MyPrivateBanking Blog
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How to turn a fund website into a conversion machine

The habits of digital natives have disrupted the sales process in fund and asset management. Many people are using the Internet to do their own research on the firm and product offers. Only late in the process, they will get in touch with the firm they believe is most likely to match their specific needs. For financial service providers it is important to proactively facilitate an engaging communication with prospective clients already during this time in the decision making process.

According to a study by Scorpio and Pershing: “among under 35s, digital sets the direction of search for a financial provider”. When selecting a financial provider, a website is the third most influential factor for those under 35 when choosing a financial provider. The firm´s reputation and Internet search engines are also important decision making factors. Therefore, SEO to enhance website traffic and providing a convincing and interactive website have become the most important factors in the sale process. MyPrivateBanking has just released a report on “Websites for Fund and Asset Management 2016” providing a benchmarking of the websites of the leading 15 fund and asset managers worldwide. The report also gives insights into trends in the asset management industry and outlines the key factors of providing a convincing website.

Whilst a convincing and interactive website is certainly a must have in order to win new clients, especially those among the new generation of digitally native investors, there is an increasing trend among financial providers to use marketing automation tools. Marketing automation tools give fund managers the opportunity to step in during the important phase of the decision making process, before prospective investors get in touch or clients make the decision to invest in a fund. User behavior on the website tells a whole lot about the clients, needs, their questions and interests. Basing marketing efforts on these specific and individual parameters will increase the likelihood of resonance enormously.

The spread of marketing automation tools among non-financial services is already high. In the online fashion retail industry for example user behavior is consistently tracked to trigger customized action, such as email marketing, in order to increase sales.

The Dutch fund manager Robeco is proof that this also works in the financial services industry. Robeco has integrated web analytics and automation with mailing and client management. Website visitors who have looked at a fund three times within two weeks are sent additional information, such as a fund manager webinar if data shows that they have not invested in the fund. Monique van Wensem, head of retail marketing and sales at Robeco in Rotterdam, says, “We see that this process, which is purely automated and based on behavior, has a conversion rate of almost 10%, which is very high.”

Marketing automation tools make the sales process more efficient with targeted email marketing, lead scoring and activity tracking. As penetration of marketing automation tools in the financial services industry is still low (in 2014 it was at only 4% according to SiriusDecisions) early adoption will clearly be a competitive advantage.

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