In a study from about 10 years ago, Forrester Research found that marketers see an average 20 per cent increase in sales opportunities from leads that have been 'nurtured' versus non-nurtured leads.

    The research also revealed that companies that excel in lead nurturing generate 50 per cent more sales at 33 per cent lower cost.

    For financial planners, securing a new client can be a long process.

    This isn't a problem for the referral that's ready to retire, but for many prospects the decision to engage can be taken over a longer period.

    Engaging with an adviser is an informed purchase - your prospects will spend time thinking carefully as to whether they should engage an adviser, and then also which one they should choose.

    So what do we mean by 'lead nurturing'?

    Lead nurturing is the process of engaging with a predefined group by providing relevant information and content at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

    Each time you connect with a lead you’ll be actively moving them along their journey, with the aim of converting them into a client.

    Below are some best practices that we recommend you consider when developing your lead nurturing strategy:

    The multi-channel approach

    Gone are the days when sending out emails was the only way of nurturing leads. Though we do recommend still using email as part of your strategy, it now exists as the bare minimum of what you should do.

    There are quite a few channels you can use as part of this approach.

    An effective multi-channel strategy will contain a combination of email marketing, social media, direct sales outreach, valuable website content and paid retargeting. Here’s a quick breakdown of each element:

    • Email marketing - newsletters, offers and promotions sent via email
    • Social media - engaging with leads on networking platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook
    • Direct sales outreach - contacting leads via phone or email that have registered an interest by signing up to your newsletter or requesting a guide or other piece of content
    • Valuable website content - content that addresses the issues and challenges your target audience face
    • Paid retargeting - online advertising that targets people who've already visited your website.

    Targeted content

    The right content, delivered at the right time and to the right people can really help boost your lead nurturing efforts.

    The trick here, especially with advisers and planners, is to make it as personal as possible.

    Financial planning is an incredibly personal and collaborative experience, so you’ll want to send content to prospects that's relevant to the problems they're trying to solve.

    Any content sent out will need to be aligned with your marketing personas so that you can give yourself the best chance of proving your value.

    People trust brands that show their authority and knowledge - it’s not about holding back information, it’s about making some noise and showing everyone that you’re good at what you do.

    (You can read more about how to create marketing personas and how to generate client-winning content here)

    Multiple touch points

    The average number of touch points that prospects receive before converting into clients sits at around 10.

    These touch points can be spread across the various channels we mentioned above and need to contain a mix of content types, such as social media, articles in your knowledge section, whitepapers, guides or videos.

    However, developing such content can take time and resources. It’s important to have a clear content strategy and a sustained approach to content creation.

    Timely follow-ups

    It’s common knowledge that most leads for advice firms will come through referrals. This in turn means that first impressions are everything at this point.

    Getting in contact no more than 24 hours after an enquiry is critical.

    Though we advocate the sooner the better, making sure you do your research beforehand surrounding the details submitted with the enquiry will prepare you to better nurture the prospective client through the buyer’s journey.

    It’s also important to follow up in a timely manner after your initial ‘getting to know you’ meeting.

    If your prospect decides not to go ahead with your services, make sure to gather feedback to better inform your proposition for the future.

    Ultimately, improving your lead nurturing strategy means you’ll be receiving better informed prospects coming through to your business.

    Taking the time to set out when and where you engage with potential clients to try and further them along your buyer’s journey can make all the difference when they’re deciding whether to go with your firm or not.

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