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Increase Your Website ROI

Generate more leads with these new website integrations and widgets for financial advisors.

Bill Winterberg, 03/14/2013

Lately I've visited a number of financial advisor websites and have noticed one clear trend: Advisors are making a concerted effort to update their websites' design and content to appeal to the sophisticated online visitor. Redesigned websites often include social media feeds, blogs, and video content arranged in a contemporary, mobile-friendly layout.

But the investments made in new designs and multimedia resources might be for naught if a website visitor doesn't engage with the advisor in some fashion. One way to leverage website content is to generate leads by compelling visitors to volunteer their contact information. Below, I highlight several new features from product providers that advisors can include on their websites to better engage prospects and website visitors.

Lead Generation 101
Lead generation is primarily a marketing technique used to obtain contact information from prospective customers who are interested in learning more about a product or service.

Nearly all commercial websites today feature some form of a "contact us" page, where a visitor submits information such as their name, phone number, and email address. However, website visitors do not have much incentive to volunteer their personal information online, especially when faced with the potential of unsolicited phone calls and spam emails in the future.

Common lead-generation methods are designed to compel visitors to offer their contact information in return for a free resource they will likely find useful. Examples include a white paper download, temporary access to exclusive content, or discounts on products or services made available only to subscribers.

Building Quality Leads
Financial advisors can readily use lead-generation techniques to build a list of names and email addresses from prospective clients. The prospective client list is then used for periodic correspondence, which might include updates on how tax law changes might affect families, new white papers to download, and notifications of upcoming webinars or seminars organized by the advisor.

Much of this kind of correspondence is typically managed using an email newsletter service. Popular services include MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Aweber, which I reviewed previously (see Tools to Manage Your E-Mail Newsletter).

One drawback of using email newsletter services is that they create another information silo, where contact information is maintained in a separate system or database. Advisors have to switch back and forth between their CRM and email newsletter management service to add new prospects or reconcile any changes in existing contact information.

Bill Winterberg, CFP, is a technology and operations consultant to independent financial advisors. His comments on technology have been featured in a variety of financial industry publications. You can view more information about Bill and see his schedule of upcoming speaking engagements at his Web site, FPPad.com. The author is a freelance contributor to MorningstarAdvisor.com. The views expressed in this article may or may not reflect the views of Morningstar.

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