We have all been inundated (rightly so) with social media marketing techniques over the past few years, but many advisors fail to realize the role that it plays in the overall conversion process. Email on the other hand, is the dinosaur of the interactive marketing world, but like social media it is widely misunderstood and overlooked for newer technologies when it comes to generating leads and ultimately new business.
Let’s take a close look at these strange bedfellows, and how they work closely together to move prospects down the funnel to becoming new clients.
Social Media’s Role in the Conversion Process
Let’s face it. Social media is a lot of fun and is an interesting way of getting your name out there. However, many advisors tend to become disillusioned with their social media efforts when their phone fails to start ringing and their inbox remains devoid of new contacts after a few short months. However, just like managing your client’s expectations when it comes to a long-term investment strategy, it is important to understand the role that social media plays in the conversion process.
This medium is a fantastic way of developing “Top of the Funnel” contacts by way of branding, building credibility, and getting your message in front of qualified individuals who you wouldn’t have the chance to get in front of otherwise. By having a consistent and long-term social media strategy, you can build up quite an audience over time and with the right content, you can gain substantial exposure through content generation and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
Don’t be disappointed when your efforts on social don’t lead directly to conversions. In a typical funnel, social is an important and first step for the consumer to get to know and further engage with your brand. More often than not, social media leads to the consumer opting into a medium that tends to convert at a much higher rate. Email.
Email Marketing Closes the Deal
With all of the exciting new technologies out there, email seems like a very boring option to incorporate into your marketing plan. However, this seemingly tame form of marketing can be your secret weapon in getting clients to pick up the phone and make an appointment.
According to a recent study by McKinsey & Company, email marketing leads to the second largest percentage of conversions after organic search, with nearly 7% of customer acquisitions coming from the medium. After all, nearly 91% of U.S. consumers still use email on a daily basis, so what better way to get your message in front of them consistently?
Now that you realize that email is indeed an effective way to convert prospects to clients, how should you go about cultivating a list? This is where social media comes into play. A client is much more likely to “like” you on Facebook or “follow” you on Twitter before making the decision to turn over their email and receive your updates. As these people continue to familiarize themselves with the brand, they will then be more prone to subscribe by either following a great piece of social content back to your website, or actually opting in on sites like Facebook which enable you to place an email subscription box on your company page.
An opt-in mail list is powerful, and will be heavily reliant on social media, content marketing, web design, and other methods to continue to build the list. In addition, recent developments in paid advertising on social media tend to be a great way to catch consumer’s attention and get them to “opt-in” to receiving your communications as well. You have probably seen the sponsored posts on Twitter or Facebook that entice you to download an eBook or PDF in exchange for your email address. This activity is a popular way of using social media directly to build up a very pertinent and targeted email list.
Here’s the Big Secret. Email Directly Supports Social Media Growth as well!
Now what if we told you that you could use email to dramatically increase your number of social media followers as well? Well, it is a little known fact that when used strategically, email can be one of the biggest organic drivers of community growth out there!
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have features that enable you to use email addresses to invite people to like your page on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, or to join your company’s LinkedIn group. By using this method, you can take all of the email addresses that you have procured through any of your marketing efforts, extend these prospects an invitation to further engage with your firm on another network, increasing the reach of your brand.
By having a concrete marketing plan that uses social media and email together, your conversion rate will increase and you will be at the front of your prospects mind when they are ready to take action.