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Finding quality Financial Leads

The financial services market has probably been affected more than any other by the advent of mainstream internet access. In the past, selling and marketing financial services was very much an outbound activity, driven by telemarketing, DM, advertising and even door-to-door selling.

Google trends search for Credit Card

The market for financial leads today

Ubiquitous broadband has given the power of choice to consumers, enabling them to search through a large selection of offers and make informed choices before buying, turning the market on its head and creating a new approach for banks and other institutions: customer acquisition.

In a sector that generates over 10% of the country’s GDP (source: ONS Blue Book), customer acquisition has become big business, as is best evidenced by the dramatic growth of financial comparison sites such as Moneysupermarket.com, who make their money by helping visitors choose a supplier and then selling their details on to them. Moneysupermarket.com has over 120 million annual visitors and declared just under £180 million in revenue for 2011. Comparison sites are just one way in which financial leads are now acquired.

Search and financial leads

One of the key sources of online financial leads is the search engines and, unlike many areas, seasonality does not seem to play much of a role in the financial area. If we take for example searches for ‘credit card’ during the last 12 months the search volume has remained almost static.

Source: Google Trends search for ‘Credit Card’

More interestingly, this volume has grown over the last 3 years, whilst many trends have shown a drop in searches over a similar period.

Google trends search for Credit Card
Source: Google Trends search for ‘Credit Card’

The advantage of search as a generator of financial leads is that the very act of searching serves as a qualification for a lead – if someone has searched for ‘remortgage’, it is highly probable that they are interested in that specific service, for instance. Further quality is then added by asking specific questions in the form that acquires the lead, such as ‘What is the size of your mortgage?’. This ensures that leads are sent to suitable institutions and are more likely to convert to sales.

Quality has been a long-standing issue with financial leads, and the final step to ensure a high conversion rate is qualification by phone. When looking for a customer acquisition service for financial leads, telephone qualification should absolutely be a condition.

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