While it would be convenient if the average person went from opening their first email to signing up for a financial review, this is very rare. It would be like getting a “yes” after proposing to someone after just one date. The reality is that there is a long buying cycle in the financial services industry. And while Lone Beacon can accurately target the high net worth, 50+ age demographic, we can’t see into someone’s mind to discern if they’re ready to commit from a psychological or financial perspective. Instead, we nurture leads and push them down the marketing funnel in a way that takes their level of readiness into account.

There are two things that must happen before someone starts doing business with an advisor – they have to be financially ready, and they have to feel ready. There are so many factors out of someone’s control that determine their financial readiness: market downturns and upturns, layoffs and promotions, illness, moves, and inheritances. Whatever the reason for their delay, the goal is to create stepping stones from when they initially show interest to when they’re ready to sit down with an advisor.

Part of the marketing funnels includes sending out emails on a weekly basis with new content to draw prospects to the advisor’s website, and measure their engagement. While the weekly email goes to everyone, certain emails are automatically sent to people who take certain actions or reach a certain engagement score. For example, if someone reads a blog about Social Security, we can send them an email inviting them to download a Social Security guide. If we know a prospect’s birthday, we can send them a special birthday email with content about the financial implications of their age.

How they respond to our advances determines their engagement score. Certain actions are weighted heavier than others. For example, downloading a guide earns a prospect more points than opening an email. The purpose of the scoring system is so that we and the advisor can recognize when someone reaches the bottom of the funnel and is ready for that final proposal – the sales pitch. Once a prospect reaches the “highly engaged” level, they can be sent an email asking them to sign up for a review.

This progression down the funnel may not happen at a uniform rate – we’ve found that a prospect can be nurtured for half year without much progress and suddenly become very engaged. We can’t know what external factors caused this – an inheritance, a drop in their 401(k), or just a tough day at work that made retirement seem like a goal worth pursuing – but we can identify which prospects out of a database of 1,500 have made this shift, and push them towards the final step.

Commitment doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen without multiple pushes. That’s why it’s important to nurture leads at every stage of the marketing funnel with content and calls to action appropriate to their level of engagement. Lone Beacon is always refining and adding elements to this process, get in touch if you’d like to know how we can help you too.