Print advertising is still widely used by many advisors today, whether it’s magazines, newspapers, community circulars, fliers, direct mail or other forms of print marketing to drive leads to their business. However, the results many get leave a lot to be desired. Do your results feel like a roller-coaster ride; sometimes good and sometimes, well, not so good?

A big mistake many advisors make with their print campaigns is their lack of or poorly thought-out “Call to Action” or CTA. Many advisors only offer prospects the ability to respond by calling their office for more information. The issue with this is you haven’t given your target audience a strong enough reason to respond, at least not in that way.

The hard truth is the vast majority of prospects today do not want to call your office simply because they saw your name, logo, phone number and an ad essentially saying “call us we’re great.” Prospects are bombarded with thousands of advertising messages a day, so understand going in you are fighting for their attention. To use print marketing successfully, you have to give prospects a strong enough reason to take action.

Next time you put a print ad together, ask yourself, “What is my Call To Action, and am I making it easy for my target audience to take action?”

Let’s say your CTA is to call in for a free consultation. It’s important to understand that most people aren’t ready for a free consultation. As we talked about previously, if you are making offers to call you for a consultation, you likely will attract very few prospects, or only those that are let’s say 9’s and 10’s on a buying temperature scale of 1-10, 1 being a prospect that’s completely cold, and a 10 being someone that is ready to buy today. As we discussed before, by only giving your prospects the option to call you for a consultation you’re alienating anyone who may be somewhere between 3 and 8 on that buying temperature scale.

Why they come in

Think about all the topics your clients and prospects come to you for: estate planning, tax reduction, investment planning, income planning, etc. Knowing why prospects come to you and what they are looking for will help you to develop resources that are more likely to elicit a response. For example, white papers, reports and videos on these topics of interest make great lead capture pieces. Remember, an exchange of value-for-value must take place: Your valuable information in exchange for their contact information for follow up. Why would they give you their information if they have nothing to gain?

Also keep in mind, when constructing your CTA don’t just send them to the homepage of your site; create a page on your site that reflects the offer and even how they found out about you. If in a newspaper or magazine, make sure it reflects that. For example, it may say, “…As seen in (name of newspaper or magazine).” Use an image of the newspaper or magazine so there’s brand consistency and no disconnect.

Keep in mind you are not spending marketing dollars simply to build general-brand awareness. Just because people see your logo a thousand times doesn’t mean they will call you. General awareness equals passive advertising as well as passive results, and most advisors can’t afford to maintain a passive campaign long enough to realize the benefits.

Also, make it easy for people to connect with you. Most people are too hesitant to engage in a phone conversation with someone they’ve never met. However, if you give them the option to check you out online first or text-in to receive something of value, you’ve given them a much less threatening and very comfortable way to respond, and as a result you’ll realize a much higher response to your campaign.

Key points to remember:

  • Include multiple offers in your print advertising for people at each stage of the buying process.
  • Make sure your print advertising is professionally designed. While that sounds like a no brainer, many people still use generic ads or do them in-house to save money, thus hurting their credibility.
  • Brand consistency is a huge piece of any successful marketing campaign.

In the upcoming weeks, we will continue to expand on the different elements of lead capture. We’ll explore how to fine-tune this concept and how it works with different marketing mediums. In the meantime to gain access to some free video content on this concept, please visit www.AutomatedAdvisor.com.

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