Client Appreciation Events

Client Appreciation Events: A Guide For Every Financial Advisor

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By Jordan Collins
Tucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing Specialist

Table of Contents 

Click the links below to jump to a client appreciation event page section specific to your needs.

Why Throw a Client Appreciation Event?

As a financial advisor, you have a lot of business to take care of. Between meeting with prospects, building your business, and finding the right solutions for clients, the calendar is incredibly full.

Why throw a client appreciation event if there are so many more important things to be done?

If this is something that’s crossed your mind, we have some important information for you. Throwing a client appreciation event can create trust with current clients, lead to referrals, and give you common ground with your local community. These values can’t be understated when you are looking to build your business.

Not only will an event put you on the top of their mind, it will also show that you are offering value that is supplementary to your advice. In the digital age that we live in, it is crucial to humanize yourself and connect with clients. If you are looking for a guide to throw an event, you’re in the right place. We will arm you with tips for your event and a robust guide download.

 

What Makes a Good Client Event?

The first step to a great event is choosing dates that people are able to attend. Planning for a date where there aren’t major holidays, poor weather conditions, or a large local event is important to increase participation from clients. We don’t just want our clientele showing up, we want their family and friends to attend! When scheduling an event, you also need to take lead time into account. If you send out invitations with only 2 weeks notice, you’re unlikely to have a lot of attendees. If you send out invitations with 8 weeks notice, you are much more likely to find that people are free for the night. 

Inviting friends and family is a great way to put attendees at ease socializing and mingling with others. For many adults and kids, going to an event alone can be a large source of anxiety and will detract from your attendees’ interest in coming. Another reason you want additional guests is this is a great opportunity to introduce yourself to potential referrals. You never know who could be joining your event! Put your best foot forward as your event could be an olive branch to provide value for them.

If you have a staff, bring them in on your plans early. Planning, inviting, attending, and following up are all important steps to ensure a seamless experience. Many events involve eating, drinking, and activities and you’ll need all the help you can get to pull it off. With that in mind, be sure that you account for the number of people attending. This is where your staff’s invitations and follow up can help you anticipate how big or intimate your event will be.

If you are a smaller office, we’d suggest playing to your strengths and doing something small like a round of golf or hiring a chef for an intimate home-cooked meal. There are times where less is more and the right environment will be more effective.

Lastly, you can go as big or as small with your event as you’d like but one thing you don’t want to do is plan poorly. Your value to clients relies on the idea that you are able to strategize and plan for their future. If you can’t plan a party, it will not reflect positively on your ability to plan their finances. 

Defining Your Event Objectives

You may be asking yourself “why am I defining objectives if this is just a client event?” The answer is because your event represents you to your attendees. If you want to build trust, you’ll have to know what you’re trying to accomplish.

In our research, we’ve seen two sets of objectives. You have your soft-skill objectives and your hard-cost objectives. An example of a soft skill objective is to meet five people that you didn’t know at the beginning of the night. An example of a hard cost objective is to receive referrals from current clients.

As you can probably tell, finding a balance of the two is crucial. You aren’t throwing this event to go table by table and review balance sheets, but you are a financial advisor whose clients are getting together for a night of fun; at some point, a financial question will surface.

This is an opportunity for you to show your expertise and how you’re a grounded community member just like everyone else. You shouldn’t sell or pitch at this event, as it is not the right time or place. If you’d like to say a few words thanking everyone for coming or giving out business cards to have someone contact you, this is far more appropriate. You want to build excitement and get more people to attend your next event! Don’t make your valued guests feel like they’re being sold.

Measuring Success

Measuring the success of your event is rooted in how you defined your pre-event objectives. If you set the objective of having more than 10 attendees, you have a very clear idea of whether you reached your goal. The big idea is that without setting goals, you won’t know if you were successful.

You will want to sit down with your staff and define what success looks like so each member knows and understands their role. If the only goal you set is to delight your guests, you’re on the right track. Remember that this is not a one and done event in the same way that you are not a one and done advisor. Be a great host, show the value of your work, and your clients will talk positively of you. 

Client Event Examples

This is not an exhaustive list of every possible client event but we hope this will give you ideas for what your community will enjoy. Remember that you want to choose an event activity that will fit your goals. If you want people to be socializing and talking, don’t choose an event where they’re encouraged to be quiet or not speak.

You will also want to think about what your attendees have in common. If there’s a common thread between them, there may be a unique opportunity to personalize the event. As a host, you want to create an atmosphere that will lend itself to open conversation, making memories, and having your guests inviting friends to the next event. Choose wisely! There are more event ideas in the PDF download.

  • Cooking Class
  • Professional Magic Act
  • Family Bowling Night
  • Boat Cruise
  • Backyard Barbecue
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Circus
  • Day at the Zoo
  • Dinner & Dancing
  • Golf Excursion
  • Hawaiian Luau
  • A Day at the Races

Client Event Follow Up

Before the end of your event, be sure to thank your attendees for coming. Once your event has concluded, handwrite a personal thank-you note to each couple who attended. If you are writing to a referral, be sure to mention the name of the friend who brought them and thank them for attending.

Do not procrastinate and wait until weeks have passed to send out your thank-you notes. You want the event to still be at the top of their mind. If that means writing some of them in advance, take the time to do it. If you are following up with a phone call, be authentic and personal. Track how your communications go and benchmark them against your other events.

Once you’ve completed a number of events, you will have an idea of how to test and tweak your event planning to reach more people and position yourself positively with your clients and prospects. For a more thorough guide to client appreciation events, be sure to download the Tucker Advisors Client Appreciation guide shown below. 

If you are looking for more ways to market your financial advisory practice, see this presentation from Tucker Advisors CMO Justin Woodbury.

If you would like more information on digital marketing strategy, visit here.

For Financial Professional Use Only. NOT INTENDED FOR VIEWING OR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC. Insurance-only agents are not licensed to offer investment advice.

Join Tucker Advisors

Call 720-702-8811 or email COO Jason Lechuga at Jason.Lechuga@TuckerAdvisors.com

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How To Track Your Direct Mail Campaign Digitally

How to Track Your Direct Mail Campaign Digitally

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By Jordan Collins
Tucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing Specialist

Table of Contents 

Click the links below to jump to a page section specific to your needs.

“What Gets Measured Gets Improved”

Peter Drucker, an Austrian-American management consultant and author, once said “what gets measured gets improved.” He understood that for something to get better, first, you needed to know how it was doing. When you have a marketing effort that leads to an increase in sales, subscriptions, or transactions, it is obvious that something went right, but what about when you don’t see results? How do you know what is pushing your business forward? 

When it comes to traditional marketing efforts like radio, television, or mail, it is hard to know whether it is money well-spent or just brand awareness to a target audience. Many businesses have started using comment cards and surveys to try and crowdsource this information. You’ve probably seen them asking, “how did you find us.”

While it is a good practice to be surveying and understanding your clients, it is not a good practice to be unaware of where your business is coming from. 

Many marketing services will tell you about how many people in your geography they can reach, what they can put in their mail, and prospecting lists targeted at your industry, but how many really educate you on the data? When you spend a lot of money with a company and it doesn’t translate into business results, it’s time to go deeper and find growth opportunities. If you don’t have any reliable information to rely on, how will you ensure that your future marketing efforts succeed?

How to Track Direct Mail Digitally

To track direct mail, your call to action needs to capture some piece of information. One of the simplest ways to do this is to have a tracking link. A tracking link is a web address with unique values that signal where the call is coming from. By this, I don’t mean the current physical address of your caller, I mean what campaign, mailer, or outreach provided them the information to get in contact with you.

What if someone is calling you instead of using email or social media?

There are phone services available that can provide you with information on a lead’s name, phone number, location, and some of the offline marketing pieces they have interacted with. The key takeaway here is that there is more information to dive into than ever before. 

When it comes to tracking data online, there are a lot of options. In this section, I’ll give you two options, with the first being the simpler of the two.

If you’re looking to dip a toe into capturing information but don’t want analysis paralysis, use bit.ly to create branded links. You can create a free account and start seeing how many clicks a link is receiving (or visits seeing as you can’t click a print piece), where the clicks are coming from geographically, and what medium is driving people to your site. Is it through someone typing it directly, from email, or another channel where the link was shared? With Bitly you can also subscribe to get added functionality like creating custom links that don’t say “bitly” in them. I would suggest this for the financial advisor on a budget who wants to know how their campaign is performing.

The second method is using Google’s URL Builder. This powerful tool integrates with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to pull your data into one platform (Google Analytics) for comparison from campaign to campaign. There’s an ocean of information about all three of these products so we will try to briefly give context to Google’s URL Builder and then explain how that folds into Google Analytics.

The URL Builder allows you to take the page you want to send visitors to then add a source, medium, and more identifiers so you can differentiate visitors by where they see your link. This way when they visit, they are immediately signaling to your system where they came from. Doing this allows you to identify, compare, and contrast where your traffic is coming from and decide what drives the most traffic and what doesn’t. This takes the mystery out of where your leads are coming from. With that in mind, you need to be sure you are training your staff to interpret the tracking information. This way you can have a larger discussion on the data with those who are working with it hands-on.

With this new information in hand for your next campaign, you’ll make better decisions based on the efficacy of a marketing channel and waste less ad spend. In direct mail, they’ll sell you on how many houses there are to send to, but tracking the responses can get tricky. Creating trackable URLs will give you the transparency you’re looking for.  

QR Codes (With Trackable Links)

QR codes have been around for a long time but up until 2021, they’ve rarely been adapted. People don’t use them and haven’t wanted to learn. Created in Japan in 1994 they were produced to help the auto industry work more efficiently. In 2002, mobile phones were release with the ability to read these “quick response” codes. Now anyone with a mobile phone could visit a website, use a coupon, or gain admittance to a show with the scan of an image. In 2020, QR code adoption expanded immensely with the world adapting to Covid-19 and the need for touchless transactions. Because of this many have been forced to learn how to use QR codes through visiting restaurants and attending public events.

The great thing about QR codes is the amount of access they offer. Without having to type, you can instantly scan it with your mobile device’s camera and you’re on your way. Creating a QR code for your marketing campaign is incredibly flexible and simple. So easy that you can right click a page or image and instantly be given the option to create a quick response code.

right-click-qr-code

When using a QR code, create your tracking link first. This way it will register with your tracking when someone scans the QR code. If you are looking to get more specific with your QR code creation, Google a QR code generator and customize it. This way you can get all the bells and whistles, the ability to track it, and a high-res file to add to your print materials. Now that you have your materials ready, all someone needs to do is look at your mailer, scan the code, and you’ll see it on your end.

Call Tracking

While some will respond to your marketing campaigns with emails and other electronic messages, some will prefer to just give you a call. Call tracking software matches incoming phone calls and texts to your marketing channels and tactics. This measures whether you are spending your money wisely or if shifting your spend could result in more leads. Call tracking uses a unique phone number that forwards calls to your main phone number.

To use this effectively, you’ll need to use a third party like Callrail or Call Tracking Metrics.

You can add these tracking phone numbers to your print campaigns, website, or other materials to get more insight into who is calling, where they’re calling from, and how they’ve interacted with your materials in the past. If you decide to do call tracking, be sure that you set up your tracking phone number with your local area code. Many people will not answer a phone number calling them from out of town or outside their contact list. Another tip is that if you don’t have a lot of calls coming in, paying to track the information may not be necessary. If you’re receiving a high volume of calls, then you’d likely want to take advantage of something like this.

 

Landing Pages & Forms

If you use a third party for landing pages like Leadpages or Clickfunnels, you can collect data and make customized pages independent of your website. These services deliver analytics on page views and other key metrics. Receiving a page view is comparable to receiving a click on your trackable link. It means someone who has received your information from a marketing campaign is checking out your information. This is where it is crucial to differentiate your marketing campaigns and their channels to make sure when you look through the data, you can deduce what’s working and what isn’t. 

Forms that you can embed and integrate into your website will come with analytics about how many form fill-outs you’ve had. This is another good way to see how successful your campaign is. According to WPForms, the median conversion rate on a form is around one in five. The highest success-rate forms had only five fields. Adding more fields or requiring a phone number made many of these statistics go down in efficacy. If you’d like to see more statistics to inform your form creation visit here.

 

Why Track Direct Mail?

You’ve read on how to track direct mail digitally but you may have wondered, why track direct mail in this way? The answer is that when you are paying companies for advertising, they can’t guarantee results. What can they guarantee? The answer is detailed data. While it would be great to measure each campaign purely through sales, not all campaigns lead to sales. If you’ve done direct mail, bought a list, or done a social media campaigns that didn’t pan out, why do you think it didn’t work? The clues to why it didn’t work are in the data. You want to use services that allow you to see behind the curtain. We live in a time where you can get live, transparent information on how your content is performing. Traditional marketing like direct mail can be held to the same standards as a Facebook or Google campaign if you set it up with tracking, but many don’t know that it is an option. If you are able to use tracking links on each of your different offerings and campaigns, you will see a more complete picture of where you should be spending to make more money.

 

If your site is struggling for traffic, be sure to see our piece on organic and paid traffic strategies here.

If you would like more information on digital marketing strategy visit here.

For Financial Professional Use Only. NOT INTENDED FOR VIEWING OR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC. Insurance-only agents are not licensed to offer investment advice.

Join Tucker Advisors

Call 720-702-8811 or email COO Jason Lechuga at Jason.Lechuga@TuckerAdvisors.com

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Indexed Annuities: The New Retirement Pensions?    By Sam DeleoTucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/EditorfacebooklinkedintwitterDefined-benefit plans. Those of us who are older might remember them better as “pensions,” but in 2021 they seem about as...

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4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Lead Magnets

4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Lead Magnets

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By Jordan Collins
Tucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing Specialist

Table of Contents 

Click the links below to jump to a page section specific to your needs.

Why do we visit the sites we do?

Around 93 Percent of website visits start with a search. Many users have an idea of the direction they are going, but they need a helping hand getting the right information. Adding modifiers can give search engines the information needed to receive results that will help users get to their desired end goal. A good example of a modifier is adding “near me” to a search. In recent years, “near me” searches have grown exponentially with the advances made in cell phones and other mobile device networks. If you think back a few years, it was incredibly difficult to get videos to load while out of WiFi’s reach. Today it is commonplace to see people searching and loading content in real time as they go about their day.

According to Hubspot, “near me” searches have grown 900% between 2015-2017. This example of a search modifier shows clear intent for what the user is looking for. Whatever good or service they are searching for, they want to be able to access in person. They don’t want to wait! For numerous reasons, they are looking to check something off their to-do list and time is of the essence. This motivation is called “user intent.” User intent is the cornerstone of what Google and other major search engines use to anticipate what results they should show on the search engine results page. While there are over 200 ranking factors in Google’s search algorithm, at the core of its results is a conventional human instinct.

Give the people what they want

As time passes and machine-learning grows, search engines have become extremely efficient at giving users the results they are looking for. In kind, users have created new search conventions to find the information they are looking for faster and on their mobile devices.

For businesses and website owners, a user’s search is a touchpoint opportunity. Every business and industry has information that the general public is searching for. Using search engine optimization, you can index your website’s information to pull these users towards your site and it’s services. The catch is, their intentions need to match what you can help them with. If it doesn’t, there’s a very high likelihood that they will visit another site with more relevant information to their intent or change their search query to get better results. 

At the core of every search is the desire to get answers. For questions like “Will I run out of money in retirement?” or “How can I optimize my Social Security?”, you want to be found as an expert who can help them answer those questions.

Many financial advisor websites talk about their services but they don’t create content surrounding a topic. Your services page may give an overview of how you might be able to help, but a whitepaper or blog post explaining a topic does more.

You can really delve into the topic-specific challenges associated with retirement and show your expertise before a client steps foot in your office. If you establish yourself as a resource with answers to your prospects’ questions, you will not only improve your value to your clients, you will be seen as an authority on a topic.

Some advisors may be thinking, “Why am I giving away my knowledge for free?” The answer to that has two parts. First, you should not be giving away proprietary information in your content. We are looking to hook users with interesting ideas, not make yourself redundant. Secondly, it may not cost money, but lead magnets are an exchange of value that ultimately helps both your audience and you as a financial advisor. If you are worried about giving away too much information, do a specific google search for the information and see if it is out there. If you’re finding it, it’s likely that everyone else is too.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is an incentive added to your website for prospects to provide contact information in exchange for an asset. Assets can be videos, whitepapers, or other content that helps them solve a problem or educates them on a topic relevant to what they are looking for. At the same time, this identifies them as a person who is interested in this topic, information that can be profitable to your business when you know who your customers are and which problems you can help them solve. 

Taking frequently asked questions from prospects and making resources to answer their questions is a great way to create lead magnets. This works because other prospects will have similar questions, and having the answers on-hand in an easily consumable format not only helps your prospects, it positions you as an expert on the subject they’d like to learn about.

Why should advisors use lead magnets?

A lead magnet is an incentive on your website for prospects to provide contact information in exchange for an asset. Assets can be videos, whitepapers, or other content that helps them solve a problem or educates them on a topic relevant to what they are looking for. At the same time, this identifies them as a person who is interested in your topic. 

Taking frequently asked questions from prospects and making resources to answer their questions is a great way to create lead magnets. This works because other prospects will have similar questions and pain points. If you have the answers on-hand in an easily consumable format it will help your prospects, position you as an expert, and identify your key audience.

1. Lead magnets improve conversion rates

There is no easier way to receive something than by offering something in return. The basic psychology of exchanging value applies to lead magnets in a way that is simple to understand. If someone approaches you and immediately asks for your contact information, why would you give it to them? You wouldn’t. If you lead with something your prospects want, it doesn’t feel like a transaction, it feels like a partnership.

Some marketers have seen a 30-40% uptick in lead capture using lead magnets to generate contact information. This type of improvement is not surprising, considering forms and pop-ups often ask for something without first offering value. By offering an incentive, it fundamentally changes the exchange. It’s clear that people don’t want to be asked for their information without a reason. Giving them something they want isn’t just a tactic, it’s a necessity.

Most traditional marketing approaches have an offer to entice and incentivize action. Why shouldn’t your website? Give your offerings a fighting chance of making important results for your business by using a lead magnet.

2. They sell your expertise

When financial advisors meet a new client, they need to establish expertise and rapport quickly. Wouldn’t it be nice to have prospects who already know you’re an expert?

Lead magnets can take time to produce, but the pay off can be phenomenal. Prospects who have read a whitepaper from your website will already be warm leads. They’ve seen your website and the type of work you do. They won’t need the same type of selling that a person walking in off the street may require.

Another great aspect of lead magnets is that they can be made “evergreen.” When we say evergreen, we mean that they won’t require constant updates. They can continue to work for your business autonomously when you’re with other clients, doing a seminar, or sleeping. You can educate and show that you’re the right person for the job without ever being present. The cherry on top is that they provided their information to receive your content so you can follow up.

3. Connects you with contacts who aren’t ready to buy

As time goes on, we are learning more and more information about our buying habits. Everyone is online researching their next trip, purchase, or activity. With that in mind, most users visiting your site aren’t ready to buy. According to transaction.agency, 81% of shoppers research their product online before purchasing.

For financial advisors, that means you can’t just appeal to people who are ready to buy, you need to think about those who are still weighing their options. It’s important that your website has something for users regardless of the buying stage they are currently in. These habits will show themselves in your Google Analytics based on what pages they are viewing. For example, if someone is viewing your contact page, it’s likely they are looking to contact you. If someone is visiting your home page, they are probably just checking you out and seeking out more information. Lead magnets are a good bridge to taking someone from brand awareness to lead generation. The incentives you offer can push them to really consider you for their business.

4. Helps visitors with a problem

As mentioned earlier, turning to your “frequently asked questions” into content is a great start to creating lead magnets. This ensures that your prospects have a demand for the information you are providing. It also shows that the people downloading assets fit the correct demographic details to be a future client. Incentives like these aren’t wanted by people who they don’t apply to, but for those that do, it will be hard to ignore a solid offer helping them learn more about a pain point they’d really like to solve.

If you are looking for other problems to help clients with, it could be helpful to visit an industry competitor, view lead magnet examples, or look at Google’s suggestions at the bottom of a Google results page. The suggestions related to retirement or financial products usually come with adjacent queries. These topics will signal to advisors that they have knowledge on a topic that is not readily available on Google and could be turned into an asset that pulls users to their site.

 

Pro tip: Use Google Trends to see how much interest a topic has.

 

Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner can show you the number of searches on a topic, giving more weight to how you spend your time making lead magnets. Search interest data from these sources should always inform your content decisions. When your click-through or conversion rates aren’t what you expected, you need more than a hunch to find what needs to be fixed.

Lead magnet examples

tucker-advisors-client-appreciation-guide

If you search around the web, there are countless examples of what to offer. If you’re asking yourself what to do, the answer is a combination of what you can make easily and what works the best. Where those meet, you have gold. On the simplest level, this should be a connection point for your business to your website visitors. Create a good first impression and offer something of value but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. A data-backed strategy is one where there is A/B testing and multiple options, so you’re not overly reliant on one piece of content to carry your prospecting. Here are a few examples of prompts you could use:

  1. Create a short survey for prospects to assess how much risk they are willing to take on with their portfolio. This can be fun for them and also provide valuable information on how they see their financial portfolio. The questions included can reflect that you understand how to assess risk and that you provide unique plans—nothing is cookie cutter.  
  2. Create a whitepaper on the “10 Pitfalls to Avoid When Dealing with Social Security.” Social Security can be a confusing topic for many retirees. Show that you know how to help them with this problem in a PDF explaining what to look for and how the decisions they make can affect their future. 
  3. Create an online spreadsheet through Google Sheets or Excel for prospects to organize their finances. This download provides value and bakes in financial pieces that your prospect either doesn’t know about or isn’t planning for. It shows that you know more about the financial process than they bargained for and can be a resource to their financial future.

These are just three basic examples of what a lead magnet can be, not an all-encompassing guide. Do some searching around the internet to see what is out there. The beauty of this is you can see what your competition is offering, find data about the different formats, and explore techniques to get the best out of your web traffic.

When done right, lead magnets can be a great tool for generating leads, building email newsletter lists, and providing value that will entice prospects to call you for help when the time comes.

If your site is struggling for traffic, be sure to see our piece on organic and paid traffic strategies here.

If you would like more information on digital marketing strategy visit here.

For Financial Professional Use Only. NOT INTENDED FOR VIEWING OR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC. Insurance-only agents are not licensed to offer investment advice.

Join Tucker Advisors

Call 720-702-8811 or email COO Jason Lechuga at Jason.Lechuga@TuckerAdvisors.com

Indexed Annuities: The New Retirement Pensions?

Indexed Annuities: The New Retirement Pensions?    By Sam DeleoTucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/EditorfacebooklinkedintwitterDefined-benefit plans. Those of us who are older might remember them better as “pensions,” but in 2021 they seem about as...

Client Appreciation Events

Client Appreciation Events: A Guide For Every Financial Advisor By Jordan CollinsTucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing SpecialistfacebooklinkedintwitterTable of Contents  Click the links below to jump to a client appreciation event page section specific to your...

Will I Have To Become A Fiduciary

WILL I HAVE TO BECOME A FIDUCIARY?     By Sam DeleoTucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/EditorfacebooklinkedintwitterIf you’re a financial advisor, you have likely heard about the Department of Labor’s recent fiduciary rules. The larger question for the...

5 Reasons Why Your Website Isn’t Producing Leads

5 Reasons Why Your Website Isn’t Producing Leads

jordan-collins-digital-marketing

By Jordan Collins
Tucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing Specialist

Why Isn’t My Website Producing Leads?

In the last year, the world was forced to stay home and interact using new technology. As of January 2021 there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide. With so many internet users, one might wonder “Why is my website not generating leads?”

The majority of the internet’s traffic starts with a search.  Search results are (usually) determined by the Google Search Algorithm. If your site doesn’t pull up for results other than your branded keywords or business name, chances are you could use more traffic to your site.

Google Analytics put out a study of local business website traffic reporting that local business averages 414 monthly users, with 50% of traffic coming from organic search. Ask yourself, is 414 monthly users enough for you to produce leads? For most businesses, the answer is no.

Check your Google Analytics to see how many monthly users are visiting your site. This will establish a baseline for how many people are visiting and where you can make significant improvements to your website’s functionality. If you also have Google Search Console, we would suggest that you see what terms your site is pulling up for and how you can build on those terms.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you or your web administrator is working on your site and you don’t have an IP exclusion setup, you probably have even less visitors than you think. Your page views and interactions could be documented in your analytics showing page views and clicks that you are responsible for. Be sure that when you’re working on updating and maintaining your site you aren’t also providing false traffic to your tools.

To grow your business online and drive traffic, you need to examine how your site is being found and what you can offer to receive leads. Here are our top reasons for why you might be asking “why isn’t my website producing leads.”

tucker-advisors-client-appreciation-guide

1. Your Site Doesn’t Have Enough Traffic

Empty-Room

Picture empty parking lots, walkways, and roads. If there is no foot traffic, there are no customers.

It’s the same online.

You need to put your web properties in front of people where they congregate. By web properties, I mean your website, social media accounts, and business listings.

When you talk about physical real estate the phrase “location, location, location” comes to mind. This idea also applies to the digital location of your web properties. 

You need to go where there is traffic and convince users to visit your site. If your site isn’t indexed on Google, it’s very unlikely that prospects will find you. If your social media page doesn’t have any new content being posted, it’s unlikely that people will go out of their way to view your profile. If you don’t have business listings, your competitors will reap the benefits of a user’s search for your services. The placement of your information is just as important as the content itself. You can have the best services in the world, but if nobody can find them, what’s the point?

The reason social media, business listings, and Google My Business is crucial is because these places all have traffic. Your goal is to move the people who are asking Google to the places where your website can answer their questions.. If you’re not transparent with searchers, they will disconnect from your site and have a negative connotation with you brand. You want to be truthful with searchers and setup your webpages to give them something they want based on their intentions.

With every new page you add to your website, you are expanding your digital property’s square footage. Being found in organic search isn’t just about what’s on your pages, it’s about how many pages you have and what prompts will show them in search. Start asking yourself why someone would go to your site and what information could intrigue them to visit.

This is why every business should have a blog. These pages expand the size of your online presence while also giving prospects and search engines a reason to put your website in front of more people. The best part about it is: it’s free. The hard part is it can be very time consuming. Sharing pieces of your expertise has numerous benefits that help your business attract more prospects while spending less on ads.

You need to give users a reason to visit. What information can you provide on your website that will incent people to visit? Do you have educational content that solves a problem or answers a prospect’s questions?

If you think about how you browse the internet, you’ll realize that your intentions lead your search to where you’d like to go – not ads or being the top listing on the page. Once you’ve gained traffic, it’s time to call your users to action. 

2. Your Site’s Call-to-Action Is Unclear

nothing-to-do

No Call-to-Action

Your website isn’t a billboard. It’s a dynamic display of what you offer and how people can benefit from your services. If there’s no way to get a hold of you, nobody will. Your website needs to make it simple for users to take action. 

For an action to take place, we need to offer something that people want. This comes in many forms and using different methods throughout your site will help test what works and what doesn’t. That could be a contact form, a call now button, or offering a lead magnet to capture an email address. Be intentional about where you place each of these buttons to ensure a good user experience.

Each of these actions have a different appeal and utility for your website’s user. If they’re seeing your information for the first time, it is very unlikely that they will pick up the phone and call you to book an appointment. Save this type of offer for those who have already interacted with your brand or those who are browsing a more advanced page on your site where an offer like this would make sense. If a user is on your contact page, be sure there is a contact form, as that would make the most sense.

Think of what small action you could get a new user to take and put it front and center for those who are ready to take steps. When you’re looking at your site’s page content, think about what would make sense to offer and don’t offer too many options, or users are more likely to go somewhere else and not click any of them. Here’s an example.

tucker-advisors-digital-marketing-tips
Internet-popups

Too Many Calls-to-Action

If users don’t like interacting with your site they will leave, immediately. Your site’s content has to balance being informative and pushing users to take action. According to Marketo, 96% of website visitors aren’t ready to buy. If they’re not ready to buy and they’re on your site, how can we incentivize them to interact?

If a site is all content and no CTAs, you end up with user but no contacts. If your site is all CTAs, you end up with no users.

Don’t give people a reason to leave your website before they’ve gotten to know what your business is all about. Part of gaining leads from your site is understanding that more than half of the visitors are on their phone. Navigating a webpage on a phone can be a frustrating process if there are too many different elements being displayed at the same time. Frustrating your visitors with too many pop-ups, offers, and a busy visual will appear “spammy” and increase the chance that they go somewhere else for their needs.

We’ve all seen websites where there’s a chat window, a flashing “Call Now” button, and a 30-second pop-up asking for your email address. This is a perfect recipe to push users away and never see them again. Studies have shown that too many choices can lead to less sales and more customer confusion. While having more options may receive interest, it may lead to less sales.

Be intentional about what actions you’d like users to take and limit it to 1-2 per page. Over time you will want to see analytics for your CTAs and decide on the efficacy of your page’s tactics.

Now that we have traffic and a clear call-to-action, we need to make it as easy as possible for contacts to give their information and get in contact. 

3. Your Contact Forms Are Too Long

too-long-didnt-read-star-trek

Contact forms are a great way to capture contacts and gain leads through your website. When making a contact form, too often we think of what information we want instead of what information a visitor is willing to freely give. This leads to incomplete form fill outs and less contacts.

When making your contact forms, keep it short. Don’t give prospects a reason not to reach out to you. Keep the number of fields between 3 and 5 max. With every form field (question) you add, the more you are deterring them from making initial contact.

Once you’ve been able to interact there’s a much higher likelihood that they will freely give this information but at this point, they don’t know enough about you or your services to give more. Starting the conversation is more important than knowing everything there is to know about your prospect.

Another way to ensure your contact forms won’t be filled out consistently is to ask for a phone number. In 2010, Hubspot and Dan Zarrella did an analysis of over 40,000 landing pages identifying 3 form fields that lowered completion rates. Asking for an address, age, or phone number lowered completion rates throughout the sample size. Asking for a phone number lowered most forms by close to 5%. 

We all have our preferred form of communication and knowing when to use each different form is important to reaching different types of clients. Don’t let something as small as whether they call or email stop you from talking.

4. Your site isn’t responsive or mobile-friendly

phone-toss-canada-moose

In 2020, the number of unique mobile internet users stood at 4.28 billion, indicating that over 90 percent of the global internet population use a mobile device to go online. With that in mind, your site needs to be responsive and mobile-friendly. 

For your site to be mobile-friendly, it means that your website stays the same visually while fitting the different sizes and constraints of mobile phones to work consistent with your desktop version. For your site to be responsive, it means that your site may look a bit different on a mobile device but all the functionality of your site works and adjusts to help mobile users navigate your site’s content. 

On mobile, you have to be very judicious with your offers because there is less real estate and it takes longer to type. A phone has a very limited amount of space for fingers to tap and scroll in comparison to your desktop or laptop.

Phones also have a large variety of connections to the internet, meaning that if your front page takes a long time to load, they may not stay long enough to see your page. According to a study by Google, 53% of mobile users will leave your site if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds. With that in mind, you need to cut the fluff and put your most important information and offers in front of users from the start.

Page speed is not only an important factor for keeping your visitors on the page but also ranking your page on Google’s Search Engine Results Page. You have to be sure that, regardless of your user’s internet connection, your page loads quickly or they might give up. That means limiting the amount of large files like videos, offers, and photos on your homepage to ensure that you’re not a victim to slow internet speed.

5. Your Offer Isn’t Appealing or You’re Not Making an Offer

What-do-i-get-out-of-it

With any business website, you want to provide incentives for users to take the actions you’d like. This is where your content can play a big part in your marketing. Resources and tools to help your prospects with their problems and are a great way to build trust. Content is an opportunity to provide value to your prospects before you talk. Think of this as a product sample.

If they like your content, they are more likely to contact you and use your services. Providing content pieces, tools, and education to your prospects on your site doesn’t just prove you know what you’re talking about. It also attracts visitors who are looking for answers. It’s crucial for your website to provide value to the visitor instead of asking for their information before they know why you want it.

Picture a scenario where you are on a business website and it asks for your email address. Why would you let a stranger contact you through email to sell their services without you receiving something in return?

Now picture a scenario where you land on a business website and they’re offering a guidebook of “20 Things To Do Before You Retire.” By providing your email address, they will send you a copy if you opt-in to receive future emails with this type of content. 

A few important things happened in scenario 2, so let’s examine it for a second. 

1. Your prospect identified that they are interested in retirement content, meaning they’re likely in your key demographics
2. You took a website visitor from an anonymous click to a lead with contact information
3. Your guidebook download started to build trust in your ability to help them retire

All this to say that providing incentives for user action aren’t just a value added, they are your foot in the door. In the short term, you will need time and intentional thought to determine what to offer but as you drive traffic to these value pieces, you’ll see that prospects are more familiar with your brand and go into appointments with more trust that you can help them with their problems. 

Getting Your Website to Produce Leads

Now that you know the pitfalls to avoid when trying to produce website leads, try to find one of these 5 areas to focus on. For some this could mean adding a clear call-to-action and for others this could mean creating content to use as a lead magnet on their home page. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions or silver bullets.

Take a look at your website’s analytics and start to assess where improvements can be made to start more conversations with your monthly visitors.

If your site is struggling for traffic, be sure to see our piece on organic and paid traffic strategies here.

If you would like more information on digital marketing strategy visit here.

For Financial Professional Use Only. NOT INTENDED FOR VIEWING OR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC. Insurance-only agents are not licensed to offer investment advice.

 

 

tucker-advisors-client-appreciation-guide

Join Tucker Advisors

Call 720-702-8811 or email COO Jason Lechuga at Jason.Lechuga@TuckerAdvisors.com

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Annuities & Taxes

5 Takeaways on Annuities & Taxes

Sam-deleo

By Sam Deleo
Tucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/Editor

First, let’s get this out of the way: Annuities are not all the same, nor are they for everyone. But if you are planning for your retirement, annuities can very effectively provide stable, long-term income.

The value that annuities can offer to retirees also extends to tax mitigation. You can use annuities as safe, tax-free havens for your savings as you build toward retirement. But it’s important to note that this tax-free status ends when you begin withdrawing from annuities. And the rates you pay then will scale as ordinary income, not a special lower rate, as with capital gains.

A qualified annuity means you have purchased the product with pre-tax dollars, while you would fund a non-qualified annuity with money that has already been taxed. Investors often fund qualified annuities from 401(k) plans, IRAs or other tax-deferred accounts. People can enjoy tax-free funding of a non-qualified annuity by using a Roth 401(k) or Roth IRA if specific guidelines are met.

Whether you purchase a qualified annuity or non-qualified annuity, the interest earnings will face the prevailing income tax rates at the time of the disbursements. Solely for the purposes of illustration, if you invested $100,000 and received $10,000 for 10 years, any money you receive above this amount will face income tax rates, regardless of whether it is a qualified or non-qualified annuity. This difference between your principal and this interest portion of the taxed annuity is often referred to as the “exclusion ratio.”1

The insurance issuer of the annuity will determine the exclusion ratio based on your life expectancy, so your monthly payments from a non-qualified annuity, for instance, would have a portion that is non-taxable and the interest portion, usually much smaller, that is subject to income tax rates. Additionally, if you live past your life expectancy, then 100 percent of your disbursements—which, remember, would now be more than the principal you paid for the annuity—are taxed as ordinary income.

Here are five other important tax considerations regarding annuities.

1. What if you withdraw from an annuity early?

You will most likely have to pay a 10-percent early withdrawal tax on any sum you withdraw from your annuity prior to age 59½. Some exceptions include:

– The owner dies
– The owner is disabled [within the guidelines of IRC 72 (m)(7)]2

– The gain on Pre-TEFRA contributions (prior to August 14, 1982)3

– It is a non-qualified immediate annuity, which begins its payout within a year of purchase
– 72(q) and 72(t) payments, where life-expectancy payments continue for five years or to age 59 ½, whichever take longer4

For the full list of exemptions to the early withdrawal tax, visit the IRS website section covering retirement plans and taxes on early distributions.

2. Can you transfer ownership of a non-qualified annuity?

You can transfer ownership by creating or subtracting joint owners, transferring the policy to a new owner, or reassigning the policy. When these ownership changes occur, the interest earnings at the time of the transfer are taxable to the original owner, and the 10-percent early withdrawal tax can apply if the original owner is not yet 59½. Exceptions include:

– Ownership is transferred from one spouse to another, or a spouse is deleted or added
– A divorce triggers the transfer of ownership
– The transfer is between the owner and his/her revocable (grantor) trust

Of course, it’s wise to think carefully about your grantor designations at the time of purchase.

3. What are the consequences of the LIFO policy (“last in, first out”) on taxing a non-qualified annuity?

The way the chronology of taxes occurs on a non-qualified annuity is as follows: First, your interest earnings are taxed; Secondly, your principal is taxed if it is a qualified annuity, but is received untaxed if it is a non-qualified annuity; and lastly, the insurer’s disbursements you receive are then taxed.

“This is the coveted feature of annuities,” says Tim Kilzer, business developer at Tucker Advisors, “to be able to still get paid with the insurer’s money after you have burned through all the principal investment you made on the policy in the first place, and then all the interest that money made. At this point, you are free and clear, you’re receiving the insurance company’s money. But that revenue has never been taxed, so you’ll still have to pay income tax on that money.”

4. What is the tax benefit of an immediate annuity, like a SPIA (single premium immediate annuity)?

 

Purchasing an immediate annuity gives you access to withdrawals in a much shorter time frame and, generally speaking, with a higher monthly income than a comparable fixed indexed annuity.

The insurance company applies a uniform tax across all of the payments in an immediate annuity, and that tax rate never changes. These annuities are great tools for people who want to retire immediately and may not have time to wait on a fixed income annuity, because they will know exactly what their income and tax rate will be going forward till the day they die.

5. Choosing the right taxable annuity depends on your individual circumstances?

The purpose of money dictates where you put it, and this applies to annuities, too.

“If I just want to grow money,” says Kilzer, “I can put it in a growth annuity with no income rider and the highest available rates and caps. It will be taxed by the LIFO sequence on a non-qualified annuity, or taxed as ordinary income on a qualified annuity. The fixed indexed annuity works great if I need deferred income but want guaranteed income for the rest of my life. And, if I need immediate income at the highest possible amount from that asset, and I don’t care about having access again to the principal, then a SPIA is the choice. I’ve seen plenty of people who have bought all three to serve different financial needs at different times in their lives.”

The way taxes affect annuities is a complex topic. There are many features and exceptions that that we did not cover here. Consequently, you should always review annuities with a certified financial planner or tax accountant during your assessment process, and certainly before selecting an annuity.

Tax and retirement planners can help you determine which tax preferences suit your portfolio, health circumstances and income timelines in the most beneficial manner to you. And then you will feel safe in choosing the annuity that best serves your situation.

Footnotes:
1. Annuities.org
2. Heather L. Schreiber, RICP
3. IBID
4. IBID

For Financial Professional Use Only.
Insurance-only agents are not licensed to offer investment advice.

 

 

tucker-advisors-client-appreciation-guide

Join Tucker Advisors

Call 720-702-8811 or email COO Jason Lechuga at Jason.Lechuga@TuckerAdvisors.com

Indexed Annuities: The New Retirement Pensions?

Indexed Annuities: The New Retirement Pensions?    By Sam DeleoTucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/EditorfacebooklinkedintwitterDefined-benefit plans. Those of us who are older might remember them better as “pensions,” but in 2021 they seem about as...

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Will I Have To Become A Fiduciary

WILL I HAVE TO BECOME A FIDUCIARY?     By Sam DeleoTucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/EditorfacebooklinkedintwitterIf you’re a financial advisor, you have likely heard about the Department of Labor’s recent fiduciary rules. The larger question for the...