Tuesday Tips – Five Ways to Improve The Online On-Boarding Process for New Advisors

by on Jan 17, 2012

altEvery Tuesday, Corporate Insight releases recommendations to help financial services firms improve a key aspect of the online user experience. Recommendations are taken directly from our Monitor Reports and Consulting Services research, which cover the banking, brokerage, credit card, asset management and insurance industries.

This week’s recommendations come from our Mutual Fund Advisor Monitor report titled Advisor Site Promotions: Marketing Advisor Sites to New Advisors and focus on ways firms can improve the online on-boarding process for new advisors:

Offer an Advisor Site Demo – A clickable, interactive demo is a strong tool in enticing users to register with sites of any kind, and the same holds true for advisors. Instead of hoping interested advisors will be able to pick out the firm’s strengths from their public offerings, a short promotional video or interactive tour of protected content and capabilities could achieve this quickly. For example, Putnam offers an attractive flipbook-style tour of advisor site contents, deftly employing rollover dialog icons to illuminate its protected resources.

Summarize Protected Content – When firms have advisor tools or sales resources that they are particularly proud of, a short description or screenshot could go a long way in persuading advisors to register. A well-positioned social media resource, for example, could resonate with advisors looking to expand their book of business and shopping for a new firm. BlackRock, for instance, summarizes recent sales content such as its LinkedIn referral guide – a hot topic sure to interest many advisors.

Clearly Mark Protected Content – To adequately exhibit the advisor site’s content and minimize confusion or aimless clicking, firms can employ padlock icons over protected resources. Without these, it can sometimes feel as if it’s a mistake that users are able to see certain pages but not others. This will also prevent users from being repeatedly redirected to a login screen – a nuisance which could cause them to end their exploration and assume it is all off-limits.

Promote Advisor Site on Public Homepage – Since the public homepage is likely the firm’s most-visited area, and interested advisors are likely to go there first, a small promotion could be effective with the right placement and design. It is crucial that any promotion lead to further information about registering at the firm and ideally a preview or tour, rather than just an advisor login/registration page. Allianz, for example, provides an attractive, eye-catching advisor promotion on the public site which highlights capabilities of the advisor site. The image does not, however, lead to any further information, or call attention to the fact that much of the Allianz advisor site is available to view publicly.

Thoroughly Explain Registration Details – Logistical details and nuances of being an advisor at a certain firm are important to those shopping for a new firm. Firms can cut down on call center inquiries by making all of their operational support details, pricing and breakpoint information and the like clearly available from the registration page. American Century, for example, devotes an entire tab to these details, impressively laying out all of their policies and support information in a well-organized outlet.

For more information on our Monitor or Consulting services, contact Bob Burlin at 212-832-2002 x-115 or rburlin@corporateinsight.com.