Marketing automation might sound like a vague term in financial services. What marketing activities should you automate, exactly, and why? Yet there can be great benefits to doing this – saving time, money and mistakes.
Here, our marketing team here at CreativeAdviser offers five great reasons to consider bringing more automation into your marketing as a financial services firm. We hope you find this content useful, and invite you to book a free, no-commitment consultation with us if you’d like to discuss your own campaign.
#1 Improving efficiency
Imagine your marketing leads someone to make an enquiry via your website’s contact form. What happens then? It might be that their information is emailed to a member of your team, who then manually adds the details to your customer relationship management system (CRM). From there, perhaps this person then sends an email to one of your financial advisers, who then follows up the lead with a call.
This system could work if you hardly receive any enquiries. Yet it doesn’t take many enquiries before it becomes quite strained. Automation could bring a lot more efficiency to this process. For instance, instead of the enquiry sending an email to a team member, what if the contact form was automatically integrated with your CRM so that their details automatically go into the relevant fields?
At the same time, the CRM could notify the relevant financial adviser to call the prospect, whilst the CRM also sends an automated “thank you” message to the prospect – reassuring them that they will be contacted soon. In this whole process, software in the background does most of the heavy lifting, saving lots of time on manual administrative tasks.
#2 Better conversion rates
A well-designed, automated system such as the example above has another great benefit. It provides a much more reliable “follow up system”, thus allowing for a better customer experience as they move through your sales pipeline. As such, this often results in a higher likelihood of the prospect converting into a sale.
#3 Improved reporting
One of the challenges faced by many financial services businesses is that it is often difficult to determine where a lead has come from. Has it emanated from a printed advert, for instance, or a word-of-mouth referral from another client? Could it have come through one of your social media profiles, an event you attended (e.g. a pension seminar) or your website?
Quite often, financial firms (particularly financial advisers) will try and keep track of this information by manually entered the information on a set of spreadsheets – often after the event, when memories may have faded slightly. As such, when the time comes to review your lead generation efforts, the reliability of the data is not always robust or trustworthy, thus making it difficult to ground strategic decisions for improving your marketing efforts going forwards.
This is where marketing automation can help – greatly strengthening your reporting. If a lead comes in via one of your social media profiles, for instance, your systems can simply pull the information into your central reporting system. A similar process can be put in place for email enquiries or contact form submissions from your website. This avoids delays in the reporting process and allows for much greater reliability of the data.
One of the drawbacks of a billboard marketing campaign is that you can only present one message to each person who reads it. Personalisation, therefore, is very difficult. The same applies for other forms of marketing such as TV, radio and print advertising (e.g. in magazines). With an automated system, however, new possibilities start to open up.
Suppose, for instance, that a prospect sees one of your Facebook Ads promoting your upcoming webinar on pensions. They book a place – leaving their name and email address on the landing page booking form. From here, your automated email marketing campaign comes into motion – sending a personalised email to this prospect to thank them for booking a place (using their first name in the opening), and providing the information they need to attend the webinar.
A personalised, automated email can also go out to this prospect a day or two before the webinar starts – reminding them of the details. Once the session starts, another email can go out to draw in people who might have still forgotten. After the webinar is over, the prospect could then be nurtured with another personalised campaign – perhaps a 3-part email series on pension transfers, for instance. All of this can go on in the background, addressing each prospect by name.
#5 Lead scoring
For financial firms which have a steady stream of leads, you will know all too well that not all of your leads will have equal value. Sometimes, you can tell immediately that an enquiry is not worth your time due to the email address (e.g. it looks “spammy”), whilst others may hold out more potential due to the nature of the help they have asked for in their message.
One of the powerful features of an automated marketing system is that it can open the potential to engage in “lead scoring”. Put simply, this system assigns each lead a number between 1-10 depending on a range of defined variables (with 10 being the highest score). These might include:
- The prospect’s email address.
- How many fields they filled out on your contact form.
- The total value of their investable assets.
- Their age and job title.
- Where they live.
- How quickly they reply to communications (e.g. emails).
- How long they take to progress through your sales process compared to the average.
- The type of financial service they have asked for (e.g. protection, pension advice etc.).
This automated system not only allows you to be more focused with the leads you choose to spend time nurturing through your sales pipeline. It can also help with the reporting process and facilitates efforts to improve the quality of leads coming to your business in the future.