Every business has a website, but it really generate new business, or is it more of a digital brochure, simply offering contact information and directions to the office? This is one reason advisors neglect their websites: they don’t really believe that a website generates new business.
‘COURTING’ SITE VISITORS
It’s helpful to compare a website to a courtship. Each website visitor is being “courted” by the advisor through the videos, mission statements and other graphics that appear on the website. Like a first date, the homepage of the website offers clues about the character and operating style of the advisor. A good homepage gives a great first impression, but that is only the beginning.
Like any relationship, a website “courtship” won’t move forward without an increasing level of commitment. In the context of a digital relationship, this commitment is generated by asking the visitor for certain things, via “forms.” Forms are boxes that offer something in return for the visitor’s contact information.
As visitors read copy and watch videos, questions may come to mind. You should offer an opportunity for those questions to be answered on every page of your site. Don’t bury your question form on the back page by your contact information. Put question forms everywhere, and make it easy for your visitor to give you the information you want--his or her contact information.
The goal of your website is to gather contact information so that you can reach out to prospects. Do this in a three-step process:
1. Offer information: Your question form offers an answer to the visitor’s question or concern in return for contact information.
2. Make it easy: Complex forms that require even a full minute of effort are counter-productive. Ask for the name and email address, and a phone number. Period.
3. Be quick to respond: Have an office process in place that offers a quick response to every website inquiry. Your assistant should take a few minutes every day and attend to this detail.
TAKE IT OFFLINE
Every visitor that takes the time to fill out a form is a warm lead; this is someone who is interested in you and in a particular topic. You are half-way to an investment decision with this potential client - don’t leave it until they have forgotten why they filled out the form! Using forms on every page of your website and responding quickly to them is a key to converting website visitors into loyal clients.
Website marketing is like online dating. You can get to know each other, identify common concerns and establish a great deal of rapport, but you won’t really get anywhere in the relationship unless you meet in person. So ask for the visitor’s contact information and respond immediately with a meaningful interaction. Then place that name on your contact list and make sure that monthly newsletters and other email marketing go out to that person on a regular basis, all with additional opportunities to ask questions and receive answers.
Finally, at any point in the process, use a client question as the impetus to pick up the phone and begin a personal conversation. That is the final link in the chain that leads from the first website visit to a client relationship.
Craig Faulkner is CEO ofFMG Suite, a company dedicated to creating digital marketing tools for today's financial professional. For more ways to make the most of your marketing efforts, check out his free online video course, The Art of Digital Marketing. You can also follow him@fmgsuite on Twitter.