Dealing with Easter, royal weddings and holidays


Don’t totally write off those 11 days in April/May, argues Justin Rees, director of marketing and partnerships, LeadPoint UK

The first quarter of the year is traditionally strong for the financial services industry and this year has been no different with a busy couple of months already behind us. We are now well into March and the days are getting noticeably lighter and there is a touch of spring in the air but there is no let up until late into April as this year Easter is late with Good Friday not until 22 April.

While many of us will be looking forward to a well earned break, the Easter slowdown can have a significant impact on businesses as people use the four day weekend to take an extended holiday and this has an effect on transaction levels in what is still a tough market.

This year there is even more cause for consternation as the much anticipated Royal Wedding that has filled up countless column inches over the last few months will finally take place on 29 April and for those businesses getting ready to count the cost of the Easter Break, Wills and Kate’s April nuptials will no doubt make things worse.

When the date was announced in November, Royalists and Republicans alike celebrated not so much for the union of our future King but a chance to take 11 days holiday for the price of three! This effectively means that for a large proportion of the population, the working month of April ends on 21 Thursday and for many companies this presents a major challenge as business levels will be severely impacted by losing one third of the trading month. However, the good news is there is still plenty of time to prepare for April slowdown and even a significant opportunity to turn the situation to your advantage.

Inevitably, hundreds of thousands of people will jet off on holiday or take time off work over the extended Easter break but there are still hundreds of thousands of people looking for advice about financial products and services and they are increasingly going online first looking for advice. Lead generation is one of the most effective ways to reach these consumers as lead generation companies can aggregate enquiries from hundreds of websites and thousands of consumers. Just as credit cards can be thought of as “consumption smoothers”, for many advisers, lead generation acts as “new business smoother” allowing them to keep their sales pipelines full when there is a lull in the market.

Even if the overall number of consumers going online filling in forms to be contacted declines over this period, there is a positive counter effect that advisers can take advantage of. One of the biggest problems that many lead buyers have is not converting leads into business but making the initial contact with the consumer. Although the majority of lead providers will supply leads within seconds of the consumer submitting their details online even if you call back within minutes you might not make contact immediately. For example, many consumers will fill in forms at work and won’t be able to answer their phones straight away when you call them back. What is then required is a dedicated contact strategy to ensure you maximise the number of consumers you speak to.

During the Easter break, thousands of consumers will be at home and will have more time to discuss their financial needs. That means that even if there aren’t as many fresh enquiries at the end of April there will be more opportunities for lead buyers to make contact with consumers which should results in increased levels of business. Lead buyers looking to take advantage of this phenomenon will ’front-load’ their lead purchasing in April and buy the majority of the leads they need for the month in the first three weeks anticipating they can do more of the contact piece towards the end of the month.

At the same time, for advisers that have been buying leads over the last few months, this is a good time to start to schedule call backs to many of the leads that have so far been uncontactable which should lead to incremental business thus improving the return on investment from buying leads. 

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