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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.

5 Keys To A Full Pipeline

In today’s ever-changing mortgage market, with the influx of new rules and regulations, fluctuating interest rates, and rapidly changing market conditions it is difficult for many LO’s to maintain a full pipeline of potential borrowers. Therefore, it is critical for LO’s to have a system in place that helps ensure that LO’s have a full pipeline of potential borrowers to work with.

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So what do lenders need to do to ensure a full pipeline? Here are five keys to a full pipeline:

>>Clean Database

>>Quality Content

>>Combination of Print & Digital

>>Mortgage Specific Marketing Automation

>>Consistency

So, let’s briefly discuss each item. While having a clean database of prospective borrowers seems commonsensical you would be amazed how many lenders are prepared for this first step. For the marketing to be successful, you can’t just throw some spreadsheets or prospect list together and think that you are prepared. The database needs to be clean and reviewed prior to starting marketing campaigns. Do you have all of the prospects information: name, address, phone number, email address and any other pertinent information that you will use to segment your prospects.

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Once you have a clean database, you need quality content that will resonate with your prospective borrower and cause them to take action. The content needs to be much more about “what’s in it for the prospect” and less about how awesome your company is. The content should also be personalized to the specific prospect and where they are at in the lending process if you want to break through all of the noise out there in the market place.

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In today’s market many lenders just want to send digital campaigns. In their mind it is cheaper and quicker. While those two statements may be true, if the goal is to fill the pipeline then the proper mix of digital and print is required. People get so many emails these days and sometimes just tune out that a properly timed and personal print piece can help you stand out in the crowd. The key is that neither print nor digital should be mutually exclusive to your campaigns. The combination of the two will help differentiate you to prospective borrowers.

In today’s fast moving market place with fewer marketing and administrative resources available it is wise to take advantage of technology in the form of mortgage specific marketing automation to handle many of these critical yet redundant tasks. Often referred to as “set-it and forget-it” technology which will automate many of these marketing functions, which leads me to the final piece of a full pipeline.

The final piece is consistency. You must gain mind share with your prospective borrower by consistently send them (both print & digital) marketing campaigns so that when the timing is right they look to you as a trusted advisor and quit shopping around for a mortgage.

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.

Personalized Borrower Communications

As a lender, visualize a mortgage market where you can spend less time launching marketing campaigns and more time actually engaged with your prospective borrower. Through their interactions with your website, email campaigns and mailings, potential borrowers are telling you what they are looking for and when they need it, but are you paying attention?

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With so much talk about the digital mortgage experience, borrowers’ expectations regarding personalization and the type of brand experience that you are delivering have significantly changed. This is where personalization through data analytics and advanced marketing automation come into play.

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So let’s discuss how personalization helps you stand out in a highly competitive mortgage market and deliver on the type of brand experience borrowers are looking for. In a competitive mortgage market borrowers are getting bombarded with messages and offers.

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Personalization is about delivering relevant and timely content to the potential borrower at the exact stage of the buying journey that they are currently in. Lenders that can deliver personalized emails increase both transaction and revenue rates by more than 5X. They also experience higher open rates and click-through rates.

That’s where advanced mortgage specific marketing automation comes into play. Mortgage specific marketing automation helps manage the potential borrower data and the specific interaction that they have had to trigger relevant marketing content on their buying journey.

The right mortgage specific marketing automation combines print and digital marketing automation that allows lenders to progressively reach potential borrowers with personalized messages and effectively drive new business and retain current borrowers.  This automation also offers on-demand marketing with thousands of individual multi-media pieces to choose from.

So what are some of the ways that you can personalize your email and print marketing pieces for the greatest ROI? Here are 20 ways from Amy Saunders, who is a content creator at Infusionsoft:

20 Ways to Personalize Automated Emails

An automated email can be sent to hundreds or thousands of contacts, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. Use these tips for sending automated emails that read like personal correspondence between you and your customer.

Add a personal touch

>> Send occasional non-branded, plain-text emails from you, not the company

>> Write as if you’re talking to a single customer

>> Use a subject line you’d send to a friend

>> Include a headshot in your signature

>> Change “click unsubscribe” to “let me know if you don’t want to hear from me anymore”

>> Mix up marketing messages with funny videos, personal photos, and holiday greetings

Make magic with merge fields

>> Call contacts by name, i.e. “Hi, [First Name]!”

>> Name-drop other contacts, like the customer’s spouse or child

>> Show you know who’s who, i.e. “Knowing you’re the [Job Title], I thought you might be the best

>> Person to talk to at [Company Name]”

>> Reference the current day, i.e. “Have a great [Day of the Week]!”

>> Make old content new, i.e. “The [Month] [Year] Newsletter”

>> Talk up a contact’s town, i.e. “How’s the weather in [City] today?”

>> Reminisce about the first time you met by referencing an event or meeting place

Write at the right time

>> Respond quickly—but not too quickly—by putting an automatic reply on a delay timer

>> Win at phone tag by using an automated email to follow up on a missed call

>> Check in on a downloaded resource with a personal message

>> Wish every customer a happy birthday (or anniversary or holiday)

Send them what they want

>> Use segmentation for personalization by tagging customers based on their interests and behavior

>> Personalize the next offer with automation

>> Ask what they want through a web form”

If you want to gain the attention of today’s borrower, you must be able to deliver personalized, relevant and timely content to the potential borrower at each stage of the buying journey through mortgage specific marketing automation.

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 Right Approach

As I talk to lenders across the country there is a deep desire to discuss all things digital. With the success of lenders like Rocket Mortgage, more and more lenders are looking to how they can move into the digital mortgage. This includes many lenders looking to digitally attracting new borrowers through marketing automation, email blasts and social media.

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These are all great channels to use to attract new borrowers but these should not entirely replace print as a tool for attracting new borrowers. The most powerful marketing automation campaigns strike the right balance between digital and print to gain the maximum exposure and results for lenders.

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Print Your On-Demand Campaigns with the Right Marketing Automation

The right marketing automation allows lenders to deliver custom campaigns that can be run quickly and easily on demand to any mix of contact databases: prospects, applicants, borrowers and partners. You’ll want to run a campaign whenever you spot a tactical sales opportunity – for example: a change in interest rates or other market conditions. On-demand campaigns are also an effective way of just staying in touch with your database – for example: making announcements about significant changes at your company.

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The right marketing automation empowers central marketing to set up campaigns for all or any subset of loan officers, choose the marketing activity and specify the target audience. The system then provides a range of execution options to satisfy all cultural and operational preferences:

>> Run the campaign from the corporate level

>> Run the campaign from the corporate level, but first allow loan officers to opt out

>> Set up individual campaigns for loan officers to run if and when they wish

>> Create an Instant Campaign and make it available for loan officers to run from their Home page

Participating loan officers are notified of the campaign details by system-generated e-mail and a follow-up report is provided containing each recipient’s contact details.

The right marketing automation solution delivers a comprehensive Collateral Catalogue that allows you to purchase essential promotional materials – quickly and easily – including business cards, letterhead, pads, brochures, card products, flyers, posters, booklets and catalogues. You’ll enjoy all the advantages of “print on-demand”. What’s more, unlike traditional print shops, a fully integrated marketing automation platform and print facility does not specify minimum quantities.

The Collateral Catalogue also provides tools for you to create/upload your very own collateral materials so that you can easily maintain a “look and feel” consistent with your brand strategy.

The right marketing automation solution delivers powerful marketing tools in the form of print and digital. The right combination attracts the greatest number of potential borrowers, highest ROI and consistency needed to prosper 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.

Print Is Not Dead

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As I talk to lenders across the country there is a deep desire to discuss all things digital. With the success of lenders like Rocket Mortgage, more and more lenders are looking to how they can move into the digital mortgage. This includes many lenders looking to digitally attracting new borrowers through marketing automation, email blasts and social media.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
These are all great channels to use to attract new borrowers but these should not entirely replace print as a tool for attracting new borrowers. The most powerful marketing automation campaigns strike the right balance between digital and print to gain the maximum exposure and results for lenders.

Print Your On-Demand Campaigns with the Right Marketing Automation

The right marketing automation allows lenders to deliver custom campaigns that can be run quickly and easily on demand to any mix of contact databases: prospects, applicants, borrowers and partners. You’ll want to run a campaign whenever you spot a tactical sales opportunity – for example: a change in interest rates or other market conditions. On-demand campaigns are also an effective way of just staying in touch with your database – for example: making announcements about significant changes at your company.

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The right marketing automation empowers central marketing to set up campaigns for all or any subset of loan officers, choose the marketing activity and specify the target audience. The system then provides a range of execution options to satisfy all cultural and operational preferences:

>> Run the campaign from the corporate level

>> Run the campaign from the corporate level, but first allow loan officers to opt out

>> Set up individual campaigns for loan officers to run if and when they wish

>> Create an Instant Campaign and make it available for loan officers to run from their Home page

Participating loan officers are notified of the campaign details by system-generated e-mail and a follow-up report is provided containing each recipient’s contact details.

Featured Sponsors:

 
The right marketing automation solution delivers a comprehensive Collateral Catalogue that allows you to purchase essential promotional materials – quickly and easily – including business cards, letterhead, pads, brochures, card products, flyers, posters, booklets and catalogues. You’ll enjoy all the advantages of “print on-demand”. What’s more, unlike traditional print shops, a fully integrated marketing automation platform and print facility does not specify minimum quantities.

The Collateral Catalogue also provides tools for you to create/upload your very own collateral materials so that you can easily maintain a “look and feel” consistent with your brand strategy.

The right marketing automation solution delivers powerful marketing tools in the form of print and digital. The right combination attracts the greatest number of potential borrowers, highest ROI and consistency needed to prosper 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.

Attracting Borrowers In 2017

Are you looking to attract new borrowers in 2017? As the New Year approaches and many companies complete their goals and objectives for 2017, one item on the top of many lenders’ lists is attracting new borrowers. I am pretty sure that doesn’t surprise any of you. What is surprising is that lenders keep doing the same thing over and over, yet they expect different results. Isn’t that the definition of insanity?

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It’s great to want to attract new borrowers in 2017. The challenge is if your methods didn’t work as well as you hoped for 2016, what is going to be different in 2017? Many lenders struggle with consistently reaching their target audience of potential borrowers with personalized marketing messages that trigger a response. That’s where marketing automation can make a difference.

Why is Marketing Automation so important to lenders’ success in 2017?

In order to survive and thrive in this mortgage environment of constantly changing rules and regulations, heightened competition for borrowers and extreme pressure to produce results, you must realize the need to identify high quality business opportunities. It is critical to identify leads quickly and efficiently and then drive them to the point-of-sale with compliant communications for converting them into borrowers. It’s equally important to retain these borrowers and to maximize their on-going value through repeat business and referrals.

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Consistently engaging these prospective borrowers in real time across a multitude of channels such as the Internet, email, social media, print, video, and mobile devices highlights the importance of working with a proven mortgage specific marketing automation solution that can bring out the best in your marketing while easing your compliance burden.

This requires a proven enterprise-wide marketing automation solution that supports you and your specific initiatives to consistently address these market conditions. Each person in your organization that is involved with driving growth is empowered to focus on what they do best. For example, Loan Officers are free to close more loans, instead of trying to create marketing materials. C-level executives are presented with sophisticated, yet easy-to-use tools for more effective oversight and management, while marketing managers can demonstrate their marketing genius and compliantly maintain brand consistency across the organization.

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Just having a CRM solution (electronic rolodex) or sporadically emailing some general marketing messages, and posting on social media every once in a while is not marketing automation. More importantly, it will not consistently and compliantly drive new business to the point of sale. So if you are serious about growing your lending business in 2017, it is critical to understand what mortgage specific marketing automation can do for your business.

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 New Face Of Mortgage Marketing

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In today’s highly regulatory environment, not having the proper corporate control can be extremely costly.

You’re faced with a difficult choice. On the one hand, with fierce competition intensifying to attract new borrowers, you need to use every marketing tool at your disposal to drive high-quality business to the point-of-sale. On the other hand, a flood of new rules and regulation is seriously impacting how you can and can’t market to prospective borrowers.

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Until now relatively little attention has been paid to the laws and rules that bear upon mortgage marketing. There’s an array of mortgage-specific regulations that constrain marketing activity, notably certain provisions of the SAFE Act. Looking beyond the mortgage market, we find yet more regulations (at both the federal and state level) that come into play. The bottom line is that we are now operating in an environment where mortgage marketing attracts greater scrutiny than ever before – not only by regulatory authorities, but also by trade associations and consumer groups.

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What follows is not intended to be a comprehensive or authoritative survey of the law as it currently stands. The writer is not a lawyer and this is not meant to be an exhaustive review of all laws impacting mortgage marketing. It’s simply an indication of the scope and type of pitfalls that await the unwary.

Licensing And Legal Disclosure

The Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act of 2008 “is designed to enhance consumer protection and reduce fraud by encouraging states to establish minimum standards for the licensing and registration of state-licensed mortgage loan originators.” The major consequence of the Act was the establishment of the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) and Registry. An originator’s NMLS number must now be displayed in specific relationship to their name and contact information on all outbound marketing communications.

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In addition, marketing communications must incorporate the relevant legal disclosure per jurisdiction in which the company operates. How and where this information is displayed is typically indicated in state law, down to details such as minimum font size. Originators must, of course, be licensed to operate in a particular state before they can communicate with anyone living in that state.

Data Protection And Privacy

The Financial Services Modernization Act (commonly known as Gramm-Leach-Bliley, or simply GLB) became federal law in 1999. Title V of the Act covers issues of data privacy, including giving consumers certain opt-out rights regarding their non-personal public information. It is clear from the Act’s language that the responsible party is deemed to be the financial institution rather than individual sales agents or marketing executives.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 was the first to introduce controls on the unwelcome attentions of telemarketing operators. The Do-Not-Call Implementation Act came in 2003, which established the FTC’s “National Do Not Call Registry”. The Do-Not-Call Improvement Act followed in 2007, which tightened a key provision in the consumer’s favor: they need only register once, for life. Many states have introduced complementary measures, including Do Not Mail legislation that typically creates a consumer registry at the state level.

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 sets rules for the commercial use of email, which it defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service”. Among the law’s key provisions are prohibitions on the use of false or misleading header information and deceptive subject lines plus, perhaps most significantly, the requirement for a clear and conspicuous mechanism for the recipient to opt out of future emails, either selectively or in their entirety – which many do, raising serious questions about the effectiveness of email as a business-to-consumer marketing medium.

Brand Management

Regulatory compliance is one thing, but professionalism and adherence to corporate brand standards must also be assured. The topic is raised here since this is a natural although non-legal extension of the other issues discussed: the solutions are going to come from similar processes of management control to those that meet the challenges of compliance.

Mortgage Marketing Compliance

For some mortgage bankers – anxious to avoid costly lawsuits or simply to maintain (or restore) their reputation for transparency and professionalism – the response to the ever-tightening regulatory environment has been to issue policy statements to loan originators and/or require them to obtain approval before doing anything.

Clearly the MAP Final Rule has rendered this approach inadequate. Apart from which, blanket prohibitions were never likely to be effective. In the first place they run counter to human nature; people forget – and punishment after the fact is too late since the damage is already done. More significantly, speed to market is lost. Windows of opportunity open and close so quickly in today’s roller coaster mortgage market that even a brief delay can be disastrous. In any case, this is a highly inefficient solution, expensive to administer and wasteful of human resources.

What if there was a way to get the marketing compliance issues handled that at the same time brings with it the benefit of superior operational efficiency?

Copyright Law

We all know that we can’t reproduce copyrighted language – at least not without first obtaining permission from the copyright holder. What many don’t know is that photographs and other images of celebrities (alive or dead) are also typically protected under copyright law or under various “rights of publicity” laws, which can vary from state to state. In general, unless specific permission is granted, you may not use the image of a celebrity in marketing communications of any kind. Even if you own both a photograph of a celebrity and the copyright of the photograph, it still doesn’t give you the right to do anything with it in the absence of proper approval by the celebrity or their licensing agent.

Although not a copyright issue as such, it‘s also necessary to guard against the use of offensive language and graphics in marketing communications. These too can lead to legal entanglements – or at least they can become a source of serious embarrassment to the mortgage banker.

It’s clear that the tentacles of regulation are now reaching into all aspects of mortgage operations, not least the marketing side. The days are long gone when a mortgage banker could turn loan originators loose to do their own marketing. In the new world this is simply too dangerous.

Management has to take an active role in ensuring the company’s brands and its products are correctly and compliantly represented in the marketplace. Outbound communications with prospects, customers and referral partners – whether driven from the center or by originators – must be controlled, without inhibiting genuine creativity and individual initiative.

So how does a mortgage banker establish a controlled environment that ensures sales and marketing people are adhering to all relevant regulations, but at the same time still allows ingenuity and enterprise to flourish? Simple oversight of all outbound marketing – including variable communication content, such as personalized copy and graphics – is a good start, but it’s not enough.

What’s needed is rules-driven technology – a compliance-centric corporate marketing solution — that handles the regulatory requirements, thereby minimizing reliance on human intelligence.

This technology needs to provide graded levels of control over the players in the marketing process. Management simply has to decide what degree of control to exercise in relation to each of the system’s key functions.

The levels of management control might follow the pattern below, working down from the most to the least restrictive:

Prohibition: Different types of users can be prevented from accessing specific system functions by means of a customizable “permissions” capability.

Authorization Marketing materials created by users at lower levels in the corporate hierarchy cannot be implemented until approved at the center.

Alerts: A defined set of fields is monitored and changes are reported via an online feed, enabling quick action to remedy any departure from company policy.

Oversight: Users at higher levels in the hierarchy can “impersonate” users at lower levels, giving management an instant window on the activities of originators.

Reporting: A dashboard of mission-critical metrics provides information that allows management to hold users at lower levels accountable for their performance.

Audit Trail: Online access to a real-time log of actions taken by users, including copies of all-outbound marketing communications (per the MAP Final Rule).

Finally, in order to close the circle on this vital issue, management should implement a regime of regular instruction and training on both current law and how the company’s marketing technology enables compliance, ensuring that everyone involved remains fully conversant with their role and responsibilities in mitigating the inherent risks.

The right marketing automation provider delivers a proven enterprise-wide marketing automation solution that supports you and your specific initiatives to address market conditions. Each person in your organization that is involved with driving growth is empowered to focus on what they do best.

For example, Loan Originators are free to close more loans, instead of having to create custom marketing materials. C-level executives are presented with sophisticated, yet easy to use tools for more effective oversight and management, while marketing managers can demonstrate their marketing genius and compliantly maintain brand consistency across the entire organization. The right marketing automation provides the ability to:

>> Establish consistent long-term profitability

>> Yield unseen business opportunities

>> Leapfrog the competition

>> Reduce marketing compliance risk

>> Attract new talent and retain top producers

>> Automate company branded marketing

In today’s market with intense competition, mortgage companies cannot afford to stop marketing to prospective borrowers. The key is having the right tools and partner to deliver compliance and control in their mortgage marketing efforts.

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.