How to Make Lead-Generation Services Work

Lead-generation services present a paradox for the advisory profession: Many advisors have no luck with those services, but others use them to cost-effectively generate revenue. My research untangled that paradox.

The premise behind lead-generation services in the advisor marketplace is undeniably seductive. Just click on the websites of SmartAsset: “The nation’s #1 marketplace for introducing advisors to high-intent consumers.”

Or Dave Ramsey’s Ramsey SmartVestor:We’ll track down your investing contacts so you can stick to what you’re good at.”

Or Zoe Financial: “Advisors on the Zoe Wealth Platform see an average 3x increase in client acquisition… we work alongside you to understand your target market, schedule pre-qualified prospects directly on your calendar, and seamlessly onboard your new clients”).

Or Paladin Digital marketing, now incorporating WiserAdvisor: “Paladin uses a combination of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (advertising), and third-party websites to produce leads for financial advisors who are listed in its Registry.”

Or AdvisorFinder: “We are building the best possible user experience to help people discover, compare and connect with financial advisors.”

There are others, including Wealthtender, UNest and, more recently, Datalign, each with a few differences. SmartAsset has colonized the social media space with personal finance newsletters, SEO optimization and regular advertising on television, while Paladin/WiserAdvisor will aggressively buy Google adwords in an advisor’s location, so the Paladin offer to connect with a financial planner shows up on the top of Google searches. Zoe has partnered with BankRate, NerdWallet and other influential financial websites whose visitors might want to connect with a financial advisor, while SmartVestor connects advisors with Dave Ramsey’s followers.