Pension leads

Should IFAs ever buy “off the shelf” pension leads?

By May 22, 2019 No Comments

Most financial advisers are looking to grow their client base, but what’s the best way to do this?

Getting decent leads is no easy task. Historically, IFAs have been able to get hold of leads by purchasing pension leads for a lead generation firm. Yet is this still a viable option?

With increasing data protection laws coming into force (e.g. GDPR in 2018), as well as the ban on pension cold calling in January 2019, it certainly feels like the noose is tightening on this avenue.

Can you still legally buy pension leads from another business? Even if you can, should you? What other options are available for IFAs to get more enquiries and leads into their sales pipeline?

Let’s dive into those questions now. Please note that this content is our understanding of this subject and is for information purposes only. It should not be taken as legal advice. To attain legal advice into pension leads, please contact a qualified lawyer.


Can you still buy pension leads?

In October 2018, the UK government published its consultation response to the proposed ban on pension cold calling. The key result of this consultation can be found on page 5:

“The policy is to ban pensions cold calling, or unsolicited direct marketing calls relating to pensions products and services.”

The document further goes on to state that “The ICO [Information Commissioner’s Office] is able to use its powers to issue civil monetary penalties of up to £500,000 for breaches of the Regulations.”

The Policy specifies that “exemptions to the ban to apply only to persons authorised by the FCA or the trustees or managers of occupational or personal pension schemes. This means that the exemptions to the ban do not apply to lead generation firms. “

What does this all mean? In our reading of it, this suggests that lead generation firms cannot cold call individual people about their pension. So, if a financial adviser buys pension leads from another business which has sourced its leads in this fashion, then you are standing on very shaky ground.

Are there any ways that lead generation firms can get around this? For instance, perhaps you can still buy pension leads from a company if it has gathered the leads via email, social media or text?

This is covered later in the document, which states:

“The use of email and text message for direct marketing purposes is already restricted through PECR and the Data Protection Act 1998, which give people specific privacy rights in relation to electronic communications. Social media platforms must comply with the data protection principles (as well as any Terms of Service) when processing the personal data of its users, as well as the confidentiality of communications requirements in regulation 6 of PECR.”

So, what does all of this mean? Our understanding is that it is still possible for lead generation firms to sell pension leads to IFAs in certain circumstances, but those circumstances are highly regulated.


Should you buy pension leads?

Clearly, it is still possible to buy pension leads in certain situations. After all, lead generation firms have not been banned by the government, and many have adapted their lead generation tactics in light of the cold calling ban and GDPR.

However, whether or not you should buy pension leads is another matter. Obviously, a strong reason to do so is an IFA’s incentive to get more leads into the sales pipeline. Yet consider the following:

  • Are you confident that the business you are buying from is fully complying with data protection law, GDPR and other important regulations such as the pension cold calling ban? They might say they are compliant, but you should seek every assurance in order to protect your business.
  • What effect will buying pension leads have on your brand? Let’s assume that you successfully contact someone whose data you purchased from another business. How does that make your business appear to them? Trustworthy? Compliant? It certainly doesn’t set the relationship onto a strong initial footing of trust.
  • How many other IFAs have had the same idea? Remember, there are thousands of other IFAs in the UK all with the same lead generation problem, and who are looking to solve it. Almost all of them will have thought about buying pension leads too, and at least hundreds of them will have bought the same leads or data lists. As a result, do you think the people getting bombarded by all of these IFAs with the same message are likely to be receptive to you?


What other options are there?

So, although we understand an IFA’s reasons for wanting to buy pension leads, it’s no secret that we’re not overly enthusiastic about the idea! So what else can you do to start filling your sales pipeline?

At MarketingAdviser, the way we operate is to help financial advisers generate their own inbound leads by helping you put together your own digital marketing infrastructure.

So, rather than going to someone else to buy pension leads, you start pulling them in yourself. This means that you’re far less likely to run into the drawbacks of working with a lead generation company, outlined in the previous section.

The typical journey of an IFA who buys pension leads usually involves buying several hundred or thousands of leads. From there, you email or call them to find only a handful who respond. Out of those, only a fraction might be interested. Out of those, only a few might actually be right for you.

With an approach like ours, however, you focus on quality over quantity. For instance, perhaps we help you to set up a landing page which promotes your pension transfer advice service. Using a well-designed, branded layout with appropriate imagery, calls to action and content, we can incentivise those visitors who fit your ideal client profile and put off those who do not.

From there, those who enquire can then be contacted by your business to qualify further and arrange a meeting. Moreover, due to the fact that these people have sought you out and qualified themselves to a large degree, you have a much better chance of closing the sale – even if the overall lead volumes might be smaller than buying leads “off the shelf.”

If you are interested in finding out out more about our approach to pension lead generation for IFAs, then please get in touch to arrange a free, no-commitment consultation with a member of our team.