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Mortgage Marketing: How To Find Your Perfect Niche

Mortgage lenders want to rise above your competition, but they may have bigger companies and bigger marketing budgets behind them. There’s still a way to win: Truly know your niche. You can position yourself as the go-to mortgage expert for your ideal client, and you don’t have to spend more time or more money to get there. You just have to work smarter.

In today’s hyper-competitive mortgage market with fluctuating rates, low inventories, and changing borrower expectations, it is vital that you truly understand your target audience. A thoughtful, tailored approach to marketing will allow you to lock in relationships with your ideal borrowers far more effectively than your competitors.

Understanding and effectively communicating with your most profitable niche markets is critical to your success. Entire books are written about how important it is to find your niche, but there are very few roadmaps that make it easy. But without an ideal target, most of your marketing dollars will go right down the drain.

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This guide was designed to help loan originators think through the first and most critical step in their marketing strategy – figuring out your ideal prospects. The first part of the guide will explain the benefits and concepts surrounding finding your niche. The second part is a step-by-step questionnaire we call the “know your niche” worksheet. Just answer the questions and you will be ready to market very intelligently, without wasting money.

Part 1: Identify your ideal borrower

In an article entitled “How to Define Your Target Market” by Mandy Porta from Inc.com, Porta states, “To build a solid foundation for your business, you must first identify your typical customer and tailor your marketing pitch accordingly.”
“Given the current state of the economy, having a well-defined target market is more important than ever. No one can afford to target everyone. Small businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a niche market.”

If you’re targeting “anyone who needs a mortgage loan”, your target is too general and you will be competing against larger companies with much larger marketing budgets. You simply can’t affordably attract every potential borrower. Instead, focus on your ideal borrower.

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Don’t worry – by focusing your marketing efforts on your ideal borrower, you’re not excluding people who don’t fit your criteria. Those people will still come to you via referrals and other avenues, but your marketing program has to get specific. With a narrowly defined ideal customer, you’re intelligently targeting your marketing dollars and efforts on a specific segment that is more profitable for you or easier for you to serve.

Consider which niche markets you can serve best and you will quickly see great opportunities to focus your message with laser precision. Here are just a few examples of how this works.

Example 1: Veterans and military families

If this is your ideal borrower, you can pinpoint their average incomes, the neighborhoods they prefer, the news sources they read, where they go, and what types of mortgages serve them best. This niche market has several subsets that would allow you to get even more focused, like active service members, retired military, families or individuals. Identify your ideal borrower, and you suddenly have critical demographic intelligence that can help you tailor your marketing messages for maximum effectiveness.

Example 2: Millennial borrowers

If millennial borrowers are your ideal borrower, you can zero in on their incomes, the areas the prefer to live in, what they read, what they do with leisure time, and what types of mortgage loans are best for them. This niche market is far too broad on its own, but you can divide it further by considering gender, specific occupations and even which neighborhoods they are most interested in living.

By clearly defining your target audience, your marketing materials and value propositions can be much more specific, personalized, and meaningful to your prospective borrowers. With a very clear target, it’s much easier to determine the best values for your marketing dollars.

Yes, this is the hardest part of your marketing strategy. But we combined our expertise with the tips included in Porta’s article above to develop a worksheet that will make it much easier for you to get it right, quickly.

Part 2: Know Your Niche Worksheet

Your current customer base is important. Who are your best borrowers now? Which characteristics or interests do they have in common? Why do they come to you? Are there specific types that bring in more profitable or enjoyable business than others? Who are they? It’s very likely that other people just like these could also benefit from your services.
So, check out your competition. Who are your most successful competitors? Who are they targeting? Don’t go after the same market. You can find a niche that they are overlooking.

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Know your benefits. List all the benefits of getting a mortgage through you instead of your competitors. Next to each feature, list the benefits the borrower receives (and the benefits of those benefits). Once you have your benefits listed, make a list of people who have a need that your benefit fulfills. When you have identified your ideal borrower population, dig deeper to find smaller subpopulation niches inside of the broader demographics.

Choose specific demographics. Figure out not only who has a need for your service, but also who is mostly likely to buy it. List the following details about your niche: age, location, gender, income level, education level, marital or family status, and occupation.

Consider the psychographics of your target. Psychographics are the more personal characteristics of a population. List their characteristics regarding: personality, attitude/values, interests/hobbies, behavior. What media does your ideal borrower turn to for information? Do they read the newspaper? Do they read their mail? Or do they search online or attend events? It’s critical to understand their behavior so you don’t waste marketing dollars on efforts that your niche market largely ignores.

Evaluate your decision. Once you’ve decided on a target market, be sure to consider these questions:

Are there enough people who fit my criteria? Get narrow, but not too narrow that your population is too small to keep your loan pipeline full.

Does my target market really benefit from my specific services and expertise? Do they see a need for it?

Do I understand what drives them to make homebuying decisions?

Can they afford to get a mortgage loan?

Can I reach them effectively? Are they easily accessible?

Once you’ve identified your ideal customer and understand them, you’re well on your way. It’s much easier to figure out the most effective approach to a target market if you know exactly who they are. Think of it this way: You can throw all your marketing dollars against a giant wall and see what sticks, wasting valuable money and time with every dollar. Or you can identify your ideal borrower and more intelligently invest your time and money with precision.

The more you market to and serve your ideal borrower, the more you will know about them and the more effective your marketing approach will get over time. Remember, the work doesn’t end after you’ve identified your target audience. It’s essential to stay current on market and industry trends, know your competition, and pay close attention to your target niche. Once you’re “in”, it will be very difficult for another mortgage lender to displace you as the “go-to” mortgage expert in your niche.

About The Author

Brandon Perry

Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company’s ability to maintain it’s position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Engage With Your Niche

To succeed in the mortgage market, your first step is identifying your niche. Once you’ve decided on the best demographic target for your success, effective communication will take your message from blah to bingo. Here, we’ll cover 5 important guidelines that will make sure your niche listens and engages with you, effectively driving your mortgage business.

In my view, the five keys to effectively communicating with your niche include:

1.) Tailor your materials according to their needs

When it’s time to communicate with your niche, you have to think about what matters to them. If you don’t consider their priorities and challenges, you will definitely miss your target. When you’re writing your email messages, postcard, articles or other marketing materials, think about a few of these examples:

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Is your niche first time homebuyers? This niche will likely ignore retirement savings advice, vacation home or reverse mortgage products or construction financing tips. Instead, bring them “preparing for your mortgage loan” checklists, credit tips and down payment savings plans.

Is your niche single women-led families? This niche likely won’t care about lawn care advice or DIY remodeling projects. To become a valued voice for this niche, send them lists of “kids eat free” restaurants in your area, tips for paying down loan principles, and recommendations for ideal family neighborhoods.

You have to focus on solutions to your niche market’s real problems. This is what borrowers are really looking for, so you have to position yourself as a problem solver. If you have solutions that will truly help them, let them know and your message will get notices.

2.) Create a crystal-clear message.

Your niche is extremely busy and they are bombarded with marketing messages every second of every day. That may be an exaggeration, but only a slight one. Marketing is everywhere, and if you want your niche to take notice of you, the message has to be absolutely clear and very simple. Your marketing messages are not only competing with other mortgage lenders, but they are also competing for space in your niche’s brain against all the other advertisements your niche sees every day – whether it’s McDonalds or Beyoncé or American Express. Be clear, concise and to the point.

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Graphics can grab attention, but don’t let them overwhelm your marketing to the point where you message isn’t being communicated. Make sure your graphics are relevant to your message and will be noticed by your niche. Simple, clean design should enhance your message, not compete with it.

Again, people are busy. When you do get a few seconds of their attention, don’t squander it with unclear messages or irrelevant graphics.

3.) Deliver something valuable to your niche

When you communicate with your niche, always offer something of value and include a hook that will entice them to contact you. Simply put, offer additional (valuable!) information as an incentive to reach out and start a conversation with you or exchange contact info so you can more target them even more effectively in the future.  This extra value “hooks” a prospect, setting the stage for further communication.

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Here are a few examples of hooks:

>>Download a free step-by-step loan process guide

>>Download a neighborhood resources guide

>>Download a checklist for getting started buying a home

>>Call us today for access to your free mortgage loan calculator

>>Click here for warning signs of fraud

>>Call me for details

>>Call us for a free readiness assessment

All of these hooks offer something of value to an interested prospect. They will increase not only the attention your pieces get but boost your response rates and position you as the go-to expert for mortgages.

4.) Include a clear and concise call to action

You have to motivate your prospects with a strong “Call to Action”. Calls to Action (CTAs) are often the difference between prospects just eyeballing your content versus prospects that are converting into actual leads.  In today’s highly competitive mortgage market it is critical to convert potential borrowers into leads, which convert into actual borrowers.

You can create great content, new websites and professional marketing materials but if all a potential borrower does is read your materials you still have nothing to show for it.  Your CTAs must motivate the potential borrower to take action.   To get pre-qualified, to start the application process, to speak with a loan officer, because once they take that first step at contact, most borrowers stop shopping around.

So, what is the difference between a CTA that drives leads and action compared to the typical CTA that people just read but don’t act on?  There are a number of factors that impact the effectiveness of your CTA. They include:

Wording is critical: Use words that demonstrate an understanding of your prospect’s pain and what motivates them. Put yourself in your prospects shoes.  What would you be looking for throughout your home buying process? Ask yourself “What’s in it for me?” The prospect will eventually ask themselves this same question.

Proper design and placement: If you want your CTA to get the attention it deserves, you need to take advantage of basic design principles. To pop, your CTA needs proper white space, colors, shapes and other visual elements. This field has been studied to a science by marketing automation experts, so it’s critical to get their help.
Marketing automation experts know that seemingly small changes in design can have a huge impact on your response rates. They constantly test colors, shapes, sizes and placement to generate the highest returns, so consider a marketing automation platform to avoid losing out because of simple design principles.

Deliver value to your prospect: Provide your prospects with insights, trends and offers that the prospect can’t live without.  Put yourself in the their shoes and find out what motivates them to take action. Adding value for your prospect creates a higher need and increases the chance of taking your call to action.

There are a number of articles that provide key insights into the power of CTAs and how to get the most out of them in your marketing materials.  In an article by Wendy Marx entitled Calls to Action: “How to Motivate Your Audience”, she lists 10 Guides to Creating Calls to Action that Convert”. Check out the story for some additional tips on creating the perfect CTA https://goo.gl/Zd18pz.

5.) Consider a marketing automation system

There are several turn-key programs available that can suit your niche perfectly. “Set it and forget it” technology has dramatically improved marketing effectiveness and you don’t have to do this alone when there are experts with proven success. Once you’ve done the hard part of identifying your niche, you should lean on marketing automation systems that know how to get attention in your niche. They have ready-made content that’s already been proven effective, and you can consistently stay in touch with your niche with very little effort.

Choosing the right marketing automation system will give you a significant advantage over your competitors. Make sure your system has expertise in your niche market and understands the keys to effectively engaging your ideal audience. Backed with marketing automation, you will quickly make progress towards being the “go-to” mortgage expert for your niche.

Succeed with targeted, clear solutions

Effectively communicating with your ideal niche will bring the leads in that you need to grow your loan pipeline. Consistently deliver the messages they’re interested in, with clear language and hooks that further engage them, and you will become a trusted advisor. When your audience knows that you “get them” and that you provide valuable solutions, choosing a mortgage loan provider and recommending you to their friends will be a simple decision.

About The Author

Brandon Perry

Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company’s ability to maintain it’s position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Is Your Marketing DB An Asset Or Liability?

We work with lenders across the country to help them leverage marketing automation so that they can attract potential new borrowers, keep current borrowers informed and past borrowers connected for future business or referrals while increasing customer satisfaction.

Invariably, lenders what to know what kind of marketing programs we have, how effective are campaigns are, what type of templates we have and how customizable the system is and best practices or examples from other successful lenders. Lenders want to know when they can start emailing prospective borrowers, how soon they will be getting leads and why it is not happening faster.

These are all good questions, but what amazes me is that they always want to jump to the marketing materials before we even discuss the most important first step. So what is the important first step that many lenders look past?

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The first step is discussing the condition of their marketing database. You would be shocked at how many lenders say that they want to start marketing immediately but when asked about the condition of their marketing database we hear things like this—“I think we have a list from the last couple of trade shows”, or “don’t worry about that we will send it over to you later”, or “I think we have a spreadsheet with that information somewhere.”

Unfortunately, these and many other similar responses indicate that the marketing database is not in the condition needed to fully maximize new and evolving marketing strategies. Would it surprise you that many trade show lists only include a physical address and not an email address? Or that lists that you buy online don’t always include the person’s full name, title or the physical address? O the information is outdated and has not been updated in years? At this point the lenders database is definitely a liability.

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If the keys to successful marketing to todays millennial home buyers include a dynamic mix of print and digital marketing materials delivered in a highly personalized manner specific to that individual when they are searching for a home, isn’t it absolutely critical to have a clean marketing database with as much information about the potential borrower as possible?

The companies that are most successful at attracting new borrowers understand that one of their greatest assets is their marketing database. It is the lifeblood of their organization and as such, treat it that way.

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They understand that to have a clean marketing database takes a commitment on a daily basis to constantly be updating, modifying and cleaning up this information. Information is power, and the companies that have a clean database are in the best position to maximize that information to drive new business.

If you want to successfully leverage marketing automation to attract new borrowers, it all starts with your marketing database, one of your businesses greatest assets.

About The Author

Brandon Perry

Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company’s ability to maintain it’s position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Mortgage Marketing Trends For 2018

At this time of year there are a number of articles that focus on the key trends in a certain discipline or industry for the coming year. I found some interesting articles on marketing trends for 2018. Here is what some of the predictions included.

In an article entitled “5 Trends Marketers Need to Prepare For In 2018” by AJ Agrawal, CONTRIBUTOR to Forbes, he states.

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1.) Establishing A Conversation

In 2018, look for marketers who are doing more than ever before to generate high-quality, relevant content and optimize their sites to encourage users to participate in the content they share. Marketers will need to find ways to connect more authentically and leverage social listening to strategize successfully in the new year.

2.) Short Planning Cycles

When it comes to marketing strategy, it’s important not to get too far ahead of yourself. Consumer tastes change frequently, so businesses can’t put all their advertising eggs in one basket. Kate Sayre, global head of consumer goods strategy at Facebook, explains that when it comes to marketing, the only real constant is change: “We do six-month planning cycles at Facebook because we don’t know the future. A lot of it is driven by the consumer.”

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3.) Contextual Marketing

Contextual marketing is driven by the insights afforded by big data, including market and customer analysis and predictive analytics; understanding the context in which consumers seek to engage with your brand can help you determine customer intent and drive conversions. Contextual marketing is the future of marketing, as consumers continue to demand greater personalization online.

4.) Purpose Driven Purchasing

As much as 79 percent of consumers would prefer to purchase products from a company that operates with a social purpose, and high-performing marketers are more than two times more likely to be leveraging purpose-driven marketing methods.

5.) Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

“In 2018, chatbots will become a far more common solution for brands wishing to serve their customers in a smarter and more cost-effective way,” explains Matt Navarra, director of social media at TheNextWeb. “With AI now being easier to integrate into various tools and services, chatbots will become far more useful and personalized with each interaction it has with users.” Artificial intelligence will also help to power big data interpretation and analysis, making it possible for startups to glean greater insight from the information collected.

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AJ’s predictions got me thinking about what which marketing trends the mortgage industry will see in 2018.

>>Content is Still King. You must be able to create and deliver highly relevant content when and where your potential borrower is ready to consume it. The content must be specific to that individual and help them along their specific home buying journey.

>>Big Data and Analytics. There is an enormous amount of data available about your potential borrowers. The lenders that can best utilize this data and turn it into meaningful content can engage with potential borrowers before they begin shopping around for the best mortgage rates.

>>Mobile. Mobile is not just important in delivering on the digital mortgage, it actually begins when the potential borrower begins their housing search. This usually starts on mobile devices; therefore, your mortgage marketing must be mobile and highly engaging to capture their attention and to keep them engaged.

>>The Need for Print & Digital. While more and more of today’s borrowers are starting their searches online and looking for a digital mortgage experience, what we have found is that the most engaging mortgage marketing campaigns combine both print materials that are highly personalized to that specific borrower and digital marketing. Because so many people are getting inundated with emails and digital ads, combining strategically placed print with your digital campaigns truly captures the attention of the borrower.

>>Marketing Automation. The days of lenders using their outdated CRM or email marketing tools to drive business are long gone. With big data, analytics, the need for personalization, and the need for event triggers to send highly targeted marketing materials at the exact time the potential borrower will consume them requires sophisticated marketing automation.

 What mortgage marketing trends do you think lenders are looking to incorporate in 2018?

About The Author

Brandon Perry

Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company’s ability to maintain it’s position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Attracting New Borrowers

In today’s hyper-competitive mortgage market with fluctuating rates, low inventories, and changing borrower expectations, it is vital for lenders to truly understand their target audience if they want to attract new borrowers.

In an article entitled “How to Define Your Target Market” by Mandy Porta from Inc.com, Porta addresses this topic and states, “To build a solid foundation for your business, you must first identify your typical customer and tailor your marketing pitch accordingly.”

“Given the current state of the economy, having a well-defined target market is more important than ever. No one can afford to target everyone. Small businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a niche market.”

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“Many businesses say they target “anyone interested in my services.” Some say they target small-business owners, homeowners, or stay-at-home moms. All of these targets are too general.”

The mistake a number of lenders make is trying to appease every possible potential borrower instead of focusing their marketing message and materials to a specific or a limited number of target audiences.

In addition, Porta says, “Targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. This is a much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business.”

For example, “an interior design company could choose to market to homeowners between the ages of 35 and 65 with incomes of $150,000-plus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To define the market even further, the company could choose to target only those interested in kitchen and bath remodeling and traditional styles. This market could be broken down into two niches: parents on the go and retiring baby boomers.”

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By clearly defining your target audience, your marketing materials and value propositions can be much more specific, personalized, and meaningful to your prospective borrowers.

Porta goes on to state, “With a clearly defined target audience, it is much easier to determine where and how to market your company.” Here are some tips she provides to help you define your target market.

“Look at your current customer base.

Who are your current customers, and why do they buy from you? Look for common characteristics and interests. Which ones bring in the most business? It is very likely that other people like them could also benefit from your product/service.

Check out your competition.

Who are your competitors targeting? Who are their current customers? Don’t go after the same market. You may find a niche market that they are overlooking.

Analyze your product/service.

Write out a list of each feature of your product or service. Next to each feature, list the benefits it provides (and the benefits of those benefits). For example, a graphic designer offers high-quality design services. The benefit is a professional company image. A professional image will attract more customers because they see the company as professional and trustworthy. So ultimately, the benefit of high-quality design is gaining more customers and making more money.

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Once you have your benefits listed, make a list of people who have a need that your benefit fulfills. For example, a graphic designer could choose to target businesses interested in increasing their client base. While this is still too general, you now have a base to start from.

Choose specific demographics to target.

Figure out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it. Think about the following factors:

>>Age

>>Location

>>Gender

>>Income level

>>Education level

>>Marital or family status

>>Occupation

>>Ethnic background

Consider the psychographics of your target.

Psychographics are the more personal characteristics of a person, including:

>>Personality

>>Attitudes

>>Values

>>Interests/hobbies

>>Lifestyles

>>Behavior

Determine how your product or service will fit into your target’s lifestyle. How and when will your target use the product? What features are most appealing to your target? What media does your target turn to for information? Does your target read the newspaper, search online, or attend particular events?

Evaluate your decision.

Once you’ve decided on a target market, be sure to consider these questions:

>>Are there enough people who fit my criteria?

>>Will my target really benefit from my product/service? Will they see a need for it?

>>Do I understand what drives my target to make decisions?

>>Can they afford my product/service?

>>Can I reach them with my message? Are they easily accessible?

While targeting is a very powerful tool to help maximize marketing dollars and results, it is important to prudently carve out your niche. Companies can get too narrow with their focus and have a very limited number of prospects to market to.

Porta’s tip, “If you can reach both niches effectively with the same message, then maybe you have broken down your market too far. Also, if you find there are only 50 people that fit all of your criteria, maybe you should reevaluate your target. The trick is to find that perfect balance.”

She concludes with, “Defining your target market is the hard part. Once you know who you are targeting, it is much easier to figure out which media you can use to reach them and what marketing messages will resonate with them. Instead of sending direct mail to everyone in your ZIP code, you can send it only to those who fit your criteria. Save money and get a better return on investment by defining your target audience.”

Knowing your target audience will not only save you money on your marketing but it will also deliver greater results as you look to attract more new borrowers in today’s highly competitive mortgage market.

About The Author

Brandon Perry

Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company’s ability to maintain it’s position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Are You Motivating Your Audience With A Strong Call To Action?

Calls to Action (CTA’s) are often the difference between prospects just eyeballing your content versus prospects that are converting into leads.   In today’s highly competitive mortgage market it is critical to convert potential borrowers into leads, which convert into actual borrowers.

You can create great content, new websites and professional marketing materials but if all a potential borrower does is read your materials you still have nothing to show for it. Your CTA’s must motivate the potential borrower to take action.   To get pre-qualified, to start the application process, to speak with a loan officer, because once that happens most borrowers stop shopping around.

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So, what is the difference between a CTA that drives leads and action compared to the typical CTA that people just read and do nothing with? There are a number of factors that impact the effectiveness of your CTA. They include:

Wording is critical- Use words that demonstrate an understanding of your prospects pain and of what motivates them.

Proper design and placement- If you what your CTA’s to pop you need to take advantage of whitespace, colors, shape and visual elements that will make the CTA stand out.

Deliver value to your prospect- provide them with insights, trends, offers that the prospect can’t live without. Put yourself in the prospects shoes. What will motivate them to take action?

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There are a number of articles that provide key insights into the power of CTA’s and how to get the most out of them in your marketing materials. In an article by Wendy Marx entitled Calls to Action: “How to Motivate Your Audience she lists 10 Guides to Creating Calls to Action that Convert from leading industry experts. Check out the story for some additional tips on creating the perfect CTA https://goo.gl/Zd18pz.

To succeed in today’s mortgage market your marketing materials must include a clear and concise call to action.

Action:

Ask for their business

Offer a discount

Visit a website to apply

Join Group/list

Click to Apply Now

Get Pre-Qualified

Considerations

Do not hide your call to action

Provide multiple opportunities in your marketing materials for your prospect to take action.

Finding the right call to action takes time and plenty of trial and error. Put yourself in your prospects shoes. What would you be looking for throughout the home buying process? Ask yourself “What’s in it for me?”

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The prospect will eventually ask themselves this same question.

Here are some examples:

Should I be working with someone who simply wants to do a loan or a trusted advisor?

Should my lender guide me through the loan process from start to finish or do I have to figure it out myself?

As your prospect asked themselves these questions, you should make a conscious effort to portray yourself as a valued asset in their home buying journey. Adding value for your prospect creates a higher need and increases of moving your audience to action.

About The Author

Brandon Perry

Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company’s ability to maintain it’s position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Borrowers’ Short Attention Span

As a lender you are battling with rates fluctuations, compliance scrutiny, intense competition and inventory shortages. In addition, you are often dealing with potential borrowers who have a short attention span for any of your efforts to effectively market to them.

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Would you be surprised to hear that email may still be the answer? In an article entitled “The Short Attention Span Solution for Marketers” from Amanda Zantal-Wiener, a Senior Staff Writer at HubSpot.

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In her article she states, “Email marketing might be entering a mid-life crisis. According to Entrepreneur, 2017 marks its 40th birthday, with 1978 cited as the year when the first marketing email was delivered. The sender, the story goes, was Gary Thuerk, an employee of Digital Equipment Corporation — an infamous legend, of sorts, who’s referred to by some as the “father of spam.”

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She went on to say, “Yet — somehow — it seems that email marketing is doing a better job than a lot of other digital communication at prolonging a viewer’s attention span. The stereotypical “mid-life crisis” often involves change that comes after years of overall evolution and improvement. And in a way, email marketing isn’t so different. It’s gone through a number of modifications to make it better, more user-friendly, and less spammy since 1978. And now, Litmus reports, the average time spent reading an email has increased by nearly 7% since 2011.”

Further, “But how is that possible, given our oft-cited dwindling attention spans? As it turns out, email marketing might be an exception to that rule for a number of reasons, ranging from improved sending platforms to more mobile-friendly consumption experiences to generally better content.

Want the details? You’re in luck. Litmus breaks it down in this the handy infographic below.”

How to Cure a Short Attention Span With Email

About The Author

Brandon Perry

Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company’s ability to maintain it’s position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

The Best Of Both Worlds

In today’s hyper competitive mortgage market, with fluctuating rates, an influx of regulations and enforcements, focusing on attracting new borrowers and retaining the ones you have isn’t always the top priority. It is critical to take care of those areas without losing sight of the importance on bringing on new business.

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I was reading a recent blog by IQ Total Source titled “How to Combine Print & Digital Marketing Campaigns”. In the blog they state “To be successful in today’s marketing age, it is important to have an integrated campaign: both print and digital tactics.

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Making these tools work together can be tricky, though. As with any campaign, you’ll want to start out knowing who your target audience is. This means not only knowing the demographics and parameters of your audience, but also how best to reach them. While it is easy to assume that older customers prefer print while younger customers like digital marketing, it will almost never be advantageous to operate this way.

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There are various advantages and disadvantages to both print and digital media that you should research. Most likely you’ll find that a combined print and digital marketing campaign is the way to go. Digital media is a great option because of its ease of change and the fact that you are not so strictly limited in space. You can use links to your advantage in this capacity, giving your customer an easy path of simply clicking to learn more information or even purchase your product then and there. However, print offers its own set of advantages. Information is much more easily digested in print and people like and trust something tangible.

Through both your print and digital channels, you should have a consistent look. It’s quite possible that a customer will come in contact with both your print and digital designs. Your campaign will be made stronger and clearer if your customers can easily connect the two. Make sure that the efforts you put toward your campaign can be used in as many ways as possible. Information from a newsletter can be organized in a print pamphlet or poster, used as a basis for an online banner, and expanded on for a web page. Consistency is key when managing a combined print and digital strategy.

Don’t rigidly separate your print and digital information. As we’ve already covered, it is not as black and white as assuming you’ll generate one set of customers from print and an entirely new set digitally. Including twitter handles, an invitation to visit your website, or even an online code within your print campaign can compel your audience to your digital channels and vice versa. Always make sure all of your marketing is contributing toward your desired result.

Print is not dead and digital marketing is fast growing. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but combining them can mean the best of both worlds.”

To succeed in today’s mortgage market you need a multifaceted marketing approach to attracting, engaging and eventually bringing on new borrowers. This includes the use of both print and digital.

About The Author

Brandon Perry

Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company’s ability to maintain it’s position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Email Marketing Isn’t Dead

As a lender you are constantly looking for ways to attract new borrowers, engage with them so that they stop shopping around and ultimately get their new loan from your organization.

I just read a wonderful article from Josh Brown of Infusionsoft, titled “6 Email Formats that Attract and Engage Customers and Reduce Churn”.  In the article he states” I can hear you now: I thought email marketing was dead… I don’t blame you for thinking that way; I definitely ignore 99 percent of the emails that come through my inbox on a daily basis. But I don’t ignore them because I hate getting email. I ignore them because, quite frankly, they don’t really offer much value at all. But the 1 percent I do open almost always gets me to engage further with the sender, whether it be an individual or a company.”

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He makes a great point that “email marketing isn’t dead. But it’s not 1997 anymore, either. The novelty of receiving email has worn off.” Therefore, if you want to attract and engage new borrowers, your email marketing approach needs to change with the time.

“In 2017, you can’t just slap together an email blast and assume everyone on your mailing list is going to immediately stop what they’re doing to read what you have to say—unless you give them something worth checking out.

Before we get into discussing the email formats that are most successful in engaging customers, here are some of the hard facts:

>>The conversion rate of emails is higher than that of direct mail, social media, and most other forms of marketing

>>81 percent of online shoppers are more likely to make a purchase after receiving a targeted offer through email

>>Email open rates increased to 34.1 percent in 2016 (click-thru rates, however, decreased)

That last statistic tells you one thing: Consumers are still willing and eager to receive correspondence through email, but you need to follow through with value when sending them.

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So, now that we know email marketing is still alive and well, how do we effectively implement it to build and grow a business?

Let’s take a look at the six types of emails that work best to get your customers on the hook and ready to engage further with your brand. I’ll also provide best practices for creating these emails, and give prime examples of companies that have mastered the art of email marketing.

  1. The welcome email

Perhaps the most obvious email to add to your arsenal is the welcome email, to be used immediately once a prospect or customer has interacted with your brand for the very first time.

Your welcome email should simultaneously represent your brand while also treating your customer as an individual. If your brand is fun loving and quirky, your welcome email should have some whimsy. If your company is more serious, tone your welcome email down a bit. But, above all else, remember to write the email as if you’re writing to a friend—that’s what your customers will notice.

A welcome email is also a great way to “set the stage” for what’s to come for your new customer as well as help with the onboarding process.

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Use it as an opportunity to explain exactly what your company is all about, how to get started with your product or service, and to gather insight and feedback from your customers. Then, follow up with an offer and a call-to-action that lets your new customer dive right in and see for themselves what you can do for them.

Len Markidan, head of marketing at Groove had the following to say about their welcome email: ??“Like most welcome messages, this email thanks the user for signing up and lets them know how to get started with Groove. But most importantly, it asks a critical question: Why did you sign up?

With this question, we’ve been able to transform our messaging based on what we learned is most important to new customers, and we’ve been able to build deeper relationships with those customers by helping them with whatever unique goals or challenges drove them to sign up.”

  1. The post-purchase email

Once a prospect has officially become a paying customer (or a return customer has made a new purchase), you have a ton of options for how to reach out to them and spur further engagement with your brand.

First and foremost, take the time to thank them for their business. After all, if it weren’t for your paying customers, you wouldn’t have a successful business in the first place.

You can also use a post-purchase email to provide further instructions for how to use the product or service in question. Or, at the very least, let your customers know your support staff is only an email, phone call, or tweet away.

For further engagement, you might choose to include any of the following:

>>Cross-sells and supplemental offers

>>Options for customers to share the purchase with friends via social media

>>Options for customers to provide feedback to your company

By providing all of this after your customer has already given you their money, you prove that you’re goal is to make them happy—not just to make a quick buck.

  1. The newsletter/announcement

Your customers are busy people who have a lot going on in their lives. So it’s entirely forgivable that your brand isn’t always the first thing on their mind.

But, by sending them an occasional newsletter, you can remind them not only that your company exists, but also that you’ve provided value for them in the past—and that you continue to value them as a customer.

Newsletters can be used to provide the following:

>>New product releases or service offerings

>>Improvements and other changes made to current products or services

>>Special offers and discounts

A quick caveat regarding newsletters:

Sending out recurring newsletters for the sake of sending an email doesn’t work. Simply put: Your customers don’t care about the goings-on at your company unless it affects them. There’s no point in wasting time and energy putting together a newsletter unless you have something important to tell your customer base. This approach will most likely be ignored, and it might end up getting future emails sent straight to your customers’ spam folders.

  1. The educational email

It’s no secret that producing educational content can help you position your brand as an expert in your industry. But simply producing such content is useless unless your customers actually see it.

By sending out email blasts that either include or link to such content, you increase the chances that your customers will not only see your content but that they’ll take the time to engage with it.

Such educational emails could include blog posts or videos that you’ve created in-house, or they could include curated roundups of valuable pieces of content others have created.

The main goals of educational emails are to deepen your customers’ understanding of your industry, and also to make them even more aware of how your company could be of service to them. Or, as mentioned above, you might just provide further instructions for how to get the best use out of the products you offer.

  1. The celebratory email

Want your customers to be happy? Give them something to celebrate!

Celebratory emails can be sent on occasions in which the customer didn’t really have to do anything (such as birthdays and brand-related anniversaries). Or they can be sent after a milestone has been reached (either on your customer’s end or your company’s).

You might also choose to share the success of other customers with the rest of your customer base, as well. Such success stories can keep customers motivated, and also provide real-world proof that your services are, in fact, incredibly valuable.

  1. The re-engaging email

Email marketing allows you to re-engage with potentially lapsed customers in a non-intrusive, but still attention-getting, manner.

Re-engaging emails need to be ultra-personalized in order to be effective. The typical “We miss you!” email doesn’t work, as it offers little to no context to remind customers of what your brand has to offer, or why they engaged with you in the first place.

Instead, such emails need to refer back to previous interactions and purchases a customer has made from your company—and then provide incentives for them to re-engage. Perhaps you’ve made improvements to (or completely revamped) a product they purchased in the past, or maybe you’ve developed a new product that goes hand-in-hand with a past purchase. As long as you can provide more value to your ready-to-churn customers, the re-engaging email could be a lifesaver.

A quick note on saying goodbye

Sometimes, there literally isn’t anything you can do to get a churning customer to change their mind. But you can squeeze one last drop of value from them by giving them the chance to fill out an exit survey once they’ve “officially” decided to sever ties with your brand.”

Josh ends with, “going back to what I said at the beginning: Email marketing isn’t dead.

What is long gone is the assumption that your customers will check out your email just because you send it to them.

But, implemented correctly, a proper email marketing strategy can do wonders in terms of moving customers along the buyer’s journey and keeping them within the customer lifecycle loop.”

Email marketing can be a very effective tool when looking to attract new borrowers; the key is implementing the right email strategy that engages today’s borrower.

About The Author

Brandon Perry

Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company’s ability to maintain it’s position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.

Email Marketing Success

I recently read an article from Cassidy Milder of Marketo, entitled “3 Steps for Successful Email Marketing Campaigns in a “Post-Email” World.”

Once you learn these three key steps, you’ll be able to send emails that sweep recipients off their feet—or at least get them to read past the subject line.

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Cast a Wider Net—But Keep Your True Blue Subscribers Front-and-Center

A lot of percentages go into email communication: the percentage of opens, click-throughs, and—most importantly—what percent converts. Naturally, those numbers get smaller and smaller as you get closer to achieving ROI, so you need to make sure you’re sending to a large enough database that by the time you get to final conversion, you’re still seeing the results you want. And that means growing your email list to get those coveted percentages.

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The Best Things in Life Take Time to Develop; Your Database Is No Different

We tend to hear about the one or two stories where marketers were able to capture lightning in a bottle, but here at, our most successful marketing campaigns rely on careful testing and thoughtful adjustments. There’s even ample evidence that data science and progressive profiling will heavily play into email campaigns over the next few years, especially as home automation devices like Echo and Google Home start to capture more and more behavioral data.

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Testing with different samples and subsets of your subscribers should become more important than ever, which means you’ll need to be patient and nurture your database in order to see the results you want.

This is your time to test the waters and see what types of content and calls-to-action (CTAs) work with your new audience. It’s often helpful to warm up your audience with content and bonus offers before asking for your conversion. Your audience should feel like they’re gaining value from your emails. If you can capture their attention with top-of-the-funnel material, you’ll gain their trust (and boost open and click-through percentages!).

Get to Know the Most Engaged Members of Your Audience

Every concert audience comes to a show armed with different expectations: from the avid fan who has all of the albums to the significant other who just got dragged along with their partner. Your database is no different: some members are just more into your content than others. But in order for your emails to accrue value, you must be able to identify and empathize with the needs of your email VIPs. Who’s opening your messages, downloading your content, or even contacting you directly?

Drilling down into these kinds of details offers a more well-formed definition of your ideal client, and it lets you target them with stronger CTAs. Once you’ve gotten them to subscribe and earned their trust with top-of-the-funnel content, they’ll finally be ready to convert—and you can watch this all unfold right from your engagement platform. When you see someone fall into this sweet spot, you can start segmenting them for more direct asks, which all translates to ROI for your company. That will certainly breathe life into your marketing campaigns!”

Email is not dead, your approach might need to change if you want to attract more borrowers in today’s mortgage market.

About The Author

Brandon Perry

Brandon Perry is President at The Turning Point. Brandon oversees all operational and administrative activities of TTP. Brandon brings over 16 years of experience in various financial services industries to TTP which enhances the Company’s ability to maintain it’s position as industry leader in providing customers with an advanced marketing solution.