How to Choose the Right Advisor-Marketing Automation Software

February 12th, 2020 · 14 min read

When it comes to marketing strategy, many financial-service firms are years, if not decades, behind the curve.

It doesn't help that marketing is continually changing as it adapts to new behavioral insights and new technologies. As technology continues down its destiny to consolidate, it has given rise to fully automated marketing systems that run entirely online. Automated marketing systems improve lead generation, lead nurturing campaigns, drip email campaigns, and other core marketing tactics by automating repetitive actions along the campaign building process through to delivery.

Choosing the right automated marketing platform comes down to the content form, and delivery method best suited to your ideal buyer personas, as well as third party integrations with complementary marketing software you may already be using.

The Chase Is On

When it comes to marketing automation systems, new tech updates, new angles on consumer data and other inputs lead the cutting edge of product development, intending to enhance their marketing systems and tactics.

Using a marketing automation system will assist advisors in keeping up with the times — after all, these providers update their strategies to keep up with the latest tactical thinking. Some further augment their value proposition with valuable user educational content.

Why Should I Pay Attention to This Technology?

Imagine, instead of hiring a marketing specialist, writers, content creators, a graphic designer, a funnel strategist, etc., you instead just sign-up for one online system based around proven and effective campaign structures that can be operated by one person? Doing so would minimize overhead costs by turning the job of five into the role of one or two.

Marketing automation systems provide a series of preset options based on your common goals, backed up by industry-specific content libraries and content delivery systems set to automated campaign calendars.

How Are “Canned” Options Right for My Firm?

Of course, you will want some customization. Most marketing automation systems have modification options for campaigns and content input fields for light to full content customization. Marketing automation systems provide a series of preset options based on your shared goals, backed up by industry-specific content libraries and content delivery and curation systems set to automated campaign calendars.

It's kind of a no brainer for smaller firms. By aligning your marketing and sales goals with an integrated marketing system that carries out the drudge work, you can reinvest that time you save into your clients and your business. You may even find you have more time to step back and evaluate your overall strategy.

Some even formulate content and deployment methods based on massive amounts of data and research on your target market. Genius, right?

Weigh Your Options

Today, there are various marketing automation systems on offer, but the product options can be overwhelming. The question is, which product is right for my business?

To help answer that question, we will evaluate the central optimized marketing automation systems used by financial-advice firms, zeroing in on their main features, most significant differences, and the pros and cons of each.

DivvyHQ

What makes them stand out?

The emphasis of this automation system is on strategy, planning, and the upfront process. The platform features full automation of all systems, focuses on consistency, and helps you find the channels for your communication efforts.

Quote:

"I don't think you need to be on all channels," says Amanda Todorovich, head of content and creative services for DivvyHq. "It's really about being where your audience is and understanding the channels that matter to you."

Todorovich adds: "You can't be afraid to try new things. You absolutely need to experiment and learn quickly, but at the same time, it's not like we launched our Snapchat (channel) the day Snapchat came out. We took time to kind of learn and feel our way through it and to understand who's actually using that particular channel and does it make sense for our brand to be there?"

Pros, Cons, and Pricing

Pros:

This platform focuses on the financial-service industry. Proven results across multiple industries. Commonly considered a leader in marketing-automation services.

Cons:

Users report the platform is a bit clunky and more difficult to use than other automation software. Users say that the campaign interface is somewhat out of date. Unless you're using the software under the unlimited-user plan, your team must pay DivvyHq for every new user. Although the platform is optimized for financial service, DivvyHq puts a lot of its energy into other business types and with more emphasis on larger firms and companies, rather than smaller shops.

Pricing:

DivvyHQ prices start at $30.00 per user per month and can reach $215 per user per month and a one-time setup fee of $1,500. The company offers a 14-day free trial.

Monthly subscription rates, billed annually:

  • Divvy Lite - $30/ user/ month

  • Divvy Pro - $105/ user/ month

  • Divvy Enterprise - $215/ user/ month

  • Divvy Enterprise Unlimited - Call for Pricing

Main Features:

  • Idea storage

  • Unlimited content calendars

  • Unlimited content types

  • Task management

  • Campaigns management

  • Online/email support

  • Custom workflow builder (Pro & Enterprise)

  • Social publishing (Pro & Enterprise)

  • Wordpress integration (Pro & Enterprise)

  • Global/parent calendar layers (Enterprise)

  • Dedicated support specialist (Enterprise)

  • Custom API access (Enterprise)

  • Single sign-on (Enterprise)

  • Content analytics (Pro & Enterprise)

  • Free reviewers (10 for Pro, 20 for Enterprise)

Snappy Kraken

What makes them stand out?

Well known for their approachable and engagingly modern layouts, Snappy has a uniquely exclusive geographical reservation feature, where advisors can reserve their services by zip code. Snappy Kraken is optimized to be extremely useful for smaller independent firms because prospective clients in that area are less likely to be targeted by rival firms. Instead, prospects receive informative content via Snappy's content library and campaign layouts.

Snappy Kraken focuses on human interaction and promotes the mindset of intentional and meaningful interaction with prospects. Snappy Kraken views every touch with prospects as personable human interaction in terms of getting to know someone. As with new features like Redtail integration for optimized CRM, Snappy Kraken continues to adapt and enhance its platform for wealth managers.

Quote:

Every marketing campaign "is a series of coordinated steps that take someone from one stage to the next," says Angel Gonzalez, Snappy Kraken's founder and chief marketing officer.

Robert Sofia, Snappy Kraken's CEO, adds: "If I was going to give advisors one tip to put them on the right path, I would encourage them to stop thinking about marketing and business growth and client nurturing like an exercise that depends on volume. So often they think more is the answer. I just need to do more marketing, I just need to send out more communications, but we live in a world where people are tired of getting so much communication. Their emails are blown up. Because people are tired of that, the key to success is to have the right communications for the right people at the right time and delivered in the right way."

Check out a sample of Snappy's lead generation campaign for attracting high-earning business owners

Pros, Cons, and Pricing

Pros:

Redtail CRM integration. Focused on the financial-service industry. Users can request customized content, event videography, and personalized video creation.

Cons:

Exclusive territory rights mean that if another advisor in your area already uses them, you may have to wait to receive Snappy's specialized services.

Pricing:

It starts at $227 a month, plus a $489 one-time setup fee. The base fee increases depending on the service level.

The Chalice Advantage

Exclusive benefits available only to Chalice Financial Network members 

  • 20% off on one-time setup fee*  

  • 20% off on monthly license fee*

Main Features:

  • Exclusive territory rights

  • Prospecting campaigns

  • Client service campaigns

  • Niche campaigns

  • Event-promotion campaigns

  • Customizable campaigns

  • FINRA reviewed campaigns

  • Exclusive content

  • True end-to-end campaigns

  • Landing pages, tripwire pages, and pop-ups

  • Online advertising

  • Real-time results tracking

  • Auto-posting to web and social

  • Automatic email, auto-respond, and nurturing sequences

  • Custom content and analytics for Enterprise

  • Website creation

  • Ongoing personal support

Act-On

What makes them stand out?

Strong customer support. Has an "open marketing" eco-system that integrates with solutions your company already uses and works your current system into the Act-On system. Suitable for small and large teams. Pricing tiers not based on the size of the database but by the number of people you market to monthly. The platform focuses on identifying buyer personas and engaging on the right channels.

Established in 2008, Act-On is a fully-fledged marketing-automation tool designed to be a complete solution for marketers. Act-On includes email marketing, website visitor tracking, lead management, social media management, reporting, and analytics — plus integrations with webinars and events.

Act-On helps businesses segment their customers into various categories, assisting marketers in identifying client personas and target audiences. The software offers a website tracking feature, which gives firms visibility into the types of customers visiting their sites and tracks behavior while they are on the website.

Act-On offers tools to build and optimize campaigns, generate leads, rank their prospects, and more. The solution is capable of integrating with almost any leading CRM available in the market. It is ideal for small marketing teams needing a marketing automation tool with minimal involvement from IT or a developer.

Quote:

“Our key goal is to enable marketers of all skills and experience levels to drive more personalized buyer engagement and easily execute effective campaigns,” says Act-On’s CEO Kate Johnson.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/act-on-recognized-as-a-visionary-in-the-2019-gartner-magic-quadrant-for-crm-lead-management-1028555384

Pros, Cons, and Pricing

Pros:

Highly customizable.

Cons:

It has a financial-service component but is not solely focused on the wealth management industry.

Pricing:

Starting at $900 a month for the "Professional" tier, and $2000 a month for the "Enterprise" tier.

Main Features:

  • Email engine

  • Integration into web conferencing and CRM solutions

  • Tools for website visitor tracking

  • Lead scoring and lead nurturing

  • Automated programs; trigger and drip campaigns

  • Social media listening, prospecting & publishing

  • Design tools for web forms, landing pages, and emails

  • Inbound tools for advanced SEO, Google AdWord tracking, and blog integration

  • Act-On Anywhere - a business productivity tool

  • Account- and contact-based marketing capabilities

Automated Advisor

What Makes Them Stand Out?

Most companies simply automate the system for you. Automated Advisor stands out by empowering users and prospects with educational material to help them understand what is happening behind the whole process, such as running social media ad campaigns. They are always adding new content to keep their audience educated. We're not talking about annoying little emails or short videos just meant to get sign-ups. We're talking about full-length seminars on cutting-edge strategy, proven funnel blueprint models with implementation instructions, in-depth consumer marketing tactics, and building personas. Automated Advisor specializes in lead generation for independent advisors who look to handle marketing in-house, with limited experience, and a short budget.

Quote:

"The marketing advice I always got was, 'Just send more mail or just buy more dinners,'" says Brandon Stuerke, founder of Automated Advisor. "It wasn't long before I was $91,000 in debt. It literally almost put me out of business. I realized that I can't just do more of the same thing."

The aim of Automated Advisor, adds Briggs, "is not just to educate people, but to motivate them to take action, which is in their best interests."

Pros, Cons, and Pricing

Pros:

Exclusive advisor focus, with a modern buyer’s journey approach.

Cons:

Does not provide a website. No external content-delivery automation.

Pricing:

Information not publicly available. Interested prospects are prompted to schedule a complimentary strategy session with an Automated Advisor specialist.

Main Features:

  • Tailored marketing blueprints

  • Traffic and lead generation

  • Prospect nurturing

  • Lead to appointment conversion

  • Client acquisition

  • Referral generation

  • Profit maximization analysis

  • Internal automation

Vestorly

What makes them stand out?

Vestorly focuses on a content strategy engine powered by artificial intelligence that helps users identify their audience. The AI engine connects subscribers with curated content it thinks will perform best with the target audience. Stylistically, Vestorly is modern and sleek. The online system also integrates well with other popular marketing tools such as Salesforce and Mailchimp.

Quote:

"Despite the challenge to engage, customers want to hear from businesses, and those that communicate in a consistent, authentic way are winning," says Ralph Pahlmeyer, CEO of Vestorly.

Read the MarTech interview with Ralph Pahlmeyer, CEO, Vestorly

Pros, Cons, and Pricing

Pros:

Data-driven approach and unique content-curation engine. The platform hosts integrations with other well-known content management systems.

Cons:

Campaigns are not customizable, and there's no A/B testing functionality. It does not provide custom content creation, and there's no website creation service. Past users complain about unsatisfactory service and difficulty getting refunds.

Pricing:

There are two leading service platforms and four main pricing tiers per-platform ranging from free to "Enterprise."

Marketing Automation Platform

  • Free: $0

  • Standard: $49

  • Professional: $499

  • Enterprise: Must Inquire

  • API Platform

  • Basic: $199

  • Standard: $499

  • Professional: $999

  • Enterprise: Custom

Main Features:

  • Content syndication

  • Dynamic content

  • Communication management

  • Virtual assistant and a 24/7 support (live rep)

  • Customizable calls to action

  • Drip campaigns

  • Landing pages/web forms

  • Educational training

  • Workflow automation

  • Contact discovery

  • Lead capture

  • Lead database integration

  • Lead nurturing

  • Sales intelligence

Broadridge Advisor Solutions

What makes them stand out?

Broadridge has four legacy technology platforms hosted under Broadridge Advisor Solutions: Emerald Connect, Forefield, Investigo, and Direxxis. The platform itself comes in several packages — for attracting new leads, establishing a brand presence, and using all of Broadridge's marketing tools. There's also a bespoke package called "My Marketing Partner."

Quote:

"Digital marketing is truly on the move," says Dave Briggs, Broadridge's head of corporate training. "The foundation has been built simply using websites and some email-marketing campaigns along the way, but now digital marketing is so much more than that." To illustrate the need for AI-powered marketing, Briggs points to "a 43% gap in annual revenue growth between top quartile advisors and bottom quartile advisors."

Insight | Broadridge Advisor Solutions

Join Broadridge Advisor Solutions and Impact Advisor Solutions, as they take a look at some of the critical digital marketing segments, including Impact Advisor Solutions Founders Patrick Eckstrom and John D.

Pros, Cons, and Pricing

Pros:

The platform as created exclusively for advisors with the focus on plenty of downloadable educational resources. Broadridge membership also includes access to their Partner Program, which hosts solutions such as Finastra, Workiva, Charles River, Q4, and SmartRoom.

Cons:

The platform does not include event promotion, nor is it customizable. It also does not create landing pages or custom content. Advisors must have a Broadridge site to use their marketing solutions.

Main Features & Pricing by Plan:

Plan:

  • Grow - $129 a month

Features:

  • Website

  • Email & Social Media Marketing

  • Search Engine Marketing

  • Continued Education

Plan: manage - $179 a month

Features:

  • Everything in “Grow”

  • eCards

  • eNewsletters

Plan: Invest

  • $214 a month

Features:

  • Everything in “Manage”

  • Client Seminars

Plan: My Marketing Partner

  • $3,500 a month

Features:

  • Personal Marketing Advisor

  • Marketing audit and analysis

  • 12-month marketing plan creation

  • 12-month marketing plan implementation

  • Optimization of Broadridge platform (via Personal Marketing Advisor)

FMG Suite

What makes them stand out?

FMG suite comprises several automated marketing systems under one roof to form a digital marketing solution specifically for financial advisors, backed by a vast library of success stories and user testimonials. FMG has a great selection of educational videos and articles that we would say are some of the most interactive, realistic, and practical educational resources amongst any of their competitors. Their approach to content strategy is up-to-date. Their content is stunning (specifically their B to C video content.)

Quote:

Kirk Faulkner – Director of Marketing at FMG Suite "A' marketing persona' is kind of an imaginary person that you make up, and that you then run all of your marketing decisions through. Consider, when she goes to work, what are the things that really give her trouble every day? What are the things that she's reporting on? What are the things that she gets praise for and what are those pain points and those opportunities for gain that you can really speak to now? What you can do then is think about her as she goes through that through her day and what are the channels through which she really appreciates communication? What is the best way to get ahold of her? What is the best way to get information to her? Once you have all that information down, you put together something I would call an engagement scenario or a series of questions that a person might have. The answer you would reply with can be made into a piece of content. What would their next question be? That becomes the next piece of content, and that is a great way not just to craft your persona but also to help you plan out an entire content stream."

Pros, Cons, and Pricing

Pros:

One of the largest educational libraries on the market. High-quality content. Easy to use and a well-designed interface. Up-to-date.

Cons:

Although the content is informative and well designed, it does not offer exclusivity. FMG is also a widely used solution, meaning your competitors are sending prospects and clients the same content you are.

Pricing:

Starts at $69 a month Plans are flexible and customizable to fit your needs Custom Plans for Broker-Dealers.

Features:

  • Website

  • Email marketing

  • Social media

  • Content library

  • Marketing coaching

  • Customization

  • Unlimited phone and email support

  • Education training

  • 6-month checkups

  • High-quality integrations

Twenty Over Ten

What makes them stand out?

Well known for their mobile optimization and conversion friendliness, Twenty Over Ten hosts a powerful suite of marketing tools and solutions underneath the hood of a sleek modern website.

Twenty Over Ten combines intelligent inbound marketing strategy with the support of an extensive content library, all curated for the advisors audience. Twenty Over Ten's continuous efforts to educate advisors about marketing reflect their inbound strategy–creating free content around the interests of those who are looking for the information in which you specialize. This is in comparison to outbound marketing which is paying to interupt vs. provide for what is allready being desired.

Quote:

"You're providing the answers and the information that they're looking for. So it's a business strategy which flips the script from you pushing your information out there on someone, to them coming to you as a qualified customer looking for that information, and that is hugely hugely important. That idea that we're flipping it from us being a pushy salesperson going out and begging someone to pay attention to us to people knocking on our door and saying hello you have great information, you're an expert in this area please help me understand how do these things better. And that's why inbound marketing is so so powerful," says Samantha Russell, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer at Twenty Over Ten. 

Twenty Over Ten Video Marketing Webinar

Pros, Cons, and Pricing

Pros:

Exclusively financial advisor focused with one of the most socially engaging content libraries on the market. Next-gen freindly.

Cons:

No true end-to-end campaign marketing campaign management.

Pricing:

It starts at $129 a month or $109 a month billed annually. There's also an additional one-time set up fee: $500 for Starter, $1,500 for Enhanced, and $3,600 for tailored.

Chalice Advantage

Exclusive benefits available only to Chalice Financial Network members 

  • $500 off any website setup.

Main Features:

  • Dynamic websites

  • Lead-capturing landing pages

  • Engaging blogs

  • Timely, Customizable Content (that you can edit & use wherever you like)

  • Built-in SEO tools for increased traffic

  • Social Media (through our Lead Pilot tool)

  • Email Marketing (through Lead Pilot tool)

Conclusion

Automated marketing is the new standard for independent firms in need of a comprehensive marketing solution. All the solutions here are proven effective and appreciated by their users. However, one solution stands out.

A Comprehensive Strategy

Snappy Kraken & Twenty Over Ten are on our platform for a reason. We chose to partner with them both not because of their one-of-a-kind content, or Snappy's exclusive geographic marketing; instead, it's their strategy.

Snappy Kraken's campaign strategy is one of the most comprehensive and well-thought-out solutions on the market. They understand the buyer journey through an in-depth perspective on end-to-end campaigns.

We see marketing services offer solutions based on a strategy that may work, but are outdated or limited (only offering one aspect of an entire solution.) We see Snappy Kraken as the only company that provides an entirely complete solution through high-level marketing tactics (ones you can't look up online) gleaned from years of marketing-industry experience.

If you want a direct testimonial about Twenty Over Ten, take it straight out of the mouth of Chalice. We sent our content creators over to several webinars on video marketing and prospecting strategies from Twenty Over Ten. We came back empowered and ended up launching new video marketing projects. We discovered a dedicated staff with a comprehensive wealth of knowledge that was delivered strategically and methodically. We currently use their lead capturing system–Leadpilot.io. We think it's an excellent tool, and Chalice is looking to put the machine into action more and more as the partnership between Chalice and TwentyOverTen progresses.