Today we’re going to take a deep dive into the strategy that Dixon Advisory are using to dominate their niche.
Dixon have grown their business to advise on $6 billion in capital, including 8,000 SMSF trustees and build a company with over 350 staff.
The best part?
You can implement their marketing strategies in your own practice to generate more traffic and convert that traffic into clients.
And in today’s post I’ll reveal the exact step-by-step process they are using to generate new clients.
Then in “Part 2” we’ll investigate their number one source of new traffic to their website – google organic searches.
This leads us to analyse over 100 Financial Planning websites, and look at where they rank and what keywords are driving traffic to their websites.
The Ad That Made Me Say: “I Have To Look Into This Company Further!”
One day this ad finally clicked after consciously see it numerous times and unconsciously even more.
For readers of The Australian newspaper, you will be quite familiar with the Dixon Advisory ads. They also advertise in local papers.
What makes me sit up and take notice is an advertiser that consistently shows up.
Why…. well who is going to continually pay for ad to run that is not working? (Yes, it does happen but there are other qualifiers to look for the exceptions).
And Dixon have been running these ads for years in different forms.
My favourite versions of the ad are the pictures of Daryl (the old guy) with the (young) “up and coming” directors. The trust and experience of the old dog combined with the hard working young exec!
As a marketer, when I read online, a newspaper or magazine I always focus on the ads. Strange I know. But I am obsessed…
I critique the ad, the headline, the sub-headline, the imagery, the offer, the call to action, the font, the layout, the colours, the position in the publication….
And more importantly, I look for the strategy! What outcome is the advertiser trying to achieve and what is the process to get there?
In this marketing example, we will refer to the “process” of getting to the “outcome” as The Funnel.
Creating a sales funnel will help you build trust, develop relationships further and prove your expertise.
The sales cycle for someone to make a decision on Financial Advice can be anywhere from 3 months to a number of years, so it is essential that you have your “long game” strategy mapped out.
The simple 3-Step Funnel to More Traffic, More Leads and More Clients
There is no need to complicate the process of this strategy.
It’s a simple “Free Event” or “Free Consultation” Funnel.
Step #1: Generate targeted traffic (Advertisement)
Step #2: Provide a compelling offer with call to action (website landing page or phone call)
Step #3: Create an optimal conversion event (the seminar or consultation)
Here’s why this strategy is so effective:
First, if you get enough targeted people to a consult you will convert a percentage into clients.
Your conversion rate will be determined by your offer and your ability to convince them that you can achieve the result they require.
At a basic level you probably already offer a free consultation of some sort.
Second, you can send all your traffic sources to this specific offer if it converts.
Although this is not ideal, it’s a starting point.
This example uses a newspaper advert to generate traffic, but you could email current prospects that haven’t previously converted, run some Google, LinkedIn or Facebook ads or get a referral partner to send an email to their database. We’ll touch on these further.
Third, once you know your conversion rates you can scale up.
As an example, 500 people get to your page, 10 book a consult (2%), two become clients (20%).
One of the hardest parts of running any business is predictable revenue.
If you have a proven system for bringing new clients on board you can hire that extra advisor and cover their costs with the new clients generated by your repeatable, predictable system.
The Conversion Matrix – building out your funnel
Now we are going to get you to create your own funnel ideas by using the Conversion Matrix.
The first step is to come up with three ways to generate more traffic.
Let’s go through some ideas…
Step #1: Generate Targeted Traffic For Your Offer
Your first step is to work out what sources are going to drive the traffic.
How are you going to get eyeballs on your offer?
Let’s run through eight ways you can test out:
- Email to existing database – segment your email list into “clients” and “prospects”. This will make it easier to send appropriate offers to each segment. If you are adding a new service offering you could send this to your existing clients. Emails to your prospects will concentrate on your “conversion events” and free downloads.
- Advertising (Print) – as in this example, select newspapers and magazines that you know your perfect client would read. This can be a costly first option, so it may be better to try some of the other channels first that allow you to test out your offer for a small amount of spend.
- Google Adwords – this can be a great way to generate some traffic and test your offer for a minimal amount of spend. You can set a daily budget and only target specific keywords – for example: “smsf”, “smsf administration”, “smsf setup”, “self managed super fund”.
- Facebook Advertising – the majority of your prospects are likely on Facebook. Your targeting needs to be very precise to get the right results. Target by age, location, interests and income.
- LinkedIn – Advertising on LinkedIn can work if you are targeting certain professions – for example, if you specialise in advice for just dentists or lawyers. You can just target your ads to anyone who has that “title”. You can also send messages to those you are already connected to with the offer details.
- Guest Article – Find a website or publication that your ideal prospects read. Most editors can’t get enough quality content for their sites. Go through the types of articles they cover on the site and pay particular attention to any lists on the site that show historically what the most popular articles are. Write two or three articles that are similar and provide a lot of value, with a length of 1,000-1,500 words. Contact the editor and offer the selection of articles for them to publish. Make sure that your bio at the end of the article clearly states your web address or contact details.
- Phone – one of the most underutilised tactics to connect with your prospects and clients. It doesn’t have to be a complete cold call. Send out an email first, and then follow it up with a phone call and watch your conversion rate soar.
- Mail out – another tactic that is not utilised as often these days. Send a one page personalised, signed letter to your prospects. Direct them to call or go to a landing page to register.
Now complete your own matrix for three ways you will generate traffic.
Tactics are great, but you can drive all the traffic you like to a website and without the right strategy to convert those visitors into prospects you are wasting your time and money.
Step #2: Provide a Compelling Offer on a Landing Page
For many reasons, this is the critical step. Many advisors fall down right here.
Go to your website now and look at your free consultation offer.
Having trouble finding it? Is there a dedicated page?
If your answer is on your contact page, you probably receive very few requests.
A “Landing Page” is a single dedicated page on your website that has a sole purpose of offering your potential clients one benefit. That benefit could be an event, free consultation, ebook download, free report, white paper, a special offer or an add-on service.
There are 8 essential elements for a landing page that converts.
Let’s dissect the Dixon landing page – the good and the bad!
1. A dedicated page for the offer – Tick
You don’t want to send traffic directly to your home page.
It has been proven that a dedicated landing page will offer a higher conversion than if you send someone to your home page.
2. Congruency from traffic source to landing page
At this stage, congruency is extremely important.
We want to carry the look and feel of the ad to the landing page.
Quite often an advertisement or even an email will convey one thing and the next step the prospect is sent to looks completely different.
The result? People leave… it didn’t flow… something is not right to them.
Use the same heading and similar images in both the ad and your landing page.
Let’s take a look at the Dixon advertisement:
The highlighted red elements on the landing page refer to the congruency – the transfer of similar elements from the advertisement to the next step – the landing page.
These often refer to the look, feel and messaging transfer – part of the “Brand”.
They are the logo, the heading and sub-heading and the same image of “Lyle” in the ad to that of the landing page.
The red highlighted elements have been carried across to the following landing page:
This is what I expect things to look like!
This is where Brand also plays an important part.
Because the “Brand” is the stuff that feels intangible!
Let’s look at three components of a brand strategy that Dixon do well and one where they don’t:
Purpose and Trust
Consistency (or Congruency)
One small note on consistency is they could have carried across naming the employees on the landing page as they have in the adverts.
Introducing two new faces poses the question of who they are – simply adding a name and position to their photos would help.
Not so well:
Emotion – the marketing message is very self (Dixon) orientated.
Including a photo of real clients on the landing page enjoying the benefits of retirement and lifestyle would help build the emotional side.
3. Navigation removed (Heading and Footer)
Providing a navigation gives the visitor ample opportunity to get lost on your site and completely forget why they were there in the first place.
Removing the navigation will give them fewer options for this to occur.
Dixon has kept their navigation in place – removing this would increase their conversion rates.
4. Heading and Sub-heading
Your heading and sub-heading will be what gets your prospect’s attention.
“Virtually every landing page has a headline of some sort.
It matters. It really, really matters. People are going to look at that headline, read that headline, and convert (or not) based on that headline. Savvy conversion optimizers are constantly tweaking and adjusting the headline to make it more relevant, more sizzling hot, and more attractive to customers. Headlines contain enormous marketing power. They give users the instant knowledge on which they base their decision to bounce from the page or to stay and find out more.” (via Crazy Egg)
But there is also the new sub-sub-heading of “Find out how our Investment Committee can help you”
Introducing an anonymous committee with no credentials or explanation is pointless in this position.
You could certainly include further explanation and investment committee experience in the body of the page which would build trust.
5. Create Urgency
Urgency causes people to make a decision.
“If I want this I better do something about it before the deadline”.
If the offer is simple like a free consult, seminar or ebook the commitment on the prospect is minimal.
We’re not asking them to sign up straight away… here’s some more info… let us know what you think.
In this example “call this week” is not really creating urgency. Call by the “20th of…” will force them to make a decision.
Holding a seminar will naturally create the urgency to make a decision before the event.
The right photos can bring a page alive. They can convey a lot more than the words on the page.
Always steer clear of cheesy stock photos that include people in unnatural settings.
Dixon does a good job of including staff photos but are lacking benefit orientated images.
What does the end goal look like of what they provide?
7. Trust Markers – Awards and Client Testimonials
The trust is carried through the imagery of real people and also the orange highlighted areas showing the reputable awards they have won.
Employee involvement also creates trust at this stage but it is slightly let down on the page by showing two new faces (that weren’t in the ad) that have no credentials.
These new faces can often be mistaken as stock photography particularly when the people are on the good looking side!
There is also a section towards the bottom of the page that includes “What our clients say”.
Relevant testimonials will also create trust.
8. Calls to Action
The green highlighted areas refer to the “Calls to action”
What are the next steps you want people to take?
They are: Call to speak to one of the directors or “Book your free financial consultation” by submitting your details in the form.
It has been proven that the more fields you add to the form the lower your conversion rate will be.
So eliminate all unnecessary fields.
“If you want to increase form conversions, you must consider reducing the number of fields.
If you really need extra info, consider doing an a/b/c test where you compare all of your fields with the absolute minimum and a half-way version to determine which converts best – and then weigh it against the value of the extra data collected, and see how it will impact your post-click marketing.” (via Unbounce)
The contrasting yellow colour of the submit button stands out on the page which is good but the action word could be improved.
Changing the text on the button to “Book your consultation” will improve conversion rates.
“Make your text specific. One thing we learned from our conversion report was that more specific button text showed a correlation with higher conversion rates. Get away from using generic words like send or “submit.” And instead, try using text that’s form specific, such as “send application” or register now.” (via Formstack)
Now we know what elements to include on the landing page, you just need to decide on what your offer will be.
As in this example, i.e. SMSF’s, the topic needs to be specific. Offering “Financial Advice” will not lead to a great response.
Step #3: Create an Optimal Conversion Event
If you’re building out your first sales funnel start with the “Free Consultation” offer.
This is a great first step for anyone wanting to know more about your offering.
You can also look at running webinars or seminars. In most cases, these will both end up with a consultation of some sort after the event.
You can try additional conversion resources like guides, ebooks and white papers.
In the Dixon example they focus on:
– Newspaper Advert > SMSF > Free Consultation
– Newspaper Advert > SMSF > Seminar > then Free Consultation
Once you find the right mix of Reach, Act, Convert start scaling it up by putting more focus on the channels that work.
Creating multiple funnels and having them all run at once will dramatically increase your lead generation.
Now It’s Your Turn…
Is there anything stopping you from creating your own funnels?
How many do you have set up at the moment?