Why Most Advisors are only Utilizing 10% of their Website Potential, and How the Smart Ones are Using it All

By Amy McIIwain, President, Financial Social Media on Friday, September 16th, 2011

Did you know that research shows that 95-97% of first-time website visitors are not sales ready? It also shows that even on pure retail websites such as Amazon, 90% of visitors leave without making a purchase or providing additional information? What about visitors to your site?

The fact is, if you’re like most advisors, you’re not leveraging the full potential of at least 90% of the visitors to your site—much like we humans don’t use 90% of our brains.

In both cases, just think what you could accomplish if you could use the other 90%! Well, in the case of the website, you can take steps to maximize utilization. Let’s take a closer look…

First, let’s examine the “under-utilization” problem…

When it comes to advisors acquiring and retaining clients, while at the same time building their practices, one thing is certain: advisors are under-utilizing their websites. We know this because it’s one of the preliminary findings of the ByAllAccounts “2011 Advisor Marketing Survey” being conducted right now.

Keep in mind, as marketing has changed dramatically over the past several years, the change has been particularly acute for advisors’ who are marketing via their websites. The biggest change we see is the change in prospect and customer behavior; they want to be engaged. No, they demand to be engaged. And, they want to be engaged on their terms with content that is relevant to them and their needs. Simply put, that means if they are interested in equity type products, they want information on equity products, not fixed income. 

So, on the one hand, website visitors feel like they have new “customer rights”—a set of demands, really. And on the other hand, there are advisors who are not having much initial success at converting website traffic into clients. That leads to frustration for both parties. Perhaps by examining some of the available data on website visitation behaviors, we can shed a little light on this low conversion rate and explore how to improve these numbers.

Next, let’s look at a few more numbers…

As if the 90% figure cited earlier wasn’t daunting enough, there are additional statistics that show just how difficult it can be to engage, acquire and retain clients via the web:

  • Prospects will interact with your site 5.5 times on average before they download material or contact you directly.
  • Only 2-3% of websites earn the confidence of the visitor to the point where visitors identify themselves on the first visit. 

Fortunately, there is good news: over a two-year period 70% of these initial visitors will convert to clients, provided you properly and systematically nurture them and stay in front of them along the way.

Here’s the struggle and the solution:

As an advisor, you know you have website traffic because your website analytics package tells you exactly that. The problem is your website visitors initially know more about you than you know about them. After all, you’ve created the website, invited your visitors in, and told them all about what you and your firm do—without even asking them to introduce themselves. 

Smart marketers and advisors are no longer sitting back and hoping that these visitors convert to clients. They are beginning to leverage segment-based automated marketing technology, which allows them to listen to prospects and keep the conversation relevant. These advisors are aggressively implementing website visitor identification strategies—and are embracing the ability to nurture, score, track and provide alerts on countless behavioral factors, in any combination based on the prospects’ needs. 

This is all being done for the express purpose of engaging prospects and converting them to clients. Advisors are realizing that in order to bring visitors to their website—and more importantly, convert them to clients, they have to leverage a combination of relevant content, calls-to-action, and multiple sources of engagement. The latter includes blogs, thought leadership pieces, and proposals/definitions of next steps.

Want to learn more? Check out our on-demand webinar replay "How to Find Better Prospects and Acquire More Clients: Marketing Techniques and Technology for Today's Advisor"

Check out this video below to watch highlights from the webinar!

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