Financial Advisor Marketing & Technology

Marketing & Technology For Independent Financial Advisors

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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

How AdvisorVault RoboIA Improves An Advisor’s Business

The vast majority of advisor websites are developed with little forethought and rarely vital to the business of a professional. But advisor websites can and should be the most important app in your practice! It is your interface with the outside world!

Your website should be a place where your clients can see their financial key performance indicators 24/7 at a glance from any device. More importantly, an advisor website should be where clients go to make plans to achieve their dreams. That’s what we provide.

AdvisorVault RoboIA is the new version of the client portal platform we first launched in September 2007. RoboIA adds a highly graphical client dashboard built on Microsoft SharePoint, and it’s integrated with many portfolio management, financial planning and CRM systems. It’s unique and no one else does what we’re doing.

With the integration with Redtail CRM this week, you can assign clients tasks and track them through completion. Want a client to set up a meeting? Want clients to upload their wills or personal emergency information? Assign it as a task. Using the Advisor Products integration with Constant Contact, you can follow up clients in batches with reminders until all or most clients complete assigned tasks. This is a new way to encourage good investor behavior and coach clients toward achieving their goals. It’s easy for you and clients and screams of the transparency clients yearn for.

Instead of fearing automation of the web, power your business with RoboIA.

Sign up for a 30-minute demo to see if AdvisorVault RoboIA can help you scale your business.

Embracing Robo IAs — Investment Advisors Building Businesses

Shrill headlines scream fear for roboadvisors, but independent financial professionals must embrace the Web.

We, the people of Advisor Products Inc., are launching a solution automating ongoing financial planning advice supervised by financial professionals — CFPs, CPAs, CIMAs, CPWAs, CFAs, ChFCs, CLUs, and EAs.

Financial Advisor Client Portal System Integrates With Redtail CRM

The Financial Advisor Communication System (FACS), a client portal for advisors, now integrates with Redtail CRM.

The integration of Redtail CRM for advisors with the Advisor Products client portal platform enables advisors to scale their businesses and provide better service to clients. When you assign clients tasks from Redtail, it triggers an email to the client telling him to log into his client portal.

In an advisory firm, tasks managed internally by members of your staff using CRM. Your CRM interface is intended for use by your staff and not with clients. This widget extends your CRM. It allows you and your staff to assign your clients tasks.

When you check off a box in Redtail to share an activity with the client’s portal, it automatically generates an email notification telling your client to sign into his portal. The task shows up in the My Tasks tab in the client’s personal portal. Tasks assigned to clients ideally represent steps in a comprehensive financial plan, and help clients achieve their goals.

Redtail is one of multiple apps advisors use to run their businesses integrated with the FACS client dashboard. The client dashboard gives your clients their financial key performance indicators at a glance. The financial planning widget, arguably the most important client KPI, shows clients whether they are on track to achieve their goals based on their financial plan.

While Redtail is the first CRM, it’s only the latest of many applications used by independent financial advisors to be integrated with the FACS client dashboard. Last month, the MoneyGuide Pro widget went live. It shows your clients their MoneyGuide Pro “confidence rating.” The portfolio performance widgets work with Advent, PortfolioCenter, AssetBook, and Albridge. This summer, Advisors Assistant plans to begin feeding CRM and performance data into the client dashboard.

You can actually run an email campaign in Constant Contact using an autoresponder to send several email reminders until most of your clients upload their wills, final instructions and other information.

The FACS client portal is built for use by investment advisor representatives and uniquely supports transparency. Your client portal is arguably the most important application is your practice. It’s the app clients see!

You client portal cannot be built by a company that makes your CRM, portfolio management or financial planning software.  These technology vendors are not experts at client communications and marketing. We are!

We have published application programming interfaces that let other professionals apps integrated with us and we intend to integrate with any apps that advisors need us to work with. If your vendor doesn’t want to integrate with us, think about finding a new vendor who will operate in your best interest by integrating with best-in-class apps.

If your firm is using advisorvault and wants to turn on the Redtail widget, please email service@advisorproducts.com and we will help you get set up.

 

 

FINRA-Reviewed Video News Updates Narrated By You

Advisor Products and Constant Contact are now powering video email newsletter campaigns for advisors with educational FINRA-reviewed scripts and slides derived from economist Fritz Meyer’s research. For $400 a quarter (one-year commitment), API-CTCT will:

  • Provide you a three-minute FINRA-reviewed video script
  • Record you over the phone reading the script
  • Add your narration to graphic investment news update videos
  • Post your video to your YouTube Channel
  • Write a 300 world article about the economy related to the video
  • Layout article, embed your video, and post it to your blog
  • Write, design, and brand an email campaign featuring your video
  • Upload your contact list to Constant Contact
  • Send the email campaign to your contact list
  • Review your analytics with you to improve results every quarter

For more information, call 888 274 5755 or contact us .

Update On Constant Contact – Advisor Products Partnership

Constant Contact (CTCT), a world leader in online marketing tools, shared a booth with Advisor Products at Schwab IMPACT 2014, and we used the occasion to launch a concierge marketing service for financial advisors.

From the left to right: Steve Gordonson, CTO of Advisor Products since 1997; Trevor Moore, a financial advisor marketing consultant at API; Tim McNamara, head of sales for North America and Europe at Constant Contact; and Mindy Cohen, a Constant Contact specialist in financial advisor marketing.

At the conference, Advisor Products and Constant Contact launched a concierge marketing service that enables advisors to outsource a strategic program for online engagement marketing. With the concierge marketing service, you get a complete online marketing solution, customized to your strengths and niches.

Email key performance indicators measuring each monthly campaign’s results are used to refine your marketing strategy and make campaigns more effective by identifying financial planning topics that engage individual contacts.

Constant Contact Certified

With the API-CTCT concierge marketing service, a Constant Contact Certified Solution Provider (CSP) sends email campaigns to your contacts monthly. CSPs are independent consultants, who have been trained on an accreditation curriculum covering Constant Contact’s suite of online engagement-marketing tools as well as marketing best practices.

How Concierge Marketing For Advisors Works

With the Advisor Products/Constant Contact concierge marketing service:

  • You and your CTCT marketing coach design an online marketing strategy aligned with your niche markets.
  • Timely new campaigns written by Advisor Products are posted to advisor websites every month.
  • A CTCT Certified Solutions Provider sends the campaigns and helps you manage your contact list.
  • Monthly analytics are reviewed with your coach to reveal contacts to call
  • Based on which links in your emails your contacts click on, you tag your contacts to create lists aligned with your niches

By combining Advisor Products financial news content and websites with a Constant Contact Certified Solution Provider who implements your campaigns and strategic guidance from a Constant Contact coach based on objective analytics, the concierge marketing service provides a comprehensive solution for advisors to engage clients, prospects, and centers of influence.

For more information, contact us (888) 274-5755.

Concierge Marketing For Financial Professionals

Advisor Products and Constant Contact have teamed up to provide financial professionals a concierge marketing service.

  • Outsource all your marketing to pros
  • High-touch, high-tech service
  • Timely educational campaigns monthly
  • Analytics to measure return on every marketing dollar you spend
  • A marketing coach dedicated to your success
  • Executed by a Constant Contact Master Certified Solutions Provider
Concierge Marketing For Advisors

Concierge Marketing For Advisors

Concierge Marketing For Advisors is for you if you can’t ever find the time to send an email newsletter. You and your Constant Contact coach design a strategic marketing plan based on your unique strengths. Then, a Constant Contact Master Certified Solutions Provider implements your plan using our integrated content marketing platform. You and your coach refine your list and tag your contacts’ based on their “financial focus areas” to craft strategical email campaigns month after month for a year.

With Concierge Marketing For Financial Advisors, you get:

  • A marketing plan, calendar, and metrics to determine your success
  • Uploading, segmenting, and completely managing your contact list
  • A monthly professionally crafted email to engage your audience
  • List growth tools designed to reach your audience via multiple channels
  • Sharing through your social media networks

 

 

How To Reinforce Good Investor Behavior Regularly

With TV, social media, and financial news portals relentlessly undermining advisor relationships and bombarding investors with a confusing cacophony of wealth management tips, regularly reinforcing good investor behavior is the right thing to do for your clients, and it also happens to be the smart thing to do for yourself.

So we’ve literally made it effortless for advisors to reinforce good behavior once a week. We’ve added a new feature to the weekly update email that allows advisors  to send their contacts a message every Friday at 6 p.m. ET that gently reinforces best practices that are aligned with a financial professional’s perspective. The new version of the weekly update includes two links to leading financial news sites, as always, but now the third link in the update is an email campaign integrated with advisor websites.

The weekly email update is a way to fight back at financial noise. It allows you to send your contacts timely, authoritative content for UHNWIs. UHNWIs need content about investing, retirement income and tax minimization; they don’t care whether you write. The just want concise intelligent ideas. Providing quality content enhances your credibility and demonstrates a commitment to education, satisfying basic requirements of successful Internet marketing.

Advisor Products weekly email update has long been popular with advisors. Since September 2001, we’ve summarized the performance of major indices and linked to three articles about the week’s investment news.

The new feature adds a link in an advisor’s weekly email update newsletter to articles on advisor websites, which are written by Advisor Products with the aim of reinforcing good financial habits.

After stock prices swung wildly several consecutive days last week, Friday’s email update included an article by Advisor Products reporting that the correction had occurred in the face of strengthening economic data. The FINRA-reviewed article lists positive economic data released in September and October. It’s a reminder  to your contacts that a change in investor sentiment can cause corrections and even bear markets, but that economic fundamentals matter most to investors in the long run, and that fundamentals were strong when the correction hit.

Addressing the financial headlines in your weekly email newsletter makes people more likely to click on a link in your email and read the article on your website — where a call to action offers a free video whitepaper on retirement income, social security, estate planning, or college investing. This is classic email marketing made effortless, and you can measure the results and optimize it.

Your contact list is managed in Constant Contact, and you can view analytics to see who opens each email — down to each reader’s name and which links they clicked. Constant Contact and Advisor Products last July signed a long term strategic pact to provide financial professionals with email marketing. Constant Contact is bundled into Advisor Products’ Financial Advisor Communications System, along with unlimited coaching from Constant Contact.

While last week’s email update addressed the correction, a range of other focus areas will be covered in the months ahead.  Over time, advisors can determine which focus areas each contact is interested in and build separate lists in each focus area. Those lists become a way of targeting information to each contact, engaging them.

Content for the weekly update is based on continuing professional education webinars presented by thought leaders in the financial advice profession weekly via Advisors4Advisors, an affiliate of Advisor Products. Advisors can preview the email newsletter at 6 p. m. ET Fridays, but most advisors send the weekly update automatically. It’s a totally unique way of educating  advisors about best practices aligned with a marketing platform.

 

Our New Client Dashboard Is An Advisor’s Client Portal

Since January, we have been developing a new client portal for advisors.

The new client portal is built into AdvisorVault, which is used by hundreds of RIAs. AdvisorVault is a highly customized version of Microsoft SharePoint explicitly designed to meet the needs of financial advice professionals.

We are replacing traditional Windows Explorer folders used to navigate vaults with a Windows 8 and Apple design aesthetic — a major leap forward in the look of our client vaults. More important than the look, however, are new data feeds into AdvisorVault of popular performance reporting, financial planning and CRM apps used by RIAs. The data feeds transform your client vaults into a client portal — a single place for UHNWIs to go to manage their wealth in collaboration with a financial professional.

Client Dashboard Is An Advisor’s Client Portal

Data fed by your CRM, planning, and portfolio accounting apps show up as “Web parts” or “widgets” in a client dashboard. Settings for which widgets are displayed in your client dashboards, and where, are controlled by you.

One widget fed by your portfolio reporting app will display a client’s asset allocation by asset class (utilizing asset classes you’ve set in your portfolio management software (PMS) system). Another widget displays total returns. Point is, an app can feed multiple widgets.

At the end of October, we will enable widgets displaying data from portfolio reporting apps — PortfolioCenter, Advent, AdvisorsAssistant, and AssetBook, followed by Albridge two- to four-weeks later.

At the end of November, you’ll be able to display a widget showing a client’s MoneyGuide Pro “Plan Confidence Meter” along with a net worth bar chart.

Financial Advisor Client Portals

At the end of December comes the widget most special: You’ll be able to display a list of tasks (activities) in Redtail CRM that will populate widgets in your client dashboard. From Redtail, you’ll share clients’ to-dos. They automatically feed client dashboards. No uploads or imports needed — it’s a Web service using Redtail’s application programming interface.

Advisors can assign clients tasks, like, “Please send me your 1099,” or, “Please fill in this risk profile.” In the widget, tasks assigned clients are listed as “incomplete” until the client responds, at which time you use your Redtail CRM to mark the task as “Completed.” Anytime you add, comment on or complete a task in Redtail, the client is emailed a link to the update in his portal. The portal is displayed in HTML5, making it viewable on any device.

You can display “Completed” tasks in a client’s dashboard. That’s incredibly powerful! Listing all of the tasks you completed for the client in the last year presents a clear statement of the value you provide to each client.

Assigning clients tasks and tracking them in their personal portal is a new, highly transparent way of practicing for financial professionals.

In the first quarter of 2015, widgets will let you display Advisor Products videos and articles in client portals, feeding clients with financial ideas consistent with best practices articulated by thought leaders. The potential to educate clients and prospects continually is an exciting and humbling goal we share with you.

 

We’re Boosting Advisor Email Campaign Open Rates By 100%

The integration of Advisor Products content with Constant Contact is boosting advisor email campaign open rates by nearly 100% over the average advisor’s open rate, according to data from users.

Advisor Products integrates Constant Contact’s email marketing tools and analytics into financial advisor websites, and the first users of the integrated app provided their email “key performance indicators,” which are tracked in Constant Contact.

Advisors using Advisor Products with Constant Contact are experiencing an open rate nearly double that of the average financial advisor using Contact Contact, as summarized below.

 

Constant Contact publishes email KPIs for 38 types of small businesses, including financial advisors.

 

Average advisor using Constant Contact has a 15.56% open rate. Our integrated app is getting nearly double that.

 

Email KPIs are universally accepted metrics of effectiveness of email marketing.  Email KPIs are a familiar concept to investment advisors because  they are akin to the benchmarks advisors use to measure investment performance and put it in proper context.

While I am pleased that Advisor Products content drives much higher email KPIs than the average advisor, Advisor Products is engaged in a long-term strategic effort to leverage Constant Contact to help financial professionals educate investors to market to them. As Constant Contact begins to coach users of advisor websites by Advisor Products about how to refine their contact list, and as Advisor Products aligns content  to optimize advisor’s outreach to clients and prospects, you can expect improvements on these very promising early figures.

Keep in mind, it’s all about content. Ideas do matter. Advisor Products content for UHNWIs is derived from presentations made by thought leaders at weekly continuing professional education webinars produced since 2008 by Advisors4Advisors.

Our content for UHNWIs is derived from presentations made by thought leaders at the Advisors4Advisors continuing professional education webinars.

 

Financial Advisor Communications System bundles Constant Contact’s unique abilities to engage you with Advisor Products unique abilities in content marketing.

 

 

View a six-minute video about the Advisor Products-Constant Contact integration.

 

 

After Working Together For Months, Constant Contact And Advisor Products Announce Strategic Partnership

In mid-February 2014, Tim McNamara, who heads sales at Constant Contact, the world leader in online marketing, called Steve Gordonson, a partner in Advisor Products. Since then, we’ve worked intensely with the leadership team at Constant Contact, including Alec Stern, the sole co-founder of Constant Contact still working at the company.  The partnership establishes a way for advisors to get email campaign open rates nearly 100% higher than the average financial advisor using Constant Contact.

Constant-Contact-Financial-Advisor-Communications-System

Advisor Products turns professional education content from Advisors4Advisors into email newsletters, enabling optimal use of Constant Contact for list management and analytics.

Tim had spent five years in business development and operations at  Schwab and then 10 years as an advisor at UBS, Morgan Stanley and Wachovia.  He’s been an internet entrepreneur, having built the nation’s first online divorce platform. A year ago, Tim became the head of business development for North America and Latin America at Constant Contact.

Tim had been a reader of my column in advisor trade publications since the mid-1990s. During our first phone call, Tim said he had been a “raving fan” of mine for years. Tim had stumbled into Advisor Products integration with Constant Contact and was impressed. When he tracked down its source, he was thrilled to learn it was me.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

The head of business development for the largest email marketing tools company on the planet understood what Advisor Products is doing to help financial professionals reach UHNWIs and he valued it. Tim showed it to Alec, who confirmed that Advisor Products’ integration with Constant Contact was as seamless as he had ever seen, and he said that our content struck exactly the right tone and message for engaging UHNWIs. These guys got it!

AdvisorProducts-Constant-Contact-Press-release

 

Since that first phone call in February, Advisor Products and Constant Contact have worked intensively together. On July 1, we signed a multi-year strategic partnership that is a big win for us both and, more importantly, a win for advisors.

Advisor Products has bundled Constant Contact into its advisor websites. Constant Contact comes with Financial Advisor Communications System.

The integrated system gives you the strengths and unique abilities of both companies: Constant Contact’s ability engages you, to make you use your email newsletter. Advisor Products unique abilities in creating content for UHNWIs derived from thought leadership continuing professional education about wealth management. The result is measured by comparing your email key performance Indicators versus the average advisor using Constant Contact.

Constant Contact coaches are calling Advisor Products clients to be sure you know about all of our exciting news and be sure you know how to use all the tools and analytics as well as the benefits of Advisor Products content marketing system for advisor websites. .

The joint press release makes it all official, but we are well on the way toward providing financial advisors a best-in-class content marketing system that includes a client portal integrated with the best apps used by advisors.

 

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