What is your marketing CRM?

Not your planning CRM, that's for clients.

What system do you use to connect with the names, Centers of influence, and other connections that aren't appropriate to have in your planning CRM?  

What platform do you use to leverage automation and cultivate the relationships that you have with your clients and audience?

A firm should have a marketing CRM and a planning CRM.  Use the right tool for the right job.

A bit about CRMs

At this point in digital evolution I feel like CRM is just another TLA (three letter acronym). The phrase is ubiquitous. 


.. so what is a Customer Relationship Managment system (CRM) anyways?

CRMs are everywhere. Beyond using them in WealthBox, Redtail, or your marketing CRM there are CRMs in LinkedIn, Facebook and in many of the softwares you might use.

It's basically a program that tracks name, address, phone number, email address and ties those contacts into other features of that system.  It might have integrations with other platforms that you use, that may have their own CRM. 

I feel like this has made the term vague and ubiquitous.

So, what do you need to care about?

We think you need to use two core CRMs, your financial planning CRM and your marketing CRM. 

What is a financial planning CRM?

A financial planning software is the place to store your client's personal information, like social security numbers and account numbers and includes specific cyber security standards. Notes about client meetings, confidential details etc. need to be kept in a CRM like this.  

Think WealthBox and Redtail CRM.  

But you also have a ton of the same features in RightCapital or most other financial planning softwares.

Financial Planning CRMs are great at what they do, but they are not built to do one of the most important elements of your business: Prospect cultivation, one-to-many client conversations and conversations with COI, and communicating with your prospects, COI and client base.  

For this, you need to use a marketing CRM.

What is a (good) marketing CRM?

A marketing CRM, such as our platform, 4FP High Level, combine all your client communications into one platform.  


  • Facebook, google, Instagram, and website chat all in one unified inbox.  
  • The ability to create funnels with ease
  • Schedule meetings and send reminders to your attendees
  • Have as phone system with full recordings of all calls
  • Opportunity and Deal management with stages and pipelines
  • Trains a custom AI chatbot on your brand, website and FAQs to dynamically respond to website visitors, SMS and Facebook Messenger messages.
  • Send meeting reminder texts and even text clients or prospects from the platform
  • and, of course, send newsletters and mass communications.  

Add in pre-built automations, concierge onboarding and support staff available via chat and zoom on every page, and you have set your firm up for success!

We've used many of the different platforms on the market.  Other marketing CRMs are ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, InfusionSoft, Pardot, MailChimp, Constant Contact, or ConvertKit.

Clay, the founder of High Level, and his team won our business at a DigitalMarketer Certified Partner event when I saw the cohesive platform that they brought to market and improve every week.  

It's the perfect balance of cost to features ratio. 

By bringing everything into one platform, it simplified the process for our clients, which is invaluable. 

The importance of using two CRMs,

What a financial planning CRM DOESN'T include is a ton of the functionality that will work better in a marketing CRM.  

You want to keep a broader type of contacts in your marketing CRM.  

You want to continue to nurture your clients through email marketing and also might include prospects and COI contacts that are you want to keep in the loop and are an awkward fit in your planning CRM. 

A marketing CRM is made to build and nurture relationships.

The bare minimum

At bare minimum, your marketing CRM needs to be able to send mass communication to their list of contacts but, TBH, there is so much more opportunity in these platforms.  

We suggest that you, at minimum, have a way to do email marketing with your prospects and clients.  A more robust platform might also allow you to send SMS texts, make phone calls, chatbots, funnel management, and more.

Best ways of using a Marketing CRM

Regardless of what you are using for a marketing CRM, you should be able to send one-to-many email messages to the folks on your list.  

Your marketing CRM is your tool for sending broadcast messages to your audience. Email marketing can have up to a 42x return on your investment, and is a tool to build and cultivate your relationships over years. 

Centralize as much of your firm communication as you can through your CRM.  A high quality CRM, like 4FP High Level, centralize phone calls, business SMS, social media posting, email acquisition funnels and newsletters in one location.

Having everything in one system streamlines and centralizes communication and makes efficiencies for your team.  

In your financial planning CRM, you want to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Focus on having your client details and meeting notes in this CRM.  The cleaner you keep this space the easier it will be for you to focus on your client work.

A marketing CRM is the right place to keep all your notes about a deal with a prospective client and when they become a client, use automation to move all relevant details over to your planning CRM. 

A marketing CRM is often very strong in having automations.  A good automation system, like you get pre-configured in our snapshot template, helps you blend scheduled email and sms messages with touch points for calling or reaching out, to add that personal touch.

This allows you to have your automations communicating with your prospects while you are working with your clients.

Backing up, for compliance purposes

Data retention is a sticky part of compliance.  Just having a secure hosting environment does not mean that it's okay for you to use this to retain your records

Most companies with a CRM want you to use the software and have data integrity that will prevent hacking, and there is also the liability part of the equation.  

There are a lot of specifics in SEC Rule 204(2) and SEC Rule 17a-4

When it comes to retaining documents for 7 years for compliance reasons, you want to use a true backup option, ideally that ties into your workflows, like ComConnect File Sync.

(Download our Compliance guide here)

Most online platforms want you to maintain your backup liability and, when you read the fine print, are usually not meant for long term record retention. 

Jake is trained as a Certified Digital Marketing Professional.

He is called to connect true financial planning professionals with their clients and prospects through effective digital marketing.

He understands the needs and concerns of the financial planning profession and the wide range of regulatory compliance needs and concerns.

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