Put on your shoes. Find your bus pass. Get your backpack.
These instructions on my pre-teen son’s morning task list spell out exactly what actions he must take to get out the door on time and prepared. While I would prefer that he figure it out for himself, I realize that he needs prompts.
Believe it or not, your web site visitors benefit from the same adolescent direction. When you give clear instructions on how to engage with you, you will increase the conversion of your financial planning firm’s web site. This higher conversion can equate to more revenue.
Conversion Requires Clear Calls-to-Action.
Many financial advisors’ web sites fail to have strong, clear calls-to-action, a basic tenet for successful direct marketing. Calls-to-action encourage web visitors to make a decision about whether they want to progress in a relationship with you.
“Download this free report,” “Get a second opinion,” or “Schedule a meeting” are common examples. Without specific direction prospective clients are left to wander aimlessly through your laneways of information, uncertain of how to get to know you better.
For those planners who do invite action, they often do with a single call: “Sign up for your free consultation.” Confronted with an ultimatum—meet with me or do nothing—many perfect clients flee from the perceived commitment that comes from having to talk with you before they are ready.
The majority of your visitors arrive during the early stages of consideration. Without effortless, low-commitment options to ease their way into a relationship with you, you risk losing more than just visitors. You can lose revenue. Imagine if every month you lost two clients who would have worked with you, but left with no other option to engage, they move on. If you earn $4,000 per client per year, then your web site’s failure to capture an intrigued visitor’s name and email costs you nearly $100,000 in revenue.
How Ready is Your Web Site Visitor?
The win is that they took the time to find your site, and now it is your job to help them choose what to do next. This starts with establishing options that match the “readiness” level of your visitor:
1. “I want to keep you on my radar”: This person does not want to lose track of you, but s/he is nowhere near ready to talk. At the minimum, this person can connect through a social media follow. However, since they’ve made it to the site, you want to get them a bit more active. If you regularly publish content through a blog, LinkedIn published posts, a podcast, or YouTube videos, invite them to “get the latest blogposts sent to your inbox,” or “stay informed of our next podcast episode.” You want to warm them up and stay top of mind so when a trigger event occurs — getting pregnant or deciding whether to take an early retirement package, for example – you are the first person who comes to mind.
2. “I’d like to get to know you.” This group is the majority of the visitors who spend more than a few seconds on your site. Here is where you can screen in high-value clients by presenting hyper-targeted educational information in exchange for a name and email address. This lead-generation vehicle—whether a video training series, a free report, or a downloadable checklist or questionnaire that addresses their needs—lets you begin to build trust and a relationship with the prospect over time through targeted messages designed to move them along in the nurture process. This is where you have the opportunity to increase your revenue as plug your web site’s lead capture leak while simultaneously speaking to the (potential) client who appreciates your value. Once they sign up for your free content, you can flow them into your relationship marketing system where you’ll be able to educate, entertain, and inspire your viewers while they decide at their own pace when to deepen the engagement.
3. “I am ready right now.” Hooray! Conceivably this is right person at the right time presented with the right offer. Have your “Schedule a Consultation” button, a prominent phone number on your site, and outline “Here’s What to Expect” in your Services section.
Apply Your Call-To-Action Hierarchy to Your Site.
You can prompt visitor engagement by establishing your call-to-action hierarchy for each page on your web site.
For each page, think about what action fits best with the content. Assign a primary and a secondary call-to-action (CTA). Your web site designer can stack calls-to-action on the page, highlighting the primary first, with the secondary nested below.
Here are some examples of common web site pages and their CTAs:
HOME PAGE: Your home page needs to appeal first to the majority (#2 above).
- Primary CTA: Download our free guide. Offer up your hyper-targeted lead magnet front and center in exchange for a name and email address.
- Secondary CTA:: Schedule a free consultation. Because you also want to grab the low hanging fruit (#3 above), your secondary call to action should be an invitation to the first step in your prospect engagement process.
SERVICES: A visitor who moves on to your Services page is in the mindset of at least considering the details of your offering (#3 above). You can lead first with the consultation. Your secondary call to action would be the hyper-targeted lead magnet to capture those who need more time.
BLOG: Someone who arrives here may have found you through a social media share that piqued their interest. While they may be in full-on “research financial advisors” mode, it is unlikely this is where they’d start. Because this page is focused on educating, make it easy for the visitor (#1 above) to get more of your insights with a Primary CTA of “Receive the latest post in your Inbox, enter your email here.” The Secondary CTA can be your hyper-targeted lead magnet.
Meet People Where They Are.
As you can see, your web site is a critical entrée point to the full experience you offer. When you make your calls-to-action relevant with options for all stages of readiness, you can start many more conversations. As you continue to communicate and build rapport, always tell these prospects their next action so they know exactly what to do. If this clarity can help my distracted 12-year old, it can work for an adult, too.