Every 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 Annuity Monitor report titled Life Events: Targeted Financial Event Planning Resources Online and focus on ways financial services firms can improve the life events planning information they offer online:
Position life events resources in a dedicated section – While there is only so much real estate that can be utilized on the main navigation menu, providing access to life events information from a learning center or guidance/education tab or central location is considered a best practice as it provides efficient navigation to life event resources.
Offer life events beyond retirement, college and end of life planning – Life’s many transitions and major events often times warrant substantial financial planning and consideration. Lincoln Financial offers an extensive selection of life events that include the buying and selling of a business, birth of a child and divorce. New York Life and AXA Equitable similarly provide a wide range of life events, with specific financial considerations for each. As far as life events are concerned, a broad range of topics affords firms the opportunity to cover a number of financial topics and, consequently, market their annuities, life insurance and other products.
Include links to product information within each life events section – Life events sections are intended to stress the importance of financial planning as life unfolds. A life events section is ineffective if it does not promote a firm’s product offerings or guide a prospect towards taking the next step. Tactical positioning of links to additional key areas of the site, such as individual product pages, financial professional contact pages/links or account opening pages is considered best practice and highlights the firm’s financial offerings. AXA Equitable, Fidelity and New York Life set the standard for positioning links within life events sections that promote taking the next step.
Provide product recommendations for each life event – In a similar context to providing links to additional site resources that enable users to “take the next steps,” offering direct product recommendations within each specific life event is considered a best practice, as it highlights relevant firm offerings in a straightforward manner. AXA Equitable and Fidelity both make specific product recommendations that are applicable to the various life events on their public websites.
Include life event and product literature for prospects and advisors – Especially for advisors, the availability of downloadable brochures that focus on life events and their financial considerations is an added benefit. For public users, the ability to view and download brochures, or related product brochures, is a helpful resource to share with parties associated with a particular life event, such as a spouse. Allianz Life promotes a jobs-focused client seminar on the advisor site. Unfortunately, no Annuity Monitor firms offer downloadable life events brochures on the public site.