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Take Your Business To The Next Level

In the beginning, entrepreneurs tend to focus deeply on just launching the business. But what happens when the launch and the subsequent water-treading and breath-holding period starts to subside? In the article “Ready to Scale Your Small Business? Do These 5 Things” written by Emily Richett, here’s what she suggests:

Build A Vision Your Team Shares

While scaling a business of any size takes strategic planning and focus, going from solopreneur status to a true team is a serious leap. Andrew Dymski co-founded the digital agency GuavaBox in his college dorm room. Fast forward to today, and he’s got a powerhouse global team making things happen around the world. His advice? “Spend time building out the vision for what you’re trying to build.” And that’s easier said than done–entrepreneurs notoriously, “keep their noses to the grindstone and never look up,” he adds.

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It’s an essential exercise especially during the all-important shift from one to more than one. “When you start scaling your team, you need to have a clear mission that others can get excited about.” And, as Andrew reiterates, that impacts you, too–not just your team. “Taking the time to focus on your vision can help you build the company of your dreams,” he says, “not just build out another job. You don’t want to finally lift your head up in 10 years and wonder why you wasted your time and energy hustling to build a business you don’t even like.”

Be Endlessly Data-Driven

When you’re scaling your small business, it’s essential to measure and analyze everything.

“When our digital agency went through its first growth phase in 2014, our client base grew 200% in less than three months,” says Lauren Davenport, CEO of the Symphony Agency. Like Andrew, Lauren launched her company in college. Now, she leads a team of 20. “We needed help–and we needed it now.” Their solution? They immediately wrote up job descriptions and brought in seven new team members, seemingly overnight. The only problem? They did it without any sort of hiring framework in place. And that was a problem.

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“We didn’t dig into the nitty gritty of capacity planning and profit margins,” she recalls. “Hiring more people solves all problems, right? Wrong.” In this case, bringing on new hires had the opposite impact–the quality of their product suffered big time. “I had the pleasure of learning the age old lesson of ‘be slow to hire and quick to fire,” says Lauren. “It wasn’t fun.”

The good news? “You can easily avoid this mistake,” she says. For starters, figure out your company’s key performance indicators that, specifically, drive growth and cash flow. And once you do, “measure them like crazy, and you’ll avoid the pitfalls that we learned the hard way.”

Get to Really Know Your Audience

Scaling periods are critical times to focus on who’s buying your products or services. By gaining clarity of who your audience is and where your business is going, “your employees will make decisions based on what is better for the business rather than themselves,” explains Jason Swenk, an agency growth coach and mentor.

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During his career, Jason successfully built and sold a digital agency and now he coaches other agency owners. “You need to drill down into a niche a couple levels where you completely understand your clients’ biggest challenge and what they want,” Jason says.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

When you first launch your business, it’s easy to fall into a ‘yes’ pattern, that is, saying yes to every client, every consumer and every opportunity that comes your way. It makes sense, beggars can’t be choosers, right? While no one’s advocating taking on clients who are going to endlessly drain your time and talent, entrepreneurs tend to be a little more lenient in selecting clients in those early days.

But, as your business begins to scale, that approach might actually hold you back. “At the end of the day,” says Andrew, “the clients that pay you the most money will bring the least headaches. The clients that pay you the least amount of money will bring the most headaches.” His advice? “When in doubt, charge more.”

Be Accountable

Most entrepreneurs, especially freelancers and consultants, “aren’t accustomed to being their own boss,” Lauren says. “It sounds like it should be fun, but holding yourself accountable can be difficult.” While accountability is always important, it’s particularly critical as you’re scaling. Lauren experienced this one first-hand. “When I hired my first business coach,” she recalls, “I couldn’t afford it, but I scraped up pennies and did it anyway.” And guess what? “It was worth it.”

About The Author

Michael Hammond
Michael Hammond is chief strategy officer at PROGRESS in Lending Association and is the founder and president of NexLevel Advisors. They provide solutions in business development, strategic selling, marketing, public relations and social media. He has close to two decades of leadership, management, marketing, sales and technical product experience. Michael held prior executive positions such as CEO, CMO, VP of Business Strategy, Director of Sales and Marketing and Director of Marketing for a number of leading companies. He is also only one of about 60 individuals to earn the Certified Mortgage Technologist (CMT) designation. Michael can be contacted via e-mail at mhammond@nexleveladvisors.com.

Overcoming Challenges

Newsflash: marketers feel overwhelmed. According to a study by Emma, only 12% of marketers say they always meet work expectations.

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The email marketing company also learned the following about marketers:

>>A whopping 64% don’t have enough the time or personnel to do the kind of marketing they would like.

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>>They suffer from conflicting priorities, with nearly 50% reporting they feel more pressure to meet internal (organizational) goals than audience expectations.

>>Nearly 40% say they wish they could do more targeted marketing.

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For highlights from the report and tips on how to overcome marketers’ challenges, check out this infographic:

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Build Trust Through Authentic Content

Because the word authentic is so nebulous, it becomes hard to define, but I take it as creating value for an audience without ulterior motives. Yes, you want more customers. Your content shouldn’t be thinly-veiled advertising, but instead, should provide useful information to your audience. You’re not trying to be something your brand isn’t. You stay true to your company values and impart them through your content.

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Being authentic doesn’t mean pulling crazy stunts like Burger King did recently when it hacked Google Home with its ad. Authenticity isn’t attention-seeking or off-the-wall. It’s real. It feels comfortable.

So how can you build trust through authentic content?

Know Your Audience

I put this as a tip in so many of my marketing articles, because there is nothing more important than really, truly understanding your customer base. What is important to them? What kinds of questions do they have that you can answer through content? How can your brand really offer value?

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You’ll notice that none of those questions had anything to do with your product. Knowing your customer is about being a good citizen. About asking questions and listening rather than making assumptions and talking.

Remove the Mask

Many times, brands put up this facade to come off as … I don’t know, more professional? They don’t see value in letting customers into the heart and soul of the business. But that’s part of your story, and your story is what people want.

If you got the idea for your business when you fell down a flight of stairs, why not share that very human tale? If every Friday your staff dresses up like superheroes, that’s a great visual that turns your company into a band of actual humans. Don’t distance yourself from your audience; instead, connect with them.

Be Consistent

If you see success in writing really long, in-depth posts, keep doing that. Or if people go crazy for your daily Twitter tips, lather, rinse, repeat. People will begin to trust your brand when they know what to expect from it, so make consistency the key rather than being all over the place, experimenting to see what sticks.

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Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Because brands are made up of people, they make mistakes, and that’s okay. Whether it’s a typo on your blog or misinformation you shared, don’t try to cover up the error with corporate speak. Be apologetic (“Oops! We goofed. Our apologies.”) and move on.

Being authentic is simply about being true to your brand’s nature. It should feel organic and easy.

About The Author

Susan Guillory
Susan Guillory is a writer, traveler, and entrepreneur. Susan Guillory writes about travel and marketing. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @unxplorer.

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.

Tradeshow Trends

Tradeshows are an important marketing tool for many businesses, but has their influence changed as companies look to promote themselves more and more online?

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Exhibition stand supplier Display Wizard surveyed 100 regular exhibitors on the pros and cons of this marketing channel and created an infographic with some of its findings.

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Tradeshows are still an important channel for many marketers, with 75% of respondents saying they saw a positive future for tradeshow marketing, and the biggest factor in whether a marketer decides to exhibit at a tradeshow is the quality of attendees, the study found.

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But many interviewees also voiced concerns about tradeshows, with the high cost of exhibiting reported as the biggest issue for most exhibitors.

Check out the infographic for more survey findings and some expert tips on how to exhibit successfully:

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

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.

Get Noticed

It’s tough out there. If you want to get a lender’s attention you have to be on your game. What does that mean? It means that when you write a blog or any content, you need to make sure that it gets read. That seems easy enough, but it isn’t. Everything starts with a good headline.

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In the article entitled “How to Write Catchy Headlines and Blog Titles Your Readers Can’t Resist” by Corey Wainwright, he says, It’s one thing to write great content, but it’s another thing to get it read and ranked, which is where nailing the title comes in.”

Titles are what sell the content. They represent it in search engines, in email, and on social media. It’s no surprise, then, that some of the most common questions we get concern crafting titles.

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How long should my headline be? What words should I use? What words should I avoid? Should I optimize it for search, or for social? Or both?

Luckily, we’ve come up with a simple formula for writing catchy headlines and blog titles that you can reference from here on out. So let’s just dive right in, shall we?

1.) Start with a working title.

Before you get into the nitty-gritty of coming up with a perfect title, start with a rough draft: your working title. What is that, exactly? A lot of people confuse working titles with topics. Let’s clear that up:

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Topics are very general and could yield several different blog posts. Think “raising healthy kids,” or “kitchen storage.” A writer might look at either of those topics and choose to take them in very, very different directions.

A working title, on the other hand, is very specific and guides the creation of a single blog post. For example, from the topic “raising healthy kids,” you could derive the following working titles:

>>”How the Right Nutrition Can Strengthen Your Kids’ Bones”

>>”A Parent’s Guide to Promoting Your Child’s Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Well-Being”

>>”X Recipes for Quick & Healthy Dinners Your Teenagers Will Gobble Up”

See how different and specific each of those is? That’s what makes them working titles, instead of overarching topics. It’s also worth noting that none of those titles are perfect, they should just be specific enough to guide your blog post. (We’ll worry about making it clickable and search-friendly later.)

2.) Stay accurate.

Accuracy is critical when trying to finesse a title, because it sets clear expectations for your readers. While I’m sure lots of people would love to click into a post that said “10 B2B Companies Killing Facebook So Freaking Hard They Don’t Need Any Other Marketing Channel” … it’s a little bombastic, no?

Unless, of course, you truly did find 10 B2B companies rocking Facebook that hard, and you could confirm that all 10 of them had stopped using other marketing channels. First and foremost, your title needs to accurately reflect the content that follows.

One way to ensure accuracy? Add bracketed clarification to your headline.

So if you remember nothing else from this blog post, let it be this: The most important rule of titles is to respect the reader experience. If you set high expectations in your title that you can’t fulfill in the content, you’ll lose readers’ trust.

Accuracy encompasses more than just hyperbole, though. With the example working title above, you’d also want to confirm all of the examples are, indeed, B2B. Or even that they’re all companies, instead of, say, individual bloggers that target B2B audiences. See what I mean?

3.) Make it sexy.

Just because you have to be accurate doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to make your title pop. There are a lot of ways to make a title sexier.

Of course, all of this hinges on understanding your core buyer persona. You need to find language that resonates with them, and know what they find valuable.

Once you’re armed with knowledge of your buyer persona’s preferred style, try testing out some of these tips for making your headlines a little sexier:

Have some fun with alliteration. The title and header in this blog post, for instance, play with alliteration: “Foolproof Formula.” It’s a device that makes something a little lovelier to read, and that can have a subtle but strong impact on your reader.

Use strong language. Strong phrases (and, frankly, often negative ones) like “Things People Hate,” or “Brilliant” pack quite a punch. However, these must be used in moderation. As one of my coworkers likes to say, “If everything is bold, nothing is bold.”

Make the value clear. As we mentioned above, presenting the format and/or contents to a reader helps make your content a little sexier.

Make it visual. Is there an opportunity to include visuals within your post? Make that clear in the title.

Focus on the “who’s,” not the “whys”. Want to intrigue your audience? Focus on the “who”: Headlines including the word “who” generated a 22% higher CTR.

4.) Keep it short.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long or short your title should be. It depends what your goals are, and where your headline will appear.

Do you want this post to rank really well in search? Focus on keeping the title under 70 characters so it doesn’t get cut off in search engine results.

Are you trying to optimize your title for social sharing? According to our own analysis, headlines between 8–12 words in length got the most Twitter shares on average. As for Facebook, headlines with either 12 or 14 words received the most Likes.

5.) Try to optimize for search and social.

I say “try” because, sometimes, trying too hard to optimize for these things can make your title sound strange. Remember: You want to optimize your title for your audience above all else, but if you can optimize for both search and social, that’s great.

The secret to thinking about all three at once? Focus on keywords that you know your audience is already searching for, then look into the search volume for those keywords.

Once you have a keyword in mind, you’ll want to be sure to place it as closely as possible to the beginning of your headline to catch your reader’s attention. (Again, you should keep your headline under 70 characters so it doesn’t get cut off in search engine results.)

6.) Brainstorm with someone else.

Once you’ve refined your title using the tips above, it’s time to come up for air and connect with another human. Title brainstorming is an essential part of the process.

The final step before scheduling a blog post is pulling another member of the team into a back-and-forth title brainstorm in a chat room. One member of the duo will post the title they recommend into the chat pane window. The other person will then refine that title even further, or suggest other angles. After several back-and-fourths, the duo will agree on the title that’s accurate, sexy, concise, and SEO-friendly.

It’s essential to put your best foot forward with each post that you publish.

About The Author

Michael Hammond
Michael Hammond is chief strategy officer at PROGRESS in Lending Association and is the founder and president of NexLevel Advisors. They provide solutions in business development, strategic selling, marketing, public relations and social media. He has close to two decades of leadership, management, marketing, sales and technical product experience. Michael held prior executive positions such as CEO, CMO, VP of Business Strategy, Director of Sales and Marketing and Director of Marketing for a number of leading companies. He is also only one of about 60 individuals to earn the Certified Mortgage Technologist (CMT) designation. Michael can be contacted via e-mail at mhammond@nexleveladvisors.com.

BankingBridge Partners With Optimal Blue To Enhance Lender Marketing Tools

Optimal Blue has partnered with BankingBridge to enhance the co-branded marketing media that the web-based vendor provides to loan officers and Realtors.

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Through this integration, BankingBridge can offer participating lenders a simple, precise, affordable, and compliant way to display accurate, real-time interest rates. Clients can now offer multiple media platforms, thus improving efficiency for lenders and, ultimately, increasing customer satisfaction.

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“We built BankingBridge to serve as the platform that all loan officers and realtors utilize to search, invite, and share compliant and co-branded marketing across print, digital, and social media. It’s a completely ‘hands off’ tool,” said Jimmy King, Co-Founder of BankingBridge. “Our integration with Optimal Blue’s unrivaled pricing will now allow our customer’s interest rates and loan programs to be as real-time as a stock quote on a financial website. That’s exciting!”

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Optimal Blue’s eCommerce platform consumes product and pricing content from a network of investors, provides intelligent selection and customization of that content as desired by lenders, and distributes the personalized results to leading technology providers via RESTful APIs – wherever, whenever it matters most.

“Customers want their mortgage process to be as simple as logging in to social media and friending someone, or as precise as buying consumer products online,” said Bob Brandt, Vice President of Marketing & Alliances for Optimal Blue. “By integrating with Optimal Blue, BankingBridge will be able to greatly enhance the tools that their lender and realtor partners offer to borrowers through multiple co-branded marketing vehicles, ensuring that this accurate information is tailored to their specific needs.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Effective Email Marketing Tips

E-mail may seem a bit old school, but e-mail should be a part of every mortgage technology vendor’s strategy. The big question is: How do you do your e-mail marketing right so you get real results? In the article entitled “3 Ways to Trigger a Sense of Urgency in Your Sales Emails” by Heather R. Morgan, she shares that the average adult has to make about 35,000 decisions each day. Which include things like, what to wear, which route to take to work, where to buy coffee—these are just the start, and usually the easiest.

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How does this relate to e-mail? So, you can imagine the last thing someone wants to face when they open a cold e-mail from you is a complex choice. As a salesperson, your job is to make their decision to respond as easy as possible.

The simplest and most effective way to do this is to appeal to your potential customer’s most basic human instincts: desire, curiosity, and fear. Of all the emotional triggers out there, these three can create a strong sense of urgency and increase the chances of someone responding to your e-mail.

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Of course, this is easier said than done. In the span of a single cold e-mail, you have to trigger those instincts and, at the same time, communicate that you understand the customer’s wants, needs, and worries, and can deliver the solution: you.

Here are three tips to help you do the same:

DESIRE

Every business wants to grow and succeed. Your e-mail can appeal to this by offering the promise of serious and direct business value. Your messaging should address, quickly and believably, exactly how your prospective customer will benefit from your product or service, and it should do so in a manner that inspires them to respond. There are two approaches you can take:

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The first is to demonstrate value by providing clear and tangible examples, or social proof, of how your service or product delivers results. This is especially effective if you can use actual numbers to demonstrate success with a competitor.

Alternatively, you can reframe your product features as customer benefits. This is a good approach if you are new to the scene or unable to reference your clients by name.

CURIOSITY

Intrigue is a powerful tool that can also be a lot of fun to use. If your e-mail hints at a solution to a potential customer’s pain point or particular need, their desire to know the full story should override any hesitation to respond to your e-mail.

For example, you might inform the buyer you have an idea or strategy that will make a significant difference to an aspect of their business. Remember, you are trying to keep their curiosity peaked, so this should just be a teaser, something that will induce them to follow up.

FEAR

Fear is probably the most powerful way to introduce urgency and inspire a potential customer to action. However, it’s important to apply subtlety over aggression. You don’t want to terrify your potential clients; you just want to address their concerns. Research specific issues at play within their industry, introduce anxiety, and then end on a positive note by offering a solution.

Instead of writing, “Data hacking will destroy your business if you don’t do something now,” try an approach with less fire and brimstone: “Data hacks have increased tenfold in the past two years, making it more important than ever to protect your data.”

Hopefully these tips will help you enhance your e-mail marketing strategy.

About The Author

Michael Hammond
Michael Hammond is chief strategy officer at PROGRESS in Lending Association and is the founder and president of NexLevel Advisors. They provide solutions in business development, strategic selling, marketing, public relations and social media. He has close to two decades of leadership, management, marketing, sales and technical product experience. Michael held prior executive positions such as CEO, CMO, VP of Business Strategy, Director of Sales and Marketing and Director of Marketing for a number of leading companies. He is also only one of about 60 individuals to earn the Certified Mortgage Technologist (CMT) designation. Michael can be contacted via e-mail at mhammond@nexleveladvisors.com.

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.