Category: In The News

Marketing Automation + CRM Integration: The Formula for Speedier and Superior Inbound Marketing

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When I discuss the importance of inbound marketing with boutique asset managers, many tell me that they use email marketing platforms like Constant Contact and Mailchimp to cultivate leads.

These email services are great because they are easy to use and inexpensive. Asset managers like to compare open and click rates on each send. In addition, they are good to report “either/or” results. The message arrives or is “bounced” back. A recipient either opens or doesn’t open a message. She either clicks on a link or doesn’t. She either opts out of further emails or doesn’t.

This kind of binary data isn’t actionable, however. It doesn’t tell you how long visitors stayed on your web site, where they went afterward, which additional content they consumed and if they’ve ever come back to your site on their own.

If you really want to measure someone’s level of online engagement to determine their position in your sales funnel, consider a marketing automation software platform like Marketo, Pardot, Sharpspring or Hubspot. And if you want to make it easier for your salespeople to know which digitally active prospects they should contact first, ensure your CRM system can dynamically import the results of your inbound marketing campaigns into the activity tracking areas of your client and prospect records.

These were the main points of a recent webinar, Give Your E-Marketing a Speed Boost, presented by the Satuit Technologies Learning Center. In this session, I provided an overview of marketing automation strategies for asset managers and Satuit CEO Karen Macguire discussed the benefits of integrating inbound marketing and CRM platforms.

Marketing automation: The Fitbits of inbound marketing

Think of marketing automation as inbound marketing Fitbits. Like email platforms, they can automatically execute email marketing campaigns and generate social media posts. But rather than simply reporting “either/or” results, these applications can also track and report the online activities of anyone in your client or prospect database.

At a glance you can find out:

  • Which emails they opened;
  • Which links within an email message they clicked on;
  • Which web site pages, blogs, videos, podcasts and social media posts they viewed and interacted with; and
  • How often they came back to your site on their own, rather than through an email or social media prompt.

These applications can also automatically execute specific follow-up activities based on a person’s behavior. For example, if an email recipient doesn’t open an email, the program can automatically re-send the message with a different subject line. If someone opens a message and clicks a link – for example, downloading a whitepaper on small cap investing – the program can automatically send a relevant follow up message offering a link to performance data for your small cap funds.

The best marketing automation programs can assign “lead scores” to your clients and prospects based on their level of online engagement. These scores can help you determine if and when follow-up contact is warranted.

For example, your salesperson may want to call an advisor – prospect with a high lead score and ignore those with low lead scores. Or, if a formerly highly engaged advisor- client is no longer opening your emails or visiting your site, this may be an attrition warning sign that elevates them to the top of a salesperson’s client retention list.

Integrating e-marketing and CRM

 Whether you’re using a standalone e-mail platform or marketing automation software, you want to get lists of your most engaged recipients to your salespeople as quickly and efficiently as possible. The biggest bottleneck in this process is the time and effort it takes to manually enter each recipient’s activities and lead scores list into your CRM system.

According to Satuit Technologies CEO Karen Macguire, Satuit’s CRM system can clear this virtual logjam by establishing dynamic links with many popular email and marketing automation platforms.

Email “objects,” including the results a particular campaign (open, click, bounce, opt-out) can be added to the “mailings and events” section of each recipient’s CRM activity record. And lead scores and historical online interactions can be imported from marketing automation programs. As new inbound marketing campaigns are launched, Satuit’s CRM system can automatically update the results for each recipient.

Combining this digital activity intelligence with the results of sales – initiated activities like meetings and phone calls give a salesperson a much richer picture of their clients’ and prospects’ level of engagement with your firm. Satuit can even flag high lead scores and move them to the top of a salesperson’s “priority contact” dashboard.

Elevating your inbound marketing gameplan

Often boutique asset managers can benefit from digital marketing to attract leads, engage and support their sales teams. Email marketing makes it easier to deliver their story and value-added content to consultants, brokers and investment advisers. But to truly tell which of your email prospects are bona-fide leads requires more information than only marketing automation can provide. Marketing automation can deliver these insights, and dynamically importing them into your CRM system can help your salespeople make the most of their valuable time.

Dan Sondhelm is CEO of Sondhelm Partners, a firm that helps asset managers, mutual funds, ETFs, wealth managers and fintech companies grow through marketing, public relations and sales programs. Click to read Dan’s latest Insight articles and to schedule a complimentary consultation.



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Leveraging Technology to Turbo Charge Your Sales & Marketing Game, Part 1

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According to presenters of Tech Tools for Stronger Mutual Fund Sales and Marketing, a webinar recently presented by the ICI Small Funds Committee and Sondhelm Partners, 86% of these boutique fund companies are investing in sales and marketing applications to turbo-charge lead generation and close more deals.

Why are they making this investment? Because it’s harder than ever for smaller firms to generate new business. Consider this: According to Richardson Research, 83% of salespeople never get a second meeting with an institutional prospect. If that isn’t bad enough, according to CSO Insights, 53% of B2B buyers can’t distinguish between products offered by competing firms.

For boutique asset managers, the message should be crystal clear:

  • Sales teams need to dramatically increase the number of contacts to build a larger pipeline of qualified leads
  • The quality and personalization of each engagement with a prospect – whether in the form of an email, a cold call, a meeting, a pitchbook – has to be of highest quality and relevancy.

Assuming you already have top-notch products, exceptional thought leadership, and stellar marketing materials at your disposal, the next step is to make the most of your sales and marketing technologies – or upgrade those you have now.

In this first of a two-part webinar series, we summarize some of the more innovative developments in CRM, content and sales automation and inbound marketing presented by the CEOs whose firms were featured on this webinar.

Pumping up your CRM volume and efficiency

 What’s the difference between a typical CRM platform and a souped-up CRM in terms of increase sales productivity? Ask Karen Maguire, CEO of Satuit Technology, and she’ll say tools that enable salespeople to increase call volume, easily organize road trips and stay in touch while on the road.   In the webinar, she described several key productivity-enhancing features of their SatuitCRM software.

  • Click to dial: Your inside salespeople may need to make a hundred calls a day to prospects and clients. And what’s the most time-wasting part of this process? Manually dialing a number and typing in the results of the call. If your technology infrastructure allows salespeople to make calls through their computers, Satuit’s click-to-call feature dial simply by clicking a button on each contact’s CRM record. Gone are precious minutes wasted in keypad tapping and wrong numbers. Best of all, Satuit can automatically record the outcome of each call – connection, voice mail, length of call – in each contact’s activity log, so you can get accurate data on call – related productivity.
  • Search Nearby: When your outside salespeople are visiting their territories, they need to make the most efficient use of their travel time. Satuit’s proximity search feature works with Google Geocoding to display the locations of a salesperson’s prospects or clients in a specific city or region. Your salespeople can then have it create a customized travel route that integrates with their smartphone’s GPS to efficiently guide them to all of their site visits.   They can also automatically create a call plan from the list.
  • Fully mobile CRM: What’s the point of a CRM system if your road warriors need a laptop and wi-fi to access it? Satuit’s mobile platform lets your salespeople manage all of their CRM activities on tablets or smartphones, and all activities automatically synch with your home office system. They have complete access to prospect and client records, including the ability to updated activities on the fly. They can even send emails with attachments from their phones and push the directly into their CRM, so they don’t have to wait until they get back to their hotel to follow up on a call or visit.   If they have the integrated portal, they can download and send any marketing materials while sitting in a prospect office – or, even better, they can give the prospect a log in to download their own marketing materials.

Automating pitchbook and marketing material production

What’s one of the biggest sources of friction between an asset manager’s sales and marketing departments? The time it takes to prepare pitchbooks and bundled marketing materials in time for a salesperson’s hastily scheduled meeting.

According to John Toepfer, founder and CEO of Synthesis Technology, the solution is data-driven content and sales automation software. These applications allow marketing departments to create dynamic libraries of up-to-date, preapproved data and content on the firm and its products.

Sales teams can use applications like Synthesis Technology’s FlightDeck to pull information from these libraries to create customized and compliant pitchbooks that can be distributed and presented electronically or printed. Toepfer shared a case study illustrating one of their FlightDeck clients who is producing 200 to 300 customized pitchbooks per month.

One feature of the Synthesis platform Toepfer really likes is its ability to email pitchbooks and other sales materials to prospects and track their interactions with the content. Now, I’m not a strong advocate of sending pitchbooks in advance of the meeting. They’re meant to be presented, not read. But I can see the value of sending a digital version after a meeting, especially if it can be trimmed down to only include information that the prospect is interested in (such as performance data on a specific fund, rather than multiple funds) and a customized page is added that has links to supporting materials, such as whitepapers, commentaries and prospectuses.

Digital marketing on steroids

Email services like Constant Contact are very good for some asset managers because they make it easy for anyone to execute email marketing campaigns at a low cost. But for now, they offer little information about each recipient’s level of engagement other than whether they read a message or clicked on an embedded link. They can’t tell you what people did afterwards. How long did they stay on your site? What content did they view? Did they come back to your website at a later time? Are they a warm lead?

That’s why I often recommend marketing automation/inbound marketing platforms like Hubspot, SharpSpring, Marketo and Pardot. They can track the online behavior of each of the individuals in your database. They can tell you how engaged your subscribers are over time. Specifically,

  • Which emails each person opened (and which they ignored);
  • Which links within an email they clicked;
  • Which pages and content on your web site and blogs they viewed;
  • How they engage with your firm’s social media posts;
  • How much time they spent on your web site and how often they came back on their own, rather than in response to an email campaign.

While each platform has its strengths and weaknesses, they each assign lead scores to email subscribers based on their level of online engagement. Prospects with low lead scores, such as those who never engaged with an email or visited their website can automatically be sent follow up emails. Prospects with high lead scores can be moved to the top of the sales person’s contact list.

The platforms also assign lead scores to existing clients to identify potential attrition risks. For example, if a shareholder stops engaging digitally, he is at risk of leaving. That is a good time for a phone call to make sure you are still on their radar screen and to arrange a meeting to see what you can do to strengthen the relationship.

It’s cheaper than staying small

The use of these technologies can lead to greater cost-efficiency over the long run. But keep in mind the initial start-up costs and time it takes to train sales and marketing people to learn how to use them can be substantial.

For asset managers new to sales and marketing technology, you won’t be able to incorporate all of them into your growth strategy for the new year. But you could determine your biggest challenges and see if there is a technology to improve your situation. Are you doing processes by hand leaving room for errors or slow reporting? Are you not keeping up with newer technologies because you’ve always done things your way? It may be time to kick the tires to learn what solutions are available to help you grow.

Dan Sondhelm is CEO of Sondhelm Partners, a firm that helps asset managers, mutual funds, ETFs, wealth managers and fintech companies grow through marketing, public relations and sales programs. Click to read Dan’s latest Insight articles and to schedule a complimentary consultation.


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Beware Of The Pink Trap

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More women than ever are earning graduate degrees, leading Fortune 500 companies, and spearheading financial decisions large and small. Marketing to this increasingly powerful group requires a different way of thinking. Read on for TD Ameritrade’s tips from Dan Sondhelm and other marketing pros to target and engage female clients and prospects in an effective way.

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You Can’t Afford to Make a Bad Voicemail Impression

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An advisor friend gets about 10 cold calls a week from mutual fund wholesalers. The number he returns? Zero. Here’s the transcription of one recent cold caller, a list of mistakes he made in his message, and what he should have said instead. As published on Iris.

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Sondhelm Partners to Discuss Digital Marketing on Satuit Webinar

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Sondhelm Partners is proud to announce Dan Sondhelm will discuss advanced digital marketing strategies for asset managers on a webinar for Satuit Technologies clients. Dan will discuss how marketing automation is different (and better) than email marketing and why sales teams prefer it. He will also provide tips to strengthen digital results. In addition, Satuit CEO Karen Maguire will discuss the integration between Satuit and their marketing automation partners.

Satuit is a leading Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) used by asset managers.

The webinar will be held on October 22, 2019 at 9am. For more information, contact Dan Sondhelm.


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You’ve Opened an Email Marketing Alert. Now What?

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Thank you for taking the time to open this email message and click to our website to read the full article. But, you shouldn’t have. Now we can track your every move digitally. And we can act on this information, if we choose. We promise, though, we won’t be a pain. As published in Nasdaq.

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Sondhelm Partners to Participate in Third Party Marketers Association Annual Conference

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Sondhelm Partners is pleased to announce that Dan Sondhelm will be a presenter for the Third Party Marketers Association’s Annual Conference and a judge for the Manager Exchange. Sondhelm Partners is also a sponsor.

The Annual Conference offers a great way for investment managers and marketers to learn best practices, share experiences and network. The Manager Exchange provides investment managers a forum to present their story to a group of marketers who will provide feedback to enhance their stories.

The sessions will be held November 13-14, 2019 in New York City.

You can learn more about the conference here.

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Financial Advisors’ Next Frontier: Women And Minorities

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Are their enough women financial advisors to help serve the growing ranks of potential women clients? How about people of color? It’s an area that the financial advice industry has been addressing, but many in the field say more can be done to attract women and people of color as both advisors and clients. Dan Sondhelm offered insight for this story.

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The Intelligence Learned from One Opened Email Alert

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Thank you for taking the time to open this email message and click to our website to read the full article. But, you shouldn’t have. Now we can track your every move digitally. And we can act on this information, if we choose. We promise, though, we won’t be a pain. Published in Iris.

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Wooing the Gatekeepers the VIP Way

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A growing number of fund companies realize that Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) firms are the future of the intermediary business. This is a challenge for fund distribution teams, since traditional product-focused email marketing campaigns and wholesaler “greet, meet and eat” strategies that work in broker/dealers don’t align with a business model where fiduciary responsibilities, rather than commissions, guide investment recommendations. Dan Sondhelm discusses the opportunity in Nasdaq.

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