One of the goals of online marketing, especially financial services marketing where consumers may not be comfortable submitting personal data over the Web, is generating leads. According to LeadFusion <leadfusion.com>, the parent of Financenter, the leading financial calculator provider, there are four steps to good online lead generation:
The last step, ACTIVATE, is the key to identifying sales leads. While most major financial institutions have financial calculators available online, how many of them are used to capture leads? Since most customers will not put up with a registration process BEFORE using the calculator, you must entice users to identify themselves at the end of the calculations.
Some common methods:
- Subscribe to an information alert: Users sign up to receive email messages when certain events occur, such as rates hitting a certain level; for example, E*Trade's Rate Watch (click on inset to see the sign-up form).
- Complete an interactive coupon: Even normally wary consumers will hand over a surprising amount of personal data if you provide a tangible benefit, such as a significant discount or valuable freebie. One of our favorite examples, which was used continuously for more than five years, was Salem Five Bank's <salemfive.com> $100-off Mortgage Closing Costs coupon. The coupon, which is no longer used, required users to enter their name, phone number, and email address. Then they could print a personalized coupon that would save them $100 on a mortgage.
- Fine-tune these calculations: Users wishing to perform deeper analysis will be asked to register first. Registration should be brief: name, email address, and optional phone number. You can also capture inputs to the calculator, but intent to retain this data must be disclosed to the user.
- Lock in a special offer now: A tried-and-true DM practice, the time-sensitive offer. Tell users that rate/price/discount/premium can be locked in, if they enter their name and email address now.
- Sweepstakes/contests: It's one of the most cost-effective ways to pull a large volume of leads. The downside is the sheer volume of unqualified prospects that throw their name in the virtual hat for a chance at that iPod NANO. Make sure you include several simple qualifying questions. For examples, see the previous NB articles in the Advertising & Promotion category.
- Set up an appointment: This may not be selected by many, but you should offer the option of setting up a meeting on the phone or in a banking office to discuss the product further.
- Apply Now: Most importantly, ask for the order.
For more information:
- Lead Fusion's white paper, Attracting and Capturing Online Leads for the Financial Industry