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Act! CRM Introduces Marketing Automation Built For The Financial Services Industry

Swiftpage, the provider of Act! CRM software has launched the next generation of Act! which marries proven CRM with powerful marketing automation. The new Act! represents a significant step forward, both for Swiftpage and the broader financial services market, and is available in English in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand this week.


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The new Act! is purpose-built for SMBs and includes rich customer management, dynamic sales pipeline management, powerful marketing automation, actionable business insights, and integrations with hundreds of business optimization applications.


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“Just like big enterprises, in order to stay competitive, small businesses are always looking for ways to improve customer engagement, drive retention, and increase loyalty through repeat business,” said H. John Oechsle, president and CEO of Swiftpage. “With the introduction of Act! Marketing Automation to the portfolio, we are now able to provide our customers with the ultimate toolset to drive business growth.”


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What’s New in Act!

Powerful Marketing Automation

Act! subscribers now have access to a single integrated platform combining CRM and marketing automation, allowing them to optimize all the ways they communicate with prospects and customers to maximize engagement and drive business growth. Act! Marketing Automation delivers comprehensive campaign management, a visual workflow designer to map out the perfect customer journey, real-time response metrics, and time-saving CRM workflow to fuse marketing and sales efforts.

Dynamic Sales Pipeline Management

Users can now manage their sales pipelines more effectively and intelligently with dynamic pipeline management tools, including an interactive sales funnel, in context KPIs, an actionable sales pipeline with drag-and-drop capabilities, and advanced filtering.

Subscriber Exclusive Enhancements

Act! delivers a number of additional valuable subscriber-exclusive enhancements driven by customers.

The Act! Growth Suite

For new users, Swiftpage’s SMB-focused Act! Growth Suite, delivers Act! Marketing Automation and Act! CRM, on a single, integrated platform, at a great introductory price. Active Act! CRM subscribers will also benefit from an introductory price when taking advantage of the new, integrated Act! Marketing Automation as a part of their current subscription.

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Not All Marketing Tech Is Equal

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Today’s demanding lending environment challenges lenders to find creative ways to consistently engage potential new borrowers, maximize LO’s efficiency, and drive new business to the point of sale. Marketing automation is a powerful tool in meeting these challenges, but not all-marketing automation is created equal.

Many lenders are fed up with increases in pricing for their marketing automation technology, especially when the technology lacks new features, is deficient in delivering current and relevant mortgage specific content, is difficult to customize, and most importantly has low LO utilization rates.

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Lenders don’t want to pay a per user fee (at increased cost) with continued low LO utilization rates. Centralized Corporate Control differentiates marketing automation solutions by utilizing “Set it and forget it” technology which allows corporate marketing managers to consistently drive high quality business to the LO without the LO having to directly launch marketing campaigns.

In the mortgage industry, where loan officers find themselves operating in an increasingly complex and regulated environment, “set it and forget it” Marketing Automation is more urgently needed than ever. After all, you want your LOs to focus 100% on what they do best: originating and closing loans.

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Raise Productivity To A New Level

Roller coaster interest rates … constantly changing rules and regulations … heightened competition for borrowers … extreme pressure to produce results …

How will your company continue to thrive in such a demanding environment? It wont be by using overpriced and outdated marketing automation.

Beyond CRM & Generic Marketing Automation

The right marketing automation solution delivers lenders a reduction in the cost per lead, increases the ROI from marketing campaigns and significantly improves borrower acquisition rates. In today’s highly competitive and highly regulated lending environment, lenders must not only be able to quickly and effectively generate new business, they must also do it in a compliant manner. This is the promise on which enterprise-level mortgage-specific marketing automation delivers where traditional CRM and many generic marketing automation couldn’t.

Compliance And Control

These days we’re all operating in a stringently regulated environment. Communications with leads, customers and even referral partners – whether driven from the center or by loan originators – must be controlled, but without inhibiting genuine creativity and individual initiative.

One of the most distinctive features from advanced marketing automation is that it establishes a controlled environment in which ingenuity and enterprise are able to flourish. It does this by providing five levels of management control – including outright prohibition, online alerts, real-time oversight and comprehensive reporting. A unique built-in authorization loop ensures that your nominated managers approve all marketing materials – for example: compliance officer, brand supervisor – before being made available for use. When anything is created, copied or changed, these managers are notified by system-generated e-mail. They are free to approve, amend or even delete the item.

Analytics and reporting

Revealing Mission-Critical Metrics.

In the end it’s all about results. That’s why advanced marketing automation delivers a wide-ranging analysis of your company’s and originators’ production and tracks marketing activity driven through the system. The solution intelligently delivers essential information – including the value of your clients, referral partners and other sources of business – and readily reveals opportunities for incremental sales.

Predefined reports include:

>>Production Analysis

>>Mailing Activity

>>Source of Business

>>Branch Productivity

>>Loan Officer Productivity

>>Realtor Referrals

Post-Close Marketing Automation

Foundation For Your Long-Term Success.

Automated Programs maximize the retention of current clients and the revival of past clients. These pre-determined sequences of strategically timed marketing communications typically run for up to three years (or more) and can be extended at any time. Experience over many years has demonstrated that a well-configured Automated Program lays the firmest possible foundation for long-term success – not only by generating a steady flow of referrals, repeat sales and cross-sales from a loyal audience, but also by ensuring maximum response to on-demand Custom Campaigns.

What Is Advanced Marketing Automation? 

According to Gartner: “Marketing Automation will remain the highest growth sales and marketing software sector with a 10.7% CAGR through 2016, thereby reaching just under $4.7 billion market value.” Why this upsurge of interest in Marketing Automation? It’s because, for the first time, there’s robust technology that frees your loan officers to focus on what they do best: originating and closing loans.

Gartner (www.gartner.com) identifies three distinct segments within the broad category of “sales and marketing” software:

>>Marketing Automation

>>Customer service and support

>>Sales (including CRM products)

Marketing Automation is an enterprise-wide application. Driven by central marketing, the system does the work so that your loan officers don’t have to. Outbound communications addressed to new leads, applicant’s in-process, closed customers and referral partners are precisely targeted, highly personalized and compliantly fulfilled via print and electronic media.

Unleash Your Company’s Marketing Genius

It’s time to unleash your company’s marketing genius with a truly unique Marketing Automation platform. Marketing managers are empowered to drive “set it and forget it” programs across the enterprise, while maintaining regulatory compliance and brand consistency. C-level executives are presented with sophisticated and easy to use tools for more effective oversight and management. Loan officers are freed up to originate and close more loans.

Unleash a marketing solution that brings your creative genius to life, one that provides the power to quickly and consistently execute your marketing objectives while compliantly meeting the ever-changing demands of the mortgage industry. Energize your marketing with mortgage specific marketing automation that is both easy for you to use and extremely powerful. Mobilize a partner who delivers you 15 years of experience in driving growth in the mortgage industry, a trusted advisor that is a difference maker in your business.

At TTP, we bring you the mortgage industry’s most advanced marketing automation solutions that compliantly address every aspect of your lending business from prospect, to in-process, applicant, and closed loan marketing programs. Since 1995, TTP has developed an industry leading reputation for setting the pace, and solving the marketing and communication challenges of lenders to consistently deliver results.

TTP’s MACH3 is a proven enterprise-wide marketing automation solution that supports you and your specific initiatives to 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.

“Set it and forget it” technology drives high-quality business to the point-of-sale and accelerates long-term profitability. Not all marketing automation is created equal.

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.

Without Borrowers Compliance Matters Little

In 2015 most lenders were obsessed with constantly changing rules and regulations, especially TRID. That meant they spent a great deal of time, energy and resources trying to address those compliance demands. While all of the new rules and regulations are certainly an important priority for all lenders, and one that must be properly addressed, many lenders spent little to no time attracting new borrowers. The lack of focus on attracting new borrowers is costing them dearly. That is why I often say that compliance doesn’t matter if you don’t have any borrowers.

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In the face of these challenges lenders cannot continue to have tunnel vision and loose sight of the importance of bringing in new business while constantly looking for ways to drive new business in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.

How will your company attract new borrowers in such a demanding and compliance focused environment? Identifying and acting on high-quality business opportunities is a big part of the answer. You need to generate leads quickly and efficiently, and then drive them to the point-of-sale. You need to convert them into customers with compliant in-process marketing. You also need to retain them and maximize their lifetime value through repeat business and referrals.

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That’s where marketing automation comes into play. Lenders focused on attracting new borrowers are turning to advanced marketing technology to obtain more borrowers in today’s highly competitive and regulated mortgage market.

So what is marketing automation and more importantly, why should lenders take notice? Marketing automation for lenders can be described as software and strategies that allow companies to consistently attract new borrowers–that is, to nurture prospective borrowers with highly personalized, relevant content that helps convert borrowers into customers and turns customers into raving fans.

Marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for lenders and provides an excellent return on the investment, in addition to attracting top loan officer (LO) talent to the organization.

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These solutions automate engagement with prospective clients and provide relevant updates for in-process milestones while developing and enhancing partner relationships. Marketing Automation employs leading technology to maximize marketing relevance. With marketing automation LO’s will experience:

>> Increased pipelines and commission potential

>> A surge in response rates

>> Increased loyalty throughout client base

>> Improved communications with prospective borrowers, clients and referral partners.

Having tunnel vision solely on compliance is simply not a sustainable business model. Lenders must attract new borrowers and enhance their lifetime value. At the end of the day, compliance only matters if you have borrowers to serve.

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.

Magazine Feature: Capitalize On The Shift To A Purchase Market

The mortgage industry has seen a significant decline in refi activity in the recent months and the trend looks like it will continue into 2014. The change to a purchase market is happening quickly: the Mortgage Bankers Association has estimated that purchases will make up 48% of originations by the end of the year. That is up from only 26% at the beginning of 2013.

The trend toward a purchase market began as rates crept up slightly, and home values started increasing. The improved labor market, broader economic recovery and decreased mortgage delinquencies also aided in this shift. Consumers who have been sitting on the fence about selling their home are beginning to realize now is the time to make the jump, making this an opportune time for consumers to purchase their next home.

These variables combined have developed a hot purchase market throughout the country. The adjustment to this purchase market focus has left many mortgage lenders aggressively searching for ways to compliantly gain market share. Developing strong referral partners is going to be critical. Creating relationships with Insurance Agents, CPAs, Divorce Attorneys, Human Resource Directors, Financial Planners, Builders and Real Estate Agents will provide for a stable business model for the future.

Strategic referral relationships create clients for life who are more apt to refer others as well. This builds a consistent flow of referral business to everyone involved.

The challenge remains how to develop strong referral relationships with dynamic marketing campaigns while remaining efficient and compliant. The solution demands more than just pulling together disparate e-mail, print and other marketing components. It requires the use of centralized marketing automation.

Centralized marketing automation will greatly enhance referral relationships in an engaging, compliant manner while allowing loan officers to focus on what they do best: originate and close loans. Such marketing automation is easily used to address specific referral segments and groom strong relationships.

As relationships with referral partners continue to develop, customer retention efforts may then feature the partner in print and e-mail. In-process e-mails are able to provide for consistent touch points when a borrower is moving through application, keeping the referring party in the loop as well. After closing, automated retention programs can be equally branded for more future business.

Take a minute to truly comprehend the power of what can be done to create, build and nurture a referral relationship. Utilizing centralized marketing automation opens critical doors to long-term opportunity in a purchase market.

In addition to building referral partners, a purchase market is going to require marketing to first time homebuyers, those looking to down size as well as move-up buyers. These segments must be marketed to consistently and most importantly using different media.

Mortgage lenders have to focus on what is going to give them the ability to work smarter not harder when competing for purchase buyers. Again, utilizing centralized marketing automation technology provides corporate compliance and detailed reporting features for streamlined marketing efforts.

Using print as well as e-mail is going to be the game changer for many mortgage lenders, when done at a centralized corporate level. It is a way to differentiate from the competition, as many have opted to use e-mail alone. Utilizing a centralized marketing automation system will make it easy to implement compliant campaigns across all channels using print and e-mail together.

The benefit of centralized marketing automation is the ability to provide consistent, compliant, streamlined marketing from one location. This is known as a top-down marketing strategy.

Top-down marketing enhances business opportunities to build consistent loan pipelines, increase referrals and establish a recognizable brand. This strategy will drive not only a purchase market, but also a strong organizational growth plan.

Utilizing a centralized marketing automation system in conjunction with a top-down marketing strategy is going to enable mortgage lenders to excel in a purchase market. Such a structure would be implemented at a corporate level, and would need little or no interaction from loan originators. This places the lender in control of driving consistent, compliant marketing.

Inside a centralized marketing automation system is a full database to segment contacts and target them individually. In a few minutes, a person can send a campaign with print and e-mail follow-up to all the appropriate contacts in the company database, which includes those of the entire origination staff.

Such a task can be completed quickly due to an expansive library of content that can be utilized as is or even customized to best fit the mortgage lender’s brand and marketing initiative. It is imperative that content and campaigns allow for modification and customization to set one lender apart from others.

Utilizing unique marketing pieces and diversified outputs will make a mortgage lender stand out from the competition. Too many lenders use the same pre-created templates for marketing activities. When this is done on a large scale, how is a consumer to tell one company from another?

Customizable marketing activities that are managed through a centralized marketing automation platform will drive unique brand awareness and company initiatives that are not “cookie cutter.” You cannot differentiate yourself from the competition if you are using the exact same email and print marketing templates, with the only difference being your logo.

Having the ability to create a custom company library is how true differentiation is done, with centralized marketing automation. Consumers will then be able to distinguish you from your competition.

In a purchase market environment, creating targeted messages to specific consumer segments will yield the largest result. Gone are the days of a shotgun approach of “rates are low” e-mails or “now is the time to buy” postcards. Utilize campaigns that are custom designed for those first time homebuyers: for example, edit a first-time homebuyer template postcard to send your message and follow-up with a custom email. You are then reaching that segment on a personal level.

The shift to a purchase market is quite a change for the mortgage industry, but the pressure for compliant, managed marketing is also in full swing.

With a top-down marketing strategy implemented by a centralized marketing automation system, compliance monitoring and management are taken care of. A loan originator can even have access to build individual custom campaigns if they choose and the lender can approve or make changes prior to the activity being sent.

Each marketing activity that takes place is logged and authorized by the lender for compliance, eliminating the worry of unapproved marketing being sent by loan originators and creating a full audit trail for auditors.

The shift to a purchase market is not going to be the easiest transition for many lenders, but it is possible to capitalize on this change. Focusing on the creation of strong, diverse referral partner relationships is going to be imperative. The key to these types of relationships is communication. The use of centralized marketing automation will make all communication consistent and engaging to these referral partners.

Creating custom campaigns to target the specific consumer segments will boost results and create brand differentiation. Centralized marketing automation will make it easy for a lender to send unique print and e-mail pieces to large groups without having to involve the loan originator.

Loan originators are able to focus on their pipelines and nurturing of referral relationships while marketing is being produced to drive results for them. The lender is in complete control. The production of print and e-mail campaigns is done quickly and efficiently. An entire library of activities can be created from scratch or by utilizing pre-designed pieces. Connecting with referral partners, consumers and even past clients becomes seamless and consistent. Most importantly, all this is done in one location that is compliant and automated.

Refinances will continue to fall off and redundant email-only marketing is just not going to cut it anymore. Take hold of this purchase market shift by embracing the technology that is available to you today. This is what can separate you from the competition. Choose to be consistent, engaging and compliant while doing things your way, not within the constraints of “cookie cutter” systems.

Judy Margrett is President of The Turning Point, Inc. The company’s flagship product is MACH3, a mortgage-specific CRM and automated marketing engine. With more than 20 years’ experience in mortgage banking, Judy was an early advocate of technology-based marketing solutions, especially for nurturing key business relationships. Recognizing the demand to maximize resources within business enterprises, she works closely with industry leaders to guide The Turning Point’s development of advanced mortgage-specific solutions. She can be reached via e-mail at judy.margrett@turningpoint.com.