13 Best Lead Generation Strategies for Financial Advisors
Lead generation for financial advisors is a wide-ranging subject — you can use many great methods to attract leads to your business.
There are automated tactics like email marketing and chatbots, as well as more “roll up your sleeves” ones like strategic partnerships and cold calling.
Of course, that range of methods can also introduce a bit of confusion. “Which ones are right for finance industry?” asks the conscientious advisor.
Today, we’ll help you answer that question by explaining the top methods. After reading, you’ll walk away with a few new powerful tactics to add to your lead generation mix.
1. Partner with a data provider
Most financial lead generation methods rely on B2B data, from demographics to firmographics to contact information. But to reach targeted leads and craft personalised messages, it needs to be accurate and up to date.
The best way to find high-quality leads for financial advisors is to use a sales intelligence platform like Cognism. It allows you to find global, compliant contact and company data on the leads that match your ideal customer profile.
Cognism Web App comes with a filtering function that makes it easy to build segmented lists of leads based on your requirements. You can also use the Cognism browser extension over LinkedIn to reveal lead's details.
One of our clients uses Cognism to find finance decision-makers at firms with a $50 million revenue or above in APAC, EMEA and the US. After creating a lead list, they sync it to Outreach and action sales cadences. Then, they can track leads in Salesforce.
As a result, that client has booked 40% of meetings from inbound leads and 60% from cold outbound.
Meet Cognism — the best lead generation solution you're looking for
- Accurate and up-to-date global company and contact database.
- The best mobile phone number coverage in the US.
- The most complete data in the EMEA.
- Manually verified mobile data with 98% accuracy and verification service on request.
- Unrestricted access to viewing and page-level exporting global data in all packages (subject to fair use).
- CCPA & GDPR compliance (including broad DNC lists scrubbing and notified emails).
- Sales triggers and firmographics in every package.
- Seamless integrations with your existing tech stack and workflows.
- Intent data powered by Bombora.
- Web app and browser extension (works over LinkedIn, CRMs, sales engagement tools, and corporate websites).
2. Call valuable leads
Cold calling is a great strategy to generate finance leads that ignore your emails — provided that you have their correct number.
Since working from home became the new normal, financial advisors have a better chance of reaching their leads via phoning prospects’ mobile phone numbers rather than direct dials or company switchboards.
At Cognism, we specialise in providing a manually verified mobile phone numbers database with 98% accuracy. We also offer a verification service on demand. If you can’t find your prospect's cell number in our database, our research team will source it.
The benefits of using Diamond Data® for outbound lead generation are:
- 20% connect rate (vs 3% industry standard).
- 7x increase in connect rate.
- 5x increase in reach.
Unsure of how to open the calls?
The best tactic is to introduce yourself and be upfront about the purpose of your call!
Check out our resources on cold calling for financial advisors:
3. Leverage intent data
Intent data is information about a lead’s online behaviour, from the web pages they visit to the content they download.
Intent data providers like Bombara track and analyse this data to score each lead’s buying intent.
With this intel, you can generate financial leads right when they’re ready for a sales conversation. It keeps you from pouncing too early and scaring them off, or arriving too late and losing them to a competitor.
Cognism embeds Bombora’s intent data into its lead generation database to provide users with hot leads.
We interviewed George Mckenna, Head of Cloud Sales at Ultima about his experience using Cognism. He said the unique combination of contact and intent data allows them to shorten time to engagement time:
"Our sales cycle is typically 6-8 months long. At Cognism, we saw ROI in 8 weeks from intent data and direct dials. One deal pays for a year’s Cognism subscription."
As an added benefit, intent data also gives you insight into what qualified leads for financial advisors are researching. It allows you to create outreach messages that anticipate their needs and problems.
For instance, if a lead has been viewing content about investing in real estate, you can craft a cold email with recommendations for where to invest.
4. Email marketing
Email marketing is a low-cost lead gen method for financial planners. It can yield a high ROI, if you automate the process.
For example, consider creating a segmented drip campaign. It will automatically send relevant and personalised emails to each of your leads, for several weeks or months.
That way, the leads you know are interested in retirement might get emails about savings tips and long-term investment strategies.
Meanwhile, those looking to grow their wealth quickly would get emails containing information about market updates and stock tips.
Over time, the recipients on the email list will come to trust your brand. And some will decide to buy your services.
You can save your time and buy a targeted email list for financial advisors online. The general rule of thumb, however, is to avoid providers who make the low cost their main selling point. They usually sell unverified, non-compliant or outdated lists.
💡 Looking for a CFO email list?
5. Build a personal brand
Becoming the go-to expert in your niche, i.e. wealth management or financial planning, is a lead generation strategy many successful financial advisors use.
When leads think of you as an authority on your particular area of finance, they’ll come to you for help. They’ll fill your inbox with requests for advice.
Get on the platforms your target audience uses to build this magnetic reputation. LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to start for financial advisors.
Then, start posting on them regularly. Share tips about investments, personal finance, or whatever topics your audience wants to learn about.
Can’t think of what to post about? Simple.
Material is all around you. You just have to make an effort to gather it on a daily basis.
That means reading finance books, mining your experience for lessons, and staying up on industry news and reports.
If you do these things regularly, advice will flow out of you. Remember to turn sometimes complicated financial concepts into easy-to-consume snippets.
As a result, your target audience members will follow your profile. And, after some time of enjoying your posts, leads will reach out to learn about your financial services.
6. Monitor competition
Pro athletes study game tape not only to learn from their mistakes but also to identify their opponent’s quality techniques and smart decisions so they can add them to their own repertoire.
As a financial advisor, you should also study the competition. Not to score more goals but to score more quality leads.
For example, you could check out your rival’s LinkedIn profile to see what they’re posting and how much engagement it’s getting. You can identify the underlying qualities that make their posts so successful, then spin them into something of your own.
Another lead generation tip for financial advisors is to monitor your competition's prices and products so that you can improve your sales messaging.
Figure out what your service has that theirs lacks, and highlight these gaps to customers in your ads, emails, elevator pitches, and other marketing materials.
7. Strategic partnerships and collaborations
Another great way to generate leads as a financial planner is by connecting with other non-competitive professionals, such as lawyers and accountants, who serve clients you’d like to work with.
That way, when one of your partner’s clients needs help with financial planning, the partner can recommend the client to your business.
As a result, their customer receives value through a recommendation, and you get a hot lead.
Another way to use these partnerships is to create a lead group, where you and other professionals meet once a week or month to trade lead information.
8. Local SEO
When a nearby lead searches “financial advisor in my area” on Google, you want your company to appear high in the search results. You want them to see your website and visit it.
To get higher in the rankings, you must use local SEO best practices. Start by creating a Google My Business page (aka a Google Business Profile).
Make sure you fill out all the important fields so that your leads can learn about your business.
To make the most of this lead generation strategy, financial advisors should optimise their profile for visibility. It involves things like:
- Getting Google reviews from customers.
- Responding to those reviews.
- Using the Google Posts feature.
There are other local SEO best practices you can use to bolster your spot in the rankings. Try sharing your profile link on social media and improving your website’s internal linking structure.
HubSpot does a solid job of breaking down these tactics in their comprehensive guide to local SEO.
9. Stop gating your content
Contrary to popular opinion that to get finance leads, you must create gated content like e-books, reports, etc., we encourage you to ungate it!
Perhaps the biggest problem with gated content is that it turns what should be a generous and educational aspect of your relationship with leads into something transactional.
Instead of feeling like they’re getting some great financial advice for free, leads feel like they’re paying for it with their contact information.
Or, more specifically, by giving your brand permission to reach out to them and sell them (even if they aren’t ready for that).
Therefore, ungating the content is usually a better strategy for generating financial leads because they start to love your brand. They’ll be amazed that you’re giving this all away for free and wonder what you have in store for them if they work with you.
These reasons don’t mean you should open the gates to all your content. Collecting email addresses and learning buyer intent is still important. Just do it sparingly.
According to Faizan Fahim, Content Marketer at Breeze.io, 80/20 ratio works well:
“By creating gated content for that 20%, you can fuel the ungated content for the rest of the audience. This way, you offer lots of people value for free, but you also implement a monetisation strategy.”
It’s a strategy that we’ve implemented at Cognism. Alice de Courcy, our CMO, explains how our 80% ungated, 20% gated split has worked out for us:
“Our best content is more likely to compound over time to give us direct demo requests, with true intent to buy, if it is actually consumed."
“We haven’t stopped gating content altogether, but through this strategy, we’ve achieved record-breaking revenue months.”
10. Paid ads on Facebook
LinkedIn ads have been getting a lot of hype recently. But Facebook deserves some attention from financial advisors, too.
It’s a great place to generate leads looking to improve their financial circumstances.
According to Canberk Beker, Head of Paid Advertising at Cognism, Facebook advertising is also cheaper than LinkedIn and if done right can bring incredible results.
Best practices for running Facebook ads include:
- Segmenting your audiences.
- Clarifying your campaign’s objectives (e.g., conversions vs. reach).
- Getting creative with ad design.
Following these best practices allowed Cognism to create 500% more pipeline by spending 5% more on Facebook.
Before implementing this lead generation strategy, check out our guide to Facebook advertising.
11. Host webinars and virtual events
Lead generation in the financial industry isn’t the same as five or ten years ago. Use webinar lead generation as a chance to educate your viewers on crucial financial practices and trends, thus establishing yourself as an authority in your space.
To improve the quality of your webinars, invite experts as guests to provide insight into a recent event or trend (say, the potential housing market crash) that’s on top of mind for your target audience.
As a rule of thumb, the more relevant the topic is to your services, the more high-quality leads will show up.
But don’t assume that someone is in their buying journey based on attending a single webinar. Think of a clever follow-up email cadence, like including a link to the video. You can also ask if they’d be interested in any other content — like your newsletter or include a voucher for a coffee to say thanks.
12. Referral programs
Another lead gen strategy financial advisors should consider is setting up referral programs that incentivise customers to recommend their services to friends, family, and peers.
It works well for new companies and those with an established customer base.
These programs are powerful for lead gen because people tend to trust the opinions of people they know and like.
If a lead hears from a friend how you helped them get out of debt, that will be much more impactful than any marketing email you send them.
As for how to get people to recommend your services, try offering discounts on your services or physical or experience-based gifts.
Set clear rules for when the customer receives the reward. For instance, you might say: “customer only gets the reward if we sign the lead they referred to us.”
Be sure to market this program. Make sure your customers know about it, especially the really happy ones.
13. Conversational marketing
Convert web visitors into leads with personalised chatbots that can answer their questions and book meetings for them with sales reps.
Leads love this for its convenience. If they have a question about pricing or service packages, they can get answers ASAP without picking up the phone or sending an email.
Another benefit of this method is that by answering a visitor’s questions, the chatbot helps them self-qualify or self-disqualify.
As a result, the leads who end up on your calendar are probably a good fit for your service. It’s a win-win situation for leads and financial advisors.
Can financial advisors buy leads?
Some finance advisors pay for third-party firms to generate leads for them. But there are some risks involved in it:
- The data is often old and, therefore, useless.
- You could accidentally violate data regulations.
- You may get the same lists as competitors, thus overwhelming the leads.
Buying lead lists is more time-consuming and riskier than using a compliant data provider like Cognism, which allows you to build lead lists in your target accounts.
What is the best way to generate leads for financial advisors?
As a financial advisor, the best way to generate leads is to combine reliable, verified contact data with intent data.
This crystal ball of information allows you to reach out to leads at their best phone number or email address right when they’re in the buying mood.
In other words, you strike when the iron is hot, and the hammer never misses the iron.
Unsure of where to get this data? Check out Cognism, a sales intelligence platform that gives you access to both types and other features that make prospecting a breeze.