Financial Advisory Lead Generation Case Study
A Consistent Flow Of Leads In A Trust-Resistant Market
How McGregor Wealth Management Generated A Steady And Consistent Flow Of Quality Leads In A Notoriously Trust-Resistant Market
Rob McGregor is the Principal of McGregor Wealth Management and the winner of multiple industry awards including Financial Planner of the Year.
In his previous business, Rob was used to relying on accountant and client referrals to seed new client relationships. While this was successful, the problem was that the lead flow wasn’t steady or reliable.
In his new business model, he was on the hunt for what he calls, “the holy grail of really good quality leads, produced regularly”, so he could plan the growth of the practice. He already had a strong sense that a digital-first approach was the answer. Rob explains:
“I spent a few years actually doing online marketing courses online, reading books, ebooks, seminars, webinars, and trying to soak everything up, thinking I’d be able to do it myself. Ultimately I realised that was going to be almost impossible. I already had one profession, which I was very good at, but trying to add marketing to that…not so smart.”
The Solution Lay In Packaging And Presenting The Client’s IP To Appeal To Ideal Prospects
From our perspective, Rob had all the ingredients of a great client:
- He had a strong value proposition that just needed to be packaged up in a tight, compelling and consistent way.
- He possessed strong sales skills and an ability to convert and deliver for the right type of prospect.
- And he was willing to contribute expertise and insights that could be converted into high-quality digital assets.
Researching the End Customer of The Client
We also considered the situation from the viewpoint of the end customer (i.e. prospective financial planning clients). The desire for financial security, abundance and freedom is almost universal. However, the best prospects have “seen it all” and tend to be (justifiably) wary when engaging with an advisor and trusting them with their financial destiny.
That’s why any solution would need to focus on building trust through slow-burn nurturing, as opposed to going for the “quick sale”.
The Solution: Starting With Strategy
Rather than simply launch a handful of disconnected digital marketing tactics in any order, Step 1 of the Marketing Results Formula is to Set Your Strategy. Here’s an overview of what this entails:
Some of the work product from the strategy phase strategy included a draft Unique Value Proposition, a Top Of Funnel Offer (TOFO) for attracting prospects, and a Bottom Of Funnel Offer (BOFO) for generating sales-ready leads.
Unique Value Proposition Formulation
Our initial articulation of the Unique Value Proposition was as follows. We were trying to convey a specific benefit (a six-figure retirement income) to a specific target market (six-figure earners).
Subsequently, this value proposition statement was modified based on testing and feedback to the following:
This illustrates an important point: strategy sets you in the right direction. Market exposure and testing helps to dial in refinements as you go.
Top Of Funnel Offer: Video Case Study
The strategy engagement also proposed packaging the client’s IP into a detailed and informative video case study series (check it out here – it’s great!).
Although the promise in the case study may sound bold (“How To Accumulate $3M In Investment Assets In 15 Years”), the content unpacks the promise to show how this result is possible.
This is the principle of “delivering results in advance”. It is much more effective to SHOW the prospect how you’ll deliver results, rather than merely TELL them.
Creating Concepts and Visualisations To Package IP
A core part of our process is to help clients create concepts and visualisations to package their Intellectual Property to differentiate and sell.
One example is the concept of Wealth Potential. Wealth Potential is the idea that the financial choices you make today will either turn you into an Overperfomer, or an Underperformer in terms of future wealth. Where you are now is not nearly as important as the decisions and actions you take to ensure you end up as an Overperformer and not an Underperformer.
Here’s the visualisation for this concept:
Bottom Of Funnel Offer: Wealth Potential Strategy Session
Having created the “frame” of Wealth Potential, a natural Bottom Of Funnel Offers was a Wealth Potential Strategy Session. This is a 1-on-1 session where an advisor maps our the client’s Wealth Potential and shows them how the right support and advice can help them become an Overperformer.
Initial Launch: Some Wins, But More Consistency Required
After “going live” with the client’s new website and funnel in October 2017, we were glad to see some traction. But although we were generating Case Study opt-ins and Strategy Session appointments, lead flow was erratic week-to-week.
One challenge was geographical targeting. McGregor Wealth Management is based in Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Ad response from the Sunshine Coast geography was initially strong, but quickly dried up due to a small audience size.
To ensure a more consistent lead flow, we would need to crack larger population centres such as Sydney Metro. But in order to do that, we would also need to “dial the Trust-O-Meter up to 11” to create traction in a remote market. (After all, there are some great financial advisors in Sydney. We needed to give prospects very good reasons to consider a remote advisor.)
Bedding Down The Strategy
In the first 60 to 90 days of the campaign, we generated some quality leads and new clients. However, we still needed to increase the volume and consistency of leads in order to really meet the client’s long-term objectives. Over a series of months, we did this via:
- extensive split testing of ad creative and audiences (geographical, demographic, psychographic etc.)
- email nurturing with client case studies and success stories
- Adding new offers and touchpoints to build trust. These included a Wealth Potential Scorecard and the Wealth Creation Strategy Map.
There was no single “killer tactic” that hit results out of the park. Instead, it was a consistent layering of techniques that shunted email subscribers “off the fence” and into 1-on-1 consultations.
Sustaining and Expansion
We look at digital campaigns as a series of Quarterly initiatives. Every Quarter, we use data and our strategic compass to set the direction of the next leg of the journey.
At the end of the Quarter, we review, re-align, and reset for the next push. This step is described in Step 7 of the Marketing Results Strategy Map:
Step 7 is vital. Without it, campaigns can grow stale and clients can get stuck on a plateau, doing “OK” but unable to grow.
Combatting “Ad Fatigue”
One challenge with digital campaigns is they tend to “fatigue” over time. You have to balance proven, evergreen messaging with fresh approaches that will appeal to a jaded marketplace.
One micro-tactic to extend the lifespan of winning campaigns is to change up the creative execution, while retaining the core elements that are proving successful.
An example of this can be seen below, where a winning image depicting a “financial basecamps to the retirement summit” metaphor was given different creative treatments to extend impact and freshness:
Testing New Offers
Another outcome of the Review and Optimise step was to workshop new offers. Because of the client’s depth of knowledge, they were able to produce new content on topics such as “How to conserve and grow capital during the COVID pandemic”. This morphed into an evergreen webinar, with a low cost-per-registration and a solid conversion rate into high-quality appointments:
Segmentation and Personalisation
Before diving deep into segmentation, you first need to get one core funnel working. After that, we look at the potential of segmentation to drive increased lead flow. However, Segmentation introduces complexity. The potential upside needs to justify the increased complexity.
In the case of McGregor Wealth Management, we identified 3 market segments with distinct buying hot buttons that justified a more customised approach. We build these out with persona pages, specialised offers and funnels:
As you can see, a successful inbound marketing function is not the result of one clever ad campaign or one effective landing page. Instead, they are the result of carefully layered initiatives and a collaborative approach to achieving results.
In this case, the client was able to achieve their goal of high quality lead flow on a steady and consistent basis. They’re also seeing:
- 2 to 5 high-quality appointments per week, turning into multi-year, A-grade clients with a very high lifetime value ($50,000+)
- Case study video opt-ins at $23.04 apiece.
- Long-form webinar registrations at $20.03 each
- A high-quality email list of 1400+ active prospects (and growing)
In addition to these financial results, there have been many other side benefits:
- Steady lead flow means the firm can focus more on client service and advice and less on bringing in new clients.
- Due to increased client numbers, the firm has expanded and hired new advisors, freeing up the Principal’s time to be more active in the local community, including the Surf Lifesaving Club.
- During the COVID pandemic, the client was able to keep growing because they had an established email list and a remote delivery model already worked out.
What Does The Future Hold?
McGregor Wealth Management is growth-minded. They want to continue growing, adding clients and advisors so they can make a bigger impact in the world.
Some of the strategies and tactics we’re keen to test in the next phase include:
- Traffic expansion with content-driven SEO and YouTube advertising
- Deeper personalisation around their 3 primary personas
- Split testing mature landing pages to “raise the bar” even higher
If you’re curious to see how our Growth Process would apply to your business, click here to schedule a Free Online Marketing Growth Session.
McGregor Wealth Management Founder, Rob McGregor, Says…
Good day. My name’s Rob McGregor and I’m the principal and founder of McGregor Wealth Management, an advisory business that helps people have an awesome independent retirement. So we create plans and investment strategies for people to retire on track and maintain six-figure lifestyles. We came to meet Marketing Results… Actually I ran into Will, it’s probably about seven years ago now, with another business I was part of, and we started to talk about doing some marketing. The partners I had at the time, we couldn’t quite make decisions, didn’t get around to it.
And then for the last five years, I’ve been on a journey to work out the digital marketing space, how to get more high-quality leads flowing on a regular basis. So that was our real challenge. We worked with, in the past, accountants. We got referrals from clients. So we had good leads, but they weren’t reliable and they weren’t steady. So it was very hard to scale and grow our business with any predictability. So I was on the hunt for the Holy Grail of really good quality leads produced regularly so I could plan the growth of the business.
And I went all over the place and spent a few years actually doing courses online, reading books, e-books, seminars, webinars, and trying to soak everything up thinking I’d be able to do it myself, and then ultimately realizing that was going to be almost impossible. I already had one profession, which I was very good at, but trying to add marketing to that, not so smart.
And around about that time, it was probably about three to four years ago now, I came across a good bit of online marketing where I downloaded a fantastic report and it happened to be a report that Marketing Results had put out. And all of a sudden I found myself opting in and then saying, “Yes, I’d love a strategy session with Will.” And we ended up creating an online video series, which is on our website, and setting up the first stage of our marketing. We’ve had a steady flow of success from there, and Will and the rest of his team, which for us it’s now led by Ben, and Ben does a fantastic job of keeping us on track.
We’ve expanded a lot from that first video series. During that time we’ve had multiple lead magnets and other bits of IP developed. We’ve run webinars. We’ve run real-world seminars driven by leads. We’ve built up a database of about 1400 people from our leads. And when this COVID crisis hit, we were able to quickly send out an email saying we’re running a webinar, and that was the first webinar we’d done. And that was reasonably well-attended, but we’d got some really good clients out of it, and just the value of having that database there after a few years of steady work on this.
So we’re very happy with the service we get from Ben. And I know Ben’s supported by a great team at Marketing Results. In our case, we met weekly with Ben. We’d go through where we were up to on the different campaigns and strategies. And we’re in a rapid growth part of our business now, and we’ve actually been growing strongly during the downturn, partly due to our flexibility of being able to have good quality leads and a pivot to online delivery.
So I can’t speak highly enough of the team at Marketing Results. They’ll get the stuff done for you so that you can get results. You may have messed around in this space for years like I had, or you may have had agencies that have let you down, but ultimately you need good people who can take the time to both understand your business, but also nag you to actually define and get really clear on your value proposition and your ideal client.
And the biggest thing that I’ve discovered on the journey was getting crystal clear on your ideal client or client segmentations and your value proposition. It makes your marketing so much more straightforward, and then it’s just strategy and goals to execute. So once again, can’t speak highly enough for Ben and the team at Marketing Results and yeah, always happy to speak to people on our results as well.