Like many financial institutions, Prudential Securities uses an internal CRM package so that management and salespeople are constantly and continually aware of what is being bought and sold at all times. However, this software is not tied to its online lead generation activities.
Midway through 2000, Jim Burke, Prudential Securities' online operations Chief Development Officer, knew his banner campaigns were highly successful from a click through basis. However, because all in-bound leads from the Web were sorted through by hand (a time-consuming, expensive, and inconsistent process) his campaign's conversion rates from click through to sale weren't as high as they might be.
Burke had two options -- to custom build a banner lead sorting system in-house or to outsource it. Time was a key concern so Burke chose to outsource to ASP Kamoon Technologies who promised (and met) a deployment deadline of less than 30 days.
The new CRM system automatically screens, routes and tracks all Web prospects, from the time they fill out an online form to the time they're sold.
Next Prudential Securities redesigned all of its banner landing pages to work with the new system. Users saw a page with a paragraph or two of informational copy on a particular topic, such as Roth IRAs or tax information, and then could fill out an easy online form to receive personal answers to their questions from a Prudential financial advisor.
Questions were modified for each campaign. For example, the Roth campaign asked for household income, age and how much money users anticipated investing with Prudential. Users were also asked if they were current customers, so those names would get priority routing.
The bounceback page users saw after they submitted the forms informed them that a Prudential financial advisor would be in touch within 2-3 days.
While Burke can't release exact figures, he is pleased to report that the Company's online lead “closing rate has increased by an order of magnitude” and there has been a “meaningful increase in revenue.” Click throughs are definitely more profitable.
Banner campaigns have been effective enough to continue running on sites such as Money.com, Briefing.com, IndividualIbvestor.com and PS.com for more than six months(albeit with rotating offers and art.)
Prudential Securities has made two happy discoveries over the course of the campaign. The Company found that consumers will often share highly personal financial information through online forms, even when these are not required fields. Also, the new lead routing system has worked so well that Prudential's advisors routinely beat their promised 2-3 day turn-around time to answer questions.
NEXT: Burke is now considering adding some sort of live chat, so qualified click throughs can be served even more quickly online. No word yet on when this might be implemented.
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