Boost Your Advisory Marketing with Wealth Management Webinars

There are several ways to market your wealth management firm and boost current client engagement, but one of the most effective methods is video. In particular, advisors hosting wealth management webinars may find improved conversions.

This form of marketing has a lot to offer a financial professional. For example, up to 15% of webinar attendees will sign on a client. Even if a prospective client doesn’t book a call immediately, 73% of attendees are likely to be qualified leads. But a webinar doesn’t just help you attract and sign on new clients.

It can also be a stellar retention tool. A webinar offers the chance for clients to learn more about investment planning, discover your thoughts on a recent market update, and further trust your expertise. Furthermore, it gives your clients something to send to friends and family as an unofficial referral.

In this article, we’ll cover the best practices for setting up a webinar and what you can talk about without breaching compliance regulations.

The Basics of Financial Advisory Webinars

Setting up a webinar for investment or financial planning can be fairly straightforward. All you need to get started are:

  • Webinar or video conferencing tools
  • A website or landing page software
  • A phone or webcam

It’s likely that you already have all of these tools. Many advisors are using software like Zoom to handle calls with remote clients and attract new clients with their websites.

Webinars are also easy to integrate into your ongoing marketing efforts.

How Long Should My Webinar Be?

The general census is to tailor your webinar’s length and style to your audience. However, there are some overarching trends and best practices, according to current data, which offer an excellent starting point. One Loghic Connect study found that:

  • The average watch time for webinars is 52 minutes
  • Thursday is the best day to host a webinar
  • 92% of attendees want a Q&A session after the main content

And while 40% of registered attendees will show up, 25% only want to watch the recording. Therefore, it’s important to consider the post-webinar wrap-up.

Following up after a webinar often includes sending out an email with the recording. You may also want to post the recorded webinar on social media and on your website.

Should I Pre-record the Webinar?

In most cases, you’ll want to focus on hosting a live webinar. One survey found that 75% of attendees prefer live webinars. However, you can record the session and post it on your website, social media, or blog after the event.

Types of Wealth Management Webinar Topics

There are several topics you can choose from when it comes to airing a financial advisory webinar. When choosing a topic, it’s important to consider your ideal client. If your client base is primarily retirees, you may want to focus more on maximizing savings or estate planning. Meanwhile, as a young, 30-something professional, you may choose to focus on the fundamentals of investing or market news.

Investing

Investment and portfolio building is often one of the more confusing aspects of wealth management. There are so many different sub-topics to choose from that you can actually pull multiple webinar ideas from this single service.

You could discuss things like:

  • Risk tolerance
  • Investing in different life stages
  • Best practices
  • Portfolio analysis
  • Working with an advisor

Retirement

Another key topic could be retirement. Retirees have a unique set of needs, and many would appreciate discussions and Q&A with an established advisor. These webinars could cover topics such as Social Security, tax optimization, and shifting to a conservative portfolio.

However, it’s important to note that not all retirees are tech-savvy. It may be worth recording a live seminar and posting it to your website or social media channels.

Market News

Covering market news can help you answer relevant, pressing questions for prospective clients quickly. However, keeping up with market analysis webinars can be challenging. It’s often best to put parameters on what you will cover. For example, you may choose only to cover regular, predictable events–such as the release of the CPI. Or you may want to commit to discussing one timely event per month.

Educational 

Educational content is often one of the easiest ways to get found. Potential and current clients are likely scouring the net on their own time to answer simple questions. What is an ETF? A custodian? A financial advisor?

These evergreen topics enable you to capture a wider audience.

Trusts and wills

Trusts, wills, and legacy planning aren’t simply topics. Many investors may be unaware of what a trust is, how it differs from a will, or why they may need one. They may also be uncertain about how legacy planning fits their financial goals. Co-hosting a webinar with an experienced lawyer can also build trust and attract more potential clients.

Insurance

A wealth advisor with access to institutional annuities or life insurance can educate viewers about how these products differ from others on the market. In addition, many financial planners for retirees must also consider Medicare and health insurance options, so co-hosting with a professional who handles these topics can boost your viewership.

General Q&As

The best way to connect with clients and prospects is to set time aside to answer their questions. A simple Q&A session, either as a standalone webinar on a specific topic or attached to a session, can boost registration and engagement. Almost 1 in 4 clients prefer hosts to take questions from the audience.

Compliance Considerations

Registered investment advisors must abide by strict compliance measures. When hosting a webinar, it’s important to remember:

  • Don’t discuss client portfolios
  • Don’t release clients’ personal information
  • Don’t give financial or legal advice
  • Don’t keep dated recordings of your webinar videos and related communications, such as emails, reminders, or a webinar chat log.

That said, it’s possible to give accurate and specific information about financial products and services without falling into non-compliance.

Discover How to Boost Client Engagement

Wealth management webinars are but one tool in a financial advisor’s tool belt. Check out our in-depth guides to learn more about client engagement and marketing strategies.

Select the Best Financial Advisory CRM for Your Firm

Building the right tech stack with best-of-breed technology can make or break your wealth management firm. The modern advisory firm now requires a digital back office to run efficiently, from investment research software to financial planning analysis platforms. And this approach to client management and communication follows the same pattern.

A client relationship management system (CRM) software is the foundational way to track a client relationship. From the 1980s onward, businesses have leveraged a digital CRM platform to organize, review, and communicate with clients. One study found that 85% of users felt that their CRM system improved the client experience. But there are many additional benefits: Streamlined operations, better collaboration, faster decision-making, and a stronger competitive edge.

That said, there are dozens of CRM software options out there – not all of them geared toward financial advisors.

That’s why we’ve curated a list of the top financial advisor CRM software and what sets them apart.

What Makes a Good CRM

Not all client management tools are made equal—and for financial advisors, differentiating between software is essential for a streamlined workflow.

Unlike in other industries, financial advisors and fiduciaries have a particular set of requirements. Stringent compliance regulations, proposals, collaborative needs for firms, secure filing sharing, and the requirement for advisory integrations all factor into finding the best CRM. And even among advisory-specific CRM software, there is a wide range of solutions.

How can you tell which solution is best for your needs? There are a couple of features every CRM should have:

  • Customization options
  • Advisor-specific integrations
  • Intuitive design
  • Client data insights
  • Extensive record keeping
  • Automated workflows

 

The Best CRMs for Financial Advisors

AdvisorEngine CRM

AdvisorEngine is known for its advisory technology, such as portfolio management, planning software, and client onboarding tools. But Junxure CRM also offers advisors a way to streamline their processes and contact management without adding a new brand to their tech stack.

At $65 per month, Junxure offers:

  • Prospect to pipeline views
  • Contact management that links financial, opportunities, and documentation to a specific client
  • Practice management automation for repetitive tasks
  • Visual, data-driven dashboards for at-a-glance reviews
  • Administrative tools for improved security and organization

Already have AdvisorEngine? Learn how to integrate it with Nitrogen here.

Hubspot CRM

For many firms, advisory or not, Hubspot can be a starter CRM. Like Salesforce, Hubspot is not built specifically for advisors, RIAs, brokers, or broker-dealers. However, it is equipped with several essential features:

  • Deal pipeline
  • Company insights
  • Live chat software
  • Meeting scheduler

Why is it a good starter software? The base program is free for up to 1 million contacts. While it lacks extensive integrations and automation of other platforms, it’s a great way to get a feel for how a CRM works if you’ve never used one before.

If you want to upgrade to a paid plan, there are several options depending on the features you want and whether you want to include Hubspot’s other modules.

Redtail Technology CRM

The Redtail CRM is built with advisors in mind. Now owned by Orion, Redtail offers several tools for financial services professionals and advisors. Some key features users can take advantage of are:

  • Custom, automated workflows
  • Extensive integrations
  • Laser-focused reports
  • Scheduling calendar for teams
  • Notes for documenting client interactions
  • Prospect to client pipeline tracker
  • Seminar management

This platform also has several additional products, including tools for emails, marketing campaigns, document management, and texting services.

Pricing ranges from $35-$59 per month, with an additional option for a custom quote.

Learn how Nitrogen and Redtail integrate here.

Salesforce CRM

Salesforce isn’t tailored specifically for advisory firms, but as one of the largest and most well-known CRMs since 1999, it’s possible to add this to your tech stack.

As a robust CRM, Salesforce users enjoy several different benefits, including:

  • Automated workflows powered by AI
  • Access to marketing, sales, and service features
  • A vast library of integrations
  • Enhanced data reports

In most cases, an advisory firm will only need to sell a product but may add on to it with other offerings. Depending on your needs, the investment runs from $25-$330 per month.

The trade-off for this CRM is that while it is endlessly customizable, it may also be complicated to get used to.

Learn how Nitrogen and Salesforce integrate here.

Smartoffice CRM

Powered by Ebix, the Smartoffice CRM makes it clear that client security is its top concern. Most advisor-centric CRMs offer a high level of encryption and meet compliance standards, but Smartoffice has partnerships with two leading companies in cybersecurity: FCI and OS33.

Smartoffice also offers your firm:

  • Contact management
  • Personal and shared calendars
  • Dynamic client data reports
  • Policy and investment tracking
  • Prospect-to-client pipeline process

They also integrate with nearly 100 other software tools, including FMG Suite, Constant Contact, InsurTech Express, and Nitrogen.

Already have Smartoffice? Learn how to integrate it with Nitrogen here.

UGRU Financial CRM

UGRU Financial is a CRM and practice management suite designed for advisors and RIAs.

For $59, you and your team can leverage:

  • Unlimited contact management
  • Lead management and tracking
  • Team calendars
  • Performance dashboard
  • Event tracking and client notes
  • Automated workflows
  • Reports

Packages go up to $324 per month and include additional features such as client portals, marketing automation, lead capture, and website tracking.

Wealthbox CRM

Wealthbox has been named one of the “easiest to use” CRMs by users and is designed specifically for financial advisors. In fact, usability is one of the key advantages of this financial CRM. And this is important, given its vast array of features.

An advisor using Wealthbox can expect tools like:

  • Contact records
  • Contact social media tracking
  • Phone calls and emails
  • Email and document storage
  • Customize contact record fields
  • Segment clients with tags

Users can also expect to integrate Wealthbox with numerous other software options, allowing you to customize your workflow. For example, you can connect your Wealthbox account to your custodian, scheduling software, task management software, risk analysis tools, and more

The general pricing runs from $45-$75 per month, with an additional option for a custom quote for enterprise firms.

Learn how Nitrogen and Wealthbox CRM integrate here.

 

Financial Advisor CRMs compared

Platform Pricing (monthly) Integrations What Reviewers Are Saying
Advisor Engine $65 Yes Users find this CRM to be robust and compliant, making it easier to streamline asset management and client interactions. However, it may have a high learning curve, and it can be time-consuming to run reports.
Hubspot $18-$1,600 Yes, for general apps, not advisory apps This platform is easy to customize and use, but it is limited regarding advisory integrations. Its workflows are also highly manual compared to other platforms.
Redtail $35-$59 Yes Reviewers say that Redtail is straightforward to use, but it can take time to implement.
Salesforce $25-$330 Yes, for general apps, few advisory-specific integrations Users describe Salesforce as a great option for data management and customization. However, apps for financial advisors are limited, the platform may seem slow, and the price tag is higher than many alternatives.
Smart office $30-$85 Yes Advisors find Smartoffice a great choice for day-to-day operations, but the interface and customization process could be improved.
UGRU Financial $59-$324 Yes Users find UGRU to be a comprehensive platform with excellent client service. But it can be challenging to learn.
Wealthbox $45-$75 Yes Reviews love how Wealthbox integrates easily into their tech stack, email tracking feature, and automation workflows. However, some users would like more customization options.

Making the most of your CRM: Best practice

Even with the best CRM software, your advisors and fiduciaries are limited without a clear strategy. Your CRM system will likely be your digital communication, marketing, and sales operations hub. As a result, workflows can become complicated.

  1. Determine the role of your CRM in your workflow: Your financial advisor CRM software will have multiple functions. You must decide whether your CRM will primarily be used for sales or include marketing and client service roles. This will enable you to understand your overall tech stack better.
  2. Set goals and KPIs: Every CRM system should include analytics and key metrics. Typically, there will be a report dashboard for you to review deals, new prospects, climate responses, and other essential information. If possible, you will want to customize your reports to make data collection and review more efficient.
  3. Plan your implementation: Whether you are starting from scratch with a new financial CRM software or migrating from another platform, you will want a plan for how to start using the software. If you run a larger firm, you will need to train your junior advisors and consider what infrastructure is needed prior to using it.
  4. Customize and personalize: You may not need to customize everything, but you’ll likely want to fine-tune some features to ensure they make sense with your workflow. It’s also important to assign roles to different levels of users. For example, you may have a marketing employee, but you might not want them to have access to client information.
  5. Audit and cleanse your CRM: Over time, you’ll want to ensure that your CRM solution is both being used correctly and is not acclimated to outdated or bad client data. Cleaning your system and taking account of your process regularly ensures long-term productivity, maintains accurate data, and makes it easier to optimize your processes.
  6. Decide what to automate: Not everything can be automated, and depending on your firm, not everything should be. Determining what you plan to automate and how your CRM platform fits into the process — including potential future-looking features, can help you continue to scale.
  7. Include client journey considerations: One of the most significant benefits of using a financial advisor CRM software is upgrading the client experience. When building your workflows, it’s vital to consider what the client will see and interact with.
  8. Use your CRM to centralize data: A best-in-class CRM platform integrates with key advisory software such as Morningstar Office, Nitrogen, eMoney, and Orion, as well as general marketing and sales solutions. Plugging in these integrations to your CRM enables you to centralize data and get a better view of your operations.

How top firms are driving growth

Implementing financial CRM software is the first step for setting the foundation of a high-growth tech stack. But technology is only one piece of the puzzle regarding scaling your business.

To glean more insights and growth strategies, read our 2023 Firm Growth Survey.

Develop an Effective Client Communication Strategy

A client communication strategy streamlines collecting client feedback, determining key workflows for regular check-ins, and encouraging client engagement. And it’s a common denominator of high-growth advisory firms.

According to Nitrogen’s 2023 Growth Survey, high-growth firms rank client communication as a priority more so than low-growth firms. They also consider regular client meetings and client personalization as critical for growth.

But today, effective communication is more than answering the phone and making a call. And manually calling or writing personalized emails is not sustainable if you want to scale your firm.

Thus, many advisory firms can tap into growth by optimizing their client communication.

Taking Stock of Your Communication Capacity

There’s no question that client communication is essential for success. But the question is whether or not your strategy is scalable in the long term.

Communication isn’t a quick task, particularly if you have dozens of clients. For growing firms with multiple advisors, communication becomes even more complex. Should all your advisors maintain the same brand tone? Should they be given room for their own personas?

Yet, if you want to reduce client turnover while facilitating growth, finding time and resources for effective client communication is mandatory. Without it, clients may feel like a number—and start looking for a new advisor.

Before anything else, it’s important to consider your communication capacity. In other words, how often can you realistically take per week to communicate with clients? Ideally, you could take stock of how much time you spend on communicating, what tools you use, and client reactions to it. This will enable you to better map out your strategy.

Once your process is mapped and you know your initial commitment, you can develop a stronger client communication strategy.

Top Tips for an Effective Client Communication Strategy

Stay Empathetic 

Empathy should be the foundation of a communication plan. Anticipating clients’ needs, concerns, and questions makes it easier to draft a solid communication workflow and build strong relationships.

Centering empathy is also known to accelerate growth. One study by the Harvard Business Review found that the top 10 most empathetic companies generated 50% more earnings than the bottom ten companies.

Follow Communication Preferences

It’s helpful to consider how your clients prefer to be connected. Not everyone wants a phone call or has time for a face-to-face meeting. Video calls, pre-recorded videos, emails, and text messages are good alternatives.

Communication is also a two-way street. It’s essential to have a clear channel for clients to contact you. Again, email, virtual calendars, and your phone number are typically the main modes. However, you may also want to consider automation solutions, such as live chats, that can answer simple questions about your firm—including how they can book an appointment, opening hours, and your services.

Personalize Whenever Possible

Another key component is personalization, or ensuring each communication is tailored to specific clients. The challenge is that many forms of personalization aren’t scalable.

For example, calling a client twice a month for a 10-minute update is easily one of the most personalized communication methods. But it’s incredibly time-consuming and challenging to continue as you grow.

However, there are other ways to personalize communications, such as:

  • Using client’s names in emails, even general emails sent to all clients
  • Sending curated content relevant to client interests (updates on IRA contributions to individuals saving for retirement)
  • Financial plans and reports with unique scenarios specific to clients’ portfolios and concerns.

A tool like Nitrogen’s Check-ins enables advisors to communicate in a way that is both scalable and personalized. Check-ins is an automated communication feature that allows the advisor to take the pulse of clients and receive an early warning sign if a client’s psychology needs a little care.

Build a Seamless Tech Stack

Next, you’ll want to consider what tools you will use. Your communication tech stack should be intuitive for both your advisors and your users. Challenging or overly complicated tools can be cumbersome to use and waste more time.

Ideally, you should also be able to integrate these tools with your other advisor software. Centralizing data and connecting communications with your CRM or portfolio management platform has a few benefits. First, it makes auditing a cinch. Second, this setup makes it easier for advisors to review specific client concerns. And finally, your software may make prioritizing check-ins based on client information easier.

When selecting communication software, a collection of best-of-breed tools ensures you’re getting the top performance in each specific area, whereas all-in-one solutions might compromise on certain functionalities to provide a broader range of features. To achieve a seamless tech stack, find the best software in each category that integrates together.

Decide on Communication Frequency

How often will you communicate with clients? The frequency depends on how you are contacting them.

Let’s take email, for example. In this case, less isn’t more. Thirty-three percent of marketers send weekly emails, although this may initially appear challenging. You’ll want to send a message at least once a month or quarter. Typically, emails are the best mode for general communications, client feedback surveys, and other general updates.

However, when looking at phone calls and one-on-one meetings, determining the regularity can be more complex. Considering each client has a different risk tolerance and communication style, some may require more attention than others. In addition to annual reviews, it’s important to prioritize client communication needs and schedule additional meetings when necessary. But during a downturn, you may need to allot more time and resources to your communication plan. Nitrogen Check-ins can help you identify which clients need more personalized care, and which don’t.

Whatever frequency you choose, it should be regular. Inconsistent communication will keep clients guessing and will negatively affect engagement.

Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

It’s impossible to track and optimize the effect of your client communication on retention if data isn’t tracked and analyzed. Luckily, many platforms offer client communication management modules that include data.

For example, your email marketing platform may include how many recipients have opened your email or where they have clicked. A client communication tool that includes automated check-ins, such as Nitrogen, may also provide insight into which accounts require immediate attention.

You can use clicks, opens, and several calls to gauge how often you communicate with clients. You can also look at the average resolution time – a metric to determine how quickly you or your team resolve client questions. Tracking client satisfaction can also give you better insight into the client experience.

Analyze Time Spent on Client Communication

How much time can you realistically spend per day or week? Setting realistic expectations enables you to be consistent—which is just as important as frequency.

Effective communication shouldn’t take hours or days. And much of it can be automated.

For example, some general messages in your communication plan can be automated:

  • Meeting reminders
  • Reminder to book a call
  • Client feedback surveys
  • Check-in questions
  • Mass email updates about the general market

Reducing time spent on repetitive, low-impact but necessary messages can help you free up more minutes for other important tasks.

Draft a Communication Policy

For growing firms with multiple advisors, a communication policy is vital. This streamlines the process and builds the firm’s reputation, not just the single advisor.

For most businesses, communication policies are a part of their brand guidelines. But while 85% of organizations say they have developed brand guidelines, only 30% said they can enforce them. Complex rules are challenging to enforce within a small firm, and the larger your operation grows, the harder it is to ensure that advisors stay on brand. Furthermore, attempting to regulate an individual’s communication skills can add unnecessary friction between the firm and its advisors.

It’s better to balance communication policies and rules with individual advisor personalities and communication skills. Too much structure creates a general, robotic voice that doesn’t sound like your specific advisors, and this can throw off clients. It can also decrease personalization.

Differentiate Between Client vs. Prospect Communication 

Next, there are two types of communication: clients and prospective clients. And the communication styles should be distinct.

Clients have already decided to work with you or your firm. The emphasis becomes client satisfaction and a strong relationship.

But for a prospect, good communication revolves around answering questions about your practice, highlighting your value, and learning more about the prospect’s needs.

Effective client communication should go far deeper than it is for prospects.

Beyond Communication

Client communication management is the foundation of all other client engagement initiatives. Once you have a strong communication plan, it’s easier to move on to other strategies to keep clients engaged and loyal to your firm.

Learn more strategies in our recent article on client engagement.

Why and How to Automate Client Engagement

Client engagement can often be challenging to define and measure for financial advisors. Unlike in other industries, engagement isn’t linked to making a purchase or joining a loyalty program.

Whether or not a client acts on advice, looks at the financial planning or investment process holistically, or even asks questions to their advisor are all indicators of engagement. However, simply fielding inquiries and generating reports isn’t enough to fully engage your clients.

Most clients want a proactive advisor. One report found that 62% of people deem proactive communication from companies important. According to Financial Advisor Magazine, 72% of clients leave their advisor due to poor communication, and 51.1% leave feeling that their advisor doesn’t understand their goals.

The problem for most advisors is that being proactive takes time and resources while limiting growth.

The good news is that automation can change that.

Can You Really Automate Client Engagement? 

The short answer is: Yes.

For many advisors, automation and client engagement don’t appear truly connected. After all, how can you automate a relationship? Wealth management is an incredibly personal business, and personalized one-on-one connections are critical.

However, automation makes it easier than ever for advisors to spend more time supporting their client base.

An advisory firm can automate numerous repetitive or time-consuming processes such as portfolio spot-checks, simplifying investment decisions, and risk tolerance assessments. Many tools work in the background to provide you with more insights to prevent risk misalignment and more time to communicate with clients. As a result, you can proactively build stronger relationships without sacrificing growth.

Benefits of Automating Engagement 

Automation has long been seen as a competitive advantage. However, until the last decade, applying it to complex processes has been difficult. The rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence has made it easier than ever to replace repetitive tasks.

Some benefits specific to financial advisors include more:

  • Time for clients
  • Frequent communication:
  • Transparency
  • Convenient onboarding
  • Accurate portfolio alignment

5 Ways to Use Your Automated Engagement Workflow

1. Centralize Your Data

Manually reviewing client portfolios through either spot-checks or thorough inspections not only hinders growth but isn’t sustainable for even small firms. Centralized and prioritized lists of customer data prevent advisors from being able to identify clients who need immediate support.

An automated growth platform for financial advisory firms can centralize and automate portfolio prioritization and analytics, enabling you to review all relevant information from a single dashboard.

Automating this organizational process enables you to spend more time engaging with customers rather than performing admin work. It also improves compliance, as there is less room for human error, and the process is standardized.

2. Keep Tabs on Market Sentiment

How your clients view the market is critical. While a customer’s risk tolerance rarely changes significantly, their emotional response to the market is highly volatile. Being able to identify which customers may need additional support during market turbulence can improve the customer experience and foster engagement.

However, it can be challenging to manually review your client portfolios and risk assessments to see who might need assistance. And you don’t want to appear passive and wait for a customer to contact you. If they don’t hear from you, they may choose to find another advisor.

The good news is that you can automate customer communication and determine how your clients feel.

An example is Nitrogen’s check-in feature. You can send an automated email asking clients two simple questions about their feelings on the market and their portfolio. Based on their answers and their risk tolerance, you can prioritize who to follow up with first.

3. Simplify Portfolio Analytics

As an advisor, it’s easy to quickly interpret portfolio reports and graphs. However, your clients may need extensive explanations to fully grasp the numbers on their statements. That’s why nuanced, personalized discussions are core to every customer engagement strategy. The problem is that many visual aids aren’t up to par.

Simplified portfolio analytics and visual markers go a long way in improving the customer experience, boosting engagement, and fostering trust. Items like Nitrogen’s risk numbers and simplified stress test visuals make it a cinch to explain complex market shifts to your clients. And, because these processes are largely automated, you don’t have to put together the reports yourself.

4. Streamline Client Onboarding 

One of the most time-consuming tasks is onboarding new clients. On top of accessing and analyzing their portfolio, you have to determine your client’s risk tolerance as accurately as possible from the beginning. Otherwise, you may struggle with portfolio misalignment and customer dissatisfaction.

However, it is possible to automate parts of the client intake process. For example, you can use an online risk assessment form that connects to your CRM or customer engagement platform to accurately record and manage your client’s risk tolerance as you build their portfolio.

5. Leverage Marketing Tools

Marketing is essential for lead generation, but it can be extremely tedious. But you can employ marketing automation to streamline your experience. For example, you can add a self-serve Risk Number assessment to your website that calculates a client’s tolerance. You can also use technology like chatbots to respond to general questions and improve your customer service process.

You can also apply automation to email marketing (such as creating a welcome campaign for new clients) or ad campaigns.

How Do You Track Client Engagement?

Measuring retention and customer satisfaction is the best way to track customer engagement. These can be tracked manually or through your platform’s analytics.

Many customer engagement tools offer detailed analytics. For example, a CRM can track customer interactions, and survey software like Pulse360 or MyRepChat can help you collect more data from clients. Merging this with your growth platform, you can centralize your efforts – whether that involves marketing, generating leads, or other tasks – and identify more places to add automation to your process.

Get Started with an Engagement Strategy

The first step in automating any process is to map it out and understand how it connects to your overall objectives. Leveraging a client engagement strategy can help you determine what you need to focus on and can be automated.

To hit the ground running with your new client engagement initiatives, check out these eight engagement strategies for financial advisors.

Steal These 5 Client Engagement Examples

A crucial component of client success is ensuring they are fully engaged in the financial planning and investment process.

Unlike other industries, a client engagement strategy is more nuanced and hinges on building a strong, often personal, client relationship.

To get a better idea of what your advisory firm can do to boost engagement and client retention, let’s better define what engagement looks like. Then, we can dig into actionable examples your firm can start using today.

What does client engagement look like?

Your clients don’t need to exemplify every engagement level on this list. However, these are common signs that you have engaged clients. These traits or actions highlight how involved a client is in their success.

It’s also important to note that levels of engagement will change based on the client’s journey. In the beginning, clients may be revving to get started. But gradually, the interest may decrease, especially over the first two years.

Present During Planning 

Engaging clients begins at the very start of the process and carries over from year to year. The initial meeting may appear to bolster client engagement, but the decline can be steep once you hash out initial goals.

When a client is engaged, they are fully present during the planning sessions. They not only pay attention to your explanations and ask questions, but they also are quick to provide details about their financial wellness and expectations. However, once these items are settled, it’s easy for a client to fall into complacency. This can lower client satisfaction, as it becomes difficult for the advisor to make changes to the financial plan or make recommendations without knowing the client’s current state.

As a result, you need ways to keep the client aware of your plans and want to participate. Ensuring that their input is essential to client success encourages them to remain engaged.

Taking Advice

Another headache for many advisors is ensuring that they take your advice. You can detail all the investment best practices and products, but if your client doesn’t act on them, they will have a lower client experience.

While you can’t force someone to take action, it’s important to note that this issue is strongly linked to client engagement. A highly engaged client is eager to take the initiative and follow your recommendations. They respond in a reasonable amount of time and may even keep you updated on the results.

Meanwhile, disengaged client doesn’t see action on their part as an aspect of client success. They may agree to take your advice but then fail to do so.

Asking Questions

Another example of client engagement is whether or not your client asks questions. You may feel that they trust you if a client doesn’t ask questions. But that’s not always the case.

Engaged clients want to know what’s going on with their portfolio and how you’re reacting to market shifts. Not every client will ask the same amount of questions, but any proactive interaction suggests that your client is invested in the experience and their success.

As you respond to clients and raise their confidence, you build client loyalty and boost retention. You also keep that engagement going.

Responding to Communications

Depending on your marketing and client service model, you may send regular check-ins via emails, phone calls, or texts.

Clients responding to your emails can indicate engagement in the process. Even though clients don’t need to regularly check their portfolios or manage investments, many appreciate regular communications. This isn’t just follow-up reminders but news about the market, your approach, or even life updates.

Creative client engagement examples from advisory firms

Personalized Content: Wealth Health, LLC 

A pillar of superior client experience (and engagement) is personalization. Relevant content is more likely to be read, and clients will appreciate it.

Wealth Health uses a personalized content strategy for both client engagement and acquisition. Rather than a single blog, Wealth Health offers several content categories based on client interest. For example, investors can choose to receive content about retirement, tax, estate planning, or all of the above.

Newsletters: Performance Wealth

A common engagement model is frequent email communication. However, these messages can pile up and frustrate clients who lose track of them, accidentally delete them, or don’t even see the message because it’s in their spam folder. Furthermore, retired clients may prefer reading a traditional newsletter with graphs, economic overviews, and other long-form content.

Performance Wealth allows potential and existing clients to download prior newsletters from their website. This client engagement strategy enables clients to always be able to find relevant and in-depth financial updates and showcase their authority to new clients. Building client loyalty can begin before they even schedule a call – and this trust translates into more engaged clients.

Videos: John Lindquist, CPA

Not all clients learn the same way. Therefore, when you’re educating your client about investments, financial planning, or another service, it can help to have a few different approaches. Videos can offer another level of engagement for many clients. These can be customized to specific clients, but more often, it’s helpful to have general videos about market news, regulations, or other topics.

Advisor John Lindquist, CPA offers an entire video section on his website that covers various topics, from how to prepare for retirement to social security. Most of these videos aren’t long, either – 2-3 minutes can suffice.

Use Visuals: Bedel Financial

Engaged clients understand the rationale behind your recommendations. However, since financial decisions can be complex, successfully describing your decisions in layman’s terms can be challenging. This is where visuals come in.

There are several ways to simplify financial data and regulations. Graphs, charts, and portfolio-market comparisons all support a better client experience. Infographics can also do a solid job of educating a potential or existing client. For example, Bedel Financial showcases infographics on their Client Resources page that simplify topics like account contribution limits, tax benefits, and education savings.

The best part is that it’s easy to reuse these examples as part of client acquisition or brand awareness. A potential client may see these infographics in general newsletters, social media, or even as visual aids during a webinar.

Worksheets: Summit Financial

Another tool to boost client interaction is worksheets. In the past, advisory firms have listed PDF risk assessment questionnaires on their website. But as this process gets more interactive and streamlined, some advisory firms are offering supplemental resources.

Summit Financial provides an array of worksheets for wealth management and investment advisory clients. These include a cash flow worksheet, data gathering checklist, fraud protection tips, and market returns during election years. Clients may choose to fill out these forms on their own or work together with an advisor. At the same time, potential clients may use these forms and decide they want to work with an advisor to navigate them.

This effective client engagement strategy encourages clients to take control of their finances without forcing them to do the heavy lifting of organization and research.

6 Ways to Boost Client Engagement

1. Personalized Communication

One of the struggles of scaling client communication is using general, mass-market language. It’s difficult to foster client loyalty if the client feels you are not focused on them. And without that fundamental trust, client churn rises.

Clients know that you’re sending an email to your entire list – but they don’t want to feel that way. Simple, small efforts at personalization can build trust and, as a result, boost your retention rate. Furthermore, this approach is no longer time-consuming. Automation enables advisors to rapidly personalize messages.

You may even take it a step further. For example, you could segment your client list based on demographics and then write email content based on their specific interests. This can be as easy as sending a relevant news article that your clients may find valuable.

2. Regular Check-ins

Client communication is essential. However, it can be a time-consuming activity, and manual follow-ups are hardly scalable. That said, failing to check in regularly not only disengages clients, but can increase churn. It also makes it difficult to measure how invested your clients are in the process—although we can assume they aren’t involved unless they are proactive.

Ideally, your advisors should be able to easily get a pulse on client sentiment towards the firm and the market. One way to do this is through automated surveys. For example, Nitrogen’s check-up feature sends two simple questions: One about how they feel about the market and one about their financial future. Clients only have to respond positively or negatively. These answers, combined with the client’s risk tolerance, make it a cinch to prioritize client communications and maintain engagement.

3. Easy Explanations 

A common sign of client disengagement is not acting upon advice, showing literal interest, or taking a long time to provide answers. There are several potential reasons for this behavior, but one of the most common is a lack of understanding.

Many clients can’t easily conceptualize financial plans and the math behind them. Even using a static spreadsheet to show income every year for forty or fifty years may be enough to make their eyes glaze over.

Finding ways to simplify explanations and visual representations can help re-engage clients. Not only will they better understand you during a meeting, but they may better retain the information. This, in turn, builds trust and encourages clients to take part in the process.

4. Family Meetings

Unless you are working with a family of one, your clients most likely have parents, spouses, and children who will be affected by their financial plans. Including family members in advisory meetings offers another level of transparency and fosters important conversations. These touchstone meetings may promote additional engagement, either through more meetings, questions, or accountability for promptly providing information.

5. Focus on Long-term Goals

Frequent market shifts can stress clients and cause their confidence to waver. If this happens, they may urgently request meetings and portfolio details. Failing to quell stressors can cause clients to lose trust and begin to disengage.

While it’s important to review short-term market shifts, keeping focused on the long-term goals can help you maintain positive engagement.

Even during fairly peaceful periods or bull markets, focusing on long-term goals and portfolio growth can also encourage clients to update you on life events and financial changes.

6. Go beyond the numbers

Many clients hire an advisor with the belief that they’ll only be discussing money. And perhaps that’s true of some client relationships. However, advisors often better engage clients and understand their needs when looking beyond budgets and savings goals. Learning who your client is as a person enables you to better anticipate their reactions to the market, recognize opportunities, and build trust.

When you focus on the individual rather than just the portfolio, you become a trusted part of the client’s team.

Tap into More Client Engagement Strategies

Discovering an engagement model that works for you is more than quickly implementing these examples. Ideally, you should use a client engagement strategy that your clients would enjoy.

To learn more about fostering successful client engagement, check out our guide on client engagement strategies.

 

How (and Why) to Measure Client Retention

Once you have a new client, their expectations change, and yours should, too. Naturally, a client is engaged in the beginning – after all, they’ve been evaluating your services and comparing them to others.

However, inspiring client loyalty and strengthening retention is often challenging for both new and established advisors. Furthermore, accurately measuring client retention can create more questions. Poorly integrating client surveys or other tools to gauge satisfaction can confuse not only your clients but also your advisors, thus creating friction in the overall experience.

How to measure client retention

Retention for financial advisors doesn’t necessarily work the same as with other industries. While client satisfaction is paramount, clients aren’t purchasing various products, and you shouldn’t have to lure them into your practice. In an ideal world, your new client stays with you year by year as you help them navigate complex financial and life decisions.

For that reason, the most obvious way to review your client retention rate is to find the average length of time a client spends with your firm. But that’s a reactive step, and it doesn’t necessarily tell you much about why they’re leaving.

Of course, compiling client data manually can be a tedious task. Luckily, your team can pull information to calculate client loyalty through a variety of tools. Your CRM and growth platform, among others, tend to offer insights. You can then use the information to determine client retention directly or use the numbers to calculate key metrics yourself.

Three of the main client retention metrics include:

  1. Client retention rate: This is the percentage of clients you retain over a given time period. To calculate this, you would use the following formula:Client retention rate: ((clients at the end of the period – new clients ) / number of clients at the beginning of the period) x 100
  2. Client retention cost: This calculation highlights how much it costs to retain a client. This can be used to better budget for your retention activities. To find your client retention cost:Client retention cost = cost related to client retention during a period / number of clients
  3. Client satisfaction score: If you want a qualitative way to measure client satisfaction, this simple formula makes it easy to understand where you stand. The calculation is:Client satisfaction score = satisfied clients / total answers

However, it becomes easier to measure retention when you have client service and engagement tools that offer insights into client psychology and track client responses. At the same time, numbers don’t necessarily tell the whole story. You’ll also want to consider questions like:

  • How often do clients contact you?
  • How quickly do they respond to your communications (if they respond at all)?
  • Do they update you on changes to their financial goals or unexpected life events?
  • Do they implement recommendations?

Proven Retention Strategies for Financial Advisors

Client success – essentially performance – isn’t necessarily the main barometer for most clients. In fact, studies show that client churn is largely linked to a lack of communication or a poor client relationship.

Below, we’ve pulled together top, easy-to-implement strategies that foster loyal clients and improve your retention rate.

Plan Communication

A surefire way to improve the client experience is to map your vision for client communications. Just as with any relationship, regular and relevant communication is important. Assuming that following up with clients will work itself out can cause bottlenecks and make it difficult to manage engagement.

As a result, you’ll want to map out how you will communicate with clients. Understanding the communication flow for both a new client and an existing client empowers you and your advisors to be proactive when it comes to your clients’ needs.

This can include topics such as:

  • How you plan to communicate (SMS, email, phone calls, or all of the above)
  • How often do you plan to follow up with clients
  • What steps might you take during chaotic periods when many clients are concerned about their portfolios
  • How to scale communications as you grow your business

Set Clear Expectations

Another key aspect is setting clear expectations and responsibilities. New clients may assume that all they have to do is give you their account information, and you’ll do the rest.

However, client success hinges on them being involved in the planning and investment process. Furthermore, even if clients believe they are okay handing off their responsibilities, any drop in value, no matter how short-lived, will impact their client satisfaction harder. However, if they are collaborating with you and understand their role and your value as an advisor, it will be easier to weather the storm.

Position Your Services

A financial advisor is more than short-term portfolio performance. However, many clients may not be initially aware of the width and depth of what you offer. This can lead to client churn and low client loyalty, as they are not fully aware of your value.

It’s important to be clear in the beginning that you want to do more than grow, preserve, and manage their wealth. Your end objective is to help your clients meet their long-term goals.

Build Real Relationships

One of the best ways to ensure client churn is to make client interactions only about their portfolio. Money touches all of life’s milestones – career choices, relocations, children, education, marriage, retirement, and leaving a legacy. It’s an emotional endeavor, and solid client experience takes this into account.

Take time to get to know your clients on a personal level. You can do this by setting up family meetings, sending them follow-ups about their life and not their portfolio, and showing them appreciation through events, birthday cards, and other strategies.

Upgrade Your Technology

Finally, it’s impossible to accurately manage your current clients, scale your operations, or measure client retention without the right tools. Improving your technology enables you to better communicate with clients, assess their risk tolerance, proactively check in on their market sentiment, and get client feedback. Modern technology also supports your advisors and allows them to work more efficiently without worrying about potential compliance issues or wasting time on manual tasks.

More Tips on Boosting Client Retention

Client engagement is one of the best indicators of how likely you are to retain a client—using the above strategies, measuring your retention rate, and linking that to how active your clients offers a full picture of how effective your operations are.

To learn more about client engagement, what it is, and how it can help your firm, check out our comprehensive set of client engagement strategies.

Client Engagement Platform and CRMs: Why Advisors Need Both

The modern advisor’s tech stack has to do almost everything to maintain a competitive advantage. Outside of human expertise and market interpretation, firms have digitized the sales process, client support, billing, marketing, market research, and file storage.

Yet, none of these specifically handle client engagement – key criteria when evaluating client retention and satisfaction. This measure used to be monitored solely with client relationship management (CRM) software or through analyzing the client support numbers. However, as the client experience became more complex, organizations required more specific tools to execute a client engagement strategy.

Client engagement platforms have emerged to fill the gap – even though the distinction between it and a CRM may not be clear at first glance.

Client Engagement Platform vs. CRM, What’s the Difference? 

The digital CRM has been around since the late 1980s, but it’s only over the course of the last decade that its role has begun to shift. Modern CRM platforms are robust and often include additional features for marketing and sales.

One of the most significant schisms is the difference between CRMs and client engagement platforms. In the past, your CRM acted as a virtual rolodex and a record of communication. Now, most client relationship management systems also emphasize sales or marketing over client satisfaction.

A CRM is essentially a client database. Depending on your specific platform, you may have any number of features or integrations, including:

  • Client cards and contact information
  • Lead status
  • Invoices
  • Billing status
  • Social media management
  • Email newsletters

A client engagement platform, on the other hand, is linked more closely to managing client satisfaction and personalization.

Why Use a Client Engagement Platform?

There’s often overlap between a client engagement platform and a CRM, but they aren’t quite the same. There are several reasons that an advisory firm would add client engagement software to their tech stack:

Enhance Client Personalization

According to one report, 72% of Americans will only engage with messaging if it’s personalized. In an industry that handles something as vital as someone’s life savings, creating custom and relevant messages is even more important. Your clients want to feel that you are speaking to their specific needs.

A client engagement software enables advisors to scale and track tailor-made communications. This ensures that you maintain a quality client experience while growing your business.

Monitor Client Satisfaction

The best way to retain clients is to keep them happy, but it isn’t so simple in the wealth management world. Clients become fearful in bearish markets and aggressive during better times. Therefore, advisors must always balance client sentiment with long-term portfolio success to help others.

A client engagement tool designed for advisors and fiduciaries may include specific features to get feedback from clients and make it easier to be proactive with client communication.

Analyze Client Feedback and Activity

Another key component is using client data and feedback to create a better client experience. A brief survey can help you pinpoint a client’s current concerns about the market or advisory approach. You can then better address their worries. Furthermore, you could use their risk number and data visualization features to set expectations and simplify your explanations for investment options.

Pull Data from Other Tools

A client engagement platform works best when it works in conjunction with other advisory software. In addition to working with a CRM, client engagement tools also work well with custodians, document storage solutions, and research databases.

Automate Client Engagement

The right client engagement software may offer automation support to reduce your workload further. For example, you can automate regular check-ins to gauge client sentiment or generate stress tests.

Why Use a CRM?

A CRM platform is often the central system that combines all of your software (if they are compatible). Solutions such as AdvisorEngine, RedTail, and Salesforce are often base software for any firm and other software built on top of it.

Consolidate Client Contacts

The first use of a CRM is to have a centralized client database. This makes it easier to track client communications with specific advisors.

Keep Track of Leads

Another fundamental element of a CRM platform is keeping track of leads. As a result, it often acts as a sales engagement platform. Your sales team or an individual advisor can set a status for each potential client, schedule follow-up calls, and save lead information in case they return.

Manage Marketing Communications

Many CRMs also offer marketing features or integrate with marketing tools. Common features are for email marketing or scheduling social media posts. Having a centralized location for marketing efforts makes it easier to keep track of advertising campaigns and monitor progress.

Seamless Collaboration

As a CRM includes information on clients, advisors, or other relevant individuals, you can easily collaborate with your team or external service providers – whether for sales or marketing.

Review Advisor Performance

Finally, a CRM platform’s enhanced analytics ensure you can track how many prospects convert into clients and how many clients stay with the firm. This enables you to track your own performance or junior advisors when attracting and retaining clients. Because you also have access to client communications, you can help your junior advisors pinpoint areas for improvement and provide specific feedback.

Design a Support Workflow

While you can be proactive and tap into client sentiment, it also helps to have an organized process for incoming questions. These may come from potential prospects wanting to book a discovery appointment and learn more about your firm or clients with specific questions about their portfolios. A CRM platform enables you to better help both groups without adding to your workload.

Integrations: The Best of Both Worlds

You will most likely want to combine your CRM platform with your client engagement tools. Integrating them provides your advisors with all the information they need to improve client success and provide better client support.

Jumpstart Your Client Engagement 

Using a CRM and client engagement platform in tandem is one of the best ways to supercharge your client experience. Each offers its own benefits and ensures all your systems work together towards growth. But without a clear strategy, it’s challenging to optimize any of your engagement tools or processes.

To learn more about setting up your firm for growth, check out our 101 guide to client engagement strategies.