Written by Christine Meginness, VP Sites Program at Hearsay, this post is the final installment of our four-part series; all focused on why a modern, flexible website is table stakes for financial professionals today.
Once you’ve set up an informative, modern, mobile-friendly website, you're producing great content, and you're using the right channels to drive site traffic—the next step is to move those visitors down the marketing funnel. Critical to conversion is speed to lead.
When a lead fills out a form on your website, they’re expressing interest in you and your services—but that interest can dissipate if they don't hear back from you promptly. In fact, studies show that the odds of converting a lead into a sale drop significantly after just a few hours of no follow-up. Thus, having a system in place that helps you follow up quickly and effectively is essential.
To start, make sure you have a clear process in place for handling incoming leads. Perhaps you use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to track leads and set reminders for a follow-up call, or maybe you simply have an email template you can quickly personalize and send to each new lead. Whatever system you use, the key is to reply quickly and consistently. Ideally, you want to respond within a few hours— avoid waiting more than 24 hours before getting back to leads.
Tips for optimal website lead follow-up
How do you take advantage of speed to lead opportunities? Consider the following:
- Take advantage of text messaging
Following up via text can be highly effective. In fact, studies have found that prospects can be up to four times more likely to respond to a text than to an email or phone call. When a new lead comes in, immediately acknowledge their inquiry and offer additional information or resources that might be helpful. Just be sure to follow any applicable regulations or guidelines around texting for business purposes, and try not to come across as too pushy or spammy. With the right approach, a text follow-up can be a powerful lead conversion tool.
- Always aim for authenticity
Avoid using generic, cookie-cutter responses. Instead, provide a thoughtful, personalized reply. Start by acknowledging the specific inquiry or question that the lead submitted through your website, and write a custom message based on the information they provided in their contact form.
For example, if a lead mentions that they're interested in retirement planning, you could offer to send them a guide to retirement planning or invite them to schedule a free consultation to discuss specific retirement goals.
- Prioritize persistence
Don't be afraid to follow up multiple times. While you don't want to come across as pushy or aggressive, it often takes multiple outreach attempts to convert a lead. Send a friendly, helpful message a few days after initial contact and follow up with a quick check-in email or text a week or two later to stay top of mind and increase your chances of earning new business.
Following up with leads quickly and effectively is a critical step in converting website visitors into clients. Having a clear process for handling incoming leads, personalizing your messages, and following up consistently can dramatically increase your odds of turning website leads into loyal clients.
Summing it up
To build an effective digital footprint, execute the steps we outlined in this blog series:
- Build an advisor website that allows you to differentiate your brand from your firm's brand.
- Create content that is helpful and insightful to your target customer base.
- Promote your content via strategic distribution channels in a strategic way to drive consistent website traffic.
- Consistently incorporate lead follow-up best practices to power your conversion engine.
Putting these pieces in place will set you up for scalable, repeatable, long-term business success.