ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erez Shifron is the CMO at MTE-Media, the world’s leading provider of education-based marketing solutions. Education is a key in online marketing since it’s a trader’s desire to know how to trade before investing their money in online trading platforms.
Nowadays, among all brokers, whether they be forex or binary ones, there is a common statement that was cited at all the last year’s conventions and panels, saying unanimously that from a marketing perspective we all don’t know what we’re doing and what works better. It is both terrifying and stimulating knowing that it is all about trial and error. What works perfectly for one broker could be ineffective for the other and so many parameters have an impact on the results that there is no “winning model”.
In order to start breaking down what is to be done, we first need to define the targets and from top to bottom, build the means to achieve them, constantly tracking and analyzing the data. The targets have been defined and they are: high traffic volume, high conversion rates, higher FTDs (marketing and sales) higher trading volumes and longer trader lifetime (Retention).
Retention is the trickiest task and it is the monetization of marketing and sales. The lifetime value of the traders is the “money time”. In the same way as the industry is constantly tests various models, traders test the brokers, meaning that at the beginning of the relationship the trader will avoid taking high stakes and within the average lifetime, leaves the broker with a relatively short timeframe to build up volumes.
Both Forex and binary options brokers have to work on retention while the latter has to accord a higher weight to it. In the binary industry the traders have a shorter lifetime value than in the Forex market, around 1:3. It derives from the narrow spectrum of the binary options in terms of complex strategies and the shorter time period towards the position closing. Furthermore, the industry has the record of the cross-marketing that brokers have tried, moving from Forex to binary and the unsuccessful appliance of Forex methods on the binary options traders.
What is the best retention strategy? The answer isn’t simple, same as everything else in the field. The classic methods do the work but lack the effectiveness when scaling up. An account manager is limited to how many clients he may nurture. The call center lacks the knowledge and the 1 on 1 understanding of the client’s needs. While some traders are highly interested in a daily report, short and precise about some assets, others want a wider overview. The traffic is volatile during the year, leaving the brokers with either missing out on opportunities or wasting unjustified resources compared to the traffic volume. Outsourcing during peaks is dangerous. So what is to be done?
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The answer is a high quality educational offering in the form of an automated tool that will serve a wide range of prospects, delivered through an up-to-date technology, and most important, it has to comply with the latest SEO updates and requirements. The importance of education is unchallenged and it is already delivered by all brokers in some form. If until lately, websites were answering questions for the search engines’ bots and crawlers, popping fill-in forms and pitching details to the call center, these strategies are slowly fading away. The prospects behind the keyboard or the touch screen lack the patience of reading 1,500 words content with high density keywords, not to mention filling in personal contact details.
In the present and the near future, brokers have to provide high quality content, deliver quantitative information in a short timeframe, answer questions and most important, provide relevant content. Education has to be delivered through interactive courses and videos. It does not apply to financial services only, it is a general online marketing fact. During 2014, as high as 60% of the conversions were through video content.
To sum up the previous statements and facts, education as a marketing tool, delivered through interactive courses and educational videos, is the best retention tool in the present and the near future.
From a technology perspective, it has to be up-to-date, meaning Flash isn’t relevant anymore. A constantly growing share of the traffic comes from mobile devices and that number will continue growing. The account opening and funding is still mostly done from desktops but brokers have to comply with the importance of virality.
Our analytics have been the guiding lines towards the current solutions with constant focus on Leads, Conversions and Retention. The feedback from the brokers using our academy turned out to be in perfect correlation with our analytics, confirming what we were aiming for. This means that our trial and error process has matured and we are currently providing a “winning model”.
To underline the importance of tracking and analytics, we have found that short videos can serve well and provide great leads generation and in some cases even conversions, but are completely ineffective in terms of retention. Providing genuine in-depth courses, with several lessons 12-15 minutes each, showing that actual learning is taking place and the length is ideal for the trader’s attention. In 10 sessions, a trader is brought to a better knowledge level and it reflects in his account activity.
Providing education is an easy to fulfill statement but to make it a retention tool is closer to what brokers need. Education is more effective than the bonuses model, as the approach is from a “let me help you” point of view and brings value over a longer period of time instead of once, at the beginning. Useless to mention what both models combined can achieve…
Retention example: A broker found out from his tracking data that a certain trader stopped his activity. Let’s call him John. It is easy to imagine that during the last days of his activity John had lost a fair share from his account and we may find that it happened after trading one asset into various directions, multiple times within the same day.
Quoting a motivational statement such as, “There are good trades and ‘good to learn from’ trades,” and the comprehension that all trading gurus have been wiped out here and there along the career, we will contact the trader with an educational offering and bring him back on track. The way to do it is simple, John will receive a call from the call center, quoting motivational statements and offering to show him what he did wrong and how he may profit from it in the future and congratulating him on achieving this level.
John will receive a link through the email directing him to two in-depth lessons: Capital Management – where he will learn about Risk Management and Trading Psychology – where he will learn how not to be overwhelmed by the psychological processes during a day trade. After John completes his learning process, he is engaged and will continue trading and learning.
MTE-Media has been developing, improving and delivering education for the last seven years, constantly tracking and analyzing, with a proven and effective model successfully implemented in more than 100 brokers’ activity.