As a specialist financial services marketing agency, we’ve delivered more online calculators than we can count on our collective fingers and toes (it’s become something of a niche of ours)!
Whether you’re a provider, an adviser or FinTech, and your audience is B2B decision makers, intermediaries or consumers, we have loads of examples of how these tools can support the marketing and sales journey to deliver great customer outcomes and a strong ROI.
In this blog, you’ll find lots of insight on why you should consider adding them to your website and how to go about it.
Why invest in interactive tools:
- To build the audience needs and generate leads
Interactive calculators can really engage your audience by tapping into their personal needs,
Take for example the Risk Reality calculator we developed for LV=. A financial adviser can enter a few simple personal details of their client and it shows the probability of various life risks happening to their client – all in a matter of seconds. An adviser using this during client conversations could benefit from how quickly and easily the tool helps their client grasp the importance of financial protection.
There’s a level of impartiality and credibility in algorithmic calculations that really helps make the outputs feel personal and hard to ignore. And many will be willing to enter their contact details to receive the results, so it can be a great way to generate leads too.
Interactive tools can be great for SEO too. For example, we created an understanding Blood Pressure readings tool for Benenden Health that helped them rank much higher and generated lots of traffic for search terms around this topic.
- Supports the sales journey
Digital tools can be the bridge between your audience and your sales team. From a consumer perspective, it helps to give an idea of what your product or service can do. For example, the Fluent Money mortgage calculators help consumers understand how much they could borrow and how much they’ll have to repay with Fluent – it’s not an exact figure, but it helps provide clarity on what they’re getting into.
For advisers, take the Protection Matchmaker we developed LV= as an example. It matches advisers’ clients with relevant LV= protection products and unique features – and the same principle applies to more2life’s Max Cash LTV, Lending Criteria and Retained Equity and Repayments tools.
- Emotional connection through personalisation
The Retirement Funding tool we developed for Key Partnerships helps clients see how their assets will help fund their retirement based on their household costs and their life expectancy.
The most interesting bit is that the results page has an interactive element – you can select or deselect certain assets, including a lifetime mortgage, to see how it affects your monthly shortfall or surplus in retirement income. It enables advisers to have personalised client conversations whilst using the tool in real-time and to seamlessly introduce and open up conversations around equity release as a retirement finance option.
What makes a good online calculator?
1. DESIGN BACKWARDS
Don’t build it in isolation – think of it as one element of a wider campaign. Ask yourself: How is this tool going to support or fill the gaps in our sales journey? Start with the crux of what you want your calculator to achieve and design backwards. Based on what results you want your calculator to show, develop the inputs you’ll need to get to those results, and this will help iron out the user journey.
2. EASE OF USE
It doesn’t matter how mind-blowingly complex the back end is, the user doesn’t need to know. Simplicity is key. We’ve found that the more interactive you make it the better – sliding scales, drag and drop and toggles work well. Plus, your results need to be updated in real time despite those complicated, dynamic algorithms.
3. DON’T ASK TOO MANY QUESTIONS
Treat your calculator like any other web form. What’s the bare minimum of information you can work with? Aim for your initial screen to take no longer than 10-15 seconds to complete. Don’t forget that you can put additional questions on a second page (within reason). Initially, focus on getting them to click ‘next’ or ‘submit’. By that point, you’ve piqued their curiosity.
4. PUT THE RESULTS INTO CONTEXT
So you’ve calculated that I’ve got a 6% risk of kicking the bucket before I reach retirement age. Ok. Is that good? Bad? Should I be worried? Am I in the top 10% of my age group? (Not that I’m competitive or anything, but do I deserve a medal?)
Where your results aren’t self-explanatory, give the user something to go on. Some simple bench-marking instantly turns a set of calculations into something that can provoke a reaction – or better still, action.
5. WHERE NEXT?
Sounds obvious, but make sure you’ve got a clear call to action. Whether it’s adding an insurance package to your cart, or giving them the option to have an online chat with an expert, think through what you want the next steps to be. Strike whilst the iron is hot.
It’s best practice to also give the option to email the results afterwards. It’s a good idea from a lead generation perspective and it can be especially useful for high-commitment, long sales cycles where users are unlikely to make a snap decision – mortgages and pension schemes for example.
Your online calculator is a fantastic opportunity to do some market and audience research. There’s a wealth of data surrounding online calculators – make sure your systems are set up to make the most of it. GA4 (previously Google Analytics) is a must, and check out UX-monitoring tools like CrazyEgg or ClickTale too.
Why can online calculators be hard to develop?
It’s probably safe to say that 99% of companies don’t have the skills required to develop a complicated online calculator in-house end-to-end. We’ve spent a long time honing a network of the perfect skills for the job from creative development, to algorithm busting that makes your brain bleed, to designing snazzy sliding scales that work responsively. You’re in safe hands.
If you’re looking for some advice, get in touch. We might be able to give you some pointers or help you out on your project. Or see if any of our calculators could inspire or be useful for you with our Digital Tool finder – and we can help you create one of your own!