Sales and Marketing

Sales & Marketing

Based on the theory of not reinventing the wheel, many advisors subscribe to financial marketing services to collect pre-designed materials to promote their practice. The specialized materials that are readily available are a great place to start, but too many advisors consider the campaign materials the end and be all of the necessary effort.

Quite frankly, a post card is a post card is a post card, and so is a letter-sized envelope campaign.
For instance, according to the Direct Marketing Association, the 2010 response rate for a letter-sized envelope averaged 3.42% for a house list, and 1.38% for a prospect list. Keeping in mind these numbers are calculated by an Association whose mission is to promote the direct mail industry; these numbers only represent the average “response” rate and are not indicative of actual conversion rates.

The key to any direct-mail campaign, client event, or overall marketing plan is less about WHAT is done, and more about WHY it is being done. And, frankly, there is only ever one WHY. When the objective of a campaign is more than one, the message and response to that message will be diluted.

When planning a client event, do you want clients to attend – as a form of appreciation? Are you looking for an opportunity to discuss a new investment method or available product? In other words, are you looking to reinforce your position as your client’s trusted advisor, or looking for new business? You can certainly have many goals and expectations for the event, but the direct-mail or promotional campaign for that event has to be single-minded.

The goal of this fictional campaign is to interest a client/prospect enough to respond. The campaign can outline a number of reasons why the recipient should respond, but should not also attempt to pre-qualify the respondent or pre-sell a product or service. In this case, the response should be your only objective. Once they respond, the work begins. After the response is the appropriate time to qualify, pre-sell, or ask the prospect for a decision – never before.

In the weeks to come we will begin outlining a series of fictional and real-world campaign case-studies, concentrating on the philosophy behind the all-important WHY.

Quick Tools

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Event/Workshop Checklist

Basic timeline and checklist for planning a client event or workshop. This graph is a good starting point when considering to organize an event, and what considerations need to be addressed throughout the planning process. Add additional action points for your specific needs to the inception, six week period of preparation, and after event follow-up areas.

Event Checklist (PDF; 30 KB)