Published: 20 February, 2023

How Funds Can Use CRM And Digital Marketing To Raise Assets

Whether you are in sales or marketing within a fund, the most important thing you can concentrate on is to identify new sources of assets and spot where assets may be about to leave.

This boils down to people – those who may be ready to invest with you and those existing investors who could be preparing to redeem.

But thanks to both existing trends and the pandemic, the art of connecting and communicating with people isn’t what it used to be. It’s now almost entirely a digital process.

So, to connect with these invisible investors – who you will probably never meet – you must use digital channels, systems and techniques.

Use The Channels Your Prospects and Clients Favour

There have been two big changes to how communication works in our sector in the last two years.

I don’t have to expand too much on the first of these, which is the impact of the Covid pandemic.

When that first hit in early 2020 it forced an existing trend towards digital communication into overdrive. Lockdown took everybody out of the restaurants, corporate boxes, and meeting rooms and onto Zoom.

And as Zoom took off, so did the appetite for webinars as a replacement for the in-person events that were no longer allowed to run.

The marketing world, through necessity, turned 100% digital almost overnight.

And, let’s face it, despite the easing of restrictions it’s never really gone back – and it’s not going to. Managers of a certain vintage may bemoan this fact and cling onto  the in-person way of doing deals and giving advice, but that’s in its death throes.

Now, people want their communication and information through digital channels.

So, it’s Zoom meetings and webinars forevermore, right?


And this brings us to the second big change that’s happened, but one that’s gone largely under the radar.

The fact is that, back in 2020, we all soon got fed up with the constant barrage of Zooming, Teams meetings, WhatsApp calls and web conferences.

It became too much, And, as a result, people turned to a more traditional (at least in digital terms) method of communication:


A sizable majority now see email as the best business communication method.

A recent survey by Greenwich Associates found that – in the asset management and private banking space – 92% of people want to receive data via email, above any other method.

Websites were second on 67%, closely followed by webinars on 63%. Zoom limped in fourth with 25%.

The biggest reasons given for preferring email were its capacity to provide detailed content and the fact that it’s non-intrusive.

And the preferred frequency of emails? The most popular answer in the survey was ‘as needed’, so don’t be tied to a weekly or monthly newsletter – if you’ve got something important to say, send it there and then.

There are obviously a multitude of digital marketing methods and none of them should be neglected. But please bear in mind that email is making a big comeback. And if that’s how your clients and prospects favour receiving their information, then you’d be foolish not to capitalise on that.

Adapt To The Digital Investor Journey

Not so very long ago, marketing was a dirty word in the funds sector.

It was seen as something you bothered with simply because other firms did, but was about as important as the chocolate vending machine in the canteen – only with less exciting results.

That has always been a stupid and old-fashioned attitude. But in 2022 – in the unlikely event that anybody still thinks like this – it’s positively prehistoric.

That’s because the digital revolution has blown apart the traditional linear investor journey, where clients presented themselves on the back of face-to-face advice and were content with an initial meeting and the odd in-person review.

Those days are gone. Now, the investor journey is all over the place. Prospects may find you initially through any number of avenues – social media, online events, press mentions, webinars, emails, thought leadership articles etc etc. And marketing is central to this process, as it is your marketing department that is preparing and distributing the digital content that’s pulling in prospective investors.

As a result, marketing now holds its right and proper place at the top table of essential services – along with sales, risk control etc.

So, you should both invest in your marketing team and give them the opportunity to be let loose on the digital world and use all the methods at their disposal to attract new clients. Because, as a great marketer (possibly Dan Kennedy) once said – ‘the more lines you have in the water, the more fish you’re gonna catch’.

Have A CRM That’s Right For Your Firm

The ultimate aim of your digital marketing is to have investor-centricity, so you know what your potential and prospective investors like and don’t like and what buttons you need to press to both attract and retain assets.

Not as simple as it sounds, obviously, especially with the random nature of the modern investor journey.

But you must try and get there.

And one way to do it is by differentiating yourself from your competition, so you are providing something to prospects and clients alike that nobody else is. When you stand out, it makes it easier to attract prospects in the first place.

This applies to both the content you’re producing and the way you market yourself. But also to the tech you use. Is it really good enough to just rely on big names like Salesforce, Pardot etc, simply because that’s what everyone else does? Or because that’s what they used in your last firm?

Or should you be creating and building a platform that works specifically for your own firm and is geared towards what your own prospects and clients want and need?

That’s not easy – in fact, it’s incredibly difficult as you need the time and skill to develop a bespoke system that connects lots of different platforms. Get it wrong and, let’s be honest, it could cost you your job.

But if you get it right, then the rewards can be huge…

Use Nurture Campaigns

A nurture campaign is a series of valuable content pieces, which you send to prospects and clients via email.

And ‘valuable’ is the operative word here. It’s no good sending out straight sales emails, or ‘exciting announcements’ about new appointments and other guff that is of no use or interest to anyone outside your firm.

Instead, these emails should be thought leadership content that positions you as an expert in your field. This sort of campaign is designed, as the name suggests, to nurture the recipient until they are persuaded to invest with you.

As any sale in the fund sector is significant, this won’t happen overnight. According to Harvard Business School, it takes 7 to 11 touches before you make a positive impact.

But to make life easier for yourself, you can automate these sequences and send them to certain segments of your database. You can have one for new prospects, one for new clients, one for clients with certain products etc etc – each one with relevant content for that segment.

To get the full benefit of nurture campaigns, you must also start lead scoring, which means assigning points related to how people engage with your content. For example, by tracking emails, you can set a scoring system that gives points for positive actions – such as opening an email, clicking a link, downloading an attachment etc etc.

Then a certain number of points automatically pushes your leads into certain grades – the highest of which would be a sales-qualified lead, a genuinely hot prospect who is obviously ready for a conversation with your reps.

And the combination of nurture campaigns and lead scoring means that, when sales goes into your CRM, they can access a snapshot of sales-qualified leads and see exactly what each client and prospect is engaging with and what they’re interested in.

This process uncovers four incredibly valuable categories of people:

  • Prospects who are highly engaged with your content and look at pretty much everything you send them – but haven’t yet spoken to sales. These people are low-hanging fruit who are ready to invest.
  • Prospects who stopped looking at your content but have now started up again. These are people who possibly went elsewhere, but are now looking at your firm once more and could be ready to invest.
  • Existing investors who are looking at content related to products they don’t currently hold, which points to a cross-selling opportunity
  • Your current investors who have suddenly stopped looking at and engaging with your content. This is a red flag for a potential redemption, which could be stopped by a well-timed call from sales.

Use Digital Marketing To Boost Event Attendance

Events, either digital or in-person, are a fantastic vehicle for raising assets. Often when prospects actually listen to your people talk, it proves to be the final piece in the jigsaw that leads to an investment.

And digital marketing can massively boost event attendance through one simple automated workflow. It works like this:

When you ask people to attend your event, you send out an invitation campaign across multiple channels.

You then automatically resend the initial invite to those who didn’t open it. But you also automatically follow up on those who opened an invite but did not click on the relevant link, as well as those who clicked on the link but didn’t actually register for the event. Both of these sets of people may still act when sent an automatically generated reminder – as they are obviously very interested but may need more persuasion to actually attend.

Sounds simple, right? It is – in fact, it’s just common sense. Yet so many firms fail to do this.

But it works so well. Our clients who use this type of automation say it boosts attendance by around 20% to 30%.

And it even keeps working post-event, as you can send out a replay and track the activity. This gives you another bite at the apple – especially with those who didn’t attend the event in the first place.

Bringing It All Together

There is no such thing as an over-resourced fund marketing team.

Everyone is trying to do more with less, as resources and staff are stretched. And that’s why it’s so critical to use digital marketing and your CRM to help you in the never-ending battle to raise and retain assets.

This requires content generation and distribution. A CRM then brings this all together and lets you see how your campaigns are performing across all channels.  This lets you establish the ROI for each channel, so you can see where you should be concentrating your firepower.

This also allows you to see the themes that are working best across all channels and also in which parts of the world. Very often what works in Europe, for example, is completely different to what’s working in the US. So, using a system that shows you where content is being accessed can be very profitable.

And, let me be clear, Google Analytics isn’t going to cut it here. You need a strong and adaptable CRM that can achieve a deep dive into all your engagement data and reveal information that makes a real difference at the sharp end of sales.

I’m not going to lie, this process can be hard work – but the biggest difficulty is in setting everything up. When you’ve done that, you have the tools you need to navigate the digital landscape we all now find ourselves in and identify and retain more of those who want to invest with you.

If you want to find out how ProFundCom can help you use digital marketing to raise assets schedule a demo here

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