About 18 months ago, I was invited to speak to a small group of high-level estate planning lawyers about web marketing and prospect follow up — and how critical it is for those in their profession — AND for tax and accounting professionals. (Truly, because consider: Besides TurboTax, do your clients EVER pull the trigger on a service plan upon first contact? Exactly.)
I knew that these lawyers had been personally trained by one of the smartest marketers in their industry (the one who invited me to speak), and I figured that they would have made sure that their website was up to par.
Sure, many of them looked nice and pretty–impressive, even. But even so, the MAJORITY (69% of 70+lawyers who pay $1k+ per month for her coaching) had NO mechanism in place to capture the contact information from visitors. And that even includes the quite lame (and very tired) “Sign up for our Newsletter” box.
What about YOUR website? What about YOUR follow-up?
You see, I was a WARM prospect (or at least I appeared as such), and with these supposedly well-trained lawyers, I barely got a follow-up.
Systematic, effective follow-up is the only way to win online for the service professional — ESPECIALLY for a tax or accounting professional.
The “capture box” is the most fundamental tool for the website of ANY service professional.
Why is this? Well, you’re not running a charity and you’re not an info-tainment provider, so therefore your website has two primary purposes:
1. To get people to buy something or make an appointment to come see you.
2. To get someone to opt into your email list.
And, can we agree that you’re not going to be preparing many tax returns online? Yep, that’s not your competitive edge- especially with Turbo Tax and the other big-brand behemoths out there.
Your edge is based on your relationship with your clients and prospects.
So…riddle me this: Just how many *cold* (non-referral) visitors can make any kind of decision regarding who they’ll trust with their most intimate financial details based on a website? The answer, of course, is not very many. You MIGHT get a phone call (is your phone number prominent?), but even then–you’ll need to be well-prepared with a very good pitch to “close” a discerning prospect.
That’s a subject for another time.
But, if you build a relationship over time with these visitors, that “pitch” becomes much simpler.
Yep, an opt-in box is mandatory on nearly every page of your website. Some smart marketers I know even build it into the header of the website.
Because, once you collect the name and email addresses of your website visitors, you can build relationships with them and market to them for easily, using email. And that, of course, translates well for YOUR competitive edge…and to well-paying clients, month after month.