spend time burning and turning leads, rather than growing the seeds of opportunity.

Again prospecting is hard business, taking up significant time and resources. Why would you want to spend effort on a busted lead, when you could try your magic on a fresh prospect? Isn’t prospecting a numbers game? Yes, but it’s a numbers game on multiple axes of movement. If you only go after slam-dunks, you will miss the other shots that let you ultimately win the game.

It’s not an “either, or” situation. You can still aggressively pursue those clients that convert on a first pass and also have a measured approach to prospects that need time.

Some Suggestions for Overcoming Prospecting Pitfalls

Manage Expectations

You undoubtedly hope that trigger events such as retirement will make prospects susceptible to your charm and expertise. Understand that these trigger events are not the same thing as a prospect screaming, “I need help, now!” It means that a consumer has a potential need, likely in the near future. It also probably means that the consumer will explore a lot of options and consider their overall goals by the time they reach you and that your initial interactions with them will be seen as part of their option-weighing process.

Even if you have gathered a group of pre-retirees for your seminar on Social Security or Retirement Portfolio Maximization, you may get very little or no appointments out of that. But you have inserted yourself into those individuals’ evaluation process, assumed an authoritative role, and provided good information. What may be a failure in the short-term could very well be a success in the long-term. This is why when you do live events you capture as much prospect information as possible–for analysis and follow-up.

Use Direct Mail and Drip Email Campaigns for Serial Contact

Direct mail is an old-school way of marketing that still proves its worth, especially with pre-retiree consumers. So don’t discount it just yet. Drip email campaigns provide serial contact that track along with a prospect’s long-term decision-making process. So while a consumer takes the time necessary to figure out their financial priorities and weigh their planning options, they will have a periodic reminder of your services, expertise, and interactions.

If you can automate this process, even better. This will allow you to split your time between immediate converts and long-range opportunities.

For more information on drip campaigns, read our post “5 Best Practices of a Drip Marketing Campaign.”

FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP.

Always follow-up on a prospect. Demonstrate your concern and expertise. Provide a personal touch.

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Year End Offer

Jumpstart 2017 With Our Top Sales Kits

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Over this past year, Legacy Financial Partners created numerous guides, posts, and cheat sheets, all designed to help advisors everywhere with best practices and key marketing insights.

As thanks for a great year—and to help advisors gain a head start on 2017—we are offering two key sales kits for instant download. Fill out the form to receive our New Year Revitalization Guide and The Informed Advisor. You will also find our top six Marketing Corner posts from the past year.

Follow us for more kits and tips throughout the New Year, including our upcoming 17 Sales Ideas For 2017

Thank you and Happy New Year from Legacy Financial Partners.

Fill out the form below to start your instant download!

New Year Revitalization Guide


This kit has 9 actionable items that help you understand your year in business and why a marketing plan is critical to your success in 2017.

Learn:

  • How to properly evaluate your year
  • Why production isn’t the only indicator for success
  • How to create an effective marketing plan
  • Why specific goals are important for a productive, successful 2017

The Informed Advisor Guide


This kit is a collection of eye-opening marketing statistics culled from recent research to give advisors struggling with marketing and prospecting real world insight.

Learn practical information about:

  • Email marketing
  • Direct mail
  • Social media
  • Mobile
  • Web design
  • Video and more

Top 6 Marketing Corner Posts from 2016

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15 Ways To Ruin A First Appointment

A successful first appointment with a prospect is crucial to converting them into a client. This post discusses 15 different ways advisors ruin the ever-important first appointment.

5 Tips For Story Selling

Story Selling is a powerful concept for advisors to connect with prospects and clear business. This post discusses 5 Story Selling tips that turn your pitches into resonant interactions.

6 Challenges Advisors Face Today

Advisors face many challenges throughout their career, from establishing a practice, building a client base, marketing, and dealing with downturns. This post presents 6 challenges advisors face in today’s…

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The New Marketing Funnel

A common way to diagram the path a lead takes to conversion is a funnel. This post discusses how lead flow through your marketing pipeline is less a downward path and more a non-linear process…

5 Low-Cost, Simple, and Obvious Marketing Solutions

While marketing has only become more sophisticated and tech-driven, there are proven simple marketing activities that you shouldn’t forget.

10 Reasons Why Your Prospect Says “No”

Why does a prospect reject your pitch? This post discusses key reasons prospects say no and simple things you can turn that may turn them into a yes.

Marketing Corner – 3 Ways To Reach Across Generations

Marketing Corner – Thursday December 15th, 2016

3 Ways To Reach Across Generations

Advisors focus much effort on prospecting and marketing to new clients. While you should absolutely maintain a steady stream of new faces, there are several opportunities for you to grow based on the individuals you already work with. Referral sourcing is one way. Another way—and one greatly underexplored—is generational service, that is, retaining assets when a spouse of a client dies and taking on their children as clients when both parents die.

At the death of a spouse, a financial advisor retains the living spouse about 50% of the time. Once the other spouse dies, the advisor retains the assets only 2% of the time. This may seem like a significant challenge to maintaining generational clients, especially with retention up the family tree dropping so severely. However this is still a good opportunity because there are a few very simple and actionable things you can do to increase the likelihood of generational retention.

Know Your Clients (And Their Families) Well

The easiest way to create a lasting relationship with multiple generations of a family is to be an important part of their lives. This is not to say you should invite yourself over to family reunions or holiday gatherings, but learn about your client’s family and demonstrate your interest in their lives, beyond finances. Keep attuned to life events and reach out appropriately.

Create Strong Relationships With Both Spouses

Even in dual income households, there will typically still be one spouse responsible for financial concerns. You will probably spend most of your time with this spouse, especially after you establish a financial plan and are in maintenance mode on that plan. Follow-ups and check-ins will likely route through this spouse. This creates a problem when this individual dies, as you now have a limited relationship with the surviving spouse.

Instead of dealing with one spouse, suggest participation from both spouses and issue communications (calls, emails, follow-up letters) to both parties. Make sure the secondary spouse feels included throughout the whole financial process, eliciting responses and opinions from them. Certainly couples do not always agree about money, but with your knowledge, care, and expertise, you can also act as mediator between disagreements. Remember that you are helping them to achieve their financial goals.

Likewise, if there are legacy planning concerns, include the adult children so that they know who you are and what their parent’s wishes are for the assets. This will not only clarify what the assets are, it will serve to mitigate any infighting between the children once the estate is divvied up. Plus the adult children have been introduced to someone their parents trusted with their financial planning and thus are more likely to entrust you with product solutions once the assets are transferred to them.

Retain the Next Generation

The next generation down from your boomer clients will probably fit within the Gen Y/Millennial demographic. You might assume that this generation has different priorities regarding finance and quality of life. However, by and large, they want much of what the previous generation wanted. Millennials, saddled with student debt and faced with a volatile economy, are concerned with financial plans and retirement resources, which for you presents a great opportunity, especially if you already have a family relationship with them.

Although the next generation down values the core aspects of retirement planning (or at least worries about retirement), Millennials do have different communication styles and unique experiences that shape their behaviors and attitudes. This generation is very digitally savvy and appreciates more informal or semi-formal interactions.

So while succeeding with the adult children of your boomer clients may require an adjustment in presentation and communication style, their financial needs and wants are roughly the same as their parents.

Ultimately retaining several generations of a family comes down to you doing what you do best: having great interactions (with the whole family), providing excellent service and solutions, and attuning yourself the unique client you are dealing with.

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Marketing Corner – 10 Reasons Why Your Prospect Says “No”

Marketing Corner – Thursday, December 7th, 2016

10 Reasons Why Your Prospect Says “No”

Advisors experience many no’s throughout their career. It’s simply a matter of course in business and in sales. A no can happen anytime as you engage with a prospect–from the first minutes of an appointment, to after the meeting, to follow-up work, to recommending another solution. The common way advisors approach no’s is playing the numbers game—i.e. after so many no’s you’re bound to get a yes. (Think of the old sales cliché “99 no’s and a yes is still a yes.) While this method of prospecting can work for some producers, there is value in understanding why a prospect says no—especially when there are simple things that you can do to turn them into a yes.

Here are 10 reasons your prospect says no.

They Don’t Trust You

Trust is crucial in converting a prospect to a client. If a prospect doubts whether you are reliable, truthful, and sincere, they are likely to dismiss any great advice you offer. Clients and prospects may not trust you for a variety of reasons, such as you are too eager to sell, your body language is protective and closed off, or they are naturally suspicious of financial advisors.

Build trust by explaining your credentials and experience. Discuss your approach/mission statement and address any concerns a prospect has about the financial planning process head-on. Exhibit confidence, but use warm body language.
For body language tips, check out our previous posts, 5 Body Language Tips for Keeping a Prospect Interested and 7 Non-Verbal Redflags You’re Losing Your Prospect.

They Don’t Understand

Some prospects you deal with will have a comprehensive knowledge of financial planning and only need you to facilitate solutions. Some may understand the basics of annuities or life insurance. Others may not have any understanding of financial and retirement planning. All types of prospects you encounter may balk if they don’t understand the information you provide.

To ensure that your prospect understands—truly understands—first assess their experience with financial planning. Ask them early in the appointment what types of concepts, products, or solutions they are familiar with. Use this information to determine the level of complexity you bring to your solutions. An individual that has no experience with financial planning may need several levels of breakdown before they understand what you present to them. This is also where concept sheets and yellow-pad concepts can help. Check for knowledge as you move through your presentation.

They’re Not Emotionally Connected With The Solution

A prospect may understand the solution you present with clear logic, but if they aren’t emotionally connected to it, they are less likely to see its value for them.

To ensure that your presentation has the proper “punch,” tie products and solutions to the prospect’s end goal—what they truly hope to achieve. Deferred growth or tax-advantaged wealth transfer is great, but what does that mean at the end of the day? How does that fit with what the client is really trying to achieve?

They’re Overwhelmed

Even simple product solutions can have complex components. Think about how something like a fixed indexed annuity—relatively simple in concept—can be broken down into many different pieces. Even if the consumer understands the individual components, it can be difficult for them to see how the pieces fit together. This is especially true if you are dealing with multiple planning objectives that intertwine.

Avoid overwhelming the consumer using some of the tips discussed in the previous two points. Check for knowledge, use concept sheets, draw illustrative diagrams or maps, and highlight the key benefits. Bring everything back to larger picture.

They’re In The Infancy Of Their Planning Process

Someone who is early in their income-earning phase may not be ready for long-range solutions. Younger consumers may not see the value of retirement planning, when retirement can seem so far off for them. Likewise, older clients may be in the early stages of retirement planning and are not ready to commit to a particular solution.

Highlight the importance of planning early and identify solutions that match with their current lifestyle goals.

They’re Not Confident In Your Solution

There are many different reasons why a consumer may lack confidence in your solution. They may have a key misunderstanding about how it works (if so, see previous points above). They may not trust you as a financial professional. They may have a bias against certain types of solutions based on anecdotal information or news articles.

If the consumer seems to be suspicious of the solution, simply ask them why. Respond using facts and deconstruct the steps to illustrate how this is the best way to accomplish their financial goals. Explore other solutions they feel more confident in.

You Don’t Have The Decision-Maker In The Room

You’ve undoubtedly experienced this situation before: you present a good solution to a consumer. The appointment goes great; you are charming and the consumer indicates they understand clearly the information you’ve given them. Then they say, I’ll have to check with my wife or husband.

This is why many advisors try to involve key family members in the planning process as much as possible. By doing this, you increase the chances you are able to speak to the decision-maker. The rest of the family gets to know and trust you, reducing the likelihood of issues down the line. A family that knows and trusts you can then become a whole generation of clients, with a variety of planning needs.

They Don’t Feel Like You Care

A knowledgeable financial expert is worthless to a consumer if they feel like the advisor doesn’t care or doesn’t have their best interest in mind. Remember that financial and retirement planning very often involves high personal stakes for consumers. To them it’s how they will survive in retirement or pass on a legacy. Do not take the privilege of handling their money lightly.

As you engage with the consumer, demonstrate empathy and clearly listen.


Client Feels Like They Are Being Sold

“Nobody wants to be sold, but everybody wants to buy,” goes the old sales cliché. There’s some truth to this and if you are too eager to sell without drawing on the other things that aid your presentation—such as ensuring the consumer understands the solution, emotionally connecting the solution to their goals, and demonstrating empathy—you will sour the appointment.

Sales is always a part of any recommendation and most consumers implicitly understand this. Amplify the sales aspect of the appointment only in key moments, using the rest of the time to connect with the consumer and provide good information.

You Fail To Understand What Is Truly Important To the Client

A consumer can give you a no if you overlook or ignore what truly matters to them. If they state they don’t want to deal with life insurance and you present a life insurance solution without addressing their previously stated objections first, they will feel like you are not listening to them. If the solution doesn’t satisfy their key objective, then they are likely to distrust you, even if the solution you present has great benefits.
As you engage with the consumer during the appointment, make sure to take good notes, ask probing questions, and tie everything to the consumer’s stated goals.

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Marketing Corner – 9 Tips To A More Productive 2017

9 Tips For A More Productive 2017

Advisors—even very successful ones—typically experience two periods of downturn throughout the calendar year. The first period usually occurs during the summer months. The second often occurs toward the end of the year. With clients and prospects busy with the holidays, there’s often a drop in activity and many advisors take this chance to enjoy some downtime.

But this second period is a great opportunity for you to evaluate your year and plan for the next. To prime advisors for success in 2017, Legacy Financial Partners has developed our New Year Revitalization Guide. This complimentary guide has 9 actionable items that help you to properly evaluate your current year and create an effective marketing plan.

Request Your Copy Today Online or Call 1-877-614-0141!

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Marketing Corner – Thanksgiving

Marketing Corner – Wednesday November 23rd, 2016

Legacy Financial Partners Is Thankful For You

As we head into Thanksgiving this week, Legacy Financial Partners would like to extend a big ‘thank you’ to our audience for following us. Since we initiated the Marketing Corner column over two years ago, we’ve had the pleasure of speaking with many different agents from all over the country who found our articles helpful. It is certainly affirming that our quick tips, yellow-pad concepts, and guides are reaching and helping advisors both near and far. This is why we do it folks.

So to you and yours, we hope that you have a safe, happy holiday. Legacy Financial Partners will be closed Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th for the Thanksgiving holiday. As you enjoy turkey, football, and family over the long weekend, take a gander at some of our most popular posts from this year. We’ll see you next week with more great tips.

Once again–Thank you,

curtissig

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  • Although LTCI Awareness Month is nearly over, LTCI opportunities are year round. Request our free LTCI kit [https://legacy-financial-partners.com/marketing-corner-ltci-awareness-sales-kit/] and check out these key long-term care stats.
  • Many advisors ramp-down toward the end of the year. However, there are numerous ways you can finish the year strong. [https://legacy-financial-partners.com/marketing-corner-dont-give-year/]
  • A personal touch is important to an advisor’s success, even as we move to digital platforms. Find out six easy ways to be more personal in your practice. [https://legacy-financial-partners.com/marketing-corner-six-ways-personal-practice/]
  • How prepared are you for the next two generations of clients? Learn key information about marketing to Generation X and Millennials.
  • Seminars and workshops still remain a great way for advisors to market themselves. If you currently run seminars, or have been thinking about using this marketing activity, check out six best practices for running a successful workshop. [https://legacy-financial-partners.com/marketing-corner-six-best-practices-running-successful-workshop/]

Complimentary LTC Awareness Month Kit

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Marketing Corner – LTCI AWARENESS SALES KIT

Marketing Corner – Tuesday November 15th, 2016

Long-Term Care Insurance Awareness Month Sales Kit

ltcbedsideNovember is Long-Term Care Insurance Awareness Month. This is a great opportunity to discuss how LTCI coverage can fit within your clients’ and prospects’ retirement portfolios. With longer life expectancies, the need for long-term care has increased and many consumers don’t consider the impact LTC can have on their retirement.

The impact is not just physical–the costs associated with a long-term care condition can be quite expensive, eroding significant portions of retirement income. Genworth’s 2016 LTC survey found that the monthly national median for care in an assisted living facility is $3,628, for a home health aide, $3,861, and for nursing home care in a semi-private room, $6,844. Based on these numbers, a year’s worth of semi-private nursing home care could be $82,128.

These numbers are only estimated to rise, with Genworth estimating that in 2026 (just ten years from now) the monthly national median for nursing home care in a semi-private room increasing to $9,198—or $110,376 per year.

longtermcare3nurseWhen 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.
So use the rest of November to have LTC conversations with prospects and clients. To assist agents and advisors in this endeavor, Legacy Financial Partners has created an exclusive LTCI Sales kit that includes:

  • LTCI Pre-Approach Letters
  • Key Long-Term Care Statistics
  • LTCI Client Presentations
  • LCTI Concept Sheets

Fill out the form or call 1.877.614.0141 to request your complimentary copy.

Complimentary Long Term Care Marketing Kit

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Marketing Corner – Don’t Give Up On The Year

Marketing Corner – Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Don’t Give Up On The Year 

holidayMany advisors view the end of the year as a dormant period, a time to wind down. The reality is that the final two months of year present many great opportunities for clearing more production, earning new clients, and gaining visibility with in your community. Here are ways agents and advisors can finish this year strong and be primed for success in the next.

Holiday Marketing

One of the main reasons advisors ease off toward the end of the year is because the period is loaded with holidays. This means that prospects and clients are likely focused on family and travel, rather than their big picture financial concerns. Advisors themselves may enjoy the ability to comfortably wind down, spend time with family, and reset for the new year. But this period presents several opportunities for marketing.

Now, you may know that a holiday—especially a big one like Christmas—is a great reason to touch base with you clients and prospects. Generally advisors will issue Christmas greeting cards to their existing clients and perhaps even to targeted prospects. It’s a nice way to keep your name in front of consumers and to show your current book of clients how much you appreciate them.

However, overlooked is Thanksgiving. This is arguably as relevant of a holiday as Christmas and presents another great opportunity to reach out to your target market. Plus, since not many advisors use Thanksgiving for holiday marketing, you will have a better shot of having your message stand out.

So what kinds of marketing should you do?

You may elect to do a simple holiday greeting card or you could incorporate the holiday into a marketing push around a specific program or service. (“Be Thankful for Lifetime Protection and Accessible Cash Value with our Life Insurance Solutions”). However you do it, be sincere, respectful, and professional with your holiday marketing.

Employ Pull Marketing

employeepullPerhaps you draw a lot of your business from seminars and presentations throughout the year. Many of the advisors and agents we work with run successful seminar programs. In our digitally driven world, seminars can still be very effective. However, at the end of the year, this style of marketing can be challenging. Since the last two months are busy for everyone, you might not see your usual attendance numbers and end up spending time and effort on busted seminars.

Here is where digital pull marketing solutions can work to draw consumers to you and help make up lost opportunities. Pull marketing generally refers to non-intrusive methods that work to draw consumers who have an interest in your services. This often includes SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay-per-click campaigns) and other digitals means of marketing. While a good marketing plan is going to incorporate many different platforms and methods, focusing on pull marketing can help overcome the challenges at the end of the year with push marketing. While pull marketing may not bring the same number of leads as a good seminar, it is not as time-involved and relatively inexpensive. It also identifies consumers who are actively seeking financial services help.

Use End of Year Tax Concerns to Target New Business

Toward the end of the year, consumers–especially high-earners and business owners–may have specific concerns about their tax liabilities. Some may be actively looking for ways to reduce their overall tax bill and some may be unaware of solutions for minimization. November and December present last chances to make choices that will have a positive impact for the year come tax time. These opportunities will vary depending on the consumer’s unique situation, but they are opportunities nonetheless. Beyond looking at deductions and credits, many of these beneficial tax arrangements may involve financial products like life insurance, annuities, and retirement accounts.

Incorporate Programs That Use Real-Time Leads

To squeeze the most out of the end of the year, you may want to consider using a real-time lead generation program to boost your production opportunities. Legacy Financial Partners currently has a new enhanced real-time lead program available to our clients. Like pull marketing, real-time lead programs deal with consumers who have shown an interest in relevant topics and positions them to you. However, in the case of real-time lead generation, these consumers may be vetted, qualified, or further enhanced through an intermediate specialist lead-gen affiliate.

Engage With Your Community

communityWhile business can slow down in the final months of the year, there are many ways for you to interact with your community. Consider allotting a marketing budget and sponsor fall activities. While you might not reap direct clients from this, you will help to build your brand and stay in front of consumers during a down period. This can plant the seeds of business you harvest in the next year.

For more tips on community engagement, see our post, Five Best Practices For Community Engagement.
Create A Marketing Plan For Next Year

Even if you are content with your level of production, the final two months of the year still offer you key chances for improvement. Evaluate how well you did for the previous year and carefully consider what you would like to (or need to) accomplish next year. Many practices operate without a well-defined marketing plan or are diverted by daily operation tasks. Use the end of the year to work with your team and create a marketing plan that has clearly defined and actionable goals. For more on how to create an insurance marketing plan see our previous post, Your Insurance Marketing Plan.

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Marketing Corner – Key Stats For Long-Term Care Insurance Awareness Month

Marketing Corner – Key Stats For Long-Term Care Insurance Awareness Month


Don’t Miss LTC Insurance Awareness Month Opportunities

longtermcare3November is Long-Term Care Insurance Awareness Month. This is a great opportunity to discuss the important benefits of a LTC policy and your chance to drum up more business as we head toward the slow end of the year. Between carriers, brokerages, and industry organizations, you have a wealth of resources available to help your LTC prospecting efforts, so don’t sleep on this opportunity. As part of our LTC Awareness Month coverage, this week for Marketing Corner, we are presenting statistics and information that demonstrate the value of owning a long-term care policy.

According to longtermcare.gov, in 2010 the average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home was $6235 per month, care in an assisted living facility was $3,293 per month, and $21 per hour for a home health aide.

Genworth, in a study conducted with CareScout of April of 2016 finds that the national medians for monthly care have risen since the government stats of 2010. For instance:

  • care in an assisted living facility is $3,628
  • care in a semi-private room is $6,844.

Consumers underestimate the cost of home healthcare by nearly fifty percent.

longtermcare1A recent research brief conducted by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that 58% of women used nursing home care at age 65 or after. For men, the percentage was 44%.

Longtermcare.gov estimates 70% of those turning 65 can expect to need some form of long-term care.

According to a Government Accountability Office analysis, the average Americans aged 55-64 have only $104,000 put away for retirement. This figure seems to include only those who have something saved (via Investopedia).

Related to the stat above, nearly 41% of those approaching retirement age have nothing saved for retirement. The Motely Fool points out that this group may have assets such as a pension or home that can be used for retirement income. This group will also have Social Security as a resource.

healthcarecostsWhen you factor the high-cost for long-term care, both groups face a significant financial risk. Those who have little or nothing saved face an obvious hardship. But using Genworth’s numbers, the average retirement savings (based on the GAO figures) will only get you about 28 1/2 months in an assisted living facility and a little over 15 months care in a semi-private room. While the duration of long-term care will vary—with some only needing a few months and some needing a few years—if the only source to pay for these long-term care expenses is an accumulated retirement account, the individual recovers with a diminished retirement. That is, if they had, retirement resources to begin with.

An analysis of the Dept. of Health and Human Services 2014 Survey of Long-Term Care Awareness and Planning found that 66.4% of participants acknowledged that having “some LTC insurance will give me peace of mind.” However, almost half stated they have competing priorities for the their money.

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What’s the takeaway from these stats? That many consumers are greatly under-prepared for longer retirements and a potential LTC situation. This is why it is important to discuss LTC with your clients as appropriate. Thankfully, with the variety of modern products and strategies that now exist, LTC can often be incorporated to other solutions, i.e. LTC riders and hybrid policies. Long-term care is important in retirement planning for two reasons: the medical care and quality of life it can provide and the asset buffer it provides to other hard-earned retirement resources.

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