These days, financial firms instinctively know that they need a website. Yet many struggle to see its value. Should you be willing to spend £1,000s on a great design, for instance, or should you go the “cheap and cheerful” route?
The answer matters a lot, as it has a huge impact on your financial marketing in the years ahead. In this post, our design team at MarketingAdviser explains why it is worth investing in a high-quality website design. We also explore some of the common objections people have to investing more in a solid design project, and show how these often end up becoming self-defeating.
In short, you can typically save yourself more money in the long run by spending more at the beginning.
We hope you find this content useful. If you’d like to discuss your design project or marketing strategy with us, please get in touch to arrange a free online consultation with us. We’d be delighted to help.
Financial website design – why people fail to see value
It’s no secret that a preponderance of cheap website design solutions exist today. You can easily find a cheap, off-shore freelancer from websites such as Elance, Fiverr and PeoplePerHour to work on your project, for example.
Many financial firms are happy to go down this route, believing that their website is merely a useful “shop window” rather than a key part of their business. The assumption seems to be that clients – and prospects – do not really look at a financial firm’s website.
If they do, then this will usually just be a cursory glance rather than a key step in their due diligence process (or customer journey). Yet this belief is a mistake.
For most financial firms, it is vital to have a website which is easy to find, enjoyable (and useful) to engage with and which makes a great first impression. It is true that certain sectors/industries can get away with just having a Facebook page – such as restaurants.
Yet this is not the case for financial services. Most clients and prospects expect that a financial firm will invest in a website.
They also expect that this website will look professional and be done to a high standard. This is largely because, subconsciously, clients and prospects think: “If they have taken good care and attention of their brand/website, they are more likely to take care of me“.
If you cut corners with your financial website, your audience is more likely to think you will cut corners with them.
Common objections, answered
We’ve explained the underlying assumption that seems to prevail amongst those who see little value in financial website design. Yet this assumption tends to manifest itself in a set of common objections to investing in a high-quality website. Here they are, below, along with some of our thoughts in response:
- “When we get more clients, we’ll invest in a better website“. Frankly, a good financial website will help you gain and retain more clients. To us, this sounds a bit like: “I’ll start investing once I’m wealthy!” This is a common objection amongst IFA startups, and we suggest that you factor in the cost of a high-quality website design (i.e. £1,000s) before starting out.
- “We don’t have the budget”. Let’s look at some hard numbers. One leading report shows that most financial planners (71%) manage portfolios of at least £100,000, and many manage portfolios of £500,000 or more. The average ongoing charge for a financial planner is around 0.80%, which likely generates thousands each year in revenue. Looked at this way, a financial website design needs to just generate one client – or a handful – over its lifetime (i.e. 2-5 years) to pay for itself. So, most financial planners can certainly afford to invest in a decent website. If cashflow is currently an issue, it may be worth waiting until this stabilises before approaching anyone about a website design project. Bear in mind that the cost of a website should form part of a startup’s projected marketing costs, which should be factored in from the beginning.
- “I want a guaranteed return before I commit”. Imagine for a moment that, as a financial planner, a prospect said that to you before deciding to work with you. What would you think and say? Most likely, you would answer that investment returns are not guaranteed, but that the evidence shows that the strategy you have recommended puts them in the best position to achieve their financial goals. The same holds true for a high-quality financial website. Whilst it will not guarantee that your business attracts lots of clients and grows at a good pace, it will help put you in the best position to achieve this.
- “Our website is just a shop window, or business card”. Are you sure about that? What if you could “look under the hood” of other financial websites (i.e. their Google Analytics) – showing lots of traffic, inquiries and leads? Many financial firms seem to think that their website has little potential. Yet the evidence is clear. Great financial websites, backed up by a solid marketing strategy, have the potential not only to pay for themselves – but also many times over.
Pay more now – and less later
As we conclude, we wanted to also ask that you consider what the long-term costs of hiring an amateur website designer could be. In our experience, this typically results in a sub-par website which later needs redoing – sometimes just 6-12 months later.
In more than one case, we have heard of cheap freelancers “copying” other financial websites and then charging the client £100s for the privilege. Soon after the website is launched, the original website owners contact the owners of this new, copied website and either ask for it to be taken down or threaten legal action.
Even if these “horror scenarios” do not happen to you, the age-old truth usually applies to website design: you get what you pay for. If you want to make a great impression to clients and prospects, position yourself for better lead generation and grow your brand reach, then it is a fantastic idea to consider investing in a high-quality website design.