Clicks into Clients, Pt. 1: Automate the Important
Ever wonder how internet entrepreneurs make so much money?
When it’s just that one person or a small team operating a successful business online, how do they have so many touch points in their prospecting pipeline to generate so much traffic to make “x” amount of money?
As a good chunk of advisors still smile and dial, the prospects phone will only be taking calls within the working 9-5 window; if they even answer. But the internet is 24/7. It is always accessible: computer, phone, and tablet. So how do you maximize the power of the internet operating at all hours of the day? Creating an automation series through your online platforms may enable you to consistently stay in front of prospects, and ultimately increase how many times you touch your prospects.
Why should I spend time creating an automation series?
Research shows that it takes 6-8 touches to generate a viable sales lead  – automation series will help you to qualify leads. Your prospects are consumers, so they go through their natural buying cycles. For 94% of B2B buyers, they will research the internet before making a purchase decision.
77 percent use Google search
84.3 percent check business websites
34 percent visit 3rd party websites
It's safe to say an advisor needs to have an online presence; why not provide online traffic with all of the research through automation? A well put together series will touch prospects 6-8 times or even more.
But I’m not internet savy, I wouldn’t even know where to start!
Well for starters, let’s go over types of automation starting points; then we’ll review how they can all be brought into one marketing tool to start an automation.
“Subscribe” buttons: Adding a “subscribe” button to your website, and/or always hyperlinking a “subscribe” feature on LinkedIn, can allow your list to grow gradually. Think of it this way: If you have a strong piece of marketing content (i.e. a blog post), you need to have a call-to-action to follow it up! Don’t let that reader leave the blog post before subscribing. Once they subscribe, they should be dropped into an email list to trigger an automation.
LinkedIn Connections: Did you know you can download your connections contact information? Yes, emails included. When connecting with prospects, reach out to introduce yourself and make an effort to add them to your pipeline.
Paid Advertising: We won’t dive into too much detail because we will follow up with this later on; however, paid advertising is one of the strongest marketing touch points allowing you to target, retarget, and collect more in depth prospect information.
Now that we’ve established three solid starting touch points, let’s talk about automation. Better yet, let’s get excited about email automation. We’ve outlined 3 manageable email automation series:
Newsletter and Drip Content Email Automation
When a new prospect subscribes to a newsletter or company updates, adding them to an email automation can put you in control of their buying experience with your firm. Utilize the “subscribe now” call-to-action for a newsletter and updates on your website. Following the "welcome" email, emails should contain marketing pieces such as company brochures, case studies, marketing materials, company updates etc... eventually, all emails should lead up to asking for a meeting time. The point of the automation is to build trust, so make sure to send a good handful of value-add emails before asking for the meeting.
“Heat Check” Email Automation
A “digital conversation” is different than a face-to-face conversation. In a digital conversation, it means the prospect is engaging with your campaign. That could include:
Opening your emails
Visiting your website
Reading your blog
Viewing your social media profile(s)
Once the digital conversation begins between your leads, it’s time to take it a step further and ask for the face-to-face conversation. If you’re seeing a lot of engagement with select contacts, give them a heat check by a personal follow up. For example, send them a direct email and ask for a face-to-face meeting.
Center of Influence Email Automation
If you have a great source of referrals, network often, or both, having a separate automation for Centers of Influence providing them with white papers, infographics, company and industry updates can position you as the thought-leader and keep you top of mind.
COIs usually have business owner clients and by educating your COIs with quality, timely, and relevant contact, you stay top of mind with your COIs. The next time they are meeting their business owner clients, you are able to stay top of mind as a referral due to consistent timely information you have provided your centers of influence with through email automation.
Thriving in a digital world
The internet is 24/7 and while you are sleeping, your marketing could be working for you. Think about it this way, when you search for information online, do you only search during working hours? Chances not, because you’re working! Do you like getting phone calls from sales people throughout your day? With our jam-packed calendars, who is eagerly sitting by the phone just waiting for someone to interrupt their day? Ideally, do you prefer to do your own research and find verified and quality information?
As an advisor emerging into the digital era, look at your digital presence with the intention to become more relevant by creating a digital strategy. Part of a digital strategy is having timely consistent marketing content with call-to-actions, and – marketing like a pro - by leveraging the power of technology through email automation.
Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!
About Retirement Plan Marketing
We believe the retirement plan industry can do better. Retirement Plan Marketing is a DBA of 401(k) Marketing and is an on-going turnkey marketing solution for retirement plan advisors. It is an easy-to-follow, consistent marketing program designed to get you noticed in your community and generate new retirement plan sales. When you deliver relevant plan sponsor content, you add value to your conversations and can work your way up to become known as the “go-to” retirement plan advisory office.
If you would like more information on how Retirement Plan Marketing can help service your retirement practice, we’re happy to engage in the conversation here.
 Glynn, Fergal. “It Takes 6 to 8 Touches to Generate a Viable Sales Lead. Here's Why.”Salesforce Blog, Salesforce, 16 Apr. 2015, www.salesforce.com/blog/2015/04/takes-6-8-touches-generate-viable-sales-lead-heres-why-gp.html.
 Kaye, Lauren. “94 Percent of B2B Buyers Research Online for Purchase Decisions.” Brafton, Brafton, 17 Nov. 2014, www.brafton.com/news/94-percent-b2b-buyers-research-online-purchase-decisions/.