4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Lead Magnets

4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Lead Magnets

jordan-collins-digital-marketing

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

4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Lead Magnets

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15 Consequences of the New SEC Ad Rule

15 Consequences of the New SEC Ad Rule

Sam-deleo

By Sam Deleo
Tucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/Editor

A few days before Christmas in 2020, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it had finalized revisions to the Investment Advisers Act. In a press release, the SEC explained that the changes were made to “modernize rules that govern investment adviser advertisements and payments to solicitors.”

The action had been a long time coming, since the last modifications to the Investment Advisers Act happened several decades ago, in the pre-internet world. The amendments now create a single rule “designed to comprehensively and efficiently regulate investment advisers’ marketing communications.”

Today, it is hard to identify any area of life the internet hasn’t changed, and marketing and advertising are certainly no exceptions, having undergone vast transformations. The SEC realized their rules for governing financial advisers in these areas had not kept up. “The technology used for communications has advanced, the expectations of investors seeking advisery services have changed, and the profiles of the investment advisery industry have diversified,” the commission wrote. The commission created the new marketing rule with the goal of allowing advisers expanded digital access to provide the public with useful information, “subject to conditions that are reasonably designed to prevent fraud.”

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton commented, “This comprehensive framework for regulating advisers’ marketing communications recognizes the increasing use of electronic media and mobile communications and will serve to improve the quality of information available to investors.”

The new SEC ad rule went into effect on May, 4, 2021, and advisers will have 18 months from that date to transition into compliance. But, what does this mean in concrete examples for advisers? The answer is that we won’t truly know until we see how the SEC enforces its revisions, but the changes are generally good news to the marketing interests of financial advisers.

Endorsements and testimonials will now be more readily available for advisers to use in marketing materials, so long as they follow the new disclosure and compensation restrictions. Advisers can make use of new tools, such as performance advertising and third-party ratings, by following the guidelines governing transparency. And “transparency” is a critical concept to understanding the wider context of these changes: The new SEC Ad Rule addresses not only what advisers say in their marketing materials, but how they say it, as well. Transparency in giving consumers the “whole story,” and not only what reflects positively on an adviser, will be key for advisors moving forward.

For those who want to research actual documentation, the SEC revisions affect Rule 206(4)-1 and Rule 206(4)-1, as well as the Form ADV and Rule 204-2 that relate to the investment adviser registration form and the books/records rule. But we’ve tried to highlight from the SEC website what we feel are the 15 biggest consequences of the ad rule for advisers in their attempts to market themselves with the transparency that will now be required:

1. Advisers cannot make untrue statements about a material fact

They also cannot omit a material fact “necessary to make the statement true.” As found in many cases moving through these changes, full disclosure appears to be a common denominator behind many revisions.

2. Advisers must be reasonably able to back up their statements.

This applies to any “statement of fact that the adviser does not have a reasonable basis for believing it will be able to substantiate upon demand by the Commission.” In other words, don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk.

3. Don’t infer or imply untrue statements.

 

This includes “information that would reasonably be likely to cause an untrue or misleading implication or inference to be drawn concerning a material fact relating to the adviser.”

4. Don’t omit negatives.

 

Advisers need to talk about potential benefits, and they can still do so, but not without also “providing fair and balanced treatment of any associated material risks or limitations.”

5. Don’t eliminate risks from investment advice.

This is basically the last step applied to investments: Advisers cannot offer specific investment advice without fairly mentioning risks and limitations.

6. Do not ‘cherry pick’ performance results.

Advisers cannot include or exclude performance results for a time period that renders the performance unrepresentative, or, in the commission’s language, falls short of “fair and balanced.”

7. Include full disclosure in testimonials and endorsements.

Advertising “must clearly and prominently disclose whether the person giving the testimonial and endorsement (the “promoter”) is a client and whether the promoter is compensated.” In positive news for advisers, this new rule eliminates the old rule’s requirement “that the adviser obtain from each investor acknowledgements of receipt of the disclosures.”

8. Advisers are responsible for compliance of testimonials and endorsements.

 

An adviser also must “enter into a written agreement with promoters, except where the promoter is an affiliate of the adviser,” or if the promoter has received $1,000 or less, or the equivalent value, in compensation during the preceding 12 months.

9. No third-party ratings.

Advisers cannot use third-party ratings in their ads unless they disclose the party, the time period and satisfy “certain criteria pertaining to the preparation of the rating,” which can mean that the third party has no relation to the adviser and is in fact in the third-party rating service.

10. “Gross” and “net” must be together in performance ads.

Advisers cannot mention gross performance in an advertisement without mentioning net performance.

11. Refrain from mention of the SEC in performance ads.

It may be tempting to announce that you’re following SEC guidelines, but avoid doing so, as you cannot mention that the commission “has approved or reviewed any calculation or presentation of performance results.”

12. Advisers cannot use partial performance results of portfolios.

Don’t use results from “fewer than all portfolios with substantially similar investment policies, objectives, and strategies as those being offered in the advertisement.”

13. Advisors cannot extract a subset of investments from a portfolio in ads.

The exception to this restriction would be if the advertisement provides, or offers to promptly provide, the whole portfolio’s performance.

14. Avoid hypothetical performance results in ads.

Advisers should steer clear from projections into the future “unless the adviser adopts and implements policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that the performance is relevant to the likely financial situation and investment objectives of the intended audience.”

15. Avoid predecessor performance results.

Don’t mention a previous adviser “unless there is appropriate similarity with regard to the personnel and accounts at the predecessor adviser and the personnel and accounts at the advertising adviser. In addition, the advertising advisor must include all relevant disclosures clearly and prominently in the advertisement.”

The new SEC Ad Rule modernizes financial marketing, granting advisors new ways to access new people. This benefit alone seems enough to outweigh the restrictions in reaching these audiences. But the SEC acknowledges that an adjustment period will be necessary for advisers.

Approaching the compliance deadline of late 2022, it will be important for advisers to ensure that their marketing efforts are compliant. If you have questions, email the SEC directly at IM-Rules@sec.gov.

If you’d like more information on marketing your financial advisory practice visit the Tucker Advisors Blog

  – 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

4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Lead Magnets

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5 Reasons Why Your Website Isn’t Producing Leads

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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.”

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. 

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.

 

 

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15 Consequences of the New SEC Ad Rule By Sam DeleoTucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/EditorfacebooklinkedintwitterA few days before Christmas in 2020, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it had finalized revisions to the Investment Advisers...

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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.

 

 

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4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Lead Magnets

4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Lead Magnets By Jordan CollinsTucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing SpecialistfacebooklinkedintwitterTable of Contents  Click the links below to jump to a page section specific to your needs.Why do we visit the sites we do? What is...

15 Consequences of the New SEC Ad Rule

15 Consequences of the New SEC Ad Rule By Sam DeleoTucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/EditorfacebooklinkedintwitterA few days before Christmas in 2020, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it had finalized revisions to the Investment Advisers...

5 Reasons Why Your Website Isn’t Producing Leads

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(Video) Financial Advisor Video Marketing: Don’t Get Left Behind

(Video) Financial Advisor Video Marketing: Don’t Get Left Behind

Video Overview

Video Marketing: Don’t Get Left Behind
Tune in to see how we can bring powerful video to your brand

Tucker Advisors Video Marketing Expert Len Lorentz speaks about financial advisor video marketing best practices. Tune in to realize the full potential of video marketing on your prospects. 

This presentation was given at the Tucker Super Conference XVI in January of 2021 and is only for financial professional use. Insurance-only agents are not licensed to offer investment advice.

Video

Video Synopsis: Video Marketing For Financial Advisors

The 2nd biggest demographic using Facebook is the baby boomers. That is great news for financial advisor video marketing. We encourage advisors to use video and tell their story. People want to know who you are and what you do! Many advisors think that they don’t have a story or something exciting to share. We’re here to tell you that you’re wrong! You need to tell your story to your prospects because this is an industry built on making connections.

So much of finance marketing is trying to connect with your audience. Telling your story and taking pieces of interviews to create a visual representation of who you are and what you do adds a human element to your messaging. People don’t invest with bots, they invest with other people. Showing users who you are can and will lead to connections you never thought possible. As people, we have more in common than we don’t. Studies confirm that video has unparalleled power to break down walls, build connections, and get people to act.

When you talk about your financial advisory practice it’s necessary to talk about both the features and benefits of your practice. Our staff is very cognizant of this while we shoot and we encourage you to connect your past to your client’s future.

Other topics described in this session include:

-How long should my video be?

-Should I use my phone to make my videos?

-What should my video be about?

-What topics should I cover in my video? 

If you’d like to learn more you can schedule an appointment through the phone number below. 

Join Tucker Advisors

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

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For Financial Professional Use Only. NOT INTENDED FOR VIEWING OR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC. Insurance-only agents are not licensed to offer investment advice.
© 2020 Tucker Advisors | All Rights reserved.

Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors: SEO vs. PPC

How to Use Digital Marketing for Financial Advisory Firms

jordan-collins-digital-marketing

By Jordan Collins
Tucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing Specialist

Are you looking into financial advisor digital marketing but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. With all of the emails, social media ads, and traditional marketing claiming to double your ROI, it’s hard to know what to trust. There are more acronyms to learn than you have time for, and a simple solution that will bring in more leads is what you’re really after. 

You’re in luck.

We will be taking a look at the two primary branches of digital marketing today, which are SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click), also referred to as search engine marketing (SEM). First, we will be taking a look at search engine optimization.

Search Engine Optimization

Everyday there are 3.5 billion searches on Google alone. With 87% of the United States population using the internet, there is constant web traffic searching, visiting, and buying on websites every day. Financial advisor digital marketing pushes some of that traffic to be directed to your website. In search engine optimization, your aim is to index your website and its’ posts under keywords that future users will search. This is done by submitting a sitemap to Google and having your pages crawled for indexing. Once they are indexed, they can pop up in user searches. Outside of indexing for your business name and location, you’ll want to rank for searches related to the topics and services your company offers. This way, searchers who are showing intent towards your business are given the option to view your site. This is where content marketing comes in.

Why do you click on the links and websites that you do?

They have the information that you are looking for.

Content marketing is all about giving the people what they want. For a financial advisor, this would be material that is appealing to your target demographic’s questions, concerns, or educational interests. It could be a retirement calculator, a white paper on what to do before retiring, or an educational video on getting the most out of Social Security. You want to create something that will be valuable or educational to your chosen audience because it will bring more traffic to your site. 

Pro Tip: Take your FAQs and turn them into content

Many of the questions you receive from prospects and leads can be turned into written, visual, or audio content. If a prospect isn’t asking you this question, they might be asking Google. With this in mind, you can take something that is usually a customer service inquiry and turn it into a touchpoint for someone to find you and see you as an expert on the topic.

You may be asking yourself, why put in all this work to give away my insights and knowledge for free?

This answer has three parts.

First and foremost, your competition and the worldwide web is already giving this information away for free. If someone searches Google or YouTube on a topic, chances are that there is an industry professional sharing their knowledge, marketing their services, and profiting. In short, this information is already out there and you want your name attached to it as an expert.

The second part of this answer is that oftentimes it isn’t totally free. For valuable downloads and content, most sites will have a form or information capture in exchange for the information they are providing. This is a great way to capture leads and take your website from a description of your business to a lead-generating machine. Note that the efficacy of financial advisor digital marketing is still dependent on the quality of your content, the usability of your site, the number of pieces you create, and many other variables that are constantly changing. If you are creating informational content that people enjoy, in time it will elevate you and your brand.

Lastly, SEO is a great long-term investment in the marketing of your financial advisory practice. With every new piece of content you index on Google, you are expanding your web property’s reach. One of the greatest advantages of SEO is that users are already searching for this information which is much different than seeing an advertisement. By creating new content on your website, you are raising awareness for what you do, becoming an authoritative voice on the topics relevant to your practice, and increasing web traffic, which is crucial to your lead generation.

Financial Advisor Digital Marketing: SEO Overview

SEO Pros

  • Free of cost
  • Long-term investment in site traffic
  • Higher-quality leads
  • More intentional than most marketing
  • Builds trust with your audience

SEO Cons

  • Time cost
  • Requires original content
  • Isn’t immediate
  • Won’t show up above ads in search

PPC (Pay Per Click) / SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Every business has a message to spread. With search engine marketing, you can use your budget to decide where to spread it, who to spread it to, and how you would like them to respond. Deciding where your message will be served and the audience you’d like to see it are crucial topics to address before your campaign starts.

Pay per click ads are a great way to reach a specific audience based on who your offer appeals to, but there are large differences in how a Facebook ad will work in comparison to a Google ad. This has a lot to do with the different functions each site has. People looking to find information are more likely to search on Google or YouTube, in comparison to someone who is looking to interact with friends on Facebook. It’s crucial to understand this difference before running financial advisor digital marketing ads, because it will affect your budget, your targeting details, and the success of your campaign.

Advertisers have a variety of ad types and unique targeting to serve your message. Having an understanding of these ad types and what they can offer is important, because you will need to evaluate and optimize your ad spend’s efficacy once your campaign has had sufficient time to gather some data. Many advertisers see PPC as a short-term fix for a lack of organic traffic, but if you can optimize the ads to produce a positive return, it may be something that you can scale.

While SEO boasts a lot of upsides, paid ads offer the opportunity to influence prospects at the exact moment they are looking to buy. Being able to show up on the top of a page’s search results could be a crucial a-ha moment for a user interested in what you have to offer. Note that, depending on your product or service, people may be less likely to buy on social media. This is something you should take into account when planning your campaign.

A good alternative to posting an offer is promoting a tool or resource on your website and adding people who clicked your article to a remarketing list. This strategy works because the user has already signaled their interest in the topic surrounding what you do and build some familiarity with your site. Over time, they are qualifying their interest in working with you.

Another strategy used is doing keyword research and using tools to bid on your competitors’ keywords. Depending on your location, budget, and offerings, this can be a profitable strategy or a large waste of resources. We would suggest doing extensive research into what can be won and lost prior to committing to this strategy.

Financial Advisor Digital Marketing: PPC / SEM Overview

PPC / SEM Pros

  • Top-of-page results
  • Instant exposure
  • Can test quicker
  • Faster results
  • Different types of ads
  • Branding & visibility

PPC / SEM Cons

  • Cost (traffic stops when you stop paying)
  • Some people won’t ever click ads
  • Can lose efficacy over time
  • Need $ to make $
  • Upkeep of campaign health
  • Varies in efficacy from industry to industry

SEO or  PPC: What’s right for my financial advisory firm?

The best financial advisor digital marketing strategy is doing the right campaigns at the right times. As broad as that sounds, it’s quite simple. If you are looking to build your financial advisory practice online, you should be doing some of both. While they can both create demand around your services, they work in two fundamentally different ways. 

If you’re on a budget and want to get more website traffic for your firm, set out a plan to make written, visual, or audio content around subjects your prospective audience cares about. From here, you want to be sure that each new piece lives on your website and is spread through your social media channels to maximize the number of people who will see it. With some time spent indexing the pages, researching keyword volumes, and improving these pages, you can drive users to your site in a consistent way that will bring you leads, position you as an expert, and expand your practice’s influence.

If you need an immediate impact for a specific campaign, you will want to make a budget, plan around what actions you’d like taken from your ad, and be sure to set a plan to improve your ads over time. While this might seem like the “easier” of the two options, it’s very costly to invest in advertisements that have no ROI. You will need to be sure that you set clear goals prior to starting your campaign to assess whether it was a success or not.

Using SEO for long-term organic traffic growth and PPC for offerings people can take advantage of now will offer a lot in your sales process. Be sure to take the time to understand what outcomes you’d like from your digital marketing and start working backwards from there. This leads to intentional marketing that can grow your clients and your practice.

For Financial Professional Use Only. NOT INTENDED FOR VIEWING OR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC. Insurance-only agents are not licensed to offer investment advice.
© 2021 Tucker Advisors | All Rights reserved.

 

tucker-advisors-client-appreciation-guide

Join Tucker Advisors

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

4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Lead Magnets

4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Lead Magnets By Jordan CollinsTucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing SpecialistfacebooklinkedintwitterTable of Contents  Click the links below to jump to a page section specific to your needs.Why do we visit the sites we do? What is...

15 Consequences of the New SEC Ad Rule

15 Consequences of the New SEC Ad Rule By Sam DeleoTucker Advisors Senior Content Specialist/EditorfacebooklinkedintwitterA few days before Christmas in 2020, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it had finalized revisions to the Investment Advisers...

5 Reasons Why Your Website Isn’t Producing Leads

5 Reasons Why Your Website Isn't Producing Leads By Jordan CollinsTucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing SpecialistfacebooklinkedintwitterWhy Isn't My Website Producing Leads?In the last year, the world was forced to stay home and interact using new technology. As...

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