How finance marketers can identify their most valuable leads

Natalia Selby

Written by Natalia Selby

Category: Marketing strategy and tactics Sector: Financial services
Financial services are one of the largest sectors in the global economy, but where there’s money, there’s stiff competition for leads.

Getting prospects to choose your business over a competitor can seem like a daunting task. But if you know where to look for the most profitable leads, you’ll cut down the time you take to chase hot leads, save your resources, and make your marketing much more profitable.

1. Track all enquiries, especially calls

Although digital has driven most of the customer journey online, the proliferation of mobile has significantly increased the number of calls to businesses. What’s more, phone calls have enormous purchasing intent. This is especially true of purchases that are considered more complex than clicking ‘add to cart‘ and going through the checkout process. Buying something like insurance, personal or business finance, or setting up an investment, are mostly dealt with over the phone as prospects want a more detailed quote, and they usually have questions that require further clarity.

So when a prospect does pick up the phone to you, how do you know what they are calling about? And indeed, if they convert over the phone, how do you know which piece of marketing led to the call? If you’re not using call tracking, the answer to both of these questions is that you simply don’t know.

Let’s look at the knock-on effect of not tracking where your calls are coming from…

A prospect searches for ‘finance‘. They see your Google ad at the top of the results on mobile. They click through to your site but have a few questions or need reassurance over a few things they can’t see on your landing page, so they call the number on your website. Your friendly sales agent takes the call, answers their questions, and they convert. How do you attribute that conversion? Yes, your pay per click campaign is driving leads but you can’t attribute that conversion to your pay per click (PPC) campaign as your number isn’t tracked.

This problem is magnified if 20 other prospects take this same journey in a month: That’s 20 sales call conversions that PPC hasn’t been attributed to. This means when you start evaluating and planning your marketing budget, it will look like PPC isn’t pulling its weight when, in actual fact, PPC is working the hardest to drive leads. Given the limited data you have, you cut this spend and your leads and sales drop. Your boss isn’t happy, and you have to go back and try to find out where the problem is.

For even better attribution, integrate call tracking with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. You’ll see all the relevant existing information the moment the call comes in, and you can immediately attribute any further interactions to your lead instantly. This means you spend less time digging through data to find out anything meaningful. Plus, you can also bulk import leads who have engaged a number of times with certain marketing to your remarketing platforms and activity.

2. Set up prospect profiling

Prospect profiling provides you with an up-to-date picture of each potential prospect or lead. This helps you determine the characteristics of buying personas for your product or service, helping you to focus your marketing and sales resources on your most valuable leads.

To set up correct audience profiling there are four key stages:

  • Segmentation – splitting your audience into targeted groups that align with your goals
  • Messaging – using your consumer insights to shape your marketing messaging
  • Engagement – identifying where and when to place creative and materials
  • Measurement – arguably the most important part of audience profiling so you can optimise ongoing campaigns and drive greater ROI.

Profiling your prospects in this way means you glean key insight, such as where your converted leads coming from, and which marketing materials they’ve engaged with along their journey.

The consumer journey is so fragmented, yet customers continue to demand consistency. For example, someone looking to get a mortgage might first see your mortgage product on a comparison site, click through to your website, look at your social media channels, and then search for online reviews. Your challenge is to ensure a seamless experience across these interactions. This is where audience profiling helps you deliver targeted messaging in the format that your different audiences want.

A younger prospect looking for a mortgage product is also a heavy social media user. Alongside their peers, you might discover through profiling that there are, on average, 3 interactions with your social media accounts and ads before a prospect closes.

Tracking each touchpoint will show you what matters most to this audience group, allowing you to deliver accurate and targeted messaging to nurture these leads through the conversion process. Audience profiling will prove invaluable at pinpointing how and where your high value prospects are hanging out online.

3. Align resource to where these profitable prospects come in

Once you have all the information from tracking your profiles and understand how your most valuable leads are interacting with you, you can feed this back into your marketing and do more of the same.

Use the insights specific to your audience profiles to elevate your brand in the right way and to boost engagement.

A finance provider might find that the majority of people come in first via their blog. They’re looking at articles about “how to improve my credit rating” and “how to find the best financing option“. To engage with this group more, encourage them to sign up to your newsletter to receive more of your content, but also be sure to generate more great, helpful, fresh content on your blog to continue to attract prospects onto your site.

Furthermore, you might find that repeat business as a finance provider is the biggest source of your income. Audience profiling might have highlighted that repeat customers respond best to a telephone call as a courtesy reminder that their policy is up for renewal as opposed to an email. The trick here is to do more of the personalised marketing and direct communication.

Tracking all of this activity will provide your financial business with a wealth of data you can dip into to aid crucial decision-making about where to allocate resources and warm leads to follow up.

4. Filter out with contact forms

You can also filter out less-engaged prospects at the very early stages of the purchase journey using your contact forms.

Someone downloading your guides might be doing so just for research purposes. But because you’ve captured their data for the download, this will be triggered as a lead within your CRM system. To avoid wasting time on people who are simply browsing, why not be upfront? Use drop-downs in your forms to ask people what their enquiry or download is for.

You can also qualify leads by using what might seem like very generic, yet insightful, fields such as “how many employees are at your business”, “are you a B2B organisation”, or ask for the lead’s business location or phone number. This can provide invaluable data for your agent’s follow up, and help you sift out spam leads from your CRM system.

5. Ask people who download guides to subscribe to your email list

In the finance sector, the average lead time to close can vary between two weeks and six months dependent upon the cost and stakeholders. During that period, it’s important that you keep your business at the front of your prospect’s mind. The hard sell isn’t going to cut it at this stage. Remarketing from the Google Ad network will build familiarity, but an even sweeter spot is your prospect’s inbox.

The leads that read your blog content, or better still, download a guide or resource from your site are warm leads. Be sure to include a newsletter sign up box within your download form so you can get their consent to continue to send them useful information.

You can then drill down into your email lists to see who opens your emails and clicks through to your site. You can ramp up your remarketing strategy to these leads both on social and on the display network, but also be sure to personalise the content that you send them. For example, if a prospect is looking for a particular mortgage such as buy-to-let, it would be irrelevant for them to get information about first time buyer products. Place them into a segmented list to receive buy-to-let content, and this will ease their path to conversion.

Enrich your data for a 360 degree view of lead attribution

Once you’ve implemented these tactics, you can mine your leads much more quickly and deliver even better targeting to ease these warm prospects through to conversion.

More and more businesses in the financial services sector are integrating call tracking and attribution into their marketing technology stacks to gain a broader picture of what customers and prospects are doing.

See how you can gain more useful insights from your data – book your demo now >